Adversity is something the Edmonton Oilers are having issues with lately.
Had they just been out-worked, out-talented and out-played, some of these losses might be easier to understand.
Yet the team has been in every game they've dropped on this current seven-game losing skid, but they have fallen apart in the face of adversity, and after a bad bounce or untimely goal things begin to unravel.
"I think we're losing the special teams battle and that's a big reason why we're losing these games," said Oilers centre Andrew Cogliano, who tried to jumpstart his game with a first-period fight against Dustin Boyd. "It seems like we're right there, we just aren't able to get a goal ahead or tie it up, then we make some mistakes and then the game is over.
"It's a really fine line that we're walking right now and we're losing these games."
Last night, the Oilers played exceptionally well through the first two periods, but had nothing to show for their efforts.
They out-shot the Flames 16-5 in the opening period, but went into the intermission tied 1-1. They then out-shot the Flames 15-9 in the second and found themselves down 2-1.
"I don't think we gave JD (goaltender Jeff Deslauriers) a lot of help back there, we're turning over too many pucks," Cogliano said. "Early we were good, but I don't know if it's a situation where we get comfortable and we get to playing well and things are going to come. But other teams that are good find a way to score."
Right now, when the going gets tough, the Oilers are falling apart.
"We are getting our chances, which is a lot better than if we weren't generating anything," said Oilers centre Ryan Potulny, who scored the only goal for the home side. "We're working hard, I don't second guess our work ethic at all."
The Oilers are going to need something special to get out of their rut.
A loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow and suddenly they could be looking at 10-straight defeats with road games in Calgary and San Jose on the docket.
"I wouldn't say we're fragile," Potulny said. "I don't think we're bending on the bench, I don't think we're getting down. It's just not working for us right now. We're working hard and it's going to come, I know it. You can see guys coming together for each other, they're fighting for each other and that's what we need to do at a time like this, come together as a team."