Oilers' sights on post-season

DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:14 PM ET

The Edmonton Oilers may have woken up Thursday still last in the Western Conference standings, but they were surprisingly only six points out of a playoff spot.

That has apparently given head coach Tom Renney something to shoot for.

“Nothing will surprise me with this group at all,” said Renney. “It won’t surprise me when we make the playoffs. I think the biggest surprise may be if we don’t. I know how deep the care is here, I know how willing they are to be coached and how proud they are to be here doing this.”

The Oilers have won six of their last nine games and have four days off before travelling to San Jose to take on the Sharks Tuesday.

“The masses don’t get an appreciation for how badly our guys want to do well, win and be a playoff team,” Renney said. “When they have those tough nights — and there’ll be more to come, we all know that — it’s hard on them.”

Swedish lesson

Playing with Linus Omark and Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan O’Marra figures he just needs to learn one word in Swedish.

“The only word I need to know is “pasa”, which is pass, so that’s pretty easy,” said the Edmonton Oilers centre. “I think they realize that they want me in on the forecheck a lot so I can create some space and they can go in there and do their thing.

“I just distribute the puck up to them and try to play strong positionally. I still think I can play better, but (Thursday) night was a good game for us.”

O’Marra, 23, collected an assist in the Oilers 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday. The former 15th overall pick of the New York Islanders was called up from the Oilers AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City last week and has suited up in three games.

“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing with, you want to show that you can stand out and play consistently,” O’Marra said. “Obviously one game doesn’t make a season and one game doesn’t make an entire call-up impression. But it’s good to have that foot forward and hopefully we can keep that train rolling.”

derek.vandiest@sunmedia.ca


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