There is a little over a week and five games remaining this season for the Edmonton Oilers. With no playoff possibilities, it can be a chunk of games that is hard to get charged up to play in.

I know, I know…I can hear all the fans saying it is a hockey players job and they are making a good living to go hard every night. That is true, but I believe hockey is played at its highest level when the passion is flowing, and when the playoffs are out of the question, passion is harder to find.

From personal experience I remember one season where I was not just counting down the games, I actually had it down to periods!


Tonight’s game will give the Oilers a chance to make the L.A. Kings run at a playoff spot a little uglier. The opportunity to submarine another teams playoff hopes is a strong motivator. It’s a fun game to play when your team has nothing else to play for. It’s also great to see the anxiousness coming from the other team if they get down.

Many guys on Edmonton are playing for their future. With a finish near the bottom of the league, changes in player personnel are inevitable. A strong showing for each player when the games don’t count for much is important. It can show the current team (as well as the other twenty nine clubs if necessary) that a guy has the professionalism and character to battle no matter the situation.


As a young player I was given some very good advice that I never forgot – I was told ‘You never know who is watching so always play hard.’ It served me well.

With two home games left, I hope this group can leave the Oiler faithful with a good feeling and the L.A Kings with a fistful of feathers.

  • Craig1981

    We have enough points thank you. Beside NUGE for the CALDER the only thing left is the lottery pick. Surely we can suck better than Toronto and Montreal when it counts. Put Barker back in, give us a chance!

  • Craig1981

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a hard fought game where the Oil lose right near the end or in OT. I honestly don’t care about draft position because it seems like if you dont have the #1 pick it doesn’t matter as long as your in the top 10. I wouldn’t mind LA getting a point out of this game. It further crushes Calgary’s chances of making the playoffs and if Calgary losses any of the games remaining, their season is done. Eat that Feaster.

    • Craig1981

      Doesn’t matter??!!! Really. You would not prefer Landeskog to Mark Scheifele or Jonas Brodin. Not prefer Tyler Seguin over Ryan Johansen and Brett Connolly. Victor Hedman over Nazem Kadri or Scott Glennie. Or Drew Doughty over Nikita Filatov and Luke Schenn? After the first 2 or 3 it drops of quickly (in the past anyways)

      • Craig1981

        I was referring to this years draft. Almost everyones analysis is that there is yakupov(spelling) and then the next 9 and everyone has them all ranked very differently. So as long are you are in the next 9 you should be in a position to select a good player.

        • Craig1981

          It is a deep draft, but there still is a difference. I think the media likes to hype up all the players, but surely you have to believe Murray who has been toughted since he was 15 or 16 is a safer bet than Cody Ceci or Griffin Reinhart. And that Grigorenko would be prefered over Brendan Gaunce.

          • Craig1981

            Surprisingly a lot of scouts are saying that Reinhart has more upside than Murray and the only reason Murray is likely to go higher is because many blieve him to be NHL ready now and Reinhart 1-2 years away. Another interesting note I believe there are a couple players in the top 10 who have spent a good chunk of the season injured and their true potential wasn’t shown this year. I think Galyenchyk was one of them so he might be a gamble but one that could pay off big time.

  • vetinari

    I think that at this time of year, when you know that your team is not going into the playoffs, you get a true sense of who the real competitors and team leaders are on your team.

    They are the ones playing for pride and playing to win; they block shots and take hits to make a play; they stand up for team mates; they take to the ice on game 79 with the same enthusiasm as they had in game 4; they practice the same or harder as they did earlier in the season; they want to be on the ice just as much when they are down 4-1 as they are up 4-1; this is the time to separate the dogs from the wolves for next season.

    • geoilersgist

      Oh man the Don Cherry section of that site was so funny. I thought Don might have a heart attacked there at one point he was getting so worked up.


  • Quicksilver ballet

    Jason, what is the likelihood of another work stoppage with Donald Fehr in charge? The players surrendered a fair bit in the last CBA

    Would you put it at around 50/50 there being a shortened season next yr?

  • Dan the Man

    As a fan I am always happy when the Oilers win but in games like tonight’s where a loss hurts the Flames and goes a long way in securing a better draft pick….it’s pretty much win-win even if it’s a loss.

    I’ve found myself cheering more for RNH and Eberle to pick up points lately more than anything.

  • geoilersgist

    We don’t need an actual prospect from the top 3. Dithers, the shrewd poker player that he is should be able to leverage the pick and parlay it into something we really need; described in painstaking detail on this site for the past 2 months. Two points each for the Sqeee & Nuge and a regulation loss please.

  • Reality Check to the head

    That is the best advice ever!! I think my Dad said that to me too at an early age and I always played (and now work) like my Mom Mess and Gretz are watching..me!

    Clap Clap!