Dec 6, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT
Dec. 2, 2010: Oilers 5, Toronto 0
“The Edmonton Oilers are feeling a lot better about their season,” wrote the Associated Press in the first sentence of its game recap.
Nov. 19, 2011: Oilers 9, Blackhawks 2
“The Edmonton Oilers didn’t just break their four-game losing streak, they smashed it to pieces.” — AP
Apr. 27, 2013: Oilers 7, Canucks 2
“In their season finale, the Edmonton Oilers offered up some hope for next season.” — AP
Dec. 5, 2013: Oilers 8, Avalanche 2
“It would be difficult to find a team much harder to figure out than the Edmonton Oilers.” — AP
No kidding. Because those are just a few of the blowouts the rebuilding Oilers have enjoyed the past few seasons. Remember just a few weeks ago when they beat Columbus, 7-0?
And with each big win came a hopeful glimpse of the future. Of a team stacked with offensive weapons, just like those old Oilers teams of the 1980s that won four Stanley Cups in five seasons.
Except even with three first overall picks in the lineup, it hasn’t turned out that way. Not even close, really. Forget competing for Stanley Cups, the Oilers haven’t even made the playoffs since the rebuild started — a rebuild that’s provided their roster with three first overall picks. And barring a miraculous turnaround, they won’t make the playoffs this season either.
Still, there’s hope. After starting out 4-15-2, Edmonton is 6-3-0 in its last nine, with winnable home games versus Calgary and Carolina coming up.
“Over the last few weeks, our group has taken a step in mental toughness,” head coach Dallas Eakins said last night after his team’s destruction of the Avs.
We’ll see if, this time, the optimism is warranted.
- PHT Extra: What happens if the Caps miss the playoffs? 0
- Wings can’t afford regulation loss to Jackets 6
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter 45
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 10
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 25
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 23
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 17
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 8
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 25
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 45
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (71)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (60)