The fat lady has sung. It’s over. The other teams are increasing their gap on us too much for there really to be a chance. Not only does Edmonton have to outpace the 9th, 10th and 11th place teams now, but they of course have to outpace their original target, Detroit, by 7 points (possibly 6, if we somehow picked up the tie breaker… gaining 4 more regulation or overtime wins on Detroit in the process). This just isn’t going to happen in 8 games. That basically means that not only does Edmonton need to be perfect, but Detroit needs a monumental loss and needs to completely fall apart. Let’s also throw in the fact the Oilers have been struggling to win put a string of wins together all season (although they did win 5 in a row leading up to this 4 game losing streak). I do expect a win tonight for the Oilers, which will mislead some people into thinking that maybe this team still has what it takes to make the playoffs… they just don’t. It takes a lot for me to give up on the season’s playoff hopes, but I have now. I’ll still watch the games now though and hope for all the wins they can get, even if their draft position potentially gets worse.
Hemsky will be out for at least a week with a “nagging foot injury” from blocking a short a while back. That means more opportunity for Yakupv. With 8 games left and no hope in making the playoffs, I wouldn’t mind seeing Yakupov with Hall and Nuge for a bit, or even with Gagner and Hall.. juggle the lines a bit to maximize offensive potential, and see what he can make with it. Of course it could be a disaster defensively too, but who knows.
Lines below have been confirmed. Khabibulin gets the start tonight, which I don’t think is a bad idea considering Dubnyk played a pretty bad one the last game. But you aren’t going to win too many games with one goal, so I don’t pin the loss on him.. just saying it is a good time for some Khabi action.
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