Say what you want about the Edmonton Oilers, there’s seldom a dull moment for people riding the roller-coaster that doubles as the team’s bandwagon.
Take the last three games, for example. On Tuesday, the Oilers suffered the worst defeat on home ice in franchise history, a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres.
In the wake of much obligatory consternation following that embarrassment, they bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday with one of their most complete efforts this season.
Back on the ice for a matinee at Rexall Place against Nashville yesterday, the Oilers lost 2-1 to a Predators team that’s been lousy on the road all season, 10-15-2, and that had won just four of its previous 14 games.
A bad time to come off the rails again.
“We have to take the responsibility to take care of our own business,” said coach Craig MacTavish. “We haven’t done that for a few years here.
“When you get a game like that where you can drive a nail in, you get the game. You can always exhibit the urgency and the intensity. The one thing you want to show in a game like that, as we saw in the Minnesota game, is the intensity from everybody.”
Despite being humiliated by the Sabres, the Oilers faced Nashville having won six of their previous eight games. As for intensity against the Predators, there was precious little.
Instead of building on an 8-4 record in January their first time out of the blocks this month, the Oilers too often looked flat and disinterested — they weren’t as close on the ice as they were on the scoreboard.
– In a decade covering the Edmonton sports scene, Robin Brownlee has been the news-breaker and insightful voice for sports fans in Oil Country.