UPDATE: ACTUAL LINES HAVE BEEN ADDED FOR THE OILERS, PER OILERSNATION
Game #9 goes down tonight, with the Edmonton Oilers playing host to the Columbus Blue Jackets. UPDATE: Brule is definitely out tonight. Smid is likely back in. Comrie is starting to feel signs of sickness. So to make a long story short, I have no idea what the lines will look like tonight, but a guesstimation is included below, as usual. The one good thing about this team is that it has interchangeable parts. So really even though several players are out, there are a few parts we can put in, in their place and still be fine. Khabibulin gets the nod in goal tonight.
Both teams are off to similar starts with the Oilers 5-2-1 and the Jackets 5-2-0. The Oilers are coming off a close 2-1 win over Vancouver on Monday, while the Blue Jackets were drubbed 6-3 on Tuesday by the Calgary Flames.
Tonight’s game is a 7:30 start and can be seen on Sportsnet West. Enjoy it while it lasts, because November is a crappy month for PPV.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up
Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
Comrie – Horcoff – O’Sullivan
JFJ – Cogliano – Nilsson
Moreau – Stortini – MacIntyre
Gilbert – Grebeshkov
Smid – Visnovsky
Chorney – Strudwick
Blue Jackets Projected Line-Up (from HFBoards)
Huselius – Brassard – Nash
Umberger – Vermette – Voracek
Chimera – Pahlsson – Dorsett
Torres – Murray – Boll
Methot – Klesla
Tyutin – Stralman
Russell – Roy
- Khabibulin will in fact get the start tonight.
- At this point, Brule and Smid both are battling the flu and either could miss the game, meaning MacIntyre draws in… possibly even on defense, where he was seen for Wednesday’s practice. UPDATE: Smid is expected to play, however Brule is expected to be out tonight. He did not practice with the team today.
- The usual suspects will also miss tonight’s game – Pisani, Pouliot, Staios and Souray. In addition, Ryan Stone will also miss the game with a knee injury.
- The top six will get a very significant jumble as the struggling Horcoff and Hemsky have been split up. Horcoff will center O’Sullivan and Comrie, while Hemsky will play with Penner and Gagner, on his usual right side.
- The bottom six won’t likely look as they are mentioned above in the projected line-ups… this is just an educated guess.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
0:58 – EDM – Gagner from Penner, Hemsky
Penner gets it behind the net and fires it out front to Gagner, who blasts it home.
16:02 – CBJ – Huselius from Voracek, Vermette
Voracek gets around Grebeshkov and gets a shot on net, the rebound comes to Huselius who puts it past Khabibulin.
19:36 – CBJ – PPG – Torres from Umberger
On the powerplay, Umberger skates behind the Oilers net and passes it out front and the NHL’s Most Dangerous Mexican fires it top shelf where Grandma keeps the geritol.
- Penner throws Blunden around in front of the net.
- Visnovsky makes a nice shot block on a shot close to the front of the net.
- Moreau and Stortini barely miss double teaming Methot. On the same shift, Stortini hits Klesla pretty hard. This line is a good kind of scary, so far.
- Smid drops the gloves and helmet at the end of the period wanting to fight with Dorsett, but it was just a few moments too late. Both get unsportsmanlike penalties.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
2:05 – CBJ – Huselius from Voracek, Roy
Voracek bulls his way into the zone, fighting off Grebeshkov and fires it to the slot where Huselius one times it in.
11:52 – CBJ – Chimera from Pahlsson, Dorsett
Basically a 2-on-1 (maybe a 3-on-2) as Strudwick deserts Visnovsky who can’t stop all the Blue Jackets blowing into the Oil zone at full speed. Chimera roofs it nder the bar.
12:09 – EDM – Penner from Hemsky, Gagner
Gagner flips it across, Penner tips it behind him to Hemsky and goes to the net. Hemsky gets it back to him and Penner taps it in.
18:55 – EDM – PPG – Hemsky from Visnovsky, Penner
On the powerplay, Penner is down low behind the goal line and back passes it to the point to Visnovsky. Visnovsky quickly fires the cross-seam pass over to Hemsky who takes a second to corals the puck and then wrists it past Garon.
- Visnovsky leads a rush and fires it on net but it was tipped and just knuckled along the ice and off the side of the net.
- Dustin Penner.. wow, what’s with this guy? I’ve been a big supporter of his, even when he was “fat Penner”. But I didn’t know he had it in him… he just had a beautiful power-forward rush. Very Cole-like where he powered his way past/over Russell. He then preceded to jam away at the rebound, but couldn’t get it under Garon’s pad.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
6:04 – EDM – PPG – Penner from Hemsky, Gagner
Hemsky carries it in the zone and moves it across to Penner who wires the shot past Garon from the slot. This draws a standing ovation for the big man.
10:43 – EDM – Visnovsky from Penner, Hemsky
Penner shoots it on net and Garon kicks out a juicy rebound to the point where Visnovsky blasts it into the net.
19:43 – EDM – PPG (EN) – Nilsson from Visnovsky, Smid
Nilsson bats the puck down the ice from his own zone, with Garon pulled and it rolls down into the empty net.
- Don’t see it often, but Nilsson threw a huge open ice hit on Filatov, who got caught with his head down. Lucky for him Nilsson wasn’t MacIntyre.
- Grebeshkov hammers Dorsett in the Jackets zone while pinching in.. this drew a penalty, as Dorsett high-sticks Grebs in the face on the way down.
- On this powerplay, Gilbert gets caught at the point by one of the jackets and almost loses the puck. He falls to his knees, and in desperation manages to poke it back in and keep it from being a short handed breakaway. Nice recovery.
- Smid makes a great shot block. He really has been a rock on the blue line, paired with Visnovsky. I’ve always said it – Staios is a good d-man. Smid is a good d-man. Pair them together, and it’s a disaster.
- On the PP, Umberger somehow gets behind the Oilers defence and fires off two point-blank shots at Khabibulin, but the Bulin Wall is in full effect.
What can I say? Wow… that top line… unbelievable. They looked like a real top line tonight. They threw everything at the Blue Jackets, and the Jackets looked like a junior team versus that line. Thirteen points for the line, combined. Penner with 2 goals, 3 assists… he deserved the ovation he got in the 3rd period. He had a great game. Gagner and Hemsky both looked pretty good too, but Penner was doing everything out there and looked like the guy Lowe signed as an RFA.
The Oil fell behind pretty early on in this game, but the score didn’t really tell the pace of the game. The Oilers were in it the whole way, but weren’t burying chances until the flood gates opened. Great job to Khabi for at least keeping it somewhat close, long enough for the top line to bring the heat.
Some bad penalties at the end of the game by the Blue Jackets pretty much sealed this one. The Oilers didn’t have much trouble holding the lead because of that.
The fourth line also looked pretty good tonight, although they saw very limited action. They weren’t a liability out there, but were very intimidating to the Columbus defence. I wouldn’t mind seeing those guys stick together. Grebeshkov and Gilbert looked a bit weak out there, as did Strudwick on occasion (especially the Chimera goal where he was beat at center ice and coasted back). Smid and Visnovsky, however, looked fantastic again together. I hope that pairing sticks. They are great together.
Anyways, good game tonight.. very exciting one, which seems a common thing when we play the Blue Jackets.