Disheartened Oilers arrive in LA under cloud of questions

Will the Oilers acquire a goaltender anytime soon? Is a defenseman more likely to land in Edmonton first? These are just a few of the questions surrounding the young, on-the-rise team. However, following another loss on Saturday, the words coming out of the locker room are starting to show the mounting frustration.

After giving up a 4-3 lead in the third period, and ultimately losing to the Coyotes 5-4, here’s what was being said by coach Dallas Eakins and a few of the players…

– Eakins on the overall game: “It was an interesting game to say the least. It’s getting disheartening to keep coming back. I liked most of our game, but we keep coming up short. You tip two pucks into your own net. That is usually trouble. We have to find a way to block those shots on the penalty kill at the end. On both their goals I felt we had a real good look at getting in front of the shot and we didn’t quite get there. Not quite getting there is not good enough.”

– Eakins on his team tipping two pucks into their own net: “Those are tough. It’s one thing if it’s a missed coverage or a half-hearted play or they make a great play. I know what our players are thinking there, they are trying to get their stick on the puck so it can’t get to the net. We don’t want to do that. You block shots with your body, not your stick.”

– Forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the overall game in Phoenix: “Once again, we played a pretty solid game for the most part. There was a five or ten minute stint in the third period where we let our guard down. For the most part we played a solid game but the penalties at the end killed us.”

– Nugent-Hopkins on his team’s penalty kill: “Like the rest of our game, we show good signs on the penalty kill. At times like that we need to get the job done. There were some pretty good plays by them. They have two defensemen that play well and are pretty skilled at the point. You try to limit that as much as possible. Obviously, you can’t take three penalties in the last 10 minutes.”

– Goaltender Jason LaBarbera on the overall game: “It was a weird one… A lot of pucks bouncing around. A couple tips and screen shots. It’s tough, your goalie has to be your best penalty killer and we couldn’t do it in the third period there.”

– LaBarbera on Phoenix Defenseman Keith Yandle’s goal: “No, I didn’t see it. I didn’t see the last two (goals).”

Perhaps in a related move, Edmonton has since announced they’ve recalled goaltender Richard Bachman.

Meanwhile, the Kings have their own challenges, including an expected roster move on the horizon.  Details here.

Reminder – West Coast Bias, our new show on NHL Network Radio, will be broadcasting live from the Staples Center immediately following the Kings-Oilers game.  Join us on Sirius 207 and XM 211 for two hours of hockey talk, featuring guests from the game and all the latest Western Conference news.

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