Mikko Koskinen faced four shots on Thursday night when he made his second start of the week against the Vancouver Canucks. Unfortunately, the big Finn made zero saves, and the Oilers found themselves down 4-0 before they could blink.
Edmonton never quit on this night, cutting the deficit to 4-2 before the first intermission, but the hole proved to be too big in a 6-3 loss at the hands of the Canucks. The Oilers have now dropped three of their last four at home, but are just one point away from home ice in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bad night? Yup. End of the world? Far from it. For the Oilers, it’s simply on to the next one.
“I think we’ve done a good job of responding after games like this, responding after losses,” Connor McDavid said following the defeat. The captain tacked on three more assists in the loss, and now sits four points from 100 on the season.
“Getting back to our game and regrouping is all we can do,” McDavid continued. “We want to go into the playoffs on a high note. You don’t want to limp into the playoffs. It’s not like a light switch where you can turn your game on and off.”
Edmonton has done well responding to losses recently, as McDavid pointed out. Edmonton has not lost back-to-back games since March 13th and 15th, when they dropped a pair of road games to the Canucks and Calgary Flames. Since that point, the Oilers are 7-0-0 following a loss.
Expect the club to put Thursday’s defeat behind them when they finish their four-game set with the Canucks at Rogers Place on Saturday night. There is still plenty to play for, as Edmonton can lock up the second seed in the Scotia North Division and could get the captain to 100 points in less than 56 games. Both of those have meaning to this group.
This team has been all about responding this season. There’s no reason to think that Saturday night will be any different, even with a playoff spot locked up.