You know what? Maybe the Edmonton Oilers should just sit the rest of this season out because it is become pretty clear that nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, is going to go their way.
Things reached a new low for the 2017-18 season on Thursday night when they dropped a 6-4 decision at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs, keeping them buried deep in the Western Conference standings.
This was not just your run of the mill loss. This was a cruel punch to the gut.
After the Oilers had come from behind on two different occasions (3-1 and 4-3) to tie the game, they seemed destined to head to overtime where they would at least get a point in the standings and perhaps, maybe, pick up a second one if Connor McDavid could make some magic happen in a 3-on-3.
Then this happened.
Oh. Oh no. No. Not that. Anything but that.
That is Oilers defenseman Kris Russell accidentally firing the puck into his own net, giving the Maple Leafs what would be the game-winning goal.
What makes it even more difficult for Russell is that he is the one that had just tied the game, 4-4, earlier in the period.
Russell has been a controversial player in recent years because he is a focal point of the stats vs. eye test battle. He is a tough, gritty defender and a fearless shot-blocker that makes him a favorite among coaches, executives and hockey people. But he consistently posts sub-par possession numbers and does not generally provide a lot of offense. The Oilers are paying him a significant amount of money and that … well … that is going to be a tough one.
The goal was credited to Patrick Marleau.
Nazem Kadri added an empty net goal with one second remaining.