OK. Put the Edmonton Oil Kings logo at centre ice for their WHL series against the Calgary Hitmen which starts here Thursday evening. And leave it there.



They’re going for it.

The logo on the ice or the one on the front of their jersey obviously doesn’t mean that much to the Edmonton Oilers if what we watched Saturday night is their idea of playing for pride, playing to prove they’re a better team than they were last year, playing to try to convince free agents to come to Edmonton and be part of their future.

What other conclusion to do you come to when they lose 4-1 to the Calgary Flames at home on Hockey Night In Canada?

They’ve stopped going for it. A significant percentage of their players have checked out on the season. Not all of them. That would be terribly unfair to Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov and four or five others.

But even Hall was including himself in it, pointing out that his line with Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins haven’t produced a goal after Hall had a five-point night and his mates loaded up as well in that 8-2 win in Calgary.

“Where’s the compete and the passion? That was missing tonight. We got scored on on the first shift,” said Hall.

“It’s a really sad way to finish the season if that’s the way we’re going to play.

“We have to play like there’s no scoreboard the rest of the year, like there’s no standings either.

“Our third period was abysmal. There were not a lot of won battles or won races to the puck.

“We’ve got to be proud of what we’re doing, proud that we’re Oilers. We have to work and compete.”

This is the place where you prove you’re a pro. Sure it’s depressing around here once again as Edmonton mops up a seventh straight season out of the playoffs with the Oilers all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. But five straight losses on the heels of five straight wins?

And the fifth against Calgary? In Edmonton?

The Flames played five forwards and a defenceman who were in the minors at the trade deadline.

The Oilers last win in the five-game winning streak was 8-2 on trade deadline day. They’ve only scored four goals in the five games since. And the Oilers were down 1-0 to the Flames only 26 seconds into the game? How many times has this happened this year?

The Oilers were out-worked and out-played by a team which decided to blow itself up and replace Edmonton as a cellar-dweller collecting draft choices.