Edmonton Oilers ‘need to work harder to draw more penalties’ in Western Conference final: Ekholm

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Connor McDavid didn’t person an answer.

His caput coach, meanwhile, took a long, deliberate region to ponder nan aforesaid mobility — why haven’t the Oilers been capable to tie penalties against nan Dallas Stars successful nan NHL’s Western Conference final?

“I’ve heard a batch astir nan past, being a spectator, not a portion of nan NHL, not arsenic a coach … sometimes nan modular gets changed a small bit,” Edmonton chair leader Kris Knoblauch said of playoff officiating. “(Referees) would decidedly want to make judge it’s a penalty, erstwhile successful nan regular season, possibly immoderate things get fto go.

“That’s evidently unfortunate for us.”

The Oilers and Stars beryllium tied 1-1 successful nan best-of-seven bid pinch a berth successful nan Stanley Cup last connected nan statement following a 3-1 Dallas triumph connected Saturday.

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Edmonton took Thursday’s opener 3-2 successful double overtime contempt going connected nan man advantage erstwhile — a telephone for excessively galore men connected nan crystal — compared to 10 minutes of power-play clip for nan location side.

The Oilers and Stars sewage 1 powerfulness play each done nan first 58 minutes of Game 2 earlier a mates of precocious calls either measurement pinch nan consequence each but decided.

It’s stark opposition compared to Edmonton’s 2 erstwhile series.

The nine scored six times disconnected 18 man-advantage chances successful nan 2nd information against nan Vancouver Canucks aft opening nan playoffs 9-for-25 versus nan Los Angeles Kings.

The Oilers, who had nan league’s fourth-best powerfulness play successful nan regular season, person dipped to a still-impressive 34.9 per cent occurrence complaint acknowledgment to a 1-for-13 tally making love backmost to Game 5 against Vancouver, but person only had those 3 opportunities successful conscionable complete 7 periods of convention last action.

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“We’ve sewage a very bully powerfulness play and we triumph a batch of games connected nan powerfulness play,” Knoblauch continued successful his measured answer. “It’s unfortunate for america that it’s tougher to tie penalties successful nan playoffs than it is nan regular season.”

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1:34 Ice District regulars: Meet nan stars of nan Edmonton Oilers watch party

Edmonton averaged 4 minutes 26 seconds of power-play clip crossed 82 games successful 2023-24, but person earned a full of conscionable 4:42 successful this series.

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“The standard’s nan aforesaid for some teams,” Knoblauch added of nan Stars matchup. “I’m not saying it’s unfair for us, but we would for illustration nan aforesaid modular (as nan regular season).”

Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm was little negotiated erstwhile queried connected nan aforesaid taxable successful nan visitors locker room astatine American Airlines Center precocious Saturday.

“Great question,” he said. “I person nary idea. I looked astatine (Edmonton defenceman Darnell Nurse’s) penalty, and past 5 minutes later I get cross-checked correct successful nan aforesaid spot. It’s hard. It’s physical. It’s playoff hockey.

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“We request to activity harder to tie much penalties.”

Oilers forward Connor Brown pointed to nan Stars’ subject — Dallas has averaged a playoff-low 3 minutes short-handed per crippled this outpouring — arsenic portion of nan equation.

“They cheque pinch their feet,” he said. “But I deliberation we tin do a amended occupation of holding onto nan puck and creating immoderate momentum truthful they’ve sewage to pursuit america astir a small bit.

“That’s usually erstwhile you get your calls.”

The Stars person besides mostly done a bully occupation astatine moreover spot against McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, who beryllium 1-2 successful post-season scoring. McDavid snagged Thursday’s double OT victor and Draisaitl had a extremity and an assist, but some were held disconnected nan scoresheet successful Game 2 — a first for the Oilers in these playoffs.

Despite plentifulness of attraction being paid to his 2 stars, Knoblauch pointed to nan looks Edmonton’s move duo are still getting connected Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger.

“I’d beryllium a small spot alarmed if they weren’t getting their scoring chances,” he said. “But we’ll look astatine that. We had capable opportunities to people much than we did (in Game 2).

“There’s going to beryllium immoderate tweaks we tin make.”

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McDavid, Draisaitl and Co. will person to find a measurement done — particularly if nan referees proceed to support nan whistles mostly silent.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press

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