Now is as good a time as any to stop the bleeding.
Actually, about five games ago was as good a time as any, but there’s no sense living in the past.
The Edmonton Oilers can only control today, and today is the day they plan on putting an end to their losing streak.
After player meetings and coaches meetings and practises designed to ease the rising tension after five straight losses (four of them hopelessly one sided), the club is back at it Friday against the visiting Phoenix Coyotes.
“A lot of that stuff is just words, we need to turn it into actions,” said winger Jordan Eberle. “The skate and the meetings we had behind closed doors were good, now it’s time to get this ship turned around.”
After being outscored 30-8 in the last five games, and losing 13 of the last 15 overall, they need to bail out a whole lot of water before they start steering. A solid night against Phoenix would help.
“We just want to look forward, we can’t look behind,” said Ales Hemsky. “We want to get the best effort we can. We don’t know what the result will be, we just want to have a good game, play hard and have a good, positive effort.
“We have to stay positive and show everybody that we can still play hockey. This is a game we’ve played for a long time, we know what we can do. We know we have a better team than the last six games. We just have to show it.”
They meet a Phoenix club headed in the other direction. Winners of four games in a row and knocking on eighth place, the Coyotes are the kind of scrappy hard-working team that Edmonton needs to be.
“We need to do the exact same thing,” said Eberle. “We want to search for our identity and that that’s the kind of thing we’re leaning toward. We don’t have three or four guys who can put us on their shoulders, we need to do this as a team.”