Another week of Edmonton Oilers hockey and finally there were some wins. After going the entire month of January without a victory, the Oilers started February with 2 wins before returning to their losing ways.
The team started the week with a 4-2 victory over the 28th place Carolina Hurricanes. It was a game that the Oilers finally played good enough to win and the Canes looked like the Oilers had the previous 13 games. After allowing the first goal on the first shot, Jeff Deslauriers settled in and played a pretty good game. The new fourth line of Marc Pouliot, Zack Stortini and Jean-Francois Jacques caused the Canes problems all night and scored 2 goals including the game winner by Pouliot. Hurricane’s goalie Cam Ward had been playing good and the team was undefeated in 5 games coming into this one but Ward was shaky and the team was lethargic and looked like the team who had sat 30th in the standings most of the season. Rookie defenseman Alex Plante made his NHL debut for the Oilers and played a solid first game and even picked up his first assist. The Oilers were not without fault and many of the problems that had been present during the losing skid were still there but they were able to come out on the right side of the score for once. 26 giveaways are not going to win many games but fortunately the Canes weren’t able to capitalize. It was a positive result that gave the team something to build on.
6-0 final. Does anything else need to be said? This was a plain, old fashioned butt whooping of large proportions. For a team of so-called professionals either playing for jobs next year or showcasing themselves for a trade, this game was played with the passion and intensity of a limp noodle. EDMONTON OILERS = FAIL
I have watched the Oilers since the beginning of the WHA days and this was one of the worst games I can remember in a very long time. This made 8 straight losses and 15 times in the last 16 games. We all know, and the team knows that their playoff hopes are totally gone but the least they can do is try or give the semblance of try when they step on the ice.
Again, the leadership on this team must come into question. The leaders on this team are obviously ok with losing and unfortunately they are dragging the young guys down that rutted road of no return. This team brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from the legendary Vince Lombardi:
Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
This team has obviously gotten into the habit of losing and the leadership of this team seems to be quite happy with this. How could things have gotten this bad? I believe that the leadership of this team started to try and take control of the team when Craig MacTavish was coach and I don’t think things are any different now. The leadership wants to control the team and don’t want to do anything other than their way.