The Oilers had four power play opportunities against Minnesota but failed to convert on those chances. Winger David Perron talked about the special teams play and what seemed to be missing for the team in their first game back, following the Olympic break.
“Well, we just don’t bear down,” Perron said. “There was a couple of pucks bouncing and we tried to use our sticks to keep it in. Use your body. It’s that much more thing it can hit to keep it in. Going back for breakouts, you’ve got to skate 200 feet one way, 200 feet back and once you do that once or twice, you don’t have as much energy to battle down there and get the pucks. Now it’s down the ice. The second unit goes and it’s the same deal over again.”
The Oilers rank 22nd in the league in power play percentage, converting 16.6% of their man-advantage opportunities. They worked on the power play some during their Olympic break mini-camp, but there is still some fine tuning left in break outs and the overall handling of the puck.
However, Head Coach Dallas Eakins said the rest of the installations to system play took hold well, particularly defensively as the team limited Minnesota’s shot count.
“I wish we would have handled the puck better, mostly, and executed better,” Eakins said. “But the stuff that we worked on this week, the adjustments to our system stuff, I was actually quite happy with it. We only gave up 21 shots in the game, which is encouraging and I thought our guys did a good job of implementing the new part of the system… But tomorrow we’ve got to break out pucks and handle the puck and transition the puck. These guys, we’ve got to ramp up the number of touches in practice and maybe not worry so much about the system stuff tomorrow.”