Oilers 2, Predators 3 – Game 31 – 2013-03-25 @ 6:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , March 25, 2013 8:45 am
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GDT - Edmonton Oilers at Nashville Predators
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11-12-7 Record 13-13-6
Location: Bridgestone Arena
Date: March 25, 2013 @ 6:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

So as mentioned the last GDT, pretty much every game from here on out, or until the Oilers spiral back into the abyss, is important. I don’t have to state that anymore. All the good teams that were sluffing off (with exception to maybe San Jose) are starting to fight hard for playoff spots. This is definitely the down part of the roller coaster ride for Oilers fans… I’d say we’re not going to make it. But hey, that doesn’t mean this team can’t try. I think tonight the Oilers will come out with a good effort this time around.

It is unconfirmed, but it’s unlikely Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will suit up for this one. He seems to be battling a solid case of the flu (“Sam…… Sam…. (whimpers)… can you call my mom?“). It’s expected that Dubnyk will start in this one. I’d imagine the lines won’t change much. It would be nice if this team had a more offensive center to play with Yakupov.

I noticed that Jim Matheson is also questioning the lack of waiver claim on Halpern. The Oilers I believe are at 49, even after signing Travis Ewanyk last week. He is 19 and playing in junior, so he shouldn’t count until next season. And really, the Oilers need to drop some dead weight before then anyways. It’s possible Tambellini and co. are leaving a spot open for the trade deadline, but that would be pretty optimistic to think that, given our inability to really act on team need.

So there is strong talk about the latest D prospect out there, Danny Dekeyser. Dekeyser is Michigan born, which leads most people to believe the Red Wings, who are very interested, are the front runner. The Oilers are doing what they can to make a play for this guy though. Daryl Katz has already called and talked to him (I’d imagine the conversation going along the fashion of this phone call), and Justin Schultz has texted with him about it, apparently. Hopefully it wasn’t a series of warning texts. Anyways.. what do I know about this guy? I haven’t watched him at all, unfortunately, so I’m relying on the internet here. He’s big, at 6’3″ and 198 lbs and apparently very mobile. He’s been described as a two-way guy who is solid in his own zone, but can make a strong outlet pass as well. Most of what I’m reading makes this guy sound more of a defensive specialist than an offensive specialist. Sounds like his offensive game is fairly limited, so I don’t expect much there. However, he seems to also bring a good physical game, is a strong shot blocker and a PK specialist. He is also said to be a strong skater too, so if he can eat up minutes, that might make him a good even strength partner for Justin Schultz as they might complement each other.

Enjoy the game, folks..

UPDATE: sounds like Nuge is in, and Whitney and Petrell are scratches. Word is that the Nuge centers Smyth and Yakupov. Call me crazy, but I’m interested in what happens there. Sure, Smyth has been sluggish this year, but you never know.. might rejuvinate him. He’s looked a little like he’s ready to have an, albeit brief, break out.

Hartikainen shown talking to Ralph Krueger.. pretty sure that is the “hey kid, we’ll have to send you back to Oklahoma City for a bit” speech.
Continue reading 'Oilers 2, Predators 3 – Game 31 – 2013-03-25 @ 6:00 PM MST – SNETW'»

Oilers 0, Blues 3 – Game 30 – 2013-03-23 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC

By , March 23, 2013 1:32 pm
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GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs. St. Louis Blues
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11-11-7 Record 12-10-6
Location: Rexall Place
Date: March 23, 2013 @ 8:00PM MST
TV: CBC

PRE-GAME RANT

Khabibulin gets the start tonight. Dubnyk could probably use the rest, even though it’s been a few days since the last game. Khabibulin has also been rock solid between the pipes so far. It seems that if you pace him very slowly, you can get a lot out of him. If you try and ride him like a starter, he’ll break. Old bones.

Eric Belanger is back. The little Nugget still has the flu, so the Oilers have placed him on IR, retroactive to his last game (Sunday I believe). So whenever he’s healthy, he’ll be able to come back off IR. Works for now.

The defense will remain unchanged from last game. I must admit, I like our blueline the most when Mark Fistric is in it, even if he isn’t doing everything right 100% of the time. Also, message to Steve Tambellin: sign Ladislav Smid any day now, please. Don’t let him walk, and don’t trade him!

The lines.. not our best we’ve fielded. Belanger’s line is where offense goes to turn into a dump in the corner and a line change. So I don’t expect anything of excitement out of that line. It might be disaster if Yakupov plays by his own routine and Jones and Belanger aren’t on the same page.

As of writing this, the Oilers currently sit in 13th in the West. A win would vault them to 11th at best, but has them one point out of a playoff spot (barring outcomes of other games). Things still look pretty good. I hope Tambellini sees this. This is normally where he craps his pants, and goes and hides somewhere until draft day (in which time the wheels completely fall off the bus and we’re left with a #1 pick).
Continue reading 'Oilers 0, Blues 3 – Game 30 – 2013-03-23 @ 8:00 PM MST – CBC'»

Oilers 3, Sharks 4 (SO) – Game 29 – 2013-03-20 @ 7:30 PM MST – TSN

By , March 20, 2013 11:15 am
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GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
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11-11-6 Record 12-10-6
Location: Rexall Place
Date: March 20, 2013 @ 7:30PM MST
TV: TSN

PRE-GAME RANT

Every game from this point onward is huge. The Edmonton Oilers are trending upwards now, and that is perfect timing for them (well, I guess perfect timing is the start of the season, as long as you continue the trend..). The Oilers are 3-0-1 in their last 4, after getting smoked by the Predators. They had their revenge with a narrow 3-2 win in a rematch the last game. The Sharks, on the other hand, appear to be trending downward. They’ve only won one of their last 7 (with two OTL in that frame). This is an opportunity the Oilers have to seize. They’ve historically been the team that other teams look forward too when they are slumping. The Oilers have always been slump busters. That has to change. The sharks have 1 regulation win and 1 shootout win versus the Oilers this season so far. A win tonight will put the Oilers on equal ground as far as points, but no matter what the outcome, the Oilers have already lost out on a potential tie breaker of record between the two clubs. Every point from here on out is going to count, as the Oilers are going to be in a dog fight all the way. Most of the teams are on the upswing, with very few teams faltering like the Sharks.

There’s been some trade/contract talk lately. Much of it revolves around whether or not we should trade Ryan Whitney. I’m still saying yes to that, if the return is good. Ryan Whitney is hot right now, and his value will never be higher. I believe that it isn’t our blue that is the straw that stirs the drink on our powerplay, even though it does help. Can we make due with Potter there? Doubtful.. but why not Jeff Petry?? This is a guy with a decent offensive skillset, but for whatever reason he’s being heavily relied on defensively (albeit he does well in that regard). Perhaps you could reduce his PK time and increase his PP time to make up for the loss of Whitney. Right now, Petry is our most used PKer. That is great and speaks highly of Krueger’s trust in him, but I think you should be able to dial back those minutes in favor of Marc Fistric or Nick Schultz, and then feed Petry more PP ice time. Just my 2 cents. On the flip side though, there is a very good argument that we need to keep Whitney around for a playoff push. I will just remind people how difficult it was to watch Ryan Whitney here the last couple of years. He could revert to that. Just saying… if we can get something good for him, do it. If not, well, no loss for us.

Awesome article up on the Edmonton Sun here. Basically it talks about the Oilers finding their new formula for success and how they think they can stick to it and win games. Talk is cheap, but I think they can do it. Drinking game tip: Take 1 shot for every time the word “identity” is used in the article (that’s 14 shots).

Go OIL!!!!

UPDATE: Nuge is out. That presumably should mean that Hartikainen is in now. As far as who slots in at center, it’s anyone’s guess. It could be Petrell, who has played some C. It could be Hall, who we would love to make a C long term. It could be Mike Brown because according to Bob Stauffer he’s played some C (Mike Brown would beg to differ, however).. just kidding on that one. It should be either Hall or Petrell. I would guess Hall moves over, Horcoff drops to play with Jones/Eberle and Hartikainen gets the glorious opportunity to play with Hall and Hemsky.

Continue reading 'Oilers 3, Sharks 4 (SO) – Game 29 – 2013-03-20 @ 7:30 PM MST – TSN'»

Oilers 3, Predators 2 – Game 28 – 2013-03-17 @ 6:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , March 17, 2013 1:19 pm
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GDT - Edmonton Oilers vs Nashville Predators
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10-11-6 Record 11-11-6
Location: Rexall Place
Date: March 17, 2013 @ 6:00PM MST
TV: SNETW

PRE-GAME RANT

Gotta make this a quick one. Not sure what the Oilers lines are going to be. Yesterday’s practice seemed to indicate that the lines would change, but there were a few players taking the day off, so not sure if there will be any changes.

The Oilers got smoked the last game vs. the Predators… it was an embarrassing 6-0 loss. The Oilers will likely be a different opponent this time around, now that they have some key players back. It’s possible Mark Fistric will be back tonight too. He’s been out with an elbow injury.

I would imagine that Dubnyk gets the start here again. He was yanked early in the last one. After letting in a long bomb, I think Krueger felt it was a good idea to pull Dubnyk. It turned out that Danis was in for a pretty long night, as he really didn’t stop much of anything. Of course Danis is back to Oklahoma, but I don’t suspect Khabibulin will play just yet.
Continue reading 'Oilers 3, Predators 2 – Game 28 – 2013-03-17 @ 6:00 PM MST – SNETW'»

Oilers 2, Red Wings 3 (OT) – Game 27 – 2013-03-15 @ 7:30 PM MST – SNET-EDM

By , March 15, 2013 9:27 am
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Rexall Place
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10-11-5 Record 12-10-5
Location: Rexall Place
Date: March 15, 2013 @ 7:30PM MST
TV: SNET-EDM

PRE-GAME RANT

Home sweet home… at last. The Oilers return from their longest road trip in their history in which they had 3 wins, 4 losses, and 2 loser point losses. This point also sees them looking to extend their longest winning streak of the season.. that’s right.. a wopping 2 (which they also did previously at the end of January)!

There’s been a lot of talk lately about trade rumors, as well as contracts of Sam Gagner and Ladislav Smid. Those two guys need to get signed and kept here. They are heart and soul players for the Oilers and have success at their position. We don’t need to trade them away just to spend a lot of time finding ways to replace them. Mark Fistric is also a free agent.. and to me he’s been Continue reading 'Oilers 2, Red Wings 3 (OT) – Game 27 – 2013-03-15 @ 7:30 PM MST – SNET-EDM'»

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