The Edmonton Oilers displayed confidence during Saturday afternoon, but ultimately lost to a Tampa Bay Lightning team that played a patient game.
For most of the game, the Edmonton Oilers were ahead in their match-up with the Tampa Bay Lightning. They played a thoroughly offensive-minded game, which was complemented by plenty of grit.
In the end though the Oilers lost 6-4 in Tampa Bay, as the Lightning played a smart and tricky game and pulled off the comeback victory. In my books this was an upset on some levels, as the Oilers had entered Saturday’s contest on a run of three consecutive wins.
This was a well-played game between the Lightning and the Oilers, but the home side eventually came out winners due to the strategy they utilised. They played with a patient approach, letting the Oilers do all the work in the first two periods.
The Oilers came out strong, with a 20-10 shots on goal advantage and 2-1 lead through 20 minutes. This was followed up by a 8-3 shots on goal advantage and a 3-2 lead after two periods.
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However, this dominance on the stats sheet by the Oilers wasn’t enough, as the Lightning ultimately outsmarted them. In other words the Oilers players over-exerted most of their energy, which the Lightning in the end capitalised on as they managed to rack up the goals and take the two points.
Playing a complete game does not mean you have to dominate in the statistics department. (An old school saying.) This approach can sometimes prove to be costly to a team, as you tire yourselves out and become vulnerable to an opponent which is patiently waiting for the right opportunity to attack, at which point you are almost powerless to stop the onslaught.
The Edmonton Oilers team we saw on Saturday afternoon was an incredibly confident team, that came to play against a highly competitive opponent. In the end though, the Tampa Bay Lightning gave them a valuable lesson for future reference.
The Oilers did play well on the day. However, I’m sure the coaches will watch the tapes, review the game plan, and how it could have been approached differently as the contest progressed.
The Oilers players were able to create turnovers and get shots on the net, repeatedly testing the Lightning goaltender by producing ample opportunities. In a certain way this was a character loss that will not impact the team performing well moving forward, instead motivating them even more.