SUN Hockey Pool

'Embarrassing' time for Oil

Oilers' Joffrey Lupul says he is looking forward to erasing the memories of Wednesday's 5-1 loss to...

Oilers' Joffrey Lupul says he is looking forward to erasing the memories of Wednesday's 5-1 loss to the Avalanche. (Sun Media/Brett Gundlock)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

They haven't won a game all month.

They're not making the playoffs.

They traded away their heart and soul. And half the lineup is injured.

But according to Joffrey Lupul, the Edmonton Oilers are not about to throw in the towel.

"We're not really in a position where anyone should quit right now," said the Oilers winger.

"This is an embarrassing time and everyone should be playing for the organization, for the fans, for each other. There are a lot of guys playing for a spot on the team, and for us older guys, playing for more ice time and things like that. Everyone's got something to play for."

Heading into tonight's game against the Colorado Avalanche, the Oilers were winless in 12.

They haven't won a game since beating the Detroit Red Wings in a shootout back on Feb. 23rd. On Wednesday they lost 5-1 to the Avalanche on fan appreciation night at Rexall Place. "We have to be better," Lupul said. "Losing 12 straight, it sucks."

Tonight they have a chance for a do-over with another shot at the Avalanche.

It's the last time the two teams will face each other this season.

"For sure it's a chance to redeem ourselves," said Oilers winger Raffi Torres. "We have to go out there and have a good game. We have to come out and do the things that we know we can do."

The Avalanche have everything to play for, chasing the Calgary Flames for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Oilers are playing out the string.

Heading into tonight's contest the Avalanche have won nine of their last 10 games. They've earned at least a point in their last 12 and have not lost in regulation since the trade deadline.

On Wednesday the Avalanche jumped on the Oilers early and didn't let up until the game was out of reach.

"We got exposed by a team playing very well and we have to be better if we're going to have any chance at all," said Oilers head coach Craig MacTavish. "Today is a day to get back and regroup a little bit, continue to teach the fundamentals of the game and identify the areas of weakness in our game - of which there were quite a few (Wednesday) night - and try to improve upon (them)."

Ales Hemsky and Marty Reasoner - the two closest injured players to returning - are questionable for tonight's encounter.

"After that game (Wednesday) you look forward to playing that team again," said Lupul. "Luckily for us it's right away."

New-look Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers had a new look at practice yesterday. They wore the Reebok uniform unveiled at this year's all-star game.

"If you take a look at the cut of the sweater it hasn't changed for 50 years," said Barrie Stafford, the Oilers' head equipment manager.

"It was like a big box, it was loose fitting, it absorbed moisture and was very heavy at the end of a game. With the new technical materials, they realized they don't really need that."

The form-fitting uniform will be used league-wide next season.

Some teams will take advantage of the uniform's introduction to bring in new logos and colour schemes.

For the most part the Oilers colours will stay the same.

"We're pretty traditional, which is good," Stafford said. "There are some small changes to the design of the sweater. The pants will change a little bit. The pants will have a stripe, similar to the stripe we had years ago with the retro sweater."


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