Oilers in tough versus Wings
Detroit coming off back-to-back losses
|The Oilers face the Red Wings tonight at Rexall Place. (QMI Agency/Amber Bracken)
EDMONTON - Last time the Oilers played Detroit it was ugly early.
And late wasn't all that attractive, either.
Edmonton fell behind 3-0 in the first 20 minutes and limped out of Joe Louis Arena after a 6-2 spanking.
It was a Remembrance Day beat down they'd dearly love to forget.
Two months later the Oilers and Wings are facing off in a rematch at Rexall Place, hoping to right their ship against a team that’s shot a pair of holes in it already (having also beaten Edmonton 3-1 on Nov. 5)
“Last time we played them wasn’t our best effort,” said Tom Gilbert. “First of all they play really well at home, they’re a really tough team to play there. Here will be a different situation. I think we had a lot of turnovers that game and this is a team that just lives for that.
“They’ll wear you down, they’ll frustrate you and when they get turnovers it doesn’t take long to get the puck in the back of your net.”
The Wings, coming off back-to-back defeats against Philadelphia and the upstart Islanders, won’t be in the mood for losing. They’ve only dropped three in a row once this season and despite being minus some key players as well in MIke Modano, Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary, are still a handful.
Actually, everyone is a handful for Edmonton right now. The Oilers are on a six-game losing streak and minus Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Whitney and Jordan Eberle.
But sometimes when it looks like the Oilers might get killed - as it does tonight - they’ll rise up and deliver a surprising response. That’s the plan for Detroit.
“It’s that point in the season where it could go in two directions,” said Gilbert. “The way we’re headed right now is something nobody in this lockerroom wants. This could be a great turning point, get our team going again, facing a top team in the league is going to be a great challenge.”
LATE HITS... The Oilers called up Linus Omark and Liam Reddox for this one, but left it a little late and the pair didn’t make it into Edmonton for the morning skate,.
“If they get here and get themselves some rest this afternoon there’s a good chance they’ll play,” said head coach Tom Renney.