After the game, Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins closed the door to the media for about 10 minutes.
“I asked them questions (after the game). I think we’re a team — especially as of late — that has an uncanny ability to just shoot ourselves in the foot,” Eakins began.
“The game in Anaheim we played well but came up short, the game in LA we had a bad change and were in it until then, tonight in the first period. It’s exactly how we want to play.
"We’re doing the things we’re promoting, the things we’re practicing, our power play probably generated more attempts at the net than the last five games put together and a bad change, it end up 1-0. So I was asking, do we need to bring the video in and show you the bad change?"
A bad bounce and bad line change resulted in a scrambled two-on-one for the Blues following an Oilers power play. Oilers starting netminder Ilya Bryzgalov tried to clear the puck but it was kept in and eventually dished to Chris Stewart, who was unguarded at the right circle. Stewart's shot beat Bryzgalov to give St. Louis the 1-0 lead. Shots were 10-2 Oilers at the time of the goal.
"My second question is, how can we do that? Are we not able to sustain that level of play through the game? The encouraging thing is, you see the first period and know it’s in the room.
“It’s one thing where the other team takes it from you and they’re better than you. It’s another if you gift it."
Oilers winger David Perron will be facing off against his former team tonight for the first time. Coach Eakins has loved what he's seen so far from Perron.
“He’s been excellent. He is certainly a guy that our players look to for leadership,” Eakins began, adding that Perron will accept any role he's given. “He’s done a lot of different things for us. And just nodded his head, which is great. I love those bobblehead players.
"He’s played the half-wall on the power play, been our net-front guy, played the point on the power play, he’s killing penalties now. He’s played in a defensive role. He’s been a great, great acquisition by Craig (MacTavish). A player I respect, greatly.”
Perron has enjoyed the added responsibility in Edmonton and it has paid off as he is enjoying a career-best season with 14 goals and 27 points in 33 games.
“I’m getting some good opportunity, power play, PK, a lot of ice time.”
When the 2013-14 schedule came out, tonight's game was the first one Perron looked for.
“When I got traded, when the schedule came out that was the first thing I looked for. Normally I look to see when we play Montreal because I’m from there but this year was a little bit different. It was fun to play against them.”
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was the first Oilers netminder off the ice at morning skate today and will get the start tonight against the Blues.
Bryzgalov has made five starts for the Oilers so far this season but this will be the first one at Rexall Place. In his six appearances, he has a shutout, 2.30 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. He has a record of 1-3-0.
Bryz first off the ice, starts tonight vs. St. Louis.— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 21, 2013
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins showed some frustration out on the ice during morning skate today. While explaining a drill, he got flustered and end up throwing his sharpie as a result.
It was no big deal, said Eakins.
"It's one of those things. The morning skate for me, a lot of times I don't think it has a lot to do with the game at night but the problem is we didn't practice yesterday so we had to do a little work this morning.
"The listening skills weren't there so I had to raise my voice and get them in check. It's part of the day, sometimes. It was no big deal."
The Oilers have struggled lately on the power play with only one power play goal in their last 19 attempts, and no power play goals in their last five games (all losses).
Making things worse, during the 1-for-19 stretch, the team has given up three shorthanded goals and in all, the Oilers have allowed a league-high eight shorthanded markers.
"You look at the good power plays and they are very simple. There's a net front presence and you're going to attack the net whether you're driving the net or the puck's coming to the net.
"The problem for skilled guys is when they are struggling they tend to go the other way. Instead of simplifying they try to go through guys."
Because of the struggles, Eakins said that he was going to try some different looks on his second power play unit.
"Our one unit will look a lot the same as it has. We are going to simplify them. And the next unit is going to be very simplified. Playing on the power play is a privilege. I don't care if you're in PeeWee or the NHL, it's a privilege to go out on it.
"You get your five-on-five game in check then you'll earn your privilege on the power play. The second unit will look much different than it has before."
During morning skate, Ryan Jones fell to the ice after being knocked unconscious due to a collision with Andrew Ference in front of the net. He had to be attended to by the trainers and then helped to the dressing room.
Shortly after the injury, Coach Eakins headed off the ice to check on the forward.
"I didn't say much, I just went in to make sure he was still breathing," said Eakins. "He got hit in the perfect spot and he was out cold on the ice."
Despite the optics, which looked bad, Eakins said that Jones will be okay.
"He's fine. When you've been knocked out cold -- and I've had that myself -- the worst thing you need is a bunch of people talking to you."
Ryan Jones has been hurt at Oiler practice. Trainers attending to him now.— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) December 21, 2013
The Oilers are on the ice for morning skate prior to their game against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
Mark Arcobello and Philip Larsen are not participating.
Oil lineup. Hall-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Gordon-Perron, Gazdic-Gagner-Yak, Joensuu-Lander-Hemsky. Ference-J Schultz, Belov-Petry, N Schultz-Potter— Jack Michaels (@EdmontonJack) December 21, 2013
Taylor Hall was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to close out the first period. After Gagner's five minute major and game misconduct, the Hall penalty put the Oilers down two men at the start of the second.
The Avalanche capitalized on the 5-on-3 advantage.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins addressed the penalties and his response after the game.
"The Gagner penalty was a penalty," said Eakins. "I thought it was by accident. When his stick came up, I thought you could see it immediately that when the guy went down Gags was concerned. When you mean to do it, you skate away with a smirk on your face.
"All I was looking for from the official was the explanation. He went over to the box, signalled two minutes with his finger, did the cross-check, put Sam in the box and suddenly everything changed after the jumbotron showed it."
Coach Eakins added Hall was not the player who said something to the referee at the end of the period.
"I came out at the start of the (second) period after a cooling-down period, as we're supposed to do as coaches, and was basically told by the ref to… well, I can't say what he said to me. Just looking for simple explanations, but couldn't get them."
The Oilers have acquired a conditional 6th round draft selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Omark has played in 29 games for the Oklahoma City Barons in the American Hockey League this season, scoring 14 goals and adding 15 assists to lead that team in scoring.
Omark was originally a fourth round pick of the Oilers in the 2007 NHL Draft.
After getting downed 8-2 by the Oilers on December 5, in Edmonton, it is fully expected that the Avalanche will come out with a little extra motivation to exact revenge tomorrow night.
"Absoultely, like Columbus," said David Perron. "We beat them 7-0 and they beat us the next game… It wasn't much of a game there. We need to be ready from the start. It's not going to be goals every night against this team, that's for sure. Their coaching staff over there, I know them a little bit, I know a few players over there and they weren't happy after the last game. They'll come out hard."
Colorado will be looking to defend their arena in front of their home crowd.
"Anytime a team beats you like we did to them, you want to come back with a good response," said Jordan Eberle. "Especially, in your own building. We expect a different game for sure. From us, we've lost… four in a row now. We've got to get back on track."