After the Oklahoma City Barons dropped their fourth consecutive game, 2-1 to Abbotsford, on Saturday night, Barons coach Todd Nelson took things in stride.
“I thought we played well,” Nelson said. “We played a strong 60 minutes. Even though last night, we got a point, tonight we didn't get any, tonight I was happy with the process the guys played.”
Nelson wasn't happy with his team following Friday's overtime loss to Rockford where they managed just 19 shots--two in the first period.
So Saturday morning, he gathered his team for a film session that included clips of game situations where the team passed up shots that could've been taken.
“We had a pretty good heart-to-heart this morning,” Nelson said. “There's a stat out there that nine times out of 10, so 90 percent of the time when you take a shot you recover the puck.
“We talked about that. It wasn't a real pleasant way but we felt like we got out point across and it looks like it did.”
The Barons outshot Abbotsford 33-15, including taking the game's first five shots.
But though the Barons showed better habits, the result was the same.
Now, the Barons find themselves in a three-way tie with Abbotsford and Houston atop the West Division. Houston lost to Peoria on Saturday night.
The Barons will host Abbotsford at 4 p.m. today to wrap up the three-game weekend.
“The boys are playing hard obviously,” Barons defenseman Dylan Yeo said. “Our chances have been coming hard for us the last few games.”
Yeo tied the game 1-1 13:08 into the second period, blasting a shot from just inside the blueline off a feed from Lennart Petrell.
The Barons almost immediately went on the power play on an interference call and, despite several strong chances, couldn't capitalize.
They had another power-play chance in the closing minutes but Heat goaltender Danny Taylor turned away several Barons chances and Abbotsford killed it off.
The Barons were 0 for 5 on the power play and haven't scored a power play goal since Jan. 1, going 0 for 26 with the advantage in their last five games.
“The power play was better tonight,” Nelson said. “We had some good looks, had some opportunities. We've just got to stick with it.”
Through the recent string of losses and being hit hard with call-ups from Edmonton, Nelson isn't about to panic.
“There's two ways to go from this--one way is to battle back, fight and keep going or give up,” Nelson said. “We have a lot of good people in that dressing room there and they're not going to give up. They're going to forge ahead.
“Every team goes though it. It doesn't matter how good you are or what your record is.”