Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers are doing that thing where they show their vast potential again


Dec. 2, 2010: Oilers 5, Toronto 0

“The Edmonton Oilers are feeling a lot better about their season,” wrote the Associated Press in the first sentence of its game recap.

Nov. 19, 2011: Oilers 9, Blackhawks 2

“The Edmonton Oilers didn’t just break their four-game losing streak, they smashed it to pieces.” — AP

Apr. 27, 2013: Oilers 7, Canucks 2

“In their season finale, the Edmonton Oilers offered up some hope for next season.” — AP

Dec. 5, 2013: Oilers 8, Avalanche 2

“It would be difficult to find a team much harder to figure out than the Edmonton Oilers.” — AP

No kidding. Because those are just a few of the blowouts the rebuilding Oilers have enjoyed the past few seasons. Remember just a few weeks ago when they beat Columbus, 7-0?

And with each big win came a hopeful glimpse of the future. Of a team stacked with offensive weapons, just like those old Oilers teams of the 1980s that won four Stanley Cups in five seasons.

Except even with three first overall picks in the lineup, it hasn’t turned out that way. Not even close, really. Forget competing for Stanley Cups, the Oilers haven’t even made the playoffs since the rebuild started — a rebuild that’s provided their roster with three first overall picks. And barring a miraculous turnaround, they won’t make the playoffs this season either.

Still, there’s hope. After starting out 4-15-2, Edmonton is 6-3-0 in its last nine, with winnable home games versus Calgary and Carolina coming up.

“Over the last few weeks, our group has taken a step in mental toughness,” head coach Dallas Eakins said last night after his team’s destruction of the Avs.

We’ll see if, this time, the optimism is warranted.

Video: Hall’s hat trick leads Oilers over Avalanche

Blues’ Shattenkirk suffers lower-body injury

Kevin Shattenkirk
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This hasn’t been the best night for St. Louis sports fans.

Obviously, the MLB’s Cardinals getting bounced from the playoffs is a bigger deal, but the Blues face bad news, too.

While they’re currently leading the Calgary Flames by a score of 4-3, they’ll need to hang on without Kevin Shattenkirk, whose night is over thanks to a lower-body injury.

There’s no word yet on how severe the issue might be.

Naturally, the Blues must hope that it’s minor, as Shattenkirk is one of the NHL’s truly underrated assets on the blueline.

Stephanie (@MyRegularFace) tracked down a moment when the injury may have happened:

It’s not all rosy for the Flames, either, as Lance Bouma suffered an injury as well.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning


In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.