Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Huge Points Lost

The one game the Oilers needed the most, they couldn’t have. Edmonton continued to suffer the misery of a visit to St. Louis, losing to the Blues 1-0 last night, dropping two points that may very well end their season. The Oil just can’t win a game in St. Louis, having been on the short end of the scoreboard over five years now.

By losing to the Blues, the Oilers now must turn their attention to the Nashville Predators, who are just above them in the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Nashville has a game in hand, so the final two Oiler games are vital to their chances. Lose against Dallas tonight or Vancouver on Saturday and it’s all over. Even with wins over both, the Oil will need some help to make the playoffs. A disappointing turn of events for a team that a week ago was streaking so hot that the idea of playoff tickets was no longer a remote thing.

Last night saw them outplayed and out battled by the Blues, who just wanted the win a little bit more than Edmonton. Jussi Markkanen was given the start in the Oilers net and he did his part to keep his team in the hunt, the Oiler’s just couldn’t score a goal and really couldn’t control much of the play either. Old friend Doug Weight scored the winning goal and may well be remembered as the guy that put the Oilers out of the playoffs.

For Edmonton it’s time to put aside the disappointment of Tuesday night, they need two wins to stay alive and hope for the best. Feeling sorry about their situation isn’t going to put them on the board, remarkable as their run has been sometimes you need a little luck, so far it’s not shining their way. But this has been a team that makes its own luck, so it’s back to work. A bit of assistance from Chicago, St. Louis and Colorado would be welcome. But first things first, taking care of their own game is job number one.

They’ve come so far, it would be a shame to see them fall just a little short.

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