The Edmonton Oilers began the day on Tuesday by firing Todd McLellan and replacing him with Ken Hitchcock, and it ended in the Canadian team being able to overcame a three-goal deficit and win their second game in eight outings.
Leon Draisaitl scored 51 seconds into overtime and Connor McDavid had his 100th career goal to guide the Oilers to a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
The Hitchcock era got off to a rough start for the Oilers, who allowed a goal in the opening minute of the contest, but at least some of the obstacles new head coach Hitchcock faced made it a quite entertaining night.
In a funny post-game scrum, Hitchcock revealed that he was nervous about the game being past his bedtime and admitted he could not remember all the names of his new players during the contest.
“I was worried,” he admitted, “that it was past my bedtime and I wouldn’t be able to stay up. I don’t think I’ve seen a third period all year out West.”
“I was grinding hard,” he admitted. “I needed about four shifts to make some judgments and then I started coachin’. I struggled with names. I had one player, I called him four different names and he never got off the bench. Never went anywhere. Finally, we got to a nickname and that worked in the third period.”
You can see the whole interview in the video below here:
Hitchcock knows the team will need to undergo a lot before major improvements are seen, however, we can easily say that this first win on his first time behind the Oilers' bench is quite encouraging.
“They feel young to me, which is fun,” Hitchcock said of his new roster. “And they’re excited to play. The part I like is, I told them I would coach them hard and they really embraced that.
“When I said to a person, ‘You need to change. This is what we want to see.’ They just went out and did it.”