Oilers rookies excited about NHL while dealing with losing

Luke Gazdic, shown here setting up in front of the Lightning net during a game in January, says he...

Luke Gazdic, shown here setting up in front of the Lightning net during a game in January, says he is relied on to provide energy and a spark. (David Bloom/QMI Agency/Files)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:27 PM ET

EDMONTON - Breaking into the National Hockey League is just about the best thing that can ever happen to a young player.

Being on a perennial loser that gets booed off the ice all the time is just about the worst.

So what happens when those conflicting head spaces are forced to coexist?

Welcome to the corner of NHL and Edmonton where lifelong dream meets never-ending nightmare.

“It’s a little of both,” said defenceman Oscar Klefbom, one of a handful of first-year Oilers who are trying to strike the right balance between loving where they are and hating where their team is.

“It’s a tough situation when the team doesn’t win, but I’m just really glad to be here. I’m just enjoying every day. It would be a lot more fun if we were rolling and on a winning streak, but this is how it is right now.”

Luke Gazdic, one of biggest and most pleasant surprises of the season, is also experiencing an emotional tug-o-war.


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