“There’s going to be lots of time for analysis now, but that was indicative of a lot of nights where we’ve needed a game and just come up short.”-- Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish, trying to make sense of Tuesday nights disappointing loss to the Kings.
The promise of the start of the season has given way to the grim reality that spring time in Edmonton will be spent watching their southern cousins make their march towards the Stanley Cup.
The Oilers were eliminated from the Western Division playoff chase on Tuesday night, losing a must win game against the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 and then watching as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Phoenix Coyotes in a convincing fashion with a 5-1 victory, a win that put an end to the Oilers hopes for the third straight year.
Edmonton failed to rise to the occassion on Tuesday, allowing the Kings to dictate the flow of the game and making a huge number of errors during the game including an astounding 19 giveaways and a a horrible first five minutes which saw the Oiler trailing two to nothing before most fans even had a chance to down their first refreshment of the night, as the game went on we suspect that they called for more, if only to forget what could have been.
Despite out shooting the Kings 39 to 29 and showing desperation in the final period of the game, the Oilers could not put enough goals behind the Kings goaltender Jonathon Quick to turn back the hands of the countdown to elimination clock.
As if to highlight their troubles of late, the Oilers will now finish off the season against their provincial rivals the Flames. A home and home series that probably seemed like the perfect way to wind down the regular season at one time, but now seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
It should be a series which will see the dispirited Oilers face off against a very ornery Flames team, one which failed to clinch their Northwest Division title on Tuesday with a loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
You get the feeling that the Oilers are going to have two very long nights ahead of them before they can begin to forget about how things went so wrong.
Edmonton Journal-- Oilers' playoff hopes crushed
Edmonton Sun-- Oilers will miss the playoffs for a third-straight season
CBC Sports-- Oilers eliminated from playoffs