Oilers PK under the gun

DEREK VAN DIEST, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 6:46 PM ET

EDMONTON - CALGARY — The power-play unit was so ineffective, they might as well just put a goal up on the board the moment the Edmonton Oilers took a penalty.

Colin Fraser, who along with Ryan Jones, was on the ice for all four goals, believe it may have been a matter of being too aggressive.

“Obviously giving up four power-play goals against in one game is unacceptable,” said Fraser. “I think we got caught running around too much. You always want to out-work the power play, but I think we were trying to work too hard, if that makes any sense.

“Sometimes on the penalty-kill, less is more, and I think we have to go back to basics and maybe calm down a little bit and just be in better lanes and have better sticks as opposed to running around as much.”

All four goals the Oilers gave up in their loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday were power-play markers.

It’s was something the team was looking to remedy heading into their contest against the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

“We want to be aggressive, but you have to be aggressive at the right time,” Fraser said. “If a guy like Mikko Koivu has 100% control of the puck, if you start running at him, he’s going to make a play. It has to be more so if they bobble or don’t have full control of the puck, that’s when you want to pressure. I think our timing was a little bit off.”

The Oilers have been employing a number of different forwards to kill off penalties early on this season.

Prior to their game against the Wild, the penalty-killing unit had been perfect.

“You have to give them credit, they did a good job and capitalized on our mistakes,” said Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff. “I think first and foremost, we have to do a better job of staying out of the penalty box. We gave them too many power plays at a time where we had taken the game over and we were in a pretty good spot.

“We took a couple of penalties and they scored back-to-back and that was pretty much the story.”

All Fraser had to show for his penalty-killing efforts was a sore foot, having gotten in the way of a Marek Zidlicky slap-shot from the point.

The Wild defenceman appeared to hit Fraser on purpose on the play. However, it wasn’t bad enough to keep him out of the game against Calgary.

“I think 100% he hit me on purpose,” Fraser said. “He pump-faked it three times and I was standing there the whole time and then he shot it.

“I don’t think it’s a cheap play, but I wasn’t happy about it. Maybe if a guy is going to stand there, then you hit him and the next time he thinks about getting out of the way.

“I’m not going to get out of the way, but maybe it’s just one of those things.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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