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Team Interrupted

With the Edmonton Oilers having played so few meaningful games in March and April over the last 14 years, it looked like fans were going to be in for one helluva thrill ride down the stretch drive this season. It’s a stretch that was supposed to end with Game 82 of the regular season against…

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Uncharted

It’s been six days since the NHL suspended play March 12 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While it’s been a welcome distraction from having our lives turned upside down to speculate about how and when we might see hockey again, the truth is we don’t have a clue about what comes next – big…

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At Random

After failing to commit to providing financial assistance to game-night and part-time staff during this COVID-19 crisis Friday and taking some heat for it from local media and fans, the Edmonton Oilers made things right on Saturday – even more quickly than I thought they would. Good on them.

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Real

So, after a conference call by its Board of Governors, the NHL has decided to suspend the regular season, just as the NBA did yesterday, because of the coronavirus pandemic. What began as something that seemed foreign and far away not so long ago on the evening news is real enough now.

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Disconnect

Watching the Edmonton Oilers pick up points lately has been like driving around with the “change oil” light on in your car. You can look the other way and keep going because the damn thing is still running, but sooner or later you have to know the engine is going to seize up and leave…

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Expectations

There’s no debate Dave Tippett has raised the bar in terms of expectations in the 68 games he’s spent behind the bench as coach of the Edmonton Oilers. He didn’t let it slip after a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Thursday to end a three-game road trip, and that’s a good thing.

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The Way

Leon Draisaitl’s candidacy for the Hart Memorial Trophy took another hit Tuesday in Texas as the Edmonton Oilers parlayed a 42-save performance by Mikko Koskinen to a 2-1 overtime win over the Dallas Stars.

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Mr. Smith

Having seen so much of Mike Smith over the years and knowing how streaky he can be, I probably should have known better than to write him off after a terrible stretch of games in November and December, but write him off I did. Get him out of there. He’s done. Go with Mikko Koskinen,…

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Amends

The essence of what makes Zack Kassian the player he is at his best is he plays on the edge. He walks a line he occasionally steps over. Having crossed it again with a flick of a skate that took him out of the Edmonton Oilers’ lineup for seven games, Kassian steps back into the…

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The Mix

By bringing in three significant players at the NHL trade deadline in Mike Green, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Ennis, Edmonton Oilers’ GM Ken Holland had as good a deadline, on paper at least, as I’ve seen since Kevin Lowe went out and got Dwayne Roloson and Sergei Samsonov in 2006 on the way to the…

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The Cards

Having watched the injury-riddled Edmonton Oilers battle and scrap to earn a point against the NHL’s best team in the Boston Bruins in a 2-1 overtime loss on Wednesday, I don’t think there’s any doubt that GM Ken Holland will make a move before the NHL trade deadline to bolster his team for a playoff…

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MVP

Leon Draisaitl is feeling it. While he’s been carrying the Edmonton Oilers on his back in the stretch drive and tightening his grip on the NHL scoring title, he’s been chirping opponents. He’s chirping critics who not long ago doubted him capable of playing the way he has without Connor McDavid for four games now.