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Another ‘unacceptable’ loss for struggling Oilers

Mar 26, 2013, 2:39 AM EDT

These are tough times in Edmonton. The Oilers lost 3-2 to the Nashville Predators Monday, dropping their third straight game.

Their playoff chances are slim, their playoff hopes fading. They are 13th in the Western Conference and now five points out of a playoff spot.

The team’s struggles were appropriately captured in the first three paragraphs of Robert Tychkowski’s game file in the Edmonton Sun. He wrote:

You know why nobody’s penned a country music song about the Edmonton Oilers yet?

Because all of the tear drops make the paper too soggy to write on.

Instead of the dog dyin’, it’s Edmonton’s mangy-looking playoff hopes that are always being put out of their misery. Year after year after year after year after year after year after year.

The second period was the Oilers’ undoing in this latest tale of woe. The Predators scored twice, taking a two-goal lead before hanging on for the win in the third.

“I don’t know what happened in the second period, we just kind of handed the game over to them,” Oilers defenseman Ladislav Smid told the Edmonton Sun.

“We should realize what the situation is. If we win we’re one point behind Nashville and that much closer to a playoff position. We have to be more desperate than this. This is unacceptable.”

  1. ray2013 - Mar 26, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    These Oilers remind me of a young boxer who gets in phenomenal shape and knows how to score points but who also doesn’t know how to finish. They keep letting their opponents hang around and that catches up to you eventually. They are losing games they should be winning or at least getting a point out of. Blowing two-goal leads last week and now this game.

    They actually remind me of the great Oiler teams of the past only in reverse. They’d coast for 55 minutes, then pour it on for five minutes and win. These young Oilers play well for 55 minutes only to give the game away in a poor five minute stretch.

    And I have seen them play live and on tv this season. Play 60 and make the playoffs or play 55 and make the lottery. Its up to them.

  2. LampyB - Mar 26, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Time for a new coach. You can only get so many awesome draft picks before something else needs to happen…

    • davebabychreturns - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Four coaches in the past five years, all with pretty much the same results.

      The problem goes further than the coach.

      You can’t just lose all year, take home another high end skill forward at the draft and hope that four or five of them will be enough. That team has barely passable goaltending, a brutally bad defense corps, and still needs a group of veteran forwards that can contribute in all the ways that talented kids like RNH, Jordan Eberle and Yakupov cannot.

      If you look at other teams that went from lottery picks to the high end of the league (Pittsburgh, Chicago, Los Angeles, St Louis) you will find they still did a great job drafting later on in the draft, still managed their cap situation well, still made several shrewd trades and free agent acquisitions. Right now the Oilers have done pretty much none of that, I don’t know if their management feels they need to wait until they have another couple of first overall picks before they start trying to add to their core or what but they had better get going soon before they have a bunch of kids in their early 20s all raking in $6m a year and no room left to build around them.

      • jernster21 - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        Ha, we were essentially typing the same thing at the same time.

    • jernster21 - Mar 26, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Tambellini should have been canned with Renney (who I thought was going to be a good coach.) Eventually you can’t rely on the skill of number one draft picks when the only need you’re filling is on offense. The Oilers have a massive hole on defense and in goal. Dubnyk can be lights out, but when the spot light is always on the goalie to win every game, that points out a flaw in other parts of the team (defense.) They have all these offensive super stars but are never going to keep all of them when it comes time for their big pay days and barely have any cash to fill any other needs like defense. This team will be ridiculous when they get enough experience, but unless they’re putting up 5 goals every night they still don’t give themselves a very good chance to win. The other problem is they’re all still kids – it doesn’t matter how skilled they are when they’re 160 pounds and real NHL defensemen know all they have to do is put a body on them and will probably knock them out of the game because they’re going to get hurt.

      • ray2013 - Mar 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM

        I have watched Dubnyk for a while. My impression of him is that if you set up a good shot you can score. He is not one of those elite goalies with a lockdown mode. So to me, that means you need a solid defence corps to limit those chances which they don’t have. Which means more help on defence from the forwards who have less time to score.

        But this all falls on the Oilers management. They are the ones building the team.

  3. JoeAvg - Mar 26, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    It’s a young team that needs veteran leadership. Perhaps they should move one them young forwards and take Webers’s contract off Nashville’s hands? Just a thought.

  4. mrpickled - Mar 26, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Perhaps the NHL should randomly select them for another first overall pick? Maybe that’ll work.

  5. multiplemiggs - Mar 26, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    I love watching the Oilers lose, in fact I love watching every team the NHL benefactors lose. Add another cocky Russian to the mix and theyre even more hatable. But what does my opinion matter my comments never get posted anyways.

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