Seven-game road trip could make, or break, Edmonton's chances of making the playoffs
Joanne Ireland, The Edmonton Journal
Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2007
BOSTON - The undertaking is a daunting one -- seven games in 14 days with zero margin for ongoing blunders.
In short, it is a trip that could make or break the Edmonton Oilers' season.
It is also a trip that will determine whether general manager Kevin Lowe is buying reinforcements for the post-season or selling assets by the trade deadline.
If the Stanley Cup finalists win five of the seven games, they will stay in the playoff race.
Anything under .500 will put them too far back from the pack.
"It's still in our own hands," said defenceman Matt Greene, "but if we get the wins early, everything starts falling into place and there's not going to be that same sense of urgency where you are really, really grinding it out at the end."
Things get rolling tonight in Boston and will conclude with a divisional contest against the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 25.
The Oilers and Wild will also play another four times before the end of the regular season.
"Five hundred is usually a pretty good measuring stick on the road," coach Craig MacTavish said. "But we have our sights set on being better than that."
"Hey we know it's a huge trip for us," Marty Reasoner said.
"Maybe this is what we need, to get away and just focus on hockey for a while and put a string together."
Before jetting out of Edmonton, the Oilers thumped the Atlanta Thrashers 5-1 on Sunday for their second win in a row. It is a modest win streak, but Oilers captain Jason Smith said it was something to build on.