Deslauriers not getting support

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

PHOENIX -- They decided to take Sunday off, which seemed somewhat odd considering most of the Edmonton Oilers were absent the night before.

The only positive in the 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night was the play of goaltender Jeff Deslauriers, who kept his team in a game they had no business being in.

"I think we all watched for probably a month and a half where he was fighting himself and his confidence was down and you could feel that his teammates maybe didn't trust him and he didn't trust them," said head coach Pat Quinn.

"Right now, they have no reason not to trust him -- he's playing well for us. We should have been better in front of him to help him out Saturday, but we failed to do it.

"It's disappointing that a couple of squeakers went in on him, but he made so many good saves that he deserved better, for sure."

Deslauriers made 39 saves in the loss. He was sharp throughout the contest, but didn't get anything in terms of offensive support as the Oilers managed just 20 shots on goal, allowing Craig Anderson to pick up his third shutout against Edmonton this season.

"My game sometimes has peaks and sometimes has valleys, but it goes with how well the guys are playing in front of me," said Deslauriers.

"If they are playing well and they don't give up a lot in front of me and they're doing a good job clearing away the rebounds, then things tend to go well for me."

Diplomatic in his post-game comments, Deslauriers was not willing to throw his teammates under the bus for their performance against the Avalanche.

Yet the Oilers offered up enough turnovers to open their own bakery.

"I think everybody here understands the Xs and Os of the system, but maybe sometimes the execution is not where we want it to be," said Deslauriers.

"But every now and then we've been getting some bad bounces and bad things are happening.

"We've played some good games where everybody has been on their game. Hockey is a game of mistakes and sometimes it's about the team that makes less of them.

"It was only 1-0 after the second period and the guys were still trying to play hard, they were going hard to the net but they just couldn't putt one in."

The Oilers have not won a game on the road since Dec. 11 .

"We didn't really do the little things right (Saturday)," said forward Mike Comrie.

"We weren't ready to play, but as a professional you can't have excuses, you have to be ready.

"If you don't have your legs, you have to use your brain.

"We really have to focus on getting pucks to the net and focus on making those right plays and those right decisions.

"Sometimes we make the wrong choices and we end up stuck in our end for another minute. An example of that was in the first period, we did make those smart plays and didn't execute and that's what cost us."

To a man, the players seem to be fighting the puck. They're having trouble making the simple plays out of their zone and as a result end up spending a lot of time in it.

"We were putting pucks into bad spots, making bad passes right to the middle of the ice," said Quinn.

"It's like your mind is saying 'I don't want the puck anymore, I have to get rid of it,' and they're putting it to a bad place."


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