Learning experience for Oilers

Derek Van Diest, Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:40 PM ET

They went into Wednesday’s game with the Chicago Blackhawks goal song, Chelsea Dagger, already dancing in their heads.

It wasn’t a matter of if the Blackhawks would score prompting the song, but how many times. As it turned out, it wasn’t as many as first feared.

The Oilers put up a good fight in the contest before eventually being overrun by a team with six Olympians on the squad. The Oilers had four minor-leaguers just on their blue-line in the 5-2 loss.

“We can learn some lessons from that hockey club, mind you, it took them a while to learn it, too,” said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. “They do simple things well. I think in the first period they made one drop pass, we made 12. They throw the puck at the net all the time, we don’t throw the puck at the net enough, and once that turnover game starts going, it accentuates the guys that are playing in the minors and are still learning their craft.”

The Oilers started the rebuilding process this week by trading away three of their top defencemen, shedding salary and getting younger. However, despite the strength of the Blackhawks now, the Oilers probably don’t want to take exactly the same path.

“I don’t think any organization wants to be lousy for 10 years like they were here,” Quinn said. “I guess if you got to do that, but you’ll go through a lot of coaches and managers till you get to the point where it looks pretty good.

“You also have to draft well. (Blackhawks GM) Dale Talon did a tremendous job with his organization. It shows here now. They have talent, they have good coaching and they also have a will to win and that’s an important part of being a winning team and that’s what they’re doing here.”

It’s something the Oilers would like to do eventually.

“(Wednesday) was a tough day, but now we’re going forward,” Quinn said. “We’re home now and maybe we can stabilize this thing and start with what our management tried to do, which is change the big picture so that we can move forward ourselves.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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