There are some nights when instead of a three-star selection, there ought to be something entirely the opposite.

Wednesday, after the Edmonton Oilers' most putrid performance of the season, with the crowd in a mood to boo, the three worst players on the ice ought to have been forced to skate out and be acknowledged.

The three srats (stars spelled backwards) on virtually everybody's ballot:

1. Ryan Whitney

2. Ryan Smyth

3. Ales Hemsky

If it was just one of those nights, with no big-picture questions involved, there would be no cause for concern.

But there are three big questions involved here. If Ryan Whitney can return to be the player he was last year, if Ryan Smyth can return to being the player he was to start this year and if Ales Hemsky can finally get his game together to the point you can still believe he'll ever have his career year, then terrific. Onward and upward.