EDMONTON - In what has become an all-too-familiar refrain around here, the best thing about another Edmonton Oilers season is that it is finally over.
You wouldn’t expect that a shortened, 48-game schedule would seem like it was never going to end, but this is, after all, Oil Country.
And finishing the season on their knees is what this organization does best.
For the seventh year in a row, there will be no playoffs for the once-proud franchise, just an eighth annual promise from management of better days ahead.
“I want to play in the playoffs and I think everybody wants playoffs, but it didn’t happen,” said winger Nail Yakupov, who closed out the regular season with a hat trick to lead all Oilers, and all NHL rookies, with 17 goals. “Maybe next year, we’ll try to make the playoffs and play better.”
Some of the bitter taste was temporarily washed away by Edmonton’s season-ending 7-2 win over a Vancouver team that was resting seven of its best players.