The Edmonton Oilers may have allowed the Calgary Flames nine goals in Game 1 of the second-round series on Wednesday, but goaltenders Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen certainly aren’t the only culprits.

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“Nobody was where we needed them to start the game,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said on the National Hockey League website. You never want to give two goals on missed assignments on the first two sequences.

Admittedly, veteran Mike Smith looked terrible, giving in on the first two pitches only to be foiled again around the sixth minute. The goalkeeper thus yielded three times in 10 shots. The fact that the team allowed ten shots in six minutes, however, remains inexcusable.

“If you lose 2-0 before the dial indicates that there are 19 minutes left, it is obviously not a good start, commented in turn striker Leon Draisaitl, not without some bitterness. Collectively, we were not ready and it is difficult to try to catch up with the opponent throughout the evening.

Find a way to lose

The Oilers, who lost 9-6, didn’t provide much better support for backup goaltender Koskinen, who allowed five goals on 37 shots in his 53 minutes on the ice.

“We also gave up a goal early in the second period,” Woodcroft said. We struggled to get a game, but we can’t feel good about scoring six goals and finding a way not to win.”

The Oilers tied the game 6-6 early in the third period. In vain,

“It was an awful start, we need to have a better start in Game 2,” Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse said. We are capable of it. I don’t think we are frustrated. It was the first game of a series 4 of 7. We know that we will need to do better in the second game and we will.

As to whether Smith or Koskinen will be in goal for the Oilers on Friday night in Calgary, the mystery remains. The objective, at least, is not to see the two in action again during this one and the same match.