Time for the real Edmonton Oilers to stand up — or lie down. Fans of the team don’t know what to expect from a group that, in a span of a few days, proved capable of both a 14-0 scoring run and a willingness to curl up in a ball at home when the going got tough. Are they the team that just won three games in a row, or the team that rolled over for the Chicago Blackhawks in a 5-1 home-ice loss? If you’re looking for measuring sticks, never mind Chicago, a three-game road trip that begins Thursday in Nashville will tell us who and what the Oilers are. “For sure,” said third-year centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “Obviously we didn’t have our strongest game against Chicago and we have to get back on track here. We have to get back to where we were (when they were winning).” The Oilers can validate those wins over Calgary, Columbus and Florida, show they might actually be headed in the right direction, if they make something of these next three games. More importantly, those three wins chased away a lot of the dark clouds and negative vibes that came with a 4-15-2 start. The last thing they need is to invite them all back with another slump. “The thing you want to instill quickly, now that we’ve gone through the suffering, is that you do everything you can not to lose two in a row,” said head coach Dallas Eakins, who wants to keep the atmosphere positive and confident. “I like where our guys were at yesterday and today. They seem to have let it go. When we were in the depths of a lot of losses you could feel it when they walked in the room. We had to work hard as coaches and leaders in the room to try and bring the whole group out of it. I haven’t seen any of that in the last 48 hours.” Nor does he want to. The season-long win streak, as modest as it was, changed the mood of an entire city. After disgruntled fans failed to sell out back-to-back home games against Columbus and Florida, they were back at capacity against the Hawks. Keeping the team and the town in a happy place is imperative. “Your confidence is so much higher when you’re winning games and playing well,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “That’s when you play your best hockey. We have to get back to that. We did a good job of it in the three games we won.” With the playoffs a miracle away, all this organization can hope for now is to be defined by the last 61 games of the season, not the first 21. That process starts now. “We have a lot of season left,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work but we all want the same thing in here. We have to keep building.”