'Canes blow over Oilers

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- They say hurricanes are pretty windy, but it's hard to imagine anything blowing harder than the Oilers did Tuesday.

Everything went horribly wrong, and it went wrong early in what was very nearly a sequel to the worst pie in the face in Oilers history, the 11-0 number this franchise put on Edmonton when they were still the Hartford Whalers.

"Embarrassing effort," said Ryan Whitney, who was right about the embarrassing part, and not so much about the effort. "We can't let that stuff happen, can't let it creep in. It's unacceptable. You get a big road win like we did in Chicago, you'd think we'd come in here ready. The first two shifts they score. You can't have that. Our fans deserve better, the people who support us, our owner, don't need to see stuff like that."

Good thing there was nobody there to see this one, as the 7-1 beat down came in a half-empty RBC Center.

But it was humiliating from start to finish nevertheless. Down 1-0 at the 26 second mark. Down 2-0 at 1:15. Down 3-0 at 4:10. Down 4-0 at 7:19. Outshot 42-22. Gave up three power play goals. Gave up a penalty shot while on the power play. Got their goalie chased. Got their rookies benched. Got slapped around by a .500 team.

"We obviously have a lot to learn as a group," said Sam Gagner, who was a minus 4, one worse than Tom Gilbert's minus 3. "As a team we definitely weren't good enough."

It seemed like they went into this one like they should be fitted for rings after beating Chicago for the second time in nine days -- never mind that they've lost nine in a row aside from that.

"We didn't win a Stanley Cup when we beat Chicago, we just beat a hockey team, that's what we're supposed to do," said head coach Tom Renney, who didn't have enough room on the bench for all the butts he wanted to park. "The bottom line is you can't sit back and get fat just because you got a win, you work even harder. We have to make sure we recover in time to at least make ourselves respectable in Detroit."

They weren't in Carolina. They were so red-faced you'd swear they just came from a ketchup fight, but they have nobody to blame but themselves.

"We obviously put ourselves in that situation so you can't sulk too much," said Gagner. "Maybe we got a little complacent after going into Chicago and beating them. We have to use it as a lesson that when you win one game you haven't turned things around."

Speaking through a pair of chipped teeth and badly swollen lips after being busted open by Joni Pitkanen's high stick (that went uncalled) in the opening minute, Andrew Cogliano looked like the rest of the players felt.

"(The referee) apologized for not seeing it, he said he was looking at the net," said Cogliano,. "He got me pretty good, obviously. It was tough sitting in the dressing room getting stitches and hearing the (goal) buzzer go (three times in six minutes). It seemed like as a team we weren't in it right from the beginning. Our PK is struggling and we couldn't recover."

A day after everybody was singing his praises for stealing the win in Chicago, Nikolai Khabibulin couldn't buy a save. He was done for the night after four goals on eight shots.

"We didn't play well enough and right off that bat that was pretty obvious, especially in the first five minutes," said Taylor Hall. "It's not fun to lose like that."

Renney spared Hall and Jordan Eberle the embarrassment of being out there by benching them for most of the third period.

"We need to play better," said Hall. "For me it was probably slashing the glass and my overall play. I didn't play well at all when I did play It wasn't a surprise at all to be sitting in the third."


Videos

Photos