Anything but a cakewalk

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

By virtue of the standings, the Edmonton Oilers should cruise in three of their four upcoming road games.

The Oilers are in a battle for their playoff lives, while the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are playing out the string.

However, the Oilers have lost five of seven games against the Wild this season and they've dropped two-of-three against both the Blackhawks and the Blues.

If their previous meetings are any indication, the Oilers' final regular-season road trip will be anything but a cakewalk. Especially considering it ends in Detroit.

"Minnesota is a well-coached team," said Oilers forward Ryan Smyth. "They sit back, wait for the turnovers, wait for the mistakes and they're good at it. It's just a matter of them having our number this year. We've had their number in the past and we know that (tomorrow) is a big game."

If there is any consolation, it's that both Oiler wins have come in Minnesota.

The Wild won every game against the Oilers at Rexall Place this season, but have only beaten Edmonton once at home.

"They have a good team," said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. "Everybody has their albatrosses in this league. San Jose has Phoenix and we've got Minnesota."

Heading on the road having just squashed the Coyotes has the Oilers in a confident mood.

Two of their biggest wins this season have come against the Blues (7-2) and Blackhawks (5-0).

"Obviously confidence is a big part of this game," Smyth said. "With that game (Monday), it gives everybody in the dressing room confidence and something to feed off and hopefully we can carry it forth."


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