Tonight is fan appreciation night. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’ll be at the game. So I’m hoping it means that they give us something cool for free, as well as the Oilers players themselves show appreciation by winning. The Penner-less Oilers won in a shootout on Tuesday vs. the Predators on a nifty goal by flashy, but unsociable, Swede Linus Omark.
There’s been some speculation in the papers and such that Taylor Hall has run out of gas. This is the same Taylor Hall that played 57 games in the regular season in Windsor, plus playoffs, plus the Memorial Cup, plus the WJHCs, all with a high compete level, right? I’m not willing to think that’s all that is left from this kid. But I do know that he himself has said that the season does take it’s toll. However, I’m going to write the last game off for Hall, Cogliano and Eberle as just simply an off-game. It may only be juniors, but I know Hall was really pushing himself through that final year as well. The NHL is a much tougher league, but 64 snail-paced Oilers games don’t have the same intensity of a WJHCs, OHL playoffs, memorial cup, etc. either. So let’s just hope that he still has plenty left in the tank.
Hemsky and Peckham both should miss this game. In Peckham’s case, he’s been out since being rocked by Horton in a fight. Hemsky hurt his shoulder in the Nashville game and was said to be getting an MRI today for precautionary reasons.
I would like to see another win tonight, but this time with a bit more of an exclamation point on our end.
Prediction: 5-1 Oilers
EDIT: Per Jason Gregor, Hemsky will be out 2-3 weeks. Also, Horcoff will play with Eberle and Hall again. Fraser draws back in.
Hall – Horcoff – Eberle
Pajarvi – Gagner – Omark
Jones – Cogliano – Brule
JFJ – Fraser – Reddox
Smid – Gilbert
Vandermeer – Foster
Petiot – Strudwick