Giant undertaking for Oil Kings

CRASH CAMERON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

The second-year Edmonton Oil Kings "only" lost 2-0 to the Vancouver Giants, the No. 2-ranked team in the WHL.

There must be some positives with that?

Head coach Steve Pleau will get back to us on that.

For now, a loss is a loss.

"Exactly. When you're batting for a playoff spot, it certainly is," said Pleau. "When you are playing a great hockey team, you can't beat yourselves. You can't kill six penalties. If you're not killing penalties you have a chance to generate some offence.

"I thought that, mentally, we beat ourselves. If you want to be a playoff team, you don't beat yourselves.

"I'm not taking anything away from Vancouver. Obviously that's a great hockey team. But you can't do some of the things we did."

The 33-12 shot total for the Giants suggest the whole game was played in the Oil Kings's end. It wasn't. But it wasn't to be. And the coach has a firm grip on why.

"We took six penalties," said Pleau. "I'm going to harp on it to you right now, and I'm going to harp on it to (the players).

"It's undisciplined. Our captain (Jeff Lee) took two checks from behind, when all he had to do was round out and finish the hit."

Local product Brett Regner fired a shot from the point that may or may not have hit an Oil Kings stick, may or may not have hit Drew Nichols, but did fly past Torrie Jung for the first-period goal.

"If you're going to have a chance to play in the playoffs, if you're going to have a chance to beat a team as strong as the Vancouver Giants, then you better be disciplined. You better be better disciplined more than they are."

"Another thing you can do (to win) is shoot the puck."

"I wasn't disappointed with our offence," said Pleau. "We had some chances on the power plays. The thing that angers me is we beat ourselves.

"I mean, how many times can you shoot the puck over the glass? That's ridiculous!

"When you are playing a great hockey team, you can't beat yourselves."

Those positives? Holding the Giants's top scorers off the board was one.

"First of all, I thought the guys that were on the penalty kill were outstanding. And you're best penalty killer has always got to be your goalie, and (Torrie) Jung was tremendous.

"I can honestly say that he gave us one big save every penalty kill, so that's tremendous on his part.

"(Rhett) Rachinski and (Clayton) Cumiskey were great. Radeke, Dowd and Proulx were very good. And Lee-roy, he was good - when he wasn't in the box."

Jung actually made back-to-back saves before Micheal Berube buried the second Giants goal.

"Obviously tonight we took too many penalties and I think everybody knows that," said Jung. "They are certainly a high-calibre team."


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