EDMONTON, Alberta -- Maybe, just maybe, things are turning around for the Edmonton Oilers. After a brutal start to the season, the Oilers have just one regulation loss in their last five outings. They are catching up to the pack in the Pacific Division. And, on Tuesday, the team traded Jussi Jokinen -- zero goals on the season -- to the Los Angeles Kings for Mike Cammalleri, who has 620 career points.
Cammalleri could debut in orange and blue when the Oilers (7-9-2) host the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues (13-5-1) on Thursday night.
"I'm excited to go there and have an opportunity to play," Cammalleri told the Oilers' website. "I feel great. I want to enjoy playing the game and Edmonton is a team that's pretty exciting to join. I know it hasn't been the start they were looking for, but it's a team that can honestly be as good as it wants to be. I'm looking forward to it."
Cammalleri spent Wednesday traveling to Edmonton. The question is whether the team will give him a day or two to get his bearings or whether he'll be thrown right into the fray on Thursday.
"He's a shooter," Oilers coach Todd McLellan said. "Since he entered the league, the one thing he's had is an incredible shot, a quick release. He knows where the net is. He's obviously still doing that; he's put some goals and assists up this year."
And, even before Cammalleri's arrival, the Oilers showed signs that they were shaking out of their offensive doldrums. The Oilers entered Tuesday's action as the lowest-scoring team in the league, but then scored eight against Vegas.
While the Oilers scored eight Tuesday, the Blues gave up six in a loss Monday at Calgary. And, they got Tuesday and Wednesday to think about it. It's common that teams play Edmonton and Calgary back-to-back -- or vice versa -- on road trips. But it's unusual when the schedule-maker gives a team more than a day off between two cities that are just three hours apart on the highway. The Blues have been cooling their heels in Alberta, and they don't really like it.
"The bad thing is we have two days in between games, so we've got a day off," said Blues center Paul Stastny, who has 14 points in 19 games this season. "We have to just reset ourselves, kind of forget about this (Calgary) game or be (mad) about it and then get back to work with a practice in Edmonton and play another team that's hungry and that plays good at home.
"When we're playing our game, it doesn't matter where we're playing. Whether we're playing a top team in the Eastern Conference or a top team in the Western Conference, we know what makes us successful. When we get away from our game and we start playing into the hands of the other team, that's when we get into trouble. And that's what we've got to stay away from."
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said the Blues will work on erasing mistakes in their own end, something that plagued them in the loss in Calgary.
"Time to tighten up," he said. "I think we're giving them all their opportunities. Most of them are just puck errors. Our goalies can only stop so many great opportunities. They've been great for us all year. It's about time we clean up in front of them."