SUN Hockey Pool

Duck and cover

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:52 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- You know it is going to be an ugly night at the office when the head coach becomes Dr. Hook on the first shot on goal.

Proving the Edmonton Oilers are still worth watching - at least for wacky entertainment value - Craig MacTavish yanked Jussi Markkanen just 1:18 into last night's tilt at the Honda Center when Ryan Getzlaf's deflected point shot found the back of the net.

A 1-0 lead, one goalie gone and one dose of foreshadowing, as the Ducks manhandled the Oilers 5-1.

"I had a good angle on (the shot) from the bench and it looked like a real saveable shot," said MacTavish, "and I was at a loss to explain how it got by him."

"I didn't think he looked particularly sharp (in the morning skate). I thought he would settle in when the game started - and then to give up that goal on that quality of a shot was something you can't have at this level."

To a disappointed Markkanen, the shot became a curveball in the blink of an eye after it was tipped.

"As soon as it turned from the stick I couldn't get it anymore," said Markkanen, who didn't come close to blasting MacTavish for the hook.

"Nothing really surprised me. Obviously it would be nice to continue, but that's the coach's decision."

Dwayne Roloson did his best to stand in the way of the Ducks' shooting gallery in relief of Markkanen, but it would have taken a super-human effort to somehow shut the door.

Hampered by an incredibly inexperienced defensive crew, the Anaheim bullets started to do damage to the shell-shocked Oilers in the second period.

PERRY SCHOOLS FRIEND

Beating former junior teammate Danny Syvret, Corey Perry made it 2-0. After Getzlaf scored again, it would have been 4-0 if Chris Kunitz's tally had been allowed.

Making matters worse, the Oilers still need a map and compass to find the back of the net most of the time. It's a huge reason for why the club has lost six straight.

If it weren't for an Ilya Bryzgalov brain camp, Edmonton would have been shut out.

After Bryz failed to play the puck in any fashion off the back wall, Toby Petersen gladly deposited it to make it 3-1. But that was it for offensive threats.

"I can't think of an element of our game that was very good," commented MacTavish.

"It is going to be tough for us to win based on the amount of offence we are getting.

"The goaltending has been pretty good all year and if that goes we are in a mess of trouble."

On the positive side for the injury-ravaged Oilers, at least nobody got hurt last night.

And defencemen Jason Smith, Ladislav Smid and Matt Greene didn't collapse from exhaustion after the game.

Smid played 27:04, while Smith and Greene each had almost 26 minutes.

The totals would have been worse but raw rookie Bryan Young was able to take 21 shifts for 14 minutes in his first-ever NHL game.

NO RELIEF IN SIGHT

There is no relief for the Oilers' roster woes.

The club has been exploring the idea of getting the NHL's permission to get another body airlifted into California on this road trip, but so far no luck.

Due to the complexities of the CBA agreement, the Oilers can't freely call up anybody from their farm system for help even though they are a skater short.


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