Oilers hosting red-hot Islanders
ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
|The Oilers are hosting the red-hot Islanders tonight. (QMI AGENCY)
Two weeks ago the New York Islanders would have been exactly what the slumping Edmonton Oilers needed.
The Isles were even worse, one of only two teams behind Edmonton in the standings.
But tonight, as Edmonton attempts to snap a seven-game losing streak, they face an Isles squad that has elevated itself into one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
“They’re 7-2-1 in their last 10, and that’s a pretty good accomplishment, especially with the teams they’ve been playing,” said Taylor Hall. “We know that they’re a very good team right now.”
“They’re flying right now,” added netminder Devan Dubnyk, who’ll get the start tonight. “That kind of shows you that when you play the system and believe in it and play together that you can be successful.”
The Isles might be 14th in the East, but nobody considers them a springboard, least of all the 15th place team in the West.
“Every time we come to the rink it’s an opportunity to correct yourself when you’re having some tough times,” said head coach Tom Renney. “And certainly we need to correct ourselves tonight. It doesn’t matter what the jersey is, quite honestly. As much as we respect the Islanders, this is about us.”
Last time Edmonton was in a slump like this (seven losses in a row, nine in their previous 10), Dubnyk stepped in against Anaheim and posted the win on a night when the Oilers were outshot 40-25. They went 7-2-1 in their next 10.
They need to somehow recapture that magic.
“This is a rut that we have to get out of, we have to get rolling right away here,” said Dubnyk. “I think all of us need to go out there and focus on what we need to do to make it happen in the end.”
SURGERY FOR EBERLE - Jordan Eberle’s string of bad luck hit three on Wednesday. Already out with an ankle injury, on the day Canada collapsed in the World Junior final, he was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy.
“We’ve decided we’ll put all our injuries and all our crap on one guy who we can get it out of the way,” said Renney. “He’s doing fine, he was actually in this morning for treatment on his ankle, which is coming along really well. The schedule of time might even line up with the ankle.”
While Eberle was walking around and didn’t seem any worse for wear, Oilers PR guy JJ Hebert refused to let him speak with reporters.