The Day After 23.0: “We’re back in the race, but we have a long way to go”

Photo credit:© Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
6 months ago
Talk about flipping the script.
The Edmonton Oilers took a lopsided loss in Carolina during their frustrating four-game road trip, as they were dropped by a score of 6-3 by the Hurricanes after allowing four goals in the first period.
This time around, the Oilers were the team that came out flying.
Ryan McLeod, fresh off burying his first goal of the season into an empty net, scored his second goal just 28 seconds into the game. Just 13 seconds later, Mattias Ekholm banked in a pass from Connor McDavid to give the Oilers a 2-0 lead under one minute into play. Zach Hyman added a pair of goals before the end of the first frame to stretch the score to 4-0.
From there, the Oilers cruised to their fifth consecutive victory. Jordan Staal scored in the third to bust Stuart Skinner’s shutout bid but Warren Foegele scored against his former club and Hyman finished off the hat trick to lead Edmonton to a 6-1 win.
The Oilers are now 10-12-1 on the season, six points behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. With five more home games coming up next, the Oilers could soon flip the script on their entire season and march back into a playoff spot.


What they said…

Warren Foegele on the commanding win over his former team…
“I thought it was a real mature effort tonight. We potted two goals quickly and then we stayed with it. We weren’t cheating for offence after that lead, and just solid checking by the whole team. To win in this League, you’ve got to hold leads and it was nice that we did that.
For our line, we knew to have a good start. I find when we do start well , we usually are always in the o-zone or something like that, so it was kind of nice to keep that going.”
Zach Hyman on what the Oilers have done well during their winning streak…
“It’s just a commitment to limiting turnovers and errors. We talk about mental mistakes and those are always going to be in the game. If you’re trying to make plays out there, errors happen, but I think limiting them and if there are 50… I think understanding when to take risks, we’ve limited risk in our game.
I think our line rushes against have been way better. That was something that plagued us and that has to do with turnovers a little bit, but also a commitment to tracking back with our forwards and a commitment to holding lines with our D. And then, I think Stu has really stepped up and really taken a hold of the net and just played phenomenal. That’s really what it is, so it’s great for our team to have him playing like that.”
Head coach Kris Knoblauch on taking the season one step at a time…
“Our focus was to break it down into eight-game segments. We don’t want to look long-term because there are so many unknowns, uncontrollables, and we just want to control what we can. We can’t think about Game 82. We have to think about what’s coming up next or even a short term.
We started the series, our eight-game segment, in Washington and we just broke it down and we talked to the team about what we need to do to make playoffs. 95 points is kind of that mark, and we figured if we won so many games in these eight-game segments, we’re going to be really close. So we’re just focused on breaking the season into those little chunks or segments and we’ll see what happens from there.”

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