EDMONTON – Two nights in front, with less than two seconds left in a 0-0 game, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin had left alone in the Edmonton Oilers slot. He had a heartbreak written throughout, spent a long night fighting, and not a point for him to show. If Benn saw Seguin, he was an open net one-timer.
But instead, Benn shooting and Mikko Koskinen gave Edmonton an essential saving and the chance to win a game in overtime. Two points, rather than no points.
On Thursday, 3:54 for the third phase of a 2-2 game, leave Koskinen in his first decliner as an Oiler, extinguishing a central shot / shot into the cage itself. But the Oilers were rescued when they raised their challenge away from the side.
Then, late in the third, Alex Iafallo, rarely still in his own zone, recruited flat across the width of the piece and into the seats near the line of Las Oilers. Here's the kind of delay-in-game penalty that you'll see once every two months, but anyway: Edmonton scored the power that won a 3-2 close game.
Two points, rather than no points.
The breaks, right?
"He probably has been a one-off game for the last four or five," said Drake Caggiula, basically summarizing the tenure of coach coach Ken Hitchcock coach (3-1-1). "We've got to learn to win these games, and I think we're starting to do it slowly. We play a pretty tight hockey right now and we're going to play it. We play the right way overall and we get quite good results. "
The old click for playing the game in the right way & # 39 ;? After defining, it disappears to play an honest game, do not cheat for opportunities, take your brakes when you have to and avoid shortcuts.
Not all those that hold the rewards always point in the standings. But there are play-makers and the right way & # 39; still have their fair share of good breaks – usually more. And those times, when they are capitalized on, become more realistic, in the form of goals, benefits and points.
For this hockey author, it almost becomes a barometer that tells you if the team you watch is playing anything at all. A bad team will have a good break once a while, and vice versa. But a big picture, over the big sample, the bad teams are those who are complaining about the rubbish, We screwed, & # 39; while the good ones walk out with laughter and white.
And both points, of course.
"Since I've been here, we've deserved a lot of improvement in a few games, and we did not get it," said Hitchcock, whose team has won points in four of five games since he arrived. "We took a break today, we released down at the end (to Tyler Toffoli). We have to be more comfortable in these games. You have to take points out of close games … and we do not want to be the first to crack.
"We did not give it much in the third phase, but those who gave them were left."
Look, we get Hitchcock's reputation as a protective coach. It's so much to say that it has since arrived at the location: when the player has the puck, it's my time ", which means that it can be creative. But when the other team has the puck, "It's not negative. We play my way," said Hitchcock.
Some would say it was a heavy hand. We would say that's how you'll win – especially with a list of Oilers who have a thin strength after the three main ones on.
"We're pushing us to be the best," said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, after another two-point night. "It's hard to reach a quarter of the way through the season and try to change things, but it has done a good job to remind us what we already know, but also weighing it to & # 39; n keeping sure. "
Hitchcock has trusted the second line for Nugent-Hopkins, and the center has achieved 24 points in 25 games. And over the last two games, Hitchcock and assistant coach Trent Yawney have played the protector Oscar Klefbom 28:30 against Dallas and another 25:14 against the King.
Klefbom responded to goals that will win a game in a row. He has five points in his last three games.
"When you play with silence, you can play a lot of minutes," said Hitchcock. "I believe that the floor is 25 (minute). You will see him play more than that."
Klefbom has been at the top of many of these close lectures over his 280 games in Oilers dress. But on Thursday against Los Angeles, he played his club a little better than right – and they won.
In a strange hockey way, that's a good sign.
"These benefits can feel better than when you win 5-1 and play very well. It gives us a lot of confidence," said Klefbom. "We can play better, but this is still two points and it's really good."