The Edmonton Oilers will be looking for a more determined effort Wednesday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Head coach Dave Tippett has identified lost puck battles as a major problem plaguing the 1-3 Oilers.
“I though we were a better defending team against Montreal. We gave up two goals that I wouldn’t even class as scoring chances, and then gave up a shorthanded one,” said Tippet.
“On the offensive side, even though we had the puck in their end more than Montreal did, we didn’t create enough chances by winning enough battles that allowed us to make plays at the net.”
Defenceman Tyson Barrie will play against the Maple Leafs for the first time since signing with the Oilers in October. He had 39 points in 70 games for the Leafs last season.
“Still a work in progress here. He’s getting a feel for that power play,” Tippett said. “Our power play hasn’t scored. We’ve generated a lot of chances, but we haven’t been able to put it in the net.”
The Oilers power play, after leading the NHL last year, is 2/18 out of the gate and went 0/10 in two games against the Canadiens.
Read more: Montreal Canadiens crush Edmonton Oilers 5-1
“I think we’re getting looks,” Barrie said. “We’ve gone through video the last couple of games. There are definitely opportunities there. Maybe some tough bounces or an inch here or there that’s not going in.”
Tippett has decided not to make any changes to the lines despite his forwards not having scored five-on-five the last two games.
“There were some parts of the game that I didn’t mind, so we’ll give it one more shot,” said Tippett.
On the back end, Ethan Bear returns in place of William Lagesson.
Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Kassian
Kahun – Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Nygard – Turris – Puljujarvi
Archibald – Shore – Chiasson
Nurse – Bear
Russell – Barrie
Koekkoek – Larsson
The Oilers and Leafs are on 630 CHED with the Faceoff Show at 3:30 p.m. The game starts at 5 p.m.