While it the was the scoreboard at the end of the game that meant the Edmonton Oilers trailed the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 in their first round series, some numbers from early in the night also help tell the tale.
It took the Oilers over eight minutes to register their first shot on goal.
“We talked about, over the last 10 or 12 games, making sure we’re coming out with good starts. In playoffs, that’s a key park of the game,” explained winger Alex Chiasson. “I thought maybe last night, Game 1 of the playoffs, feels like everyone was a little bit, I wouldn’t say nervous, but a little bit anxious. We weren’t executing the way we’re capable of.”
“I think throughout the season we’ve been pretty good,” head coach Dave Tippett said of the first 10 minutes of games. “Last night, we had a couple of opportunities. Nuge had one outside, missed the net. Koekkoek came down, probably should have put it on net, but looked for a stick in front. We have some opportunities to get pucks to the net. I thought at the start to the game, both teams were feeling each other out. Not a lot happening.”
By the end of the night, the shot clock was heavily in the Oilers favour at 33-22. Though Jets goalie Connor Hellebuych played well, the Oilers are left wondering if they could made his night more difficult.
“It’s almost like we were a step (away) on certain plays. I think we weren’t executing at the level we’re capable of. Not a whole lot happened. We all realize there’s not a lot of ice down there. They checked really well us on yesterday. It’s on us to find ways to create second and third opportunities,” said Chiasson.
“It was a tight game,” said Tippett. “We had a lot of attempts around the net. Not enough clean ones.”
Goalie Mike Smith and defenceman Ethan Bear didn’t practice Thursday. Tippett said both will be able to play in Game 2.
The Oilers and Jets square off at 7 p.m. Friday. Coverage on 630 CHED starts with the Face-off Show at 5 p.m.