Ken Hitchcock criticized his Edmonton Oilers players at length following a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
"At this time of year, the coaches can't want it more than the players," the head coach told reporters postgame. "At the end of the day, it's going to be decided whether we want to play the right way because it's successful, or whether we just want to do our thing. (This) was a game (in which) we just wanted to do our thing and paid dearly for it."
The Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes, outshooting the Oilers 12-5 in the opening frame. Edmonton played a better middle stanza, but the Oilers trailed 3-1 through two periods. Then they allowed two more San Jose goals, including Kevin Labanc's third of the game.
"We didn't even give ourselves a fighting chance," HItchcock said. "The game was over. When you turn it over that many times and you make casual plays like that, you give yourself no chance. We did it on the first (and) second goal(s), we did it on the fourth goal.
"...We can't play this way and actually expect to win hockey games."
The Oilers defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Thursday night, but Edmonton has now lost seven of its last eight contests.