The carnage continued in the desert Monday night, with the Edmonton Oilers dropping another ugly loss, this one 6-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes.
No banging, no backchecking, no offensive chemistry, no clutch saves = no “W”. The only bright spot was Dustin Penner's 23rd of the season on a late third-period tally.
Ladislav Smid and Steve Staios returned to the starting lineup, both following concussion-llike symptoms. Neither stood out in the latest Oilers debacle. At this stage of the season, as the NHL's cellar dwellers, the Oilers to a man look to be suffering from a plague of underachievement that's swept through the lineup.
Phoenix, however, continues to be the feel-good story of the NHL this season, following a tumultuous off-season spent in off-ice courtroom shennanigans. Undoubtedly, like most other NHL squads, the Yotes were licking their chops anticipating the Oilers' arrival.
And once again, the visitors didn't disappoint, providing the perfect tonic for a couple of players stuck in multi-game scoring droughts, including Matthew Lombardi and Robert Lang, the latter of whom hadn't scored in 20 games. Lombardi dominated, contributing five points (2-3) with Lang tallying once on a weak backhand to beat Edmonton netminder Jeff Deslaurier. JD has been strong in goal on many nights for the Oil this season – this was not one of them.
The 6-1 pounding is the Oilers third straight loss on their current five-game road trip. Pat Quinn and company visit Anaheim on Wednesday, before wrappiing up their journey in L.A. Thursday. The club returns home Feb. 14 for a return engagement with the Ducks.
The way things are going it wouldn't be a stretch to expect a “St. Valentine's Day Massacre” at Rexall Place.
About the Author
Written by Scott Pattison
Scott is an award-winning sports writer whose career spans more than 20 years. He's proudly covered the Oilers since moving to the Alberta capital in 2000.