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BLOG: Oilers draw on experience with 2-0 series lead

The Oilers as a group haven't had a 2-0 series lead but Lucic talks about experience they can draw from

by Marc Ciampa /

For this Oilers group, having a 2-0 - or even a two-game - series lead is new territory. As a whole, the team has limited experience dealing in those situations but head coach Todd McLellan has a word of caution for his club. 

"2-0 seems to be a dangerous number," McLellan began. "Not just for the Edmonton Oilers but for anybody that's competing in the playoffs this year. Scorewise, serieswise. We had an opportunity to get up (three games to one) mid-series against San Jose and didn't perform very well but it wasn't 2-0. I thought there were a few details or characteristics in our game that slipped into last night that we saw in the 7-0 loss."

McLellan reiterated his comments from last night that the team was very fortunate to be able to win Friday night's game but also have a learning experience to draw on and get better for Sunday. 

"It will be a good day to enjoy the win but also a very direct day that we need to do some things better."

The head coach was asked about what experiences have been created that they could learn from in order to handle something entirely new - namely, a two-game series edge.  

"We have created a pool of past experiences that we can draw upon. How did we prepare, how did we feel, how did we react to certain situations, was it the same individuals that were making the real strong play when we needed it. And we can base our decisions on that tomorrow."

Milan Lucic was quick to point out that while this Oilers group doesn't really have experience in terms of handling two-game leads, both himself and McLellan on two separate occasions were on teams that had 3-0 series leads slip away. 

"We were up 3-0 against the Flyers and we ended up losing in Game 7. I know Todd was up 3-0 against the L.A. Kings in 2014 and they ended up losing in Game 7 as well."

Those experiences will serve the Oilers well with key leadership positions understanding that two wins is not a guarantee of anything. 

"Nobody is comfortable, especially against a team like this with some really high-end players. A team with a lot of pride and a coach that's really experienced and players that are really experienced," Lucic continued. "We can't take any situation lightly. Game 3 is going to be a good game and we'd better be ready to play."

Lucic added that the group itself has learned what it takes after their big 7-0 setback against the Sharks in round one. 

"Someone like myself or the coaching staff who have been part of historic comebacks, it's easy to pass those messages along. Also, I think we learned some pretty good lessons in the first round with a 7-0 loss that you can't take your competition lightly. We've just got to be ready to play when the next game comes.

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