Edmonton Oilers Have Positive Signs But Can’t Waste Opportunities

Edmonton Oilers must finish their opportunities in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final

TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button joined Jay Onrait on SportsCenter and stated that the Edmonton Oilers can take away many positives from their Game 1 loss in the Stanley Cup Final to the Florida Panthers. Heading into Game 2, the Oilers can’t leave opportunities on the table.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

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Jay Onrait: “The Stanley Cup final kicked off on Saturday night. Edmonton got a ton of chances but no goals. You know, we’ve been hearing the players talk for the last couple of days. And they don’t seem that discouraged about it because they did get a ton of chances, and they just couldn’t beat Sergei Bobrovsky. Is that the right approach? Is that how they should feel?”

Craig Button: “I can’t believe you pronounced Bobrovsky the way you just did. I was expecting a little more enthusiasm. Anyway, you know, you can always be encouraged about the way you play, but when you get an opportunity, like the Edmonton Oilers had, where you can say we played well enough to win. The bottom line is you didn’t win.

So it’s encouraging to know that you did some things that were really positive that the good players had some of those really good chances. But you’re also looking now at the math, and the math now says Florida needs three wins to win the Stanley Cup Edmonton still needs four when you get to this point in the season and certainly the Stanley Cup final. You can’t look back at wasted opportunities.

So when you consider how well they played and the opportunities that they had, and their good players had the opportunities, it wasn’t like, it wasn’t their top players getting the opportunity. So the fact of the matter is getting those opportunities it was good.

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But if you look at the third period, Jay, when Florida took their game up a notch, and when Edmonton really didn’t have as much, now if that’s the case, for Florida just getting better, well, that means Edmonton’s gonna have to be better. You can’t just come back with the same game. You’re gonna have to find ways on the margins to find improvement and get the puck behind Bobrovsky.”

Onrait: “So if you’re looking for signs of encouragement, you know, what did they do well in game one other than their big players getting those big opportunities? What else did Edmonton do in Game 1?”

Button: “Florida is such a ferocious forechecking team and if you cannot alleviate that for checking by the Florida Panthers, you’re going to be in all kinds of trouble. But the way they were able to alleviate they moved the puck quickly. They were moving with speed through the neutral zone and that backs up the Florida Panthers.

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The Florida Panthers aren’t just a great forechecking team. They also control the neutral zone. And the fact of the matter is the Edmonton Oilers did a really nice job of moving the puck quickly out of their own zone, alleviating it and then moving through the neutral zone because Florida is so good at reloading and even if you get out of your own zone, they close you off.

Edmonton in those first two periods, had a lot of great looks and had a lot of great opportunities. Keep building on that. Try to finish on your opportunities. Easier said than done. They know that but I think that that was a really good positive sign for the Edmonton Oilers being able to work the forecheck in and away from the strength of the Florida Panthers.”