Mike Smith said he wanted to do more "big parades" and he made a handful of them on Thursday night in Buffalo. Leon Draisaitl commented on his own game and used a saying to make it clear that his defense work was just not good enough.
Then overtime came in Buffalo and none of the players gave the Edmonton Oilers what they asked for.
Smith, who played well enough to deserve a win, was struck on his fourth runaway runaway – a jack acorn penalty in extra time – and it was a lazy "flyby" by Draisaitl who ever took the penalty caused, aptly identified on the show by analyst Drew Remenda. Draisaitl's game was much better on Thursday – until it wasn't, and Eichel came in and was addicted to the penalty shoot-out.
In the end it was a 2-0 lead that led to a 2: 3 loss for Edmonton. It seemed wasted when you watched an Oilers team that didn't seem to have the killer instinct to pull both points out of Buffalo.
"It's a similar story," Captain Connor McDavid told reporters in Buffalo after the game. "We are 6-1 and give up four goals in the last game." We have to find a way to better defend a lead.
"It's frustrating," he continued. "We didn't score two points tonight, but there are still a lot of games left."
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The Big Takeaway
The Oilers took a 2-0 lead for the second game in a row, and for the second game since Bakersfield's Kailer Yamamoto was called in, head coach Dave Tippett had some symmetry about his lines. Better-defined top and bottom six, with McDavid flanked by James Neal and Zack Kassian and Draisaitl playing on lines 1 and 2 alongside Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Yamamoto.
When general manager Ken Holland looked at his farm club, he saw two wingers who might appear and could trigger the crime: Tyler Benson and Yamamoto. He chose right winger Yamamoto, although his injury had limited him to 27 games last season and 23 games this year.
You can't say the Oilers rushed the player – he spent a year and a half in the AHL. Despite the fact that he only played 50 games, they recognized a player who can travel with something the Oilers need.
Now that he's here, he looks ready and is collecting a template for the empty goal he scored in his debut against the Rangers on Tuesday. Yamamoto is small, but he separates opponents from the puck and has the hands necessary to trade pucks with Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins. Pushing Joakim Nygard into the bottom six is better for the Swedes, and it combines the solid depth line of Riley Sheahan, Josh Archibald and Jujhar Khaira, who hit again.
It was a rare night when Draisaitl and McDavid only made one template. Another couple game and two points would have been likely, and picking up a point where this duo is less productive is good news for Edmonton, who scored goals from Nugent-Hopkins and Sheahan.
Head coach Dave Tippett saw a point of waste here. His club led 2-0 just seven minutes before the game started and no longer scored against a Buffalo team in the lower third of the NHL.
"I liked the fact that we played a strong first period," said Tippett, "but I knew we had to improve our level in the rest of the game." And we just didn't do it.
"The game just went well and we just didn't understand it." We gave up two goals when we prevailed over the net. Our reporting to the network this evening was not enough. "
Edmonton gets a day game in Boston on Saturday afternoon, a scenario in which points have never been collected. Then it goes to Toronto, Montreal and Calgary – at what point we will know how badly they regret letting go of this point at the Trip Opener in Buffalo.