Coming out in a Lowe mood

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

It should have been an emotional high.

It was after all Mark Messier night.

Instead the Edmonton Oilers went out to take on the Phoenix Coyotes last night having been kicked in the gut with their heart and soul traded to the New York Islanders. And they played like it, losing 3-0.

"It sucks, but we understand it also," said Oilers forward Joffrey Lupul. "It's a shame the Oilers had to lose another great player because of money reasons. That's what it came down to. It was a dollars and cents thing and they couldn't get it done.

"Kevin (Lowe) did what he had to do. You have to get something for a guy that talented. Obviously everyone wishes he was still here, but on the other hand we have to play better with the guys we have here, you can't worry about who's not here."

Earlier in the day the Oilers traded Ryan Smyth to the Islanders for a pair of prospects and a first-round draft pick.

Smyth was the team's leading scorer. But when the unrestricted free agent and the Oilers could not come to terms on a deal, Smyth was traded away.

The Oilers did not want to risk losing Smyth this summer without getting anything in return.

"It caught me by surprise," Lupul said. "I thought in the back of my mind and the back of a lot of guys mind we thought they were going to get it done. I really believed that, unfortunately they couldn't make it happen a deal was made."

Now without their best player, without any reinforcements and without a couple of injured soldiers, the Oilers have to try and climb the mountain towards the playoffs.

"We as players are here to compete at a high level," said Oilers captain Jason Smith. "We have to go out and play at a high level with the guys in this room. We can still go out and compete and do well in this league. We just didn't do that tonight."


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