SUN Hockey Pool

Frustrated Oilers try to remain upbeat

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:12 PM ET

As the losses mount, the frustration grows, but the Edmonton Oilers have to continually remind themselves, it's about the process.

Two wins in 15 games could easily find this team ripping apart at the seams, as was the case last season.

However, they're trying to keep upbeat, knowing they're a goal or a save away from turning things around.

"We have to continue to try and identify what makes us successful," said Oilers centre Sam Gagner. "I thought we did a lot of good things against Dallas and we want to continue to get better.

"Nashville is going to be a tough test for us, but if we can do things the right way and hopefully come out with a win, it should be a good stepping stone."

The Oilers have lost eight of the 13 games on this current stretch by one goal heading into Sunday's contest against the Nashville Predators.

On Thursday, against the Dallas Stars, the Oilers conceded a late empty-netter to fall 4-2. As was the case when the teams met the week before in Texas, the Oilers out-shot the Stars and took the play to them through the first two periods, but were unable to make the most of their opportunities. It didn't help that their power play was again woefully inefficient.

"I think the good thing is that we can take the positives out of the games that we're playing," said Oilers centre Colin Fraser. "Ultimately the goal is to win and we're not happy about losing. But the two games against Dallas, we could have won both of those games. We have to find a way to win those games.

"We have to try and build some momentum, which obviously starts with trying to win that first game. It's the same story, we're right there but we're losing by one goal. However, it seems like the few lapses we're having during the game is what's costing us. We're a good hockey team and I think we believe that, we just have to do it more consistently."

Despite the playoffs being out of reach and the team currently going through a youth movement, the club feels it still has plenty to play for heading into the last two and-a-half months of the season.

The quicker the team is able to learn how to pull out those tight games, the better off it will be when they're expected to contend.

"At the end of the day, we're sabotaging ourselves saying that's it's ok to lose by one goal and it really isn't," Gagner said. "We know that we can continue to get better we have a good group of guys with a lot of character and we have to go into the games with the proper mindset and play a full 60 minutes. If we can do that, and turn some things around, then you never know what it's going to happen."

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/DerekVanDiest


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