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Hall: ‘Really going to be hard’ for Oilers to make playoffs after Ducks loss

Apr 10, 2013, 10:59 AM EDT

Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

The Edmonton Oilers had Tuesday’s game in Anaheim marked as a must-win.

And they proceeded to lose, 2-1.

That resulted in a lot of glum faces in the Edmonton dressing room, as players recognized their playoff hopes took a major blow.

None seemed to recognize it more than Taylor Hall.

“This was a huge game for our team. It’s really going to be hard from here on in,” Hall told the Edmonton Journal. “Three games ago, we were right there. Now, we’re a ways back. We’re just going to have to stay motivated.”

“You never know what can happen, but this was one we had to win.”

On Apr. 3, the Oilers beat the Flames 8-2 to move into sole possession of eighth in the West. Spirits were high. But three consecutive defeats have sent them crashing back down to earth.

With Tuesday’s loss, Edmonton now sits 12th in the Western Conference with 39 points, four points back of eighth-place Detroit with Dallas (41 points), Columbus (41) and Phoenix (40) still ahead in the standings.

If there is a silver lining for the Oilers, it’s their remaining schedule.

They’ll play seven of their last nine at the friendly confines of Rexall Place — where they’re 8-5-4 — and have a huge stretch coming up where they’ll face three non-playoff entities in the Coyotes, Flames and Avalanche.

Of course, they’ll also play their final five games of the season against top-six teams in the West: Anaheim (x2), Chicago, Minnesota and Vancouver.

Captain Shawn Horcoff says the team will turn it around for these final nine games.

“We’ll regroup and finish it out. We’re going to finish hard,” he told the Journal. “We’re not mathematically eliminated, so you never know.

“We’re not in a situation where we can just mail it in.”

  1. JoeAvg - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    “eighth-place Chicago”?

    • Mike Halford - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Detroit.

      • JoeAvg - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        That’s better Mike :-)

  2. bigtganks - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Awww…. They blow out the Canucks in 5 min, and suddenly thought they were contenders… but they’re pretenders… Calm down Taylor and kids.

  3. atwatercrushesokoye - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    That’s weird, all of the Oilers fans have been acting like they’re in the middle of a dynasty for weeks now.

    So let me get this straight, 4 years into a rebuild and they have yet to make the playoffs, have already given out 2 massive contracts to the young players and will likely give out a third this summer to a player who looks like he won’t be as good as they thought (the Noooog), they still have very little on offense next to those top 4 undersized players, they have 1 defenseman of note, with a second reasonable prospect (Klefbom) on his way next season, but nothing really after those two, and they have a goalie who might end up being okay to good but doesn’t look to have the ceiling anywhere near an elite goalie, and let’s not forget how hot or cold their offense is, if they’re not scoring 4 or 5 a night they’re scoring 0 or 1…this is quite the process, at this point I think it’s reasonable to ask if they’ll have enough time to fill the holes before they have to start moving these young players because of cap concerns?

    No wonder the Flames have been so reluctant to enter a rebuild, they look at our provincial rivals and they’re doing such a poor job at it that it seems like an impossible task. Hopefully whoever’s in charge of this rebuild (my choice would be Ron Hextall) realizes that it can be done more efficiently and just because you have the first pick doesn’t mean that you have to draft undersized, skilled forwards, you can draft other positions as well.

    • ray2013 - Apr 11, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      I think you’re missing a key point in all of this. Any re-build is going to be only as successful as the management team you have running your team.

      Any monkey could pick the consensus #1 pick in a given year; three years of consensus #1 picks…that’s pretty simple. The test is how they do on the rest of the picks, how they develop their players, how they manage contracts, and trade for or sign new players. I think the Oilers management team is doing rather poorly on all of these counts.

      Anyone who watched a handful of games could see that Dubnyk does not grade out as an elite goalie, which makes having a strong defensive corps around him very important. Tambellini’s response? Trade for the immortal Nick Schultz and get lucky on the J-Schultz free agency. You could also say that they whiffed on veteran leadership. We could go on at length

      I’ve lived in different NHL markets. They all have homers in the media, but Edmonton seems the worst. And even the homers are starting to suggest the Oilers would benefit from a change at the top if they want to move forward. With a top-flight GM, re-building could be an opportunity to build a future dynastry, or you can end up with Milbury’s Islanders. Good luck with Feaster. I think you’re leaning more towards the second.

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