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Edmonton Oilers: Going Going...

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 27: Sam Gagner #89 of the Edmonton Oilers raises his arms to teammate goaltender Dwayne Roloson #35 in celebration after they defeated the Anaheim Ducks 5-3 in their NHL game at Honda Center on March 27, 2009 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Jonathan WilliamsCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2009

The Edmonton Oilers playoff chances are hanging by a thread.  

Being beaten by the Minnesota Wild has put the Oilers near the brink of elimination with six games to go in the season. The team is now two points out of a playoff spot, and it might as well be a canyon.

The Oilers, starting tomorrow, play the Anaheim Ducks in one of the last games against a team they can catch.

It is an absolute must win. 

If the Oilers lose this one, more than a few people in management might be pulling on their collars as well as preparing their resume.

The Oilers could repair the damage if other teams go into a slump, and Edmonton wins most of their remaining games; They probably need five wins to make it.

Given this, one wonders what the Oilers are going to do. 

They lost another key player with Ladislav Smid going down with a hand injury against the Wild; Taylor Chorney was called up today.

Goaltender Dwayne Roloson looked like he was a 39-year old goalie who had played too many games on Sunday. He may just be too burned out to carry them any farther.

Lets make no mistake, Roloson is the reason the Oilers have any chance at all. His magical run over the past month has been nothing short of amazing. He also does not deserve the blame for losing on Sunday. 

He got no help from his teammates.

Most of the Oilers fan base appears to be pinning the blame on Coach Craig MacTavish, and President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe. Their moves, or decisions, are perceived as the cause.

Granted, if the Oilers miss the playoffs for the third year in a row, the coach has lost the team. The Oilers, who have always seemed together, have been anything but together this year. 

This lack of unity is creating the problem. No one is on the same page, lines are constantly being shifted and nothing is working. 

Certainly there is enough ire in Edmonton right now, I expect that the players and coach will hear it on Tuesday night. Should the Oilers lose this game against the Ducks, they are going...going...gone.

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