Edmonton Oilers' Playoff Dreams Go up in Flames

Martin MaleAnalyst IApril 3, 2008

The party is over. The fat lady has sung. Cinderella's glass slipper broke.

It doesn't matter what cliché you use, the great run to the playoffs for the Edmonton Oilers finally came to a halt last night with one game left on the schedule.

In 14th place, counted out by most, the Oilers put together a 13-5-1 run to even make Tuesday night's game worth something. Last night, Miikka Kiprusoff outplayed Dwayne Roloson and the Oilers season is over except for one mean-nothing game.

Last year's team had to deal with 289 man games lost to injury and gave up with 20 games to go posting a disgusting 2-18 mark over that span.

This year's Oilers will have faced 348 man games lost to injury by the end of the season, and did not use this fact as an excuse to roll over and die like last years team.

The Oilers got off to the start they wanted as Curtis Glencross scored his eighth goal in 25 games as an Oiler at 10:22 of the first period to get that early lead.

Unfortunately, Fernando Pisani was caught for holding the stick at 13:21, and the Flames' Adrian AuCoin found the twine on the powerplay 51 seconds later.

The teams then played a pretty even second period. That is, until the last five seconds of the period. Again.

As has been a problem with the Oilers lately, they gave up another late period goal; this time with three ticks left on the clock. This goal was also the difference in the game.

When you play teams with top goalies like Kiprusoff, Luongo, Brodeur, Giguere or Nabokov, your goalie needs to be at least equal in order to have a chance to win. The goal with three seconds left was one of the ones you need to have to win.

Alex Tanguay took the shot from the right side and the puck hit Roloson, rolled up his pad, rolled up his arm and over his shoulder and into the net. Three lousy seconds left.

The Oilers didn't hang their heads though, and came out and totally dominated the third period, out-shooting the Flames 17-4 in the process.

Curtis Glencross scored his second goal of the night on a perfect pass from Kyle Brodziak at 13:17 to tie the game.

Less than three minutes later, it was Owen Nolan with a wrap-around attempt that Roloson failed to smother. The rebound went to the point and the shot deflected right to an open Nolan who had the empty net to fire the puck into. 17-4 in shots, and Kiprusoff outplayed Roloson and that was the difference on a game that the Oilers needed.

The Oilers finish the season on Thursday against the Canucks in Vancouver, and a win by the Oilers will put a serious dent in the playoff aspirations of their division rivals.