Oilers’ coach thinks his team handed Kings the win, expected points

Late last night we posted thoughts from Oilers’ forward Taylor Hall regarding Edmonton’s 3-1 to the Kings – where he said things like, ‘They just played better than us.’ His coach, Ralph Krueger, seems to share a different opinion though. Here are some of his thoughts from the post-game presser…

- On the overall game: “We out chanced them quite a bit in the first 45 minutes of the game and we just couldn’t generate the offense we would have liked to down the stretch. I thought the last 12 minutes they really were sitting back, playing very safe, waiting for us to make some kind of error, and you look at the bounce at the end it’s painful. I thought going to overtime and splitting this game up would probably be the right result, but we have to take it. Take it the way it came. We missed an opportunity to play our game the whole way, and we didn’t do it. We let up in the second period for a period long enough to make them feel good here, and in the end – it’s a bounce that we have to swallow and learn from again.”

- On playing comeback hockey over the last few games: “The games have just been tight. Every single night it has been like this where you need to persevere and you need to stick with your game plan and try not to deal with the one up, one down. But, we’ve had leads that have turned. We’ve been behind also without any fear of it. I thought we came back well, tied it up and we’ve been a very good third period team to date. It’s just disappointing to lose it the way we did. But, I didn’t see the 1-0 really as affecting our team at all or what we needed to do here. We stuck with it and actually found a better game in the second half.”

- On game management and stick-work being in the Kings favor to slow the pace: “They wanted to slow this game down and have a more controlled game back and forth. I thought we needed to open it up and simplify a little bit more to get more speed. It almost made it a sin to try to play them in those tight games through the neutral zone and we actually played more into their cards. We would have liked to control it more. I agree with that. They wanted us to get complicated and we did. But we did react. We changed. I thought it started with Ben Eager’s hits there in the second period. We had a whole different energy there in the third period. There was a good flow at the start. It was just down the stretch; we just weren’t able to generate anything offensively. I thought that was disappointing for the energy that we actually had in our group.’

- On Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle and Hall: “Well, we were actually happy with the match-up. They mostly played up against Richards’ line and we thought that was a good match. They’ve been solid for us defensively and you know you gotta take the last one with the empty net away. But the two goals were painful the way they came out. They really grinded those goals out against them, but offensively they didn’t – they were a little bit far apart tonight. I didn’t feel like they were as connected. I thought it was a bunch of individual efforts on their line and we need to get them reconnected before Minnesota.”

- On if the game could have been had by the Oilers: “Oh for sure. But that’s the experience of Los Angeles. They sat back and respected what we could do. They didn’t make very many mistakes, they didn’t give us a lot, and that is a very experienced hockey team that we saw today, just grind out a win against us. We have to stay stronger in these games, and once again, the break that happened at the end is something that could’ve quickly gone in the other way. There was almost a three-on-two there for the kids, and it turned back against us. But certainly there was points on the table. We expected to get one for sure.”

- On Ryan Nugent-Hopkins getting banged around by the Kings: “He’s fine. I didn’t see a dirty hit or anything. I have to re-look at those, but he was fine. We were instantly going to treatments and working towards the next game, but there was no injury there.”

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Comments

  1. I think he’s exactly right and reading some comments fans are overvaluing this win. They had more chances than we did. We controlled the puck and outshot them yeah must have been hard against a team with virtually no checkers eh? Quick, mike and jeff won this game. The offense is still making very bad decisions, in fact that’s the only consistent thing about this team now, bad decisions.