Edmonton Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch is wanting to talk officiating after Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. The Oilers bowed to the Dallas Stars in Game 2, in a contest that saw few power play opportunities for Edmonton. Knoblauch used the microphone after the game to talk about the lack of penalties, but seemed to carefully choose his words.

“The NHL sometimes, a standard gets changed a little bit, and they want to make sure it's a penalty, where in the regular season maybe some things get let go,” Knoblauch said following the game. “It's unfortunate for us that it is tougher to draw penalties in the playoffs than it is the regular season.”

Knoblauch stopped short of calling out and criticizing the officials. Reading into his words, one can tell though that he is frustrated. The Oilers and Stars are now tied at 1 game apiece in the series.

Edmonton's series with Dallas

The Edmonton Oilers celebrates center Connor McDavid (97) scoring the game winning goal against the Dallas Stars during the second overtime period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at American Airlines Center.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The two games of the Western Conference Final have been like night and day for the Oilers. In Game 1, the Oilers scored three goals to take the game. In Game 2, the team's offense was completely nonexistent, only scoring once. The common thread in both games is that Edmonton isn't getting a lot of penalty opportunities.

The Oilers are a club that likes to hunt on the power play. Knoblauch pointed that out after Game 2 in his comments to reporters. Edmonton has struggled all season when they don't get to skate on a power play, and that was the case Saturday. The Stars committed only two infractions in the game, limiting Edmonton's opportunities. In Game 1, Dallas committed even fewer penalties, so the Oilers have had to pull teeth to get a call and gain an advantage on the ice.

The lack of those opportunities is baffling to some of the Oilers' players as well as the coach. The Oilers were asked after Game 2 about the lack of power play opportunities from the officials.

“That's a good question, I don't know,” Oilers center Connor McDavid said, per The Score. McDavid would finish Game 2 with just one shot on goal.

Edmonton must now shift their strategy with the series heating up. The Oilers still have arguably the best player on the ice in McDavid, who has 23 points this postseason. McDavid also has a plus-minus on the ice of +6, in 14 games. Edmonton's skaters will have to find more ways to get McDavid shots in full strength opportunities. Still, that isn't stopping Knoblauch from bemoaning the fact that his team doesn't seem to be officiated consistently.

“We would like the same standard,” Knoblauch added.

The Oilers and Stars head to Edmonton for Game 3 of the Western Conference Final. Game 3 is on Monday, with the puck dropping at 8:30 Eastern. In the Eastern Conference Final, the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers are also tied 1-1 heading into Game 3.