At this time of the season, you are either looking for a playoff spot, or looking to play spoiler it seems. This season, yet again, the Oilers are spoilers. And oh what spoilers they are. Not once, but twice this week, the Oilers have thwarted the Calgary Flames' attempts to make it into that eighth and final playoff spot. After Friday night's battle of Alberta, the Flames sit at 11th.
The Oilers continued to struggle with matinee games on Saturday, posting a 3-2 shoot out loss from their 1pm start time. Of course what had a bigger impact on the game was the refereeing which has been, shall we say questionable this season. No matter, the Oilers took only a single point from their short roadtrip and made their way home only to see their home record get even worse as well.
Monday night, the Oilers hosted the San Jose Sharks and while the Flames really needed the Oilers to win this game, the Oilers would have none of it and instead lost 3-2 in regulation time. Tom Renney would have an "airing of the dirty laundry" talk with the media post game that led most conversations now more than ever to whether or not Renney would see a contract extension this summer.
The discussion was very Quinnesque and basically said that the players are millionaires and seem to have taken an "I don't care any more" attitude to games. The resulting comments from the players were that yes they do need to play better, but you cannot expect them to say anything else publicly about their coach. There was also discussion that there is dissension in the ranks in both bench arguments and in the locker room. It would absurd to think that everyone on the team is best friends, of course there are different opinions and personalities, of course some are handling the losses better or worse than others. But there is some room for concern that the dressing room may be being divided. We will never ever know the full story, and we will always be left to our imaginations.
The week did get substantially better once the battle for the basement came around. With a visit from the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Oilers made their 29th place finish a little more likely, saw Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have another multi point night (his first in quite some time) and Devan Dubnyk's second shut out of the season as the Oilers won 3-0.
It was two victories in a row as the Oilers beat their provincial rivals 3-1. In the process however, the Oilers also lost Taylor Hall to a concussion. The Oilers are playing for only pride and it might be wise to sit Hall for the remainder of the season, but I think that we all know that Hall is so competitive that he will want to get back into the game before the season ends. He will likely say that he feels he is ready for their next game, it's a story we've heard before.
The Oilers' candidate for the Bill Masterton trophy is Corey Potter, due to the difficulties he and his family had to deal with at the beginning of the season due to the premature birth of his daughter.
The Edmonton Oil Kings played their final home game of the regular season in front of a packed house. Literally. Rexall Place was nearly sold out for this WHL matchup between the surging Oil Kings and the floundering Red Deer Rebels. The Rebels have been playing with a skeleton crew of players due to injury and the fact that they do not have the extra players of the ability to make call ups. The Oil Kings would win 7-4 and knock the rebels out of the playoff running.
Wednesday night, the Oil Kings would beat the Kootenay Ice 5-4 in overtime and Friday the team came out with a 5-2 victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. The final regular season game of the season is Saturday night in Red Deer against the Rebels.
The season, the Oil Kings have set several new records and are hoping to make a run at the Memorial Cup, the first time in modern franchise history.
The Oklahoma City Barons will now have the assistance of Cameron Abney who was assigned to the team Thursday. Abney had played 12 games with the Barons this season, and has spent the remainder with the Stockton Thunder. The Barons are still atop the AHL Western Conference, 7 points ahead of the Toronto Marlies, but 7 points behind the Easter Conference leaders, the Norfolk Admirals.
To complete the Friday night of victories, both the Oklahoma City Barons and the Stockton thunder won as well as the Oilers and Oil Kings. The Barons came from behind to take down the Texas Stars 4-3. For the Thunder it was a 3-1 victory over the Las Vegas Wranglers.
The Stockton Thunder have clinched a playoff position and are currently ranked fifth in the Western Conference of the ECHL. The Thunder will play three games this weekend, all at home against the Las Vegas Wranglers and the Utah Grizzlies.
The annual GM meeting was once again held in Florida and once again hybrid icing was discussed. This time however, it seems that the GM are interesting in seeing this come together and perhaps even become a new rule.
Water Creatures Galore, OKC Barons Take On The Rivermen and Monsters - Copper & Blue Rodgers
How to Win and Still Be Historically Bad - Copper & Blue Reynolds
THROWBACK: LADDY SMID - Oilers Nation Brownlee
THOUGHTS ON THE TRIO - Oilers Nation Strudwick
STEVE TAMBELLINI, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW - Oilers Nation Willis
Back when it was the ‘Battle of Alberta’ - Oilers Addict Swin
Forwards and Defencemen & 20 Years of the NHL Draft, 1986-2005 - Oilers Addict Swin
Previewing Playoff Potentiality – The Monsters - Livingston
Dumba Watch 2012 Winds Down - Oil Patch