The Oilers play the second game in a back-to-back set of games tonight and they face the undefeated Sharks for it. The Sharks have been steamrolling teams in part due to elevated performances by Marleau and Thornton. They are killing it with 14 points each in 6 games… and Antii Niemi has been solid in net for them posting 5 of the 6 wins so far and a sub 2.00 GAA.
The Oilers mailed it in last night, so I don’t have much faith in them tonight. The pessimist says momentum going in says they should get killed. The optimist says that teams that have bad games often have big bounce back games. We’ll see which route the Oilers go, but these Sharks have been dominant, so I’m not holding my breath for a good game tonight. The Oil can’t autopilot their way through this one, like in Phoenix.
No word on the lineup just yet that I’ve found, so for now I assume things are the same, although there is a good chance we see Khabibulin tonight for no other reason than to shelter Doobie from potential embarrassment.
EDIT: OK Lander has been called up to replace Horcoff (hurt neck after being hit from behind by Doan)… Paajarvi has been sent down (since we have to send someone down to recall Lander). Fistric might slot in as well if Petrell is out (i.e. we go with 11F 7D).
OILERS LINES (PROJECTED)
Hall – Nugent-Hopkins – Eberle
Yakupov – Gagner – Hemsky
Smyth – Belanger – Petrell
Hordichuk – Lander – Hartikainen
Smid – Petry
N. Schultz – J. Schultz
Whitney – Potter