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BLOG: Oilers looking for rhythm and chemistry

by Marc Ciampa / Edmonton Oilers

It was a much better game for the line of Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins but Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said that he's feeling some frustration with the fact that some games certain lines are flying and other games it's other lines.

“We don’t have the rhythm or chemistry in our team right now that we need,” said McLellan. “We find one line and lose a line or find a pair and lose a pair (of defencemen). We have to get home now and get some rest and try to find all 20 players going at the same time. We’re not deep enough or strong enough to just get through with a line and a half or two lines going.”

McLellan this morning called out Pouliot saying that he has to play better and certainly Pouliot responded with an excellent game, including a pair of goals.

“I had a talk with Benny. It wasn’t a screaming match or anything, I just told him what I thought of him as a player and tried to get to him a little bit. I thought he had a much better game tonight. That line played well. It was easily our best line. He found a way to produce, which is a good thing for him and us.”

The head coach also changed up the power play units in an effort to try and shake things up offensively.

“Tonight we went with some new units and tried to mix things up. We didn’t get many opportunities but the shorthanded goal didn’t help our cause at all,” he said.

Edmonton only has one power play goal in its last seven games which has included 17 opportunities (5.8%). They've allowed two shorthanded goals in that time. McLellan said that the recall of Hunt was to try and help spark a struggling power play but due to delays, Hunt did not make it to Calgary from Bakersfield in time for the game.

“We were expecting Brad to come in. Obviously not being able to arrive changed things,” McLellan said. “He’s going to meet the team in Edmonton tomorrow. He’ll practice with us. I think he has the ability to help our power play from the back-end. It’s an area that we’re really struggling in right now.”

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