Friday, December 11, 2015

Oilers Down Rangers to Stay Hot at Home

Taylor Hall recorded two goals and two assists (including an emotional game winner -- see video above) on a night that former GM and five-time Stanley Cup champion Glen Sather took the first star.

Sather, the current President of the New York Rangers and former G.M. of the Oilers 80's dynasty, ended up disappointed after his Rangers failed to make use of a late power play goal by Rick Nash on Friday night in Edmonton. Meanwhile, the Oilers would continue with their recent rejuvanation, completing a perfect five-game homestand with a 7-5 decision over the Rangers.

But nothing on this night could have dampened the good vibes as the Oilers honored the architect of their former hockey dynasty, giving their fans and players a chance to bask in the glory of the Oilers tradition.

Sather was honored before the game and his name was raised to the rafters with some pretty regal company. The Alberta native's banner joins those of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Paul Coffey, Grant Fuhr, Glenn Anderson, Al Hamilton and former radio play-by-play broadcaster Rod Phillips.

"It was great," Sather said. "People are terrific here, and I think a lot of these standing ovations in Edmonton are because people are proud of us."

"I want them to take it all in. I think there is value in that," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "I want them to sit there and listen and absorb and recognize what that Oilers generation had on the community and the hockey world and bank it somewhere. It's our goal to put a team together like that, that can come back in 2030, 2035, whenever it is, and talk about some of our feats. But we have a lot of work before we get there."

The Oilers, winners of five straight, are finally showing signs of promise. They have now won six straight at Rexall Place and are currently just one point out of a playoff spot in the shaky Pacific Division.