2) Still plenty to work on
This is undoubtedly a feel-good win, the type of comeback victory the team just wasn’t capable of earlier in the season. However, this doesn’t change the reality that the Oilers still have plenty of work to do, if they are to indeed challenge for the playoffs.
As already mentioned, the home side were second-best for the majority of the night. On certain levels, this is extremely alarming.
Despite coming off a big win versus the Islanders, despite playing for a new coach, the team just didn’t have a good energy in Wednesday’s game against the Kraken. How can the players allow this to happen?
In fact, if the Kraken’s lead had held up, this would have fed into the narrative that the players were the problem rather than Woodcroft. And on that point, we will still assert that he didn’t suddenly become a bad coach overnight.
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Regardless, the reality is the Oilers just weren’t showing enough hustle and commitment. They were lackadaisical, with no focus and playing too carelessly with the puck.
The second period was the worst of the night in this respect, which is interesting given that Connor McDavid gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at the 5:21 mark. However, instead of this lifting the team, it seemed to have the opposite effect.
The Kraken tied the game within two minutes and went on to take a 3-1 advantage into the second intermission. If it wasn’t for Stuart Skinner having his fourth consecutive strong start, it would have been even worse.
Knoblauch acknowledged the poor play of the players, rather than trying to sweep it under the rug (ice). He said:
"“I saw a team relax and make a lot of mistakes after we made it 1-0. The last 12 minutes of the second period was almost rock bottom in my opinion. I didn’t think we played well at all.”"