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BLOG: Learning on the fly

Oilers gained some valuable lessons in their Game 1 loss

by Paul Gazzola /

Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan wasn't overly impressed with the performance of his club in their 3-2 overtime loss Wednesday in Game 1 against the San Jose Sharks. 

"We're learning lessons as we go, we'll be better next night," he said in the post-game press conference.

Learning on the fly is never ideal but is necessary given the inexperience the youthful Oilers contain. Three loud, emotional periods, as well as a few extra minutes in overtime, can come at a team quickly and create valuable lessons.

"We can take the bad and then learn from it," said Oilers winger Patrick Maroon. "Now we move on to Game 2 and then we learn from Game 2."

Among the things Maroon mentioned the team needs to work on is their breakout, staying out of the penalty box, keeping shift lengths short and managing the Sharks' forecheck. 

"Guys were trying to overwork but I think we took too many penalties," said Maroon. "Guys were sitting on the bench too much and guys that haven't been out there extended their shifts a little more because they want to do a little more for the team."

Often considered a "growth" team by McLellan, the Oilers have been adapting to new experiences all season. 

"We're learning," said Maroon. "This is a good stepping stone for us and we're in a great situation.

"Guys are upbeat and ready for Game 2."

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