SUN Hockey Pool

Buyers or sellers?

TERRY JONES, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 11:40 AM ET

If this keeps up, GM Kevin Lowe is going to be a seller, not a buyer by the trade deadline.

Remember back in October when the Edmonton Oilers won their first six home games?

Remember November, when the Stanley Cup finalists were 10-2 at home?

Those were the days.

The Oilers have now lost seven of their last nine at Rexall Place.

Four of their last five.

The last two by a combined count of 9-1.

Lose a couple more before they head out on a seven-game road trip in mid-February and forget about the annual drive down the stretch for a playoff position.

Last night the Oilers came off the all-star break looking more broken than when they left with that stink bomb of a 4-0 loss to the Calgary Flames.

There was a total failure to compete.

Instead of looking refreshed, refocused and recharged, they looked like they'd hit their expiry date and were a team which had returned ready to mop up instead of making up the ground they'd lost.

OVER IN THE SECOND

The San Jose Sharks certainly didn't have to fear having their streak busted. They've now gone a record 48 games without going to overtime.

And this one was over in the second period.

"The bottom line is that we've got to compete," said Ryan Smyth.

"We don't have to be great. We just have to be good."

Good is a long way from gawd awful, which is what we've watched in their last two games.

"We're not in synch as a group," said Jarret Stoll.

"Time is ticking. We know that.

"If we don't fix it quick ... well, we're already on the outside looking in at a playoff position. We're going to be looking in from even further away.

"I don't know that it's that we're not working hard enough or that we're not working smart enough. You can be giving it 100% and getting nothing done."

As has been the case most of the season, the Oilers couldn't get the puck out of their own end.

But you'd think on the occasions when they do get it out, it would be a good idea to hang on to it for a while.

Dwayne Roloson returned from the break looking a lot like the backup goalie he used to be and has been of late.

His goals-against average continues to climb and his save percentage continues to plummet.

But to hang this one on Roli The Goalie would be criminal. Nobody showed up. There was a failure to compete with virtually every player in front of him.

The shots on goal were 24-12 when the Sharks made it 4-1.

Roloson was given the hook after giving up the four against Calgary. He was left in to the end and gave up five in this one, indicating Jussi Markkanen draws in for the Los Angeles Kings tonight?

NOT MANY ANSWERS

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves," said Roloson.

There weren't many answers in the Oilers' dressing room last night.

Nobody can explain going from a hard team to beat at home to a punching bag.

"I don't have anything for that," said Roloson.

"Right now we can't think about home or away."

Back from his mother's funeral, coach Craig MacTavish kept his post game comments short last night.

"We never got into our game at all," he said. "We were still looking to find our game all the way to the third period."

Should the effort be questioned?

"You could easily jump to that conclusion," he said.

"We were spread all over the ice. There were gaps everywhere. We came unglued in a lot of aspects of the game."

If they don't get glued back together soon, Hockey Canada is going to start showing up at Rexall scouting the Oilers for the World Hockey Championships in Moscow.


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