After Saturday night’s 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, the Edmonton Oilers wanted to focus on attention to detail without the puck. On Monday night, they were better defensively for the most part. Somehow, they were worse offensively. The Oilers scored one shorthanded goal in their 3-1 loss, failing to create any high-danger chances of real note at five-on-five on the night.
The offense looked stagnant. It looked lazy. Fans noticed it, media noticed it, and Head Coach Dave Tippett noticed it. He addressed it following the loss that pushed the Oilers to 1-3-0 on the season.
“We were more competitive, but I’d still like to see our puck game improve,” Tippett said on Monday night. “Competitive is what we are looking for. To defend better you’ve got to be competitive first and then you’ve got to be able to move the puck. So, we were better in the competitive end of it.”
The Oilers largely shutdown Montreal in the opening period, but still trailed 1-0 after Mikko Koskinen was beaten by a floating shot from the blueline. On further inspection, it looked like Koskinen was screened and never saw the shot from rookie Alexander Romanov.
The Oilers gave up a goal in the dying seconds of the second period, then surrendered a shorthanded marker that ended the game in the third.
“You’re taking it game-by-game,” Tippett continued. “We’re still trying to figure our team out, you know? We’ve got to get our competitive levels up. I think it will be good for our team to go out on the road.”
One way the Oilers can get their ‘compete’ up? Stop overthinking things. Get back to basics and putting the puck on net.
“I think we can shoot the puck more,” Tippett told reporters. “We can be looking for some harder goals. We’re overpassing it and then not getting enough sustain time in the offensive zone.”