In the midst of a battle for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers pulled off a key victory with a 2-1 shootout win at home against the St. Louis Blues. The Oilers finally won an extended game, having dropped their previous 3 games in overtime.
At a time when victories are important and the margin for error is extremely slim, the Oilers have not played with a sense of urgency and have looked lethargic and sloppy, especially when trying to maintain a lead. The Oilers scored first again last night, on a rocket point shot by Sheldon Souray during a power play in the first period. It was Souray's 20th goal this season, the kind of production the Oilers envisioned when they signed Souray prior to the 2007-2008 season.
The Oilers were carrying the play to that point, pressuring Blues goalie Chris Mason and throwing everything they could get their sticks on toward the net. After getting the lead, the Oilers actually continued to play with energy and verve, something that's been missing lately.
Maybe the team realizes they need to play hard every night at this point to make the playoffs. The energy that has been sorely lacking lately was noticeable last night. The first line of Hemsky, Horcoff and Patty O'Sullivan looked sharp and focused. Keep up the fight, and let's go Oil!