MacTavish curses a Blue streak

Edmonton Oilers Ryan Smyth (right) watches the shot from teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron (not shown)...

Edmonton Oilers Ryan Smyth (right) watches the shot from teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron (not shown) enter the net of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin during the third period of NHL hockey action at Edmonton's Rexall Place on Friday, November 24, 2006. (CP PHOTO/John Ulan) CANADA

ROBIN BROWNLEE, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Those who think Craig MacTavish cursed a blue streak at Marc-Andre Bergeron yesterday morning should've heard Chicago Blackhawks coaches Denis Savard and Mark Hardy last night.

MacTavish gave Bergeron an earful at the Edmonton Oilers morning skate for slacking, but Savard and Hardy made his tirade sound like choir practice after the first period with the Oilers up 3-0 - venting, at length, with players in earshot.

There's not much debate whose slang provided the most bang - even if the Oilers extended their season-high winning streak to five games by jumping on the Blackhawks early and then hanging onto Dwayne Roloson's coattails for dear life before coasting to a 5-1 win.

Advantage Savard and Hardy.

"We got out to the quick lead, a great start for our club, and we just kind of put it in cruise control," said Jarret Stoll.

"We let them get back in the game and it seemed like Roli was making saves every two seconds."

While MacTavish directed his ire at Bergeron, warning him in the most colourful language about the dangers of complacency, not nearly enough Oilers took his words to heart based on last night's effort.

Ahead 3-0 on goals by Stoll, Marty Reasoner and Raffi Torres in the opening 20 minutes, the Oilers staggered through a horrid second period in which they needed 14 saves by Roloson before getting their act together again late on the way to the final buzzer.

"I don't think it was personal," smiled Bergeron, who responded by scoring the 5-1 goal.

"These games now are big games. We're on a roll and we want to keep it going. I wasn't having my greatest practice and he was making sure I was going to be ready. Everybody heard it. If that's what we need, I'll take it."

With Brian Boucher out and Nikolai Khabibulin taking over between the pipes after a first intermission highlighted by the linguistic stylings of Savard and Hardy, the sad-sack Blackhawks gave the Oilers way more of a test than a 3-7-2 road-team had any business doing.

Coming on after Michael Holmqvist cut it to 3-1, the Blackhawks faded after Petr Sykora and, fittingly, Bergeron ended any drama.

"We're sitting here with two points," Stoll said. "We've just got to get a little more focused when we have leads like that. You can't complain. We're winning. That's the bottom line."

True, 40 or so minutes of decent hockey and Roloson was enough to push the Oilers to 10-2-0 at home, but it's a record considerably more impressive than MacTavish's team has been.

The same kind of display won't fly when Chris Pronger makes his return with the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday.

"We made it a little difficult on Roli when it didn't have to be," MacTavish said. "I just think we're getting the result. We're a lot more opportunistic than we ever used to be."


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