Desperate for a W

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:53 AM ET

One win.

It's not all the Edmonton Oilers need - they need a miracle, actually - but one win is what they desperately need right now.

A MIRACLE

Even if it's going to take a miracle to get them into the playoffs, it has to begin with one win, and it'll have to come tonight against the conference-leading San Jose Sharks.

"We need a win and when that happens we'll start to get some positive energy back in our game," said head coach Craig MacTavish, whose club has just one W to show for its last six games.

"The most critical thing from my perspective is getting our team to start with the same aggressive mentality as we finished the last couple of games."

It won't be easy, given how much energy this March of death drained from their dressing room. But they vowed to shake off the last two weeks and put everything they have into one last push - starting tonight.

"We have a lot of character guys in here who obviously don't take this lightly, the way we've played the last little while," said Sam Gagner. "I expect us to come out pretty hard, play aggressive and come out with a win."

"Last night is done with, we can't do anything about it, as disappointing as it is," added defenceman Steve Staios. "In these situations you have to be strong mentally. You try and shake off the last game as best you can. If we keep talking about it and keep thinking about it it's not going to help us get ready for (Thursday), so that's all I'm going to say."

THERE IS STILL HOPE

As long as the math says there is still hope, there is still hope.

"Obviously there's some wins there that we could have grabbed ahold of, we could be in a better position," said Gagner. "But I think the fact that we're still alive is something that we have to gain positives from. We can't dwell on it, we have to move forward."

SECOND PIDDLE: One of Edmonton's most glaring weaknesses, in a season full of glaring weaknesses, is the second period.

It's been killing them.

They've been outshot 774-721 (-53) in the first, 768-709 (-69) in the third and a whopping 916-688 (-228) in the second.

The goal differential is -4 in the first period, +7 in the third period and -16 in the second.

"It's hard to explain, we just haven't executed well," said Staios. "We spend more time in our zone in second periods and that leads to bad things happening."

ROBERT.TYCHKOWSKI@SUNMEDIA.CA


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