The Edmonton Oilers embarked on their six-game road trip with a 7-2-2 record. After two wins and four losses, they came back 9-6-2, losing their last three by a combined score of 15-6.
So is that it for the Oilers? Fun while it lasted? They are who we thought they were?
Tough to say. Dropping three straight in Boston, Detroit and Chicago could happen to any team, especially on the tail end of a long trip. The Oilers did get wins in Los Angeles and Montreal.
Coach Tom Renney had some harsh words for his team after Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Blackhawks.
“Awful,” Renney said. “No sustained battle level, no forecheck, we weren’t heavy on our own sticks. We scored three goals and should have been in the hockey game because of it and didn’t do it. I don’t think they realize yet what it takes to win on a nightly basis.”
The Oilers have a few days to recuperate, regroup and get yelled at in practice. Thursday they host Ottawa, Saturday Chicago comes to town. Then it’s another extended trip – a four-gamer in Dallas, Nashville, Minnesota and Colorado.
Will Edmonton use the last three games as motivation? Or were the last three games the start of a tailspin that will end in another high draft pick?
“Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves,” said defenseman Tom Gilbert. “We have to find a way to get back to the way we were playing, where we were good defensively, where guys were in the right spot.”