January 27, 2013
Oilers get stage fright in big games

Calgary Flames Curtis Glencross scores on Devan Dubnyk of the Edmonton Oilers Saturday nigh. Al Charest/QMI Agency

CALGARY - It was a scene which hadn't existed here in years. The sea of red bled with blue, orange and white.

Hundreds of fans sat in the stands of the Saddledome wearing Edmonton Oilers jerseys. There wasn't a section with fewer than a dozen of them. In some places there were entire rows of them.

They came to see the Oilers launch themselves into not only a new season but a new era while, at the same time, leaving the Calgary Flames in a wagon wheel rut out coming off the barrels in the half mile of hell that is the 48-game lockout-shortened NHL schedule.

But so far this season, when the hype is high and the expectations are dialed up, this talented young team seems to get stage fright.

Well, not Justin Schultz.

The free agent who selected Edmonton over 29 others, picked up right where he left off in Oklahoma City, scoring a goal and producing a pair of assists to give him a team-leading six points in his first four games.