No gloom in Edmonton Oilers room

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes a move in Minnesota last month (Marilyn Indahi/USA Tody).

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins makes a move in Minnesota last month (Marilyn Indahi/USA Tody).

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:52 PM ET

Missing the playoffs is not something you ever want to be really good at, but at least the last few years have given the Edmonton Oilers the necessary skills to deal with another depressing stretch drive.

That’s why nobody’s depressed.

If there’s one stark difference between this lost season and Edmonton’s previous seven death marches, it’s the absence of a big, dark cloud in the dressing room. It doesn’t mean the Oilers are slowing coming to accept failure, but rather that they understand how pouting will only make things worse.

“This is my fourth year, it’s not fun,” said winger Jordan Eberle, after an upbeat and spirited practice in advance of Thursday’s return to action against the Minnesota Wild.

“Plain and simply you want to be in a spot where you’re fighting for a position late in the season. But I’ve been here before, and the biggest thing is you have to keep positive.

“As soon as you start getting negative things get a lot worse. It’s a matter


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