The last time we faced the Penguins was over 2 years ago, it coincided with RNH’s debut and first NHL goal. The Oilers were victorious that glorious night, but much has changed since then. It’s no secret that our back end has been having issues not unlike digesting a road side taco. It’s been pretty bad… Goalies have been letting in softies and the defence has been getting schooled. Our offence has been keeping us in most games, but it’s just not enough. Something has to give.
MacTavish has been on the phone but what’s really available out there for goalies right now? St. Louis does have a few options and with Lehner doing well in Ottawa, perhaps either he or Anderson could be had. It’s not going to be cheap and the Oilers will have to give up an asset. The copper and blue are sitting at 49 contracts, so maxing the roster this early in the season won’t be the best option. Ideally a player for player trade will go down, if there are any takers.
Another side story is Yakupov. Eakins has had him benched the last two games and it would appear he’s back in the lineup tonight. Eakins did great work with the youth while working with the Marlies, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here. He definitely squeezed more out of Kadri who was a bit of an enigma but has now turned things around enough to get himself a decent contract extension over there in the center of the universe. Yak is a great talent but if he’s not buying into Eakins system things aren’t going to work out.
Joensuu is hurting again so Jones has been recalled. Larsen is going back down to OKC.
Projected lines :
Smid – Petry
Ference – N. Schultz
Belov – J. Schultz
Jones rumored to be in, so either a young gun sits or Brown I’d guess for the 4th line.