A 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks had the Oilers players frustrated in the locker room, but they aren’t pointing fingers at anyone but themselves.
“It’s on us,” Taylor Hall said. “It’s our fault as players and we’re going to have to make up for that.”
Andrew Ference said, “I think all we ask of each other is to play to the potential of what we know each guy can bring. You set the bar at a certain level and you have to meet it. You have to get up to that level, whether they scored a goal or not. Get over it. That didn’t happen. I think the play dipped after they scored the first goal. It took way too long to recover from that. That’s just every guy having the mental ability to shake it off and get back after business.”
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins added, “It’s all on us. Nobody can control the game except us. We go out there every night and we’re the ones competing out there. It’s all on the players in here and we’ve just got to find a way to motivate ourselves to get back on track and push forward.”
“Everyone has to take ownership,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “You can keep talking about it or you can do it.”
After a 7-1 loss, the pressure to turn things around is on full blast. Head Coach Dallas Eakins said he’s ready to take it on.
“I face it head-on,” he said. “If I wasn’t up to the task I wouldn’t be here, I would go do something else or I would have taken another line of work. For me, we’ll get out of the rink tonight, probably won’t sleep much, spend the day with my family and then it’s going to be right back to work to try and get the group past this to refocus and get a refresher for our team and get ready for Dallas. If we’re going to sit and cry over the losses then we’re never ever going to get out of it. The feeling sorry for ourselves, that doesn’t work. The pain I feel is for our organization and our city. That’s what I feel. That’s what helps you focus to get onto the next one.”
The Oilers lost their sixth-straight game tonight, their fifth straight at home. The Oilers players were notably frustrated with how they closed out their homestand.
“It was a good opportunity for us to have five games at home,” Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We didn’t take advantage of it. We thought tonight really ended off the way we’ve been playing the last few games. It’s unacceptable. You can’t go down 3-0 in this league. It’s impossible to come back against a team like that. We’ve done it in the past little while a few times now. It can’t happen and we have to move forward onto the road trip.”
Benoit Pouliot left the ice after taking a shot off the skate. He has been ruled out indefinitely with a broken foot.
“I don’t know how long he’ll be out for, but usually that is sidelined for awhile," Head Coach Dallas Eakins said after the game.
Benoit Pouliot (broken foot) will be sidelined indefinitely.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 22, 2014
Viktor Fasth starts in goal.
The Oilers test drove some new forward lines at practice today with one of them being Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell centred by Leon Draisaitl. Jordan Eberle was absent from practice as well, leading to some more shuffling.
“We’re taking a look,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “We’re taking a look at the power plays as well. We shook those up, kind of the same setups just with moving pieces. We’ll at least try and start with that. We had a couple of guys having a maintenance day, a couple of guys that had different things flare up during the game so we’ll see how they are too.”
The Oilers players got the message when they saw the different lines they’d be running at practice.
“Anytime they do what we call, ‘getting the bingo balls out,’ it means that something has gone awry and something is not right,” Hall said. “When you’re winning and when you’re playing well, you’re scoring lots of goals and the lines don’t change. That’s a message to us that we have to get better and we have to find some consistency with our lineup.”
If the lines that were run this morning at practice were any indication, Leon Draisaitl will have the opportunity to play with Taylor Hall. It’s an opportunity that the young rookie centre should be excited about. As a playmaking centre, Hall could be his best friend offensively.
“Taylor has been through that experience not too long ago,” Head Coach Dallas Eakins said. “His experience will definitely help Leon. We also think that Leon is a very good distributor of the puck and he’s going to be able to step right in there with Taylor and give him the puck. I thought Teddy last night played a really good game and Teddy can certainly do both, he can find people and he can also shoot the puck. We feel, at least looking at it on paper with what each guy brings, they compliment each other.”
Oilers prospect Greg Chase has been traded from the Calgary Hitmen to the Victoria Royals of the WHL, in exchange for Calgary Flames prospect Keegan Kanzig.
Chase, taken in the seventh round of the 2013 draft, played 15 games for Calgary this season. He recorded 15 points (2-13-15) and 20 penalty minutes.
The Oilers traded Will Acton to Vancouver for Kellan Lain on Thursday. In a separate AHL deal, the Oklahoma City Barons traded Mitch Holmberg to the Utica Comets, the Canucks affiliate.
Holmberg played in eight games for the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors this season, scoring one point.