EDMONTON - Rather than dismiss the results of a recent poll that listed Edmonton the second-last place NHLers want to play, head coach Tom Renney says the Oilers should take it as a challenge.
More like they are taking it as a challenge.
They canít change Edmontonís climate or location, but they can address the lack of success on the ice, which Renney believes is the real reason the Oilers rank above only the New York Islanders.
ďI think itís a cop out,Ē he said of suggestions that the city itself is unpalatable. ďPeople want to win, and thatís on us. At some point in time we have to take responsibility as an organization, us as a coaching staff, me as a head coach, to make this as good as it can possibly be so that people want to come here.
ďIn order to change your culture you have to have patience but you have to identify a need to change. And you have to work on that environment every day. Every single day. Even when itís crappy, when your team is not doing that well and the standings suggest youíre a bottom feeder.Ē
The mood, and talent, has certainly improved in the last year.
ďI donít think we have a single player who does not want to come to the rink. The bottom line is this is a great environment right now, and when this thing starts winning, itíll get that much better.Ē
LATE HITS: Jordan Eberle (ankle) is expected to draw back into the lineup after missing three weeks, while Ales Hemsky (concussion) has begun skating.