SUN Hockey Pool

Coulda, shoulda, woulda

DEREK VAN DIEST

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

They're trying to forget about it and move on.

But that point lost in Colorado on Friday is rattling around in the heads of the Edmonton Oilers like a bad '80s tune.

Going into their last two games, the Oilers know the goal they conceded to the Avalanche with under six seconds to go could mean the difference between taking part in the playoffs or watching them on television.

"If you look at the points, we could be right there in eighth spot or even close to Colorado," Edmonton defenceman Tom Gilbert said yesterday.

"It's tough to chew on, but there's not a whole lot we can do about it now. You can think about it, but it's out there, it's done and all we can do is try to go out there and play these last two games and get those four points."

Had the Oilers been able to fend off the Avalanche for another six seconds, they would have found themselves a point back of eighth place yesterday, tied with the Nashville Predators with a game left against the Vancouver Canucks.

But in all fairness to the Oilers, the point lost would have been moot had they not rebounded impressively with a 2-1 win the following night against the Calgary Flames.

"You can say 'What if' about games in October," said Oilers defenceman Matt Greene.

"If you catch yourself going back one game, you can go back 20 games and say 'What if we would have had this point, what if we would have beaten these guys.'

"You just have to move forward. Right now we have four more points available to us, and those are the only points we have to think about, not that ones that are done."

What made losing that point so painful was how close the Oilers were to earning two for the victory.

Leading 5-4 with 10 seconds to go in the contest, they had a chance to clear the puck before Joe Sakic dug it out of the maze of legs in front of the net and lifted it over goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

At that moment Oilers fans were wondering why the team didn't resort to prison rules, tackling any player around them.

What difference does it make taking a penalty in the dying seconds of the contest? All's fair in love, war and the race for a playoff spot.

"On the last play of the game you are trying to resort to that," Greene said.

"But that guy is so good; if anyone is going to get a stick on it, it's going to be Joe Sakic. He's scored over 600 goals for a reason. It's not a fluke that he found that puck when nobody else could see it."


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