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MacLeod: MacTavish's lament on Oilers has familiar ring

Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish

The Canadian Press

In the world of sports sometimes it is not what you said but who said it.

The Oilers are in a world of hurt in Edmonton, their 4-14-2 record the worst in the Western Conference. They have surrendered a National Hockey League leading 78 goals against.

The club has been shutout in their last three games on home ice and their former No. 1 overall draft pick has suggested the ice might be whiter in another city.

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So it was not surprising to see Oilers GM Craig MacTavish wade into the mess to express his frustration with it all and even went as far to give rookie coach Dallas Eakins the dreaded vote of confidence.

"Things have obviously not gone as well as I would have thought probable...I'm frustrated, I'm pissed off...I want to see results," MacTavish said.

In trying to dissect what has gone wrong, MacTavish then added this nugget:

"For me, the first five or six games we self-destructed as a team," he said. "We were making many mental mistakes, we were making junior mistakes with the puck…"

Wait a second, junior mistakes!

Wasn't that the gist of a comment that Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens made last month that landed him in a tub of boiling water?

"They play a little bit like a junior team, I think, sometimes," Eller remarked, which led to an avalanche of angst from Oiler types, including Eakins.

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In Toronto, the Maple Leafs are wondering what they might do to fill the holes now that Nazem Kadri has been handed a well-deserved three-game suspension for his antics the other night in Minnesota.

Although he doesn't play centre, Alexander Steen might look pretty good in a Leafs uniform right now.

The former Leafs draft pick who back in 2008 was dealt to St. Louis along with Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak, Steen has been on fire this year for the hot Blues.

In a contest that featured the two top teams in the Western Conference, the Blues walloped the Colorado Avalanche 7-3.

Steen netted two of the goals for St. Louis, his NHL league-leading 15 and 16 of the season.

In Calgary, Jamie Benn stated his case for inclusion on the Canadian Olympic team now that Steven Stamkos' participation is in doubt the best way he knows how.

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Benn counted six points off one goal and fives assists as the Dallas captain led the Stars to a 7-3 rout of the Flames.

Teammate Tyler Seguin also enjoyed a career night, chipping in with four goals and an assist in a game where the Stars allowed goaltender Kari Lehtonen to sit back a bit and enjoy the action

Incognito wants his money

Richie Incognito may be suspended for conduct unbecoming to the team for involvement in the bullying imbroglio involving Jonathan Martin, but he still wants to get some money out of the Miami Dolphins.

The embattled lineman with the Dolphins, Incognito has filed a non-football injury grievance against his team as he stands to lose about $1.2-million in wages through his suspension.

After looking rather ordinary in a blowout loss the previous week to the Los Angeles Rams, Andrew Luck was back on track for Indianapolis during a 30-27 win over the Tennessee Titans.

Luck, who went to Stanford, continues to show that he is a thinking man's QB as the Colts now have a big lead over the Titans in the AFC South.

The Globe's Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings

Get all the latest Globe and Mail hockey coverage on Twitter: @globehockey

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