The mean streak!

TERRY JONES -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

Streak? What streak?

The Edmonton Oilers were unanimous last night that it didn't mean much to them.

"There wouldn't have been anybody here who would have known about it if you guys didn't mention it," said coach Craig MacTavish.

"We cared about the two points. Not about the streak. I don't think it meant much to any of our guys. It didn't mean anything to me. The two points on the other hand ..."

The Oilers lost 5-3 to the Nashville Predators to end a six game winning streak at home from the start of the season that would have broken a 20-year-old record from the days of Wayne Gretzky and the glory gang if they'd won one more.

Goaltender Dwayne Roloson said the streak wasn't a concern to him or anybody else in the room.

"I don't think so. Accolades are great, but we were trying to win a hockey game to get back to where we were in the playoffs last year to win our last game.''

Steve Staios said maybe they should have made the streak more important than they did.

NOT MUCH THOUGHT

"Looking back now, we didn't make it important and maybe we should have. We didn't put a lot of thought into it before the game. We treated it the same way as the first six.

"But now ... there's a disappointment. We had a chance to do something special and didn't do it.''

What we're now dealing with here is the classic 'What have you done for us lately?' scenario.

Fans flocked to Rexall Place last night to celebrate the streak. When it was over they were fickle fans flocking off wondering what's happening here.

Instead of winning a seventh straight game at home, the Oilers lost their third in their last four games - the three by a combined total of 17-7.

Next up is Dallas tomorrow and then they're off on a five-game road trip. And they're suddenly only two games over .500?

"Our record is starting to approach mediocrity," is how MacTavish put it.

"It's important we have a good game Friday."

So what happened?

First of all, they didn't score first. The Oilers had scored first in winning each of the first six home games of the season to match the team record established 20 years ago by Gretzky and the gang.

During the record-equalling run they outscored the opposition 23 goals to nine.

During the streak the Oilers played in front of good goaltending. In this one Dwayne Roloson said he'd like a couple of them back. But mostly he and his coach would have liked his team-mates to have shown up for the first period so they wouldn't have been down by a couple.

'DIDN'T SHOW UP'

"You don't want to have a lot of regrets at the end of a game like this," said MacTavish. "The way we started the game was regretful. We didn't show up early and it cost us a hockey game. We spotted them two goals and couldn't overcome it. Our undoing tonight was the way we started."

The players aren't arguing.

While this isn't the same as losing 6-2 to Phoenix, the Predators were playing the second game in consecutive nights.

All of a sudden the town crier isn't ringing the bell and shouting "All's Well."

All of a sudden there's some adversity.

All of a sudden the nice, warm, fuzzy winning streak the fans would have liked the hockey team to want as symbolic of a new status is gone and apparently didn't mean much.

You'd have liked them better today if they'd told you they lost because they made it mean too much.


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