Oil Kings reeling

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 1:42 PM ET

A season that began with such promise is threatening to spiral out of control for the Edmonton Oil Kings.

But management is keeping an eye on the bigger picture and is committed to staying the course.

Heading into last night's game in Brandon against the Wheat Kings, the Oil Kings had dropped 10 straight and may have hit rock bottom with an 11-2 loss to the Moose Jaw Warriors on Friday.

"Up until then we were in most of our games and we've lost a lot of one-goal games," said Oil Kings general manager Bob Green.

"We've been in nine overtime games this year. It's been tough; our kids are lacking confidence right now and they're waiting for something bad to happen.

"When you do that, something bad usually does and it snowballs from there.

"We just have to try to keep them positive and keep them working hard and we have to get a big performance out of somebody, out of one of our veteran guys, and get things back on track."

The Oil Kings started the season with a 5-2-2 run, but have only managed three wins since. And going into last night they were 10-points out of a playoff spot.

Of the nine games which have gone into overtime or a shootout this year, they have lost eight.

Last night's game in Brandon was the final of a six-game road trip that started in B.C., with games in Kamloops, Kelowna, Vancouver and Cranbrook.

"It's been tough with those overtime losses, and we've also lost some games in regulation where we were winning late and let it slip away, which has made it tougher," said Green.

"But we have 38 games left and we have to come prepared to work hard and try to get out of this slump.

"Nobody feels good about it, but the kids are trying, they're working hard and they care. It's just not working for them right now."

As a third-year expansion team, the Oil Kings are still in a building mode.

Last season they took a big step by qualifying for the WHL playoffs. But the core of the team is still young, and at the moment, going through some growing pains.

"Nothing changes with the big picture," said Green.

"We have a plan, we have great group of young players here and we have to continue to develop them.

"In the short term, we haven't played as well as we thought we would, or as well we want to, but the one bright spot is how hard these young kids are working."


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