With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tom Gilbert, Ryan Whitney, etc., all out of the line-up for the Oilers, Tom Renney wasn't going to use "lack of man power," as an excuse for Tuesday's loss versus the Buffalo Sabres.
"We gave Buffalo everything they could handle. It was a winnable game for us. We were very passionate, and we really tried to play within our structure. We didn't quit, and that's important as anything." said Tom Renney.
"There's obviously reasons why we didn't, but I thought we played well. I would have liked to have seen more of going to the net in the second and third period and a little more traffic there."
Perhaps it was because of the disallowed goal?
With the Sabres up 2-1 in the middle of the second frame, Corey Potter hammered a shot which cleanly beat Ryan Miller. The goal was immediately waved off when it was thought that Ales Hemsky had interfered with the net-minder. After video review, the evidence showed that Hemsky only but grazed the keeper. Because of his "alleged" contact, Hemsky received a 2 minute interference call on the play.
"I thought he had nowhere to go, he didn't try to hit Miller, the defender took his ice away." said Renney. "He glanced off of Miller. It's not Miller's first rodeo so he down he goes."
Perhaps the call was to provide some more goaltender protection to a net-minder who had to endure the likes of Milan Lucic and Jordin Tootoo in recent memory. However, to negate a goal and then call weak penalty was just down right criminal.
"He was going down and I don't know if I really touched him. It's up to the refs to call." said Hemsky.
The veteran was clearly the best Oiler on the ice and ended probably could've had another 2 points during the match. He did, however create a beautiful assist on games first goal. Hemsky, drew three players before dishing off to Taylor Hall who then wristed a laser past Ryan Miller.
"I thought we played really well and it kind of got away from us in the second and third" said Sam Gagner who also had a goal and an assist on Hall's opener. "We didn't have a good enough push-back when they pressed and ultimately cost us. I thought our legs were good and I think it was just a matter of making smarter decisions. Getting pucks in deep was a huge part of it and making sure we were backing each other up. It's a tough one to lose, considering we played pretty well for the most part."
Corey Potter put the Oilers within in one with 2 minutes left in the game, but it wasn't enough as the Oilers fell to the Sabres 4-3.
The Oilers will now face the Blues tomorrow in St. Louis.