Edmonton Oilers refuse to believe their condition is fatal


While it’s still too early to begin praising the death of a season, that day won’t be far off if things don’t change.

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While the list of things the Edmonton Oilers can feel good about shrinks with each loss, each one more dramatic than the last, they can still cling to two important truths:


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There’s a good team out there and there’s plenty of time left in the season.

As for the psychological building blocks, that’s about it – faith in themselves and hope for the future are the only beacons they have to guide them out of a 15-game funk. which threatens to permanently shatter their playoff hopes.

It’s enough, however, for a team that refuses to believe that his condition is fatal.

“My freshman year at Carolina, halfway through, we weren’t in the playoffs,” winger Warren Foegele said. “We finished the second half fighting just for the last wildcard spot and ended up making it to the Eastern Conference Finals.

“There’s still a lot of optimism. We’re not out of it. We know we have great players. It’s just about doing it together as a group.

As ugly as 2-11-2 looks and as shaken as some of their top guys have been talking about lately, the Oilers’ spirit hasn’t been completely dampened.

“It’s easy when things are bad to dwell on the negatives,” forward Colton Sceviour said. “It’s not going the way anyone hoped or wanted it to, but we’re one win away from starting a positive streak and continuing the kind of racing we had at the start of the year.”

On the one hand, that seems like wishful thinking from a 22nd-place team that was just beaten 6-0, but despite some mixed results, the Oilers have been playing some good hockey lately.

You don’t swarm the Florida Panthers like they did in the first half without having the ingredients to be a decent club. And for 40 minutes against Ottawa, they did exactly what they wanted by taking a 3-1 lead.


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Two third periods and nine conceded goals later, the Oilers are in even more trouble than they were before, but you can see a good team trying to pull through.

“That first period (passing Florida 17-7) could easily have been 1-0, 2-0, even 3-0 after some of the looks we got and some of the pucks that squealed (the goaltender) but didn’t. go into the net,” Sceviour said.

“If we go out most games this way, we will have a much better result.”

With the rest of the hockey world focused on a pair of third-period meltdowns, a weak goaltender, a 21-point drop in the standings since Dec. 3 and a coach in the hot seat, the Oilers have nowhere to go. no choice but to focus on what’s going well.

“You have to,” Tippett said. “You have to build on some positives right now. You just can’t watch videos over and over again about things gone wrong.

“You have to build on some of the positives that we’ve achieved, put some building blocks in place and hopefully we’ll be rewarded for that.”

There is also a psychological obstacle that must be eliminated. Lose as often as the Oilers have lately and the dark cloud of doubt is relentless in its pressure. You don’t outrun your opponents 33-13 in the first period the last two games and you’re out 0-0 and 1-1 unless the guys clamp the stick.

“It tires you out, but you have to go through it,” Tippet said. “Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you have to go out and play, keep doing it right and hope for change.”


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While it’s still too early to begin praise for a season’s death, that day won’t be far off if things don’t change. The Oilers sit in 22nd place, 13th in the Western Conference, with five teams to jump just to qualify for the final wildcard spot.

They can’t afford to let the field stray much further or it will be the 40-game death march to the draft lottery.

“You have to go game to game right now and just focus on the next one,” Tippett said. “You recognize the big picture. We talked about it this week, about our position in the standings and our schedule. We’ve been through it all.

“Now we have to work and get results in these games.”

The turning point of the season could come on Saturday evening. Another shocking loss, this time to the Calgary Flames Hockey Night in Canada maybe too much to bear.

On the other hand, a resounding response on the main hockey stage might be just the bump they need.

“To get any kind of win is huge,” Sceviour said. “But against your provincial rival on a Saturday night, getting into the part of the schedule where we play every other night and can get some momentum that way, would be huge.

“That must be our goal. This must be our goal and we must find a way to achieve it.

Email: [email protected]

On Twitter: @Rob_Tychkowski



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