Edmonton Oilers Ease Up, Give Away Game to St. Louis Blues

By brianpalmer
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers came out firing on all cylinders last night and looked like they were going to have a chance to win their second game in as many nights after building a 2-0 lead in the second period against the St. Louis Blues. Ah, but then they eased up. They didn’t forecheck well, they started making bad passes and they didn’t play with much urgency, and slowly but surely the Blues found a way to come back and win.

There are going to be nights like this, where for reasons we will never understand, this team will display a complete lack of killer instinct, but it is odd that they did this one night after proving that they had a killer instinct in defeating the Dallas Stars 5-1. Of course the team was tired and that undoubtedly played a part in this, but they appeared to become complacent after they got that 2-0 lead, as though they assumed they would be able to hold it. Or maybe they decided to start playing not to lose at that point, rather than continuing to try to play to win.

The biggest problem, however, was in net. Two or three of the goals that Devan Dubnyk allowed should have been stopped. He was largely unaware that one of the pucks had even been shot until it was already past him, and another snuck through the five-hole because he didn’t get down quickly enough, largely because it seems he didn’t think a shot would be coming. Dubnyk has been good in net this season, but he hasn’t been great from start to finish. These are the sorts of mental lapses he needs to eliminate from his game if he and the Oilers are going to take things to the next level.

This wasn’t a terrible loss, but it was unfortunate. The Oilers had a chance to beat a better team on the road on the back half of a back-to-back, and they missed their chance. Hopefully they can rebound from this.

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