SUN Hockey Pool

Real Oilers still emerging

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

ST. PAUL, Minn. — They looked world-class in their opener and out-classed in the ensuing contest.

Yet somewhere in between lay the real Edmonton Oilers.

On Thursday they'll receive another challenge in the form of the Minnesota Wild.

"We are somewhere in between," said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. "But I have a real good idea why we had the type of game against Florida that we did, and I'm not sure it had a lot to do with the players."

Renney wouldn't go into detail on what he believes affected his team against Florida, where despite being out-shot 28-13 they were able to pull out a 3-2 win.

However, he did concede that with such a young squad there are going to be pitfalls along the way.

"I'm not sure who said it, but it took him 10,000 hours in front of a computer to become an expert," Renney said. "I don't know how long these guys have had in the National Hockey League, but they're not experts yet.

"I do believe there is a learning curve here and we have to touch all these emotional connections to the game, never mind the physical connections. There is a lot to take in."

At least they were able to win the game, which in the end, is all that really matters.

Having not won in Minnesota in their last 13 attempts, it'll be all that will matter there as well.

"Against Florida, it was one of those game where you're struggling to get the puck and do the right things with it," said defenceman Tom Gilbert. "But we found a way to win. At the end of season, you'll look back at game like this and realize that we needed those two points."


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