Just when we all thought that 30th spot was engraved on the Oilers' tombstone for the 2010/11 season. Cemented in dead last, the young bucks of Oil Country continued to meddle with their draft fate after defeating the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 at Rogers.
But what are they doing?
Oiler Nation is itching for another bona-fide, #1 draft choice and those kids go out and defeat "the contenders" when someone like, centre Ryan Nugent Hopkins is waiting to hear his name go first this summer. Heck, even defenceman Adam Larsson would look great on the back end next year.
No. It was supposed to be lose by design...right?
Instead, the Edmonton Oilers decided to allow for King Kong to descend from their aching backs as they finally posted win #24. Last night's win keeps the team in the basement, yet they are now 7 points behind Colorado for 29th spot. With four games remaining, mathematically, the Oilers could in fact win the rest of their games and move one point above the Avs with 67 pts (should the Avs lose their remaining games).
We still want the number 1 pick...yes?
"You come into a game like this and nobody expects you have to have a chance. You use that as motivation,” said Dubnyk after recording 40 saves. "The way things have gone, you don’t want to just look at wins and losses, otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy,” he added.
Rookies, Teemu Hartikainen, Magnus Paajarvi, Linus Omark, Chris VandeVelde and Jordan Eberle are reminders that this club can't afford younger players. This team needs to grow and reach their potential; and trying to obtain Hopkins or Larsson is simply not the answer; and here is why.
The aforementioned players were lights-out last night, as they all combined for 7 points. Omark was the most dangerous player for Edmonton. The Swede scored his 5th and helped set-up fellow countryman, Paajarvi while using his trade-o-mark "no look pass" from Gretzky's office.
But what changed in the locker room?
"Wow, what a team that showed up today,” said Paajarvi who was flying all night. “This was really, really fun. You could feel it before the game, everybody really, really wanted this. It shows that no matter who we’re playing, even though they won the President’s Trophy we still beat them.”
Curtis Foster opened the scoring on the PP when he shattered the peanut butter jar on the top shelf. Again on the PP, Jordan Eberle calmly walked the crease line to fool Cory Schnieder short side. Finally, Omark swooped in unattended to tap in Hartikainen's pass to earn his 5th goal of the season.
After the third straight goal, it was all over for the Canucks.
"Obviously they’re depleted,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “But their coaching staff has that team working really hard. They were the better team, they won the foot races and executed better.”
"We played hard defensively, we got our goals when we needed to and, for the most part, controlled the play,” said Andrew Cogliano who assisted on Eberle's goal. “This is a good character win.”
The Oilers will face the same Canucks this Tues at Rexall Place.