SUN Hockey Pool

Coulda, shoulda, woulda...

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:30 AM ET

Can it get any more wild and crazy than this?

After everything the Edmonton Oilers have put themselves through, in the last week and throughout the year, they could actually put a playoff spot away tonight.

That's right. Tonight.

With the Vancouver Canucks blowing a 4-3 lead late and losing 5-4 to San Jose at home last night, the Oilers magic number is now two. Any combination of Oilers wins and Canuck losses totalling two and the Oilers are in. Edmonton plays Anaheim at home and Vancouver is in San Jose tonight,.

Vancouver plays host to Colorado Sunday with the Avs here Monday to conclude the regular season.

All the Canucks need is one more point than the Oilers to make it their playoff position.

This is when the Oilers have to look back and remember the multitude of games they could have won if they'd had goaltending, games where they didn't show up and were down a deuce early, stupid penalties and all those losses to out-of-the-playoffs teams.

- Oct. 11 in L.A. - "A bad start. A sloppy start," said coach Craig MacTavish of 3-1 loss. "Two bad goals," said Ty Conklin."

- Oct. 14 in Dallas - Conklin gets hook after Stars score on soft rebounds on sixth and seventh shots of the game to win 3-0.

- Oct. 18 vs. Phoenix - Paul Coffey banner night. Oilers give up early deuce for the fourth time in five games.

- Oct. 20 vs. Colorado - A 7-1 loss at home to the Avs. "The worst I've ever been part of as a professional," said Shawn Horcoff. "It was comical in the ineptitude of it," said MacTavish. "It was humiliating and embarrassing at home," said Steve Staios.

- Oct. 25 at Colorado - Oilers lead 3-2 with six minutes to go and lose 5-3. "We lose by the same stupid mistakes we've been making time and time again. Junior hockey league player mentality," said MacTavish.

- Nov. 7 at Dallas - The Oilers play easily their most dismal 20 minutes of the season with no jump, no smarts and no clue in being outshot 14-2 en route to a 4-0 loss.

- Nov. 13 at Chicago - Jussi Markkanen allows three goals on his first five shots.

- Nov. 19 vs. Chicago - Markkanen hooked after four goals on 21 shots.

- Nov. 29 vs. Colorado - Mike Morrison gives up two goals on his first four shots.

- Dec. 26-28 vs. Minnesota - After sitting first in the division at Christmas, Oilers no- show back-to-back at home against Wild.

- Jan. 7 vs. Toronto - Oilers down 2-0 at home after being outshot 15-6 by Maple Leafs in yet another no-show in 3-2 loss.

- Jan. 12 at New York - Markkanen makes a mess of it on Mark Messier retirement night. "Same old, same old, another game we should have won," said MacTavish.

- Jan. 14 vs. Ottawa - Conklin gives up four goals on 16 shots before getting the hook in a 5-3 loss to Senators.

- Jan. 16 vs. Buffalo - Two bad five hole goals on Markkanen the difference in 3-1 loss to Sabres.

- Feb. 2 vs. Columbus - Oilers donate a home game 2-1 to an out-of-the-playoffs team. "We were pretty flat," said MacTavish.

- Feb. 10 at Minnesota - Oilers down 3-0 after first period. "You can't continue to make the kind of mistakes we make and win at this level," said MacTavish.

- Feb. 12-March 1 - Oilers head to Olympic break and return from Olympic break with losses against the worst team in the West.

- March 11 at Columbus - Dwayne Roloson, in his first game in goal for the Oilers, allows a couple of ghastly goals in 3-2 loss.

- March 12 at Minnesota - Oilers lose 4-3 to Wild. "A tight team, a very tight team," says MacTavish after dumb penalties, shaky netminding and a plethora of defensive lapses spelled another collapse.

- March 21 vs. Vancouver - Biggest game of the year, first in a three-game series against Canucks. Down a deuce early. "We knew coming in that we couldn't take penalties but we did," said Ethan Moreau.

- March 28 vs. Minnesota - Wild goes four-for-four in Rexall Place. "A tough one to swallow," said Ryan Smyth of the 3-2 loss.

- April 1 vs. Calgary - Two turnovers and a bad goal take away a playoff environment against the Flames.

- April 9 at St. Louis - As pathetic a performance as you're going to see from a team with its playoff life on the line. "We didn't want to put any energy in. We didn't show up tonight. We didn't work tonight," said Chris Pronger of the 2-1 loss to a team on a 13-game losing streak.

- April 11 at Detroit - Four consecutive bad penalties to start massive game turns into 2-0 loss.

We should be looking at this as some sort of minor miracle. To think of everything the Oilers have done to themselves this year, they could still wipe it off the blackboard by making the playoffs. Incredible!


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