SUN Hockey Pool

Oilers show improved effort in loss to Blues

St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund battles Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference for the...

St. Louis Blues forward Patrik Berglund battles Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andrew Ference for the loose puck at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Jan. 7, 2014. (DEREK LEUNG/Getty Images/AFP)

Robert Tychkowski, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:04 AM ET

EDMONTON - Last time Edmonton hosted St. Louis, an Oilers sweater ended up on the ice.

This time, there was a real fear they’d have their pants pulled down.

But there was no spanking in the rematch.

After losing 6-0 in their last meeting, an effort so infuriatingly weak that one fan threw a Hemsky replica sweater on the ice in protest, Edmonton actually showed up this time.

They still lost, 5-2, but that this team is still isn’t big enough or tough enough or deep enough on defence to compete with the top teams in the Western Conference is more management’s fault than anything else.

The Oilers gave a pretty vigorous response and were, as head coach Dallas Eakins likes to say, in the fight for most of the night.

The only time they seemed overwhelmed was the first 15 minutes, but they gathered themselves in time to make a game of it.


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