EDMONTON – Hope is in this old hockey chestnut that says you always drop a few games at the end of a defeat that you might have won, and at the end of a tournament, you tend to win a streak or two that you win maybe should have lost.
Edmonton played well against Toronto. But they lost 4-1. And that's all that really matters.
"We did a lot of good things," said oil industry defender Oscar Klefbom. "But it is difficult to stand here and say that because we lost two points. It is difficult to lose against a team like Toronto in Rogers (Place), obviously with a lot of fans here."
Edmonton was defeated 0-3 in five-on-five and lost to the Maple Leafs for the seventh consecutive time. There was everyone's game eight minutes before the end, with the Leafs leading 2-1 and the Oilers leading a full square press.
But then Toronto has something the Oilers just can't get enough of: an even goal from their fourth row. It was a backlash that brought the Oilers to a fourth consecutive loss.
"The margin of error in this league is really low," said winger Alex Chiasson, who scored the power play for Edmonton's only goal. "Our game, it's not like we don't show up. We're kind of there, but there is a little bit that isn't there and that's not good enough. Here we are right now."
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people in the hockey world and then tell the audience everything about what they heard and what they think about it.
There are parts of the Oilers game that are good. Just never enough of them the same night to win.
The Oilers have been beaten 32-16 against 5 in their last 10 games. The two big guns – Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl – were both minus at night and were even and minus four in the season, even though they celebrated a one-two in the NHL championship race.
Draisaitl has played nine games in his last 10 games in which he was a minus player. For McDavid there were eight of his last 14
"Five to five we have to be a lot better," said McDavid. “Our special teams were good. We have to be better at five against five. We have to find a way to produce gates and keep them out of our network. "
The Oilers were rewarded with a solid goal by Mikko Koskinen, but Frederik Andersen was superior in the Maple Leafs goal. Or at least the Leafs took their chances while Edmonton failed to beat Andersen, a team's familiar mistake in a loss.
"We just have to take more chances," said Edmonton's head coach Dave Tippett. “In the past few games we have had enough of what I think are tough opportunities. We just have to find a way to capitalize on some of them. We get a lot of pucks on the net, we just can't find anything on the net. We just have to get better results in our five-on-five game. "
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Not enough persistent persecution, Chiasson said. Certainly not enough ugly goals from the bottom six strikers.
"One thing was missing tonight," Chiasson began. "It felt like every goal chance was" one and done ". In this case, if we are good, we get one goal opportunity in our team and then find a way to generate a second one. We get change and the next line is coming … These are the little things we don't do well enough. "
Edmonton is officially in trouble here, losing four opponents in a row with a number of very difficult opponents on their schedule. This week, they're traveling through Dallas and St. Louis to come home the next weekend and chat with Pittsburgh and Montreal.
The in-depth assessment feared as inadequate has completely disappeared and now McDavid and Draisaitl have also cooled down. The Koskinen rebound game should give him a start on Monday in Dallas, but they need some goals from people like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (one of his last eight games), James Neal (one of nine games), and even McDavid, who has in his scored two goals in last 10 games.
You have made it a habit of falling behind in games. If you can't score with the same strength, that's a killer combination.
"Against a team like Toronto," said Klefbom, "you want to be 2-0 and get them to fight for it." It is mentally and physically difficult for us to go to Dallas and St. Louis, but we have to get together as a team. Until Christmas, every game is a playoff game. "