Oilers 6, Blackhawks 5 – Game 25 – 2013-03-10 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , March 10, 2013 12:03 pm
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
Gagner with one of many points that night
logo at logo
8-11-5 Record 21-1-3
Location: United Center
Date: March 10, 2013 @ 5:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

The Oilers face the Blackhawks again tonight for the second time on this grueling road trip. This, thankfully, is the second last game of the road trip. In the first game of this road trip, the Oilers managed to take the Blackhawks to overtime in a game that probably looked closer on the scoresheet than it really was. The Oilers were outworked in this one, much like the rest of the road trip. But the Blackhawks are one hell of a team this year, as we all know. So I don’t feel too bad about that one. The game vs. Dallas, the Oilers were quite good, however (although this also was probably closer than the score led on). I have hopes that they can return to that form tonight.

The Oilers should have a boost tonight. They get 3 players back from injury: Ales Hemsky, Teemu Hartikainen and Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff should provide a bit boost to this team, as even the haters are starting to realize what he brings to the table. He also held an all players meeting with the team to rally the troops. So let’s hope that works. A lot of people who seem to know everything about everything (especially the things they can’t even see) have questioned Horcoff’s leadership. Here are some fine, recent quotes from players in support of Horcoff:

“You see what he brings when he’s out. He’s a guy who does everything so well and he really is an emotional leader for this team with his worth ethic and his compete,” said Sam Gagner. “He competes and battles better than anybody. We’ve missed him.”

“It’s really unfortunate,” said Gagner. “You can’t just look at numbers and jump to a conclusion. The way Horc plays, he lifts everyone on our team. At the end of the day, you have to play the way he plays if you’re going to expect to win in this league. He battles for loose pucks, he wins those battles. He’s in the right position all the time.”

“He wears the C for a reason,” said Ryan Jones. “It’s funny. When I first came here, I didn’t realize how much grief he got and I never really understood it. He’s the first guy in the locker room, the last guy to leave. He’s the hardest working guy on this team.” (this one to me is embarrassing… our fans are the laughing stock of the NHLPA, I’m sure)

I can dig deeper.. these are new quotes.. but really, there is zero indication that any leadership issue here. That said, there are some mighty stupid fans here that do everything from blaming our standings on Devan Dubnyk (since apparently it’s now a goalie’s job to score goals / shoot the puck) to the 4th coach in 5 years, to pretty much everything. My advice is to shut your french fry hole and go back to whatever it is you do when it’s game time. I would currently trade this city’s fans for Nashville fans. At least the ones that are the loudest there support the team. This team is frustrating to watch right now, but throwing guesses out there as to what is the problem and ragging on players is counterproductive and likely to get even worse results. I believe I’m preaching to the choir in these parts, however.

Moving on! Sounds like the lines will be shuffled today, again. Bob Stauffer had a guess at what the lines would be, so I’ve put them below.

OILERS LINES (Guessed..)


Hall – Horcoff – Hemsky
Hartikainen – Nuge – Eberle
Paajarvi – Gagner – Yakupov
Brown – Smyth – Petrell/Jones

Smid – J.Schultz
Whitney – Petry
N. Schultz – Potter

Dubnyk
Danis

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7 Responses to “Oilers 6, Blackhawks 5 – Game 25 – 2013-03-10 @ 5:00 PM MST – SNETW”

  1. Racki says:

    Hell of a game, this one. I was expecting a bounce back game with Hartikainen, Horcoff and Hemsky back though and fresh off a players only meeting.

    Dubnyk being hurt in this one is major bad news though. Danis is not an NHL caliber goaltender.

    Glad to see Horcoff back.. I think he helped uplift the PP. He had several wiffs though that should keep the haters happy. I also thought Mike Brown had a good game early on. Got the Oilers on the board, and a penalty he drew led to a PP goal. Can’t complain about that.

    Oilers were really on their heels for a lot of the 2nd and 3rd though. Guys need to make some better decisions in the D zone. On one particular play near the end of the third, we got pretty lucky. I noticed Potter and two others all got caught watching the play as a Hawk coasted in on the net. Luckily Hossa bumped Danis and got called for a PIM.

    Anyways, overall a pretty good game. Finally a fun one to watch.

  2. Racki says:

    So the Oilers have Fistric set to come back now, which means someone has to be sent down…

    Paajarvi seems to always be the target because he doesn’t need waivers, and hasn’t exactly been the greatest checking winger (not saying he’s bad at it, just saying he has a ways to go to be good at that role, imho). Anyways, lately he’s back in a scoring role, and has been fantastic. Would be a shame if he gets sent down.

    I don’t see it happening, but I hope the Oilers waive Eager.. if not him, my next choice is Petrell. Love his PK game and he can hit, but doesn’t bring enough of what we need, which is offense.

  3. NorwegianOiler says:

    Goodbye Pecks, perhaps? Maybe the organisation thinks the Teuberts or Plantes are enough to satisfy the big, semi-mobile branch of the defense.

    To send Pääjärvi down now would be beyond annoying. He’s actually doing something offensively, which is a relief considering last year’s drought. Let him build on some success!

    Oh, and is Hartikainen waiver eligible?

  4. Racki says:

    I don’t believe Hartikainen is waiver eligible, so he is a good candidate too. The stats monkeys seem to think he does nothing for us though.. which may be true. It’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s one of few big body presences we have though.

    Paajarvi to the minors now would be a fail, unless for the very very short term.

    Peckham trade.. meh.. consider me disliking that cause I still think he can get back to his 2010-11 (?) form. He showed some good signs this year already. You know I like my tough guys, and yes, tough guys that can play are important.. and when he is on, he definitely can play.

    I know the great Norbot is a lover of 2-way defenseman and hates the stay-at-homers (I think?) but I think Peckham is a great 6/7 option if he brings a heavy physical game, and solid defensive game. I’m sure his breakout pass isn’t anything to write home about, but he is smarter than your average ring-it-around-the-boards-and-pray guy at least. Again, that is when he’s on.

    I’d cut Eager, Potter or Petrell loose before giving up on Peckham because I don’t see Plante as a very good shot of being any help here, and Teubert.. well, unlike several of the Oil fan base, I don’t think he’s better than Peckham.

    And while I do think we could improve upon Peckham, and a solid two-way guy would be great in all spots, they aren’t the easiest to come by either.. so if we have to go with less multi-dimensional (does that even make sense?) d-men, I’d lean towards the defensive side of the game. As I always said, I like my defensemen to be defense men. Long story short, drop Potter before Peckham.. preferably a trade involving Omark or others happens soon.. or demote Eager or Petrell… or if we have to, Hartikainen.

  5. Racki says:

    Looks like Hartikaine will need waivers next year.. this year, really no scenario where waivers are a worry.

    As for Paajarvi, looks like he has 19 games left until waivers are required…

  6. Metal&Oil says:

    IMO it’s a no brainier. Waive Eager, with Brown here now he no longer serves a purpose. Ideally I’d like to keep Petrell here as an extra forward for depth but he should not be getting dressed in front of Ryan Jones.

  7. Racki says:

    Good points on both counts. The Oilers can easily roll PK lines without Petrell too. As good as he is, we have seen strong PKing from Sam Gagner now (what a blessing in disguise that is), plus the regulars in Jones, Horcoff, Smyth, even Brown can do it.

    As for Ben Eager, he sadly doesn’t bring anything to the table above Mike Brown. Nothing. OK wait, he’s a fast skater. But outside of that, he just isn’t adding enough anymore. I used to see a lot of promise with him though, so that’s pretty disappointing.

    Anyways, I’d waive him too. Any decisions will likely be stalled though, as it sounds like the Oilers will delay Fistric’s return at least another game.

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