Oilers 6, Avalanche 4 – Game 14 – 2013-02-16 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC

By , February 16, 2013 2:03 pm
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs Colorado Avalanche
logo at logo
5-5-3 Record 5-6-1
Location: Rexall Place
Date: February 16, 2013 @ 8:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

Smytty Returns.

I have to say I don’t like the heat Ryan Smyth has been taking lately. There has been talk out there that fans are turning on him. I don’t think it’s true. I hope it’s not anyways. Yah, he’s struggled. But a guy can struggle and we can accept it as time passing.. we don’t need to throw him to the wolves and insult him, suggesting he has no work ethic. We know Smyth is a warrior that gives it his all. It’s possible he’s lost his step, yes, but I’d say in all of this, be good fans and don’t insult the guy’s character. One former NHLer, Rhett Warrener, called him a joke in a recent newspaper article on the Calgary Sun. Well, he said he’s becoming a joke. Smytty played it cool when told that by reporters though, and just said he won’t address those comments. But I’m sure it affects a player. Maybe he should take a lesson from Warrener who retired before he lost any relevance… except in Warrener’s case it was also before he had any relevance. Anyways, I won’t harp on that comment much.

The lines are revamped again and Ryan Smyth and Ryan Whitney are back in. At forward, Teemu Hartikainen will replace Nail Yakupov on the 2nd line. This is deserved, as he’s been playing very well. It’ll be good to see him with some offensive talent. Yakupov gets the boot down to the 3rd line where he will play left wing on a line with Eric Belanger and Ryan Smyth. Don’t knock it until you see it, I guess. You never know. But really, the offensive weapons are all in the top six, save for Yakupov. He will get powerplay time though on a line with Sam Gagner, Jordan Eberle, Whitney and Smyth. The first powerplay unit will be The Nuge, Hartikainen, Ales Hemsky, Justin Schultz and Taylor Hall. I have to admit, those powerplay lines excite me.

On defense, Ladi Smid will pear up with Mark Fistric. That should be a bruising pair. The Schultz “brothers” will stay together. Whitney will pair up with Jeff Petry. We’ll see how that goes.

Devan Dubnyk will get the start.

Corey Potter and Magnus Paajarvi are healthy scratches.

Edit: Lennart Petrell Was hit by a puck in warmup.. Paajarvi takes his place in the game.

Continue reading 'Oilers 6, Avalanche 4 – Game 14 – 2013-02-16 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC'»

Oilers 1, Stars 4 – Game 13 – 2013-02-12 @ 7:30 PM MST – SNETW

By , February 12, 2013 7:58 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs. Dallas Stars
logo at logo
5-3-4 Record 6-5-1
Location: Rexall Place
Date: February 12, 2013 @ 7:30PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

So the Oilers get another shot at the Stars tonight. They lost the first game vs. them last Wednesday in overtime, 3-2 when Jaromir Jagr caught Ryan Whitney flat footed (I’m sure there’s a pun in there somewhere).

Tonight I imagine we’ll go back to “regular” lines, but I think for the first night we’re going to see Ryan Smyth sit. He has slipped a bit lately and in his last couple of games has racked up several penalties… enough to put him 1 minute behind Ladislav Smid for the team lead. The Oilers liked Chris Vande Velde’s play in the game vs. Detroit, so I think he’ll slot in. That should mean too that Hordichuk will get sent down to the Barons, should he (likely) clear waivers.

The Oilers changed up the lines in hopes of spreading the offense while on the road, in order to catch teams’ third line pairing against one or more of our better offensive players. I’m not sure I would really say it worked very well. Detroit was a fairly close game that the Oilers probably could have won, but didn’t. However against Columbus, the worst team in the West, standings-wise at the time, the Oilers barely squeaked out a win. In fact, they were outplayed and shouldn’t have won that one. Luckily Dubnyk was up to the task and stole the win. In Detroit, the Oilers were a fair bit better, but Khabibulin also had to really stand on his head to in order to keep the Oilers in the game. I can understand struggling against a good team like Detroit, but there is no excuse for poor play vs. a bottom feeding team. Yes, the Oilers won, but they shouldn’t be very proud of that win.

The Oilers now go on a 5 game home skid, so hopefully this will give them a boost in both confidence, but on the standings. A win tonight could bump the Oilers as high as 6th place, depending on outcomes of other games. At the very least, they will move ahead of Dallas in the standings, at least for now. It’s a tight race and every point is going to be important from here on out.

Edit: Line up is fairly confirmed now… Smyth and Whitney will be scratches tonight. Whitney is clearly unhappy with being a scratch again, but not in a defiant way.. more in the way you’d expect a guy to be upset. He stated he thinks he might be on the outs though, but doesn’t want to be traded. I think there’s a good chance he’ll be on a new team before the 2012/13 trade deadline (3PM ET April 3rd, in this shortened season). Best quote of Krueger’s pre-game interview.. cold, but true: “As we get better as an organization, there will be players who don’t meet our expectations anymore.”

Continue reading 'Oilers 1, Stars 4 – Game 13 – 2013-02-12 @ 7:30 PM MST – SNETW'»

Oilers 3, Blue Jackets 1 – Game 12 – 2013-02-10 @ 4:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , February 10, 2013 10:59 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Columbus Blue Jackets
logo at logo
4-3-4 Record 3-6-2
Location: Nationwide Arena
Date: February 10, 2013 @ 4:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

Another shake up on the lines is expected today… even the defensive lines which have remained almost constant, except for the bottom pairing. The Schultz brothers (jokes) continue to play together, however.

Ryan Whitney finds himself a scratch again today. Mark Fistric slots back in and will play with Ladislav Smid. This is interesting. Smid and Fistric should make a true shut down pairing, and potentially a very tough one. Think “twin towers” (Steve Smith and Jeff Beukeboom), but a smaller version. These guys should make a big impact together, pardon the pun.

Corey Potter and Jeff Petry will pair up together, and I have to be honest, I’m Continue reading 'Oilers 3, Blue Jackets 1 – Game 12 – 2013-02-10 @ 4:00 PM MST – SNETW'»

Oilers 1, Red Wings 2 – Game 11 – 2013-02-09 @ 12:00 PM MST – CBC

By , February 9, 2013 9:36 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Detroit Red Wings
logo at logo
4-3-3 Record 5-4-1
Location: Joe Louis Arena
Date: February 9, 2013 @ 12:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

This is an early one today, as puck drop is at 12:10 MST. I typically hate the early ones.

Chris Vande Velde makes his season debut tonight. He’ll likely slot in with Yakupov and Paajarvi. That’s right. The lines were juggled a bit for yesterday’s practice.

Today we’ll see Hall with familiar linemates in Gagner and Hemsky. Gagner’s big 8 point night last year was played alongside Hall, but I believe Eberle was the other winger on that superb night. Hall, Gagner and Hemsky did spend time on lines together last year though and did look quite good. I suspect that line should be able to go power vs. power.

Eberle will play with Nuge and Hartikainen. Hartikainen has looked very good as late, battling hard in the corners. Hartikainen is also a strong net presence. This is something that might add that missing element for Nuge and Eberle.

Yakupov drops down the lines and will play with Vande Velde and Paajarvi. Tomorrow, Belanger should be coming off IR and replace Belanger on that line. I honestly think this line will likely disappear offensively.. but I suspect that they should be a hard working unit though.

Lastly, Ben Eager should return today to play with Smyth and Petrell. This is one of those lines that makes you groan when you see it on paper. But I think it will be a very defensively responsible, hard checking energy unit that will push the play into the offensive zone. Eager’s got some rust on him though, so that could throw things for a loop. But I think the efforts of Smyth and Petrell alone should be enough to carry the play the other way.

This will be a very tough win for the Oilers, so I am hoping they can at least steal a point.

Edit: Looks like Fistric is out for this one, as Krueger would like to give him another day to rest his back. So, expect to see him tomorrow vs. Columbus. Also, we can expect to see Khabibulin in a game this weekend. Krueger said it was possible Khabibulin could start today. I’d say that tomorrow would be the better game for him to start.
Continue reading 'Oilers 1, Red Wings 2 – Game 11 – 2013-02-09 @ 12:00 PM MST – CBC'»

Oilers 2, Stars 3 (OT) – Game 10 – 2013-02-06 @ 8:00 PM MST – TSN

By , February 6, 2013 9:54 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs. Dallas Stars
logo vs logo
4-3-2 Record 4-5-1
Location: Rexall Place
Date: February 6, 2013 @ 8:00PM MST
TV: TSN

PRE-GAME RANT

So more injuries, heading into this one. Shawn Horcoff is out with a broken knuckle, and Mark Fistric is out with back problems after missing a big hit and slamming into the bench boards ass first. That means Mark Arcobello gets the callup and makes his NHL debut, after playing stellar hockey for the Oklahoma City Barons. In 43 games he has 14 goals and 25 assists. He did play some games between Hall and Eberle while the Nuge was in Russia for the WJHCs. I wouldn’t expect that to happen tonight though, as that would be high expectations for a guy who is playing his first NHL game, especially with his small size. He’s listed at 5’9″ and 165lbs.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a shake up of the lines tonight, with Gagner getting a stint with Hall and Eberle. He’s played superbly so far this year. He leads the Oilers in points with 3 goals and 7 assists. He’s really elevated his game to what we’d hope we’d see from him. His net play is quite strong, and he’s been very aggressive on the forecheck. His defensive game still leaves a lot to be desired, but you take the good with the bad.

More injury notes, for the better… Ben Eager should be back soon. He says he’s feeling better than he has in quite a while. It’s always been in the back of my mind that Eager has gone “soft” in recent years here since the Tulupov hit… and because of the outcome of that hit – a bad concussion. I wonder if he’s not at all been 100% since that hit and been protecting himself. I wouldn’t be surprised at all, as concussions can be a bitch and very long lasting. I hope he really is 100% though and Continue reading 'Oilers 2, Stars 3 (OT) – Game 10 – 2013-02-06 @ 8:00 PM MST – TSN'»

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