Key points from the dramatic 4-3 victory against the Kraken, as the Oilers now find themselves on their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Don’t look now, but the Edmonton Oilers are on a roll. They made it three wins in a row on Wednesday night, with the victory over the Kraken doubling as their second straight at Rogers Place, where they’d started the season 0-4-1.
In one of the more intriguing what-if scenarios, you have to wonder if the Oilers still would have won these past two games with Jay Woodcroft in charge? Certainly, the Islanders and Kraken are not exactly among the elite so far in 2023-24.
Regardless, two wins are two wins and the Oilers now get to go on their four-game road trip with a spring in their step. Here are some of the key takeaways from the 4-3 overtime win versus the Kraken:
1) Some much-needed mental fortitude
One of the biggest issues for the Oilers this season, has been their mental fragility. At the first sign of any type of adversity, more often than not they seemed to fall apart.
A recent prime example of this, was the 6-2 loss in Vancouver. The Oilers were dominating the Canucks during the first period, with a 19-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 1-0 lead.
However, as soon as the home side tied the game at 1-1, the Oilers just wilted. In the span of just 3:22 they allowed three goals and it was 3-1 to the Canucks after one, with the game all but over.
Now fast forward to Wednesday night at home to the Kraken. We’re just past the halfway point of the third period and the Oilers are trailing 3-1, looking second-best for the majority of the game.
The Kraken seemed in complete control, getting to the puck faster, working harder and just generally outplaying their host. Suddenly though, the Oilers turned it on and came storming back.
Evander Kane’s first goal pulled the Oilers to within 3-2 with 6:32 remaining and they became galvanised. However, it looked like they were going to come up short, still down a goal inside the final minute.
However, Kane struck again with just 46 ticks left on the clock, to tie the game and send it into overtime. The Kraken were demoralised and the Oilers took advantage, as Kane secured the win in the extra period with his third goal, which was also a natural hat-trick.
Postgame, Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch was well aware of what a win like this could do for the psyche of the team. Speaking to the media, he said:
"“The more things that you work through and fight through and have success when it’s all done, it’s just great for team building. Then the next time things are in a difficult situation, they know they can handle it. They know they can do this.”"