The Oilers have missed the postseason for the seventh consecutive year. The news came after they lost to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday night.
“To have another season where we’re out of the playoffs, another season where we’re playing meaningless games at the end of the year, is very frustrating,” said Taylor Hall. “It’s something we’re not proud of.”
“It’s tough, it’s been extremely tough on me,” Shawn Horcoff said. “We made some steps and at least this year we got some meaningful games in, gave ourselves a chance to get in, but it fell off as of late. I think we’re moving in the right direction. It’s just a little slower than we’d like.”
Horcoff, for the record, has been with the Oilers for the entire seven year drought.
The Oilers will now have to once again look to the future and will hope their young stars eventually turn the tide. Part of the equation is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is set to fly to Cleveland to have his shoulder examined. “Surgery is likely,” the club said on its Twitter feed, “will miss remainder of season.”
Nugent-Hopkins reportedly has a torn labrum, the same injury Hall had at the end of last year, and is looking at about six months on the injured list.
Nugent-Hopkins has apparently been bothered by the injury since his junior days, which brings up a number of questions about why Edmonton didn’t have him take care of it sooner. He presumably could’ve had the surgery last season. Given the lockout, it almost seems strange for him not to have had the procedure.
Of course, the Oilers followed a similar pattern with Hall. He apparently hurt his shoulder “four years ago” at least and it had been “wearing away” prior to his surgery.
Is the flaw with management? If so, what’s the conceivable reason for not taking care of their best players and the hope for the franchise? With so much going wrong in Edmonton these days, it’s hard to imagine that the team would compound the issue by waiting on important procedures for its key players.
If this keeps up, we could be looking at another seven years without a playoff berth.