Oilers don't measure up to rising Jets team
In a measuring stick game against a Western Conference team on the rise, the Edmonton Oilers didn’t look that bad, and didn’t get run out of the rink.
Too bad there’s no column in the standings for that.
So they had to file Monday’s effort against the Winnipeg Jets under Loss, a section that’s getting too full for anyone’s liking this season.
“It’s past the point of ‘good try,’ ” said Oilers centre Derek Roy, after the Jets made a pretty routine meal of the undermanned Oilers in a 4-1 decision at Rexall Place.
“At this point it’s get the job done, that’s about it. Our power play (0-for-4) is not getting the job done.
“We have to go out there and work harder. When something’s not going well, work harder.”
The Oilers, hoping to see how they measured up against a good Western Conference team that is playing well and needs the points, found out.
They have a long way to go.
There was some good in the game, but not enough to have anyone suggesting it was a good game.
“We outshot them, we had our chances to come back in the game, but (Ondrej Pavelec) made some big saves and we didn’t bury our chances,” said Roy. “We played well in the third period, we just didn’t get off to a good enough start.”
The Oilers actually outshot Winnipeg 34-24 — despite being down a couple of players early when Andrew Ference and Boyd Gordon left the game with first period injuries — but this one never really seemed in doubt.
“They played a very solid game, they competed hard and they played with structure,” Oilers coach Todd Nelson said of the Jets. “Five on five I thought we were competing hard as well. It really came down to special teams.”
That’s where Winnipeg made its hay. They scored a pair of goals with the man advantage and held what was once a red hot Oilers power play to 0-for-4.
“Not enough battles won tonight on the power play,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “At the end Ebs gave me a great play and I put it over the top of the net. That would have made our power play look a little better but at the same time I don’t think it was great tonight.
“We have to find a way to win some battles and get he puck set up in the zone.”
The Jets rolled out to a 3-0 through 4-0 minutes on a first period goal from Drew Stafford (courtesy of a Oscar Klefbom giveaway) and two in the second from Lee Stempniak and Tyler Myers just 29 seconds into a 1:56 two-man advantage.
Nugent-Hopkins broke the shutout bid 1:10 into the third period, but any thoughts of an Edmonton comeback died with 7:47 to go in the third when the Jets restored the three-goal lead on Micheal Frolik’s power-play goal.
The Oilers penalty killing dearly missed the likes of Ference and Gordon, who played just 2:27 and 2:52. Gordon’s back is acting up again and the Oilers would only describe Ference’s injury as “upper body.”
“Both players are irreplaceable in our lineup,” said Matt Hendricks. “Andrew with his leadership ability and the veteran presence he brings to the back end and Gordo’s the same — and his faceoff and penalty killing abilities were missed tonight.”
For the Jets, it was get the points and get out.
“We didn’t do anything special out there tonight,” said Myers. “But I thought we played a solid, simple game.
“It was a little sloppy at the end, but for the most part, we kept it simple. We just stuck to our game plan and got the job done.”
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Jets 4, Oilers 1
1. Tyler Myers, Jets
Huge presence on blue line and scored a goal.
2. Drew Stafford, Jets
Scored the first goal of the game on a good individual effort.
3. Ondrej Pavelec, Jets
Made some big saves when his team needed them.
Power play D
Penalty kill D
They were pushed around by a bigger, stronger team, who have something for play for, trying to clinch a playoff berth. Going down two players in the first period didn’t help matter for the Oilers who did not have the horses to keep up with Winnipeg. When the Oilers did generate an opportunity goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was there to close the door.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Drew Stafford anticipates a pass across the Jets blue line by Oilers defenceman Oscar Klefbom. Stafford races down the ice and beats Ben Scrivens with a shot to give the Jets a lead they would not relinquish.
Jets winger Chris Thornburn runs over Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference at the Jets blue line. When Ference comes back at the six-foot-three, 235-pound winger, Thornburn sends him sprawling again. Ference had to leave the game with an upper-body injury.
Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche, Wednesday (6 p.m.) Rexall Place.