SUN Hockey Pool

Hard to see future in these Oilers

Oilers rookie Taylor Hall wipes sweat from his face during a break in a game against the Flames in...

Oilers rookie Taylor Hall wipes sweat from his face during a break in a game against the Flames in Calgary on October 16, 2010. (JACK CUSANO/Reuters)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

It’s easy to say that it’s worth the pain for the gain.

But that was pretty painful, and no matter how hard you squinted trying to see the 2014 Edmonton Oilers in the 2010 Chicago Blackhawks, it was oh, so hard to do.

There was an interesting comment from a season-ticket holder which couldn’t help but rattle around the brain while watching the Blackhawks get even for those two aberrations in Chicago with a 5-0 win here.

“I agree with it. I’m just not sure I want to finance it,” he said of the Edmonton Oilers’ fabricated to fail, fashioned to fizzle, forged to flop, formulated to flounder plan to load up on high draft picks to go from the outhouse to the penthouse like the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

It’s hard for a fan to watch a game like that and not feel conflicted.

On one hand, there was the price you paid for admission. On the other, especially if you took your kid to the game, he should feel fortunate to have watched Canada’s best player at the Olympics and the Stanley Cup MVP, Jonathan Toews, score a natural hat-trick.

The Blackhawks outshot the completely outclassed Oilers 47-18, a team Chicago had bombed 9-2 here two years ago. This edition of the team leaking oil looked lost on the same ice as the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Some of the previous six previous home games, including two wins, featured some worthy entertainment and some moments featuring Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall (Magnus Paajarvi still hasn’t registered a point at home yet). But this looked a lot like last year, with a lot of players who didn’t get their sweaters damp enough to require laundering.

The Oilers’ dreadful defence looked like the cure for the Stanley Cup hangover which brought Chicago here with a 9-9-2 record. For Toews, who had 24 goals in his rookie year, 34 in his sophomore season and 25 last year, they were goals No. 6, 7 and 8 of the season. He left the building with 17 points so far.

A lot of Oilers stood around looking at the Hawks, including captain Shawn Horcoff (10:44) and star player Ales Hemsky (10:51), who found themselves nailed to the bench.

“It looked like we had some passengers,” said coach Tom Renney, who thought his best players were his youngest players.

Hopefully, some of those passengers at least spent the evening watching Toews. and his team.

“He’s just a great player. His coming out was at the Olympics last year. He’s really emerged as a great leader. He’s stronger and tougher than he looks and he’s not really a dirty player. But he sure is hard to play against,” said Oilers coach Tom Renney.

Like the fans, even the spectators in the Oilers lineup could say they watched Toews score the first three goals of the game.

It’s not every day of his career, so far, that Toews scores a hat-trick.

Indeed, this was only the second regular-season three-goal game. The first was on Feb. 27, 2009, in a loss to Pittsburgh.

His three goals (and two-assist) hat trick against the Canucks in a 7-4 win in Game 4 of last year’s Stanley Cup second series gave the Hawks a 3-1 series lead.

Western Canada’s own superstar hockey player scores a hat trick here and he doesn’t even get a hat thrown on the ice.

“Yeah, that’s bull bleep,” he laughed.

Actually there was one thrown, but it got caught up on the glass at the penalty box.

“It’s too bad. But it’s not like I was going to wear one of them anyway,” he said.

But it was Toews who said hang in there Edmonton.

“You have to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. The future is pretty bright for them.”

Renney admitted that it was hard to squint while watching that game last night and see his hockey team morphing from this into the Blackhawks three or four years from now.

“We have a way to go,” he said. “We’re certainly as bad as our record. But there was proof out there tonight that it can be done.”

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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