BLOG: The leak in the balloon
Despite stringing together some solid hockey through the first 40 minutes, the Oilers could not crack Washington's goaltender Braden Holtby and eventually succumbed to the Capitals offensive attack as well.
Head Coach Dallas Eakins says he could see early on that the energy and success of his team was slowly diminishing, potentially due to the long road trip that ended two days ago.
"Quietly, I could feel the air coming out of the balloon," said Eakins. "I could see the guys' faces and they started to… they seemed to be short shifting me a bit. I felt like maybe the travel and the time change and all that was maybe catching up to us. I wasn't sure, but even though we were still going very, very good in the second period I just felt like there was a leak in the balloon."
The Oilers just couldn't string together a complete 60 minutes and while Holtby's performance didn't help the Oilers, a lack of shots to the net was also a hinderance to any potential comeback.
"I think we've just got to learn that we've got opportunities by shooting the puck and keeping things simple," said forward Ben Eager. "We kind of got away from that. Maybe because we were down and we thought we had to make some plays, but I think we've just got to keep the puck going to the net and remember the effort and hard work we put forward in the first two periods and bring that to the next game."