The Edmonton Oilers, regardless of their second-place finish in the Pacific Division, are still searching for consistency. The Oilers ran hot-and-cold for most of the 2019-20 season, and didn’t really settle into a lengthy groove at any point.
Inconsistency has been the story of their best-of-five series against the Chicago Blackhawks to this point as well. The Oilers completely no-showed Game 1, falling 6-4 on Saturday. They controlled Game 2, winning 6-3 on Monday night.
Head coach Dave Tippett was asked about how his team finds that elusive consistency.
“Well the consistency, in which you say you want to play well every night, but there is consistency you have to have within the game and things you are doing,” Tippett began. “Game 1 we came out, we fell behind 4-1 early and when you are chasing a game it doesn’t matter who you are, you don’t look like as good a team. We chased that first game, did somethings to put ourselves behind that cost us.”
The Oilers didn’t do a lot right in that Game 1 loss. They were far too lackadaisical with the puck, turning it over seemingly once a minute. Their defensive structure was non-existent, and the penalty kill had it’s worst game in recent memory. It didn’t help that the goaltending let them down as well.
Overall, the effort wasn’t there. Nor was the attention to detail.
The story was completely reserved on Monday.
“Last night (Monday) we had purpose the whole game, we never trailed in the game,” Tippett continued. “They got back to even, we got the fourth goal, was a big goal, but we stayed with the process. Consistency in what you’re doing throughout the game builds that consistency that you have to have for outcomes from game to game.”
The Oilers did all of the little things on Monday. They hit everything in sight, blocked shots and protected the puck. If they play that style, they will win this series. It’s that consistency that can make a difference and push the Oilers into the playoffs.