EDMONTON, AB - Even though the Oilers are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, Oilers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock is pleased with the efforts of his club over the past few weeks.
The results haven't always favoured the team but on Thursday they did, after Oscar Klefbom tied it up against the Isles then Connor McDavid scored in overtime to lift the Orange & Blue to a 4-3 OT victory.
In toppling one of the best teams in the National Hockey League, the Oilers snapped a six-game home losing streak and salvaged two points to remain in the hunt for a playoff position.
If their play continues, Hitchcock believes the results will begin favouring his club.
"It's not just yesterday's win, it's the way we've played for the last three weeks," the coach said on Friday. "We're doing a lot of things really well. If we continue to do them, we give ourselves a chance to win."
Hitchcock elaborated on what areas the team have improved, noting the squad's 'layered' defence and the forwards finding ways to produce more offensively.
Video: RAW | Ken Hitchcock 02.22.19
"Our layered defence is really starting to take shape," Hitchcock continued.
"Players have really bought into the ways to create more offensive opportunities. More shots on goal, more second and third opportunities in the red zone. They're buying into that."
The bench boss foresees some difficult tests in the future. The Oilers will close out a three-game homestand on Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks then hit the road for a five-game jaunt.
"We're going to get some stiff resistance now," Hitchcock added. "We got teams that have as much at stake as we do. All the things we think we're doing well are going to get a real test in the next few games.
"We've got some guys that are really pulling on the same rope. Let's see how it tests against really good competition."