The Oilers are finding ways to win games again. It’s great to see. Also great to see is that the Oilers are clawing their way up the standings. No, they haven’t moved from 29th, but they are nearly 28th now, and could be tied for 27th after today. They sit 6 points behind a big 4-way tie for 22nd, and 3 points behind Minnesota in 26th. It’s time to put the thoughts of high draft picks well behind us and just aim for an improvement in the standings. I think this year has already been a big improvement, even though 29th place doesn’t indicate that at all. We’re the 2nd best PP, the 18th PK, and I haven’t seen any games this year (unlike previous years) where we’ve been smoked and embarrassed. This is a small improvement to cling on, and a sad state of affairs when you consider it good when we’re not getting lambasted. But hey, an improvement is an improvement. Add to that, the Oilers are 12-10-4 since the All Star Break. Not a giant feat, but that would be a 0.538 point percentage which would be good for 21st place by today’s standards if they kept that pace all year. I suppose I’m grasping at straws here, but I think we’re a team closer to being a real team and it has a lot to do with solidifying our back end more. If this team can find out how to score at even strength (i.e. get some scoring out of the likes of Hemsky and co.), we’ll be a much better team in 2012-13. But, as usual, I could be dreaming.
Anyways, no line up announced yet, so I’m just going to post last night’s line up here again. Oh, one change. Chris Vande Velde was recalled yesterday because Shawn Horcoff hurt his back on a faceoff in the last game. So I assume he’ll be in for this game this afternoon, possibly even right in Horcoff’s place. I missed that game too, due to the Oil Kings, but watched the goals and shootout. Dubnyk was pretty superb in the shootout. I assume he’ll be in today too.
EDIT: Confirmed by #NHL_Oilers tweet, Dubnyk will start.
Go Oil! Keep winning.
OILERS LINES (projected)
Jones – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Hartikainen – Gagner – Hemsky
Smyth – Belanger – Omark
Eager – Vande Velde – Hordichuk
Smid – Petry
Whitney – Schultz
Peckham – Potter