Saturday, March 03, 2007

Oilers not only run up the flag but run out the door!

Well if Kevin Lowe was wondering how the team was going to react to the trading away of the heart and soul of the franchise, it hasn't been too long to get an answer. In the two games since Ryan Smyth was last seen in an Oiler uniform the Oilers have surrendered 8 goals and not wandered too far into the oppositions end to score any of their own. They played like they wish the season were over, and very shortly they shall be getting their wish.

The fans as well have put their own particular cap on this season, while the announced attendance of Thursday's game between Minnesota and Edmonton was another sell out of 16,839, the actual in the house crowd was a tad smaller than that.

The ends of Rexall Place empty of fans, as scattered patches of empty seats were found throughout the rink,with Oiler fans coming to the final realization that this season is done, there will be no replay of the wild march through the playoffs of 2006.

Saturday's game against Calgary will prove to be a litmus test of sorts for the Oilers, If the Oil can't get motivated for this game, then indeed it's time to get measured for the golf shoes.

As for the paying public, if the fans stay away even for the most robust rivalry in hockey, then Kevin Lowe will have received another message on his deadline day machinations.

Though, according to some media reports the pressure on Lowe is beginning to lessen as Oiler fans finally get over their hurt at yet another crowd favourite and key component moves on to a new team. They now look at the bigger picture, the new NHL with its devotion to the free agent and how that may change more than the landscape in Edmonton.

Not that they'll like what they see when they crunch their numbers and work out the what if's and could be's.

The bottom line is, there will be no playoff hockey in Edmonton this year. Other activities will soon beckon, the Eskimos head to camp in three months an event that last year went unnoticed while the Oil marched on Carolina.

Last year's orphans may find that the sports fans of Edmonton are ready to listen and view again, show them a little promise and bring in some big names and the town could be theirs for the foreseeable future.

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