SUN Hockey Pool

Wonder years?

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

They don't want to be one-year wonders.

Stanley Cup finalist this year, playoff busts the next.

The Edmonton Oilers came within a win of claiming their sixth Stanley Cup championship. The trick is to be in a similar position next year.

"We'll be held to a higher standard certainly," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "That's internal pressure. Pressure the players put on themselves and we'll put on ourselves as coaches that we're not a flash in the pan."

While the Oilers may have surprised those outside of their locker-room with their success, they themselves knew what they were capable of.

That was the reason there was so much pressure for them to make the playoffs this season.

The Oilers knew, once they were in the playoffs, they were as good as any team in the league.

IN IT TO THE LAST

With a little luck, good goaltending and a break or two along the way, they were able to keep playing until the very last day of the season.

"It's really important to maintain this, especially for the group of young guys that we have," said Oilers forward Ethan Moreau. "I think they will. That's why we got as far as we got this year. I know the guys are going to come to camp thinking that we're going to win the Stanley Cup and that's definitely going to be on everybody's mind."

REACHED NEW HEIGHTS

The last thing the Oilers want to be is a team which falls off the radar next year.

Having been associated in the past as a team that struggles to make the playoffs, then loses out in the first or second round, the Oilers have reached a new level.

The expectations now will be comparable to those during the glory years.

"There have been examples that have gone to the finals and won the Stanley Cup and the next year don't make the playoffs," MacTavish said. "Kevin does a tremendous job personnel-wise and he'll put this back together in a fashion that we can continue what we started here in the playoffs."


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