Thursday, November 17, 2011
Pre-Game: Game #18 Oilers vs. Senators
The Oilers finally get back on the ice after coming back from the "rodeo" trip 2-4, losers of the last three in a row. This is a big game for the Oilers. It's a statement game of sorts to see if this team has a new found resilience or will be like teams of years gone by and bend over. I'm not sure if the Oilers will have their lines combos sorted out yet, but the Oilers will need to figure something out in a hurry to get things back in order. I've been preaching over the last couple of games that Ales Hemsky's return has upset the apple cart of balance. Just not enough going through the wall on this team and being effective. Like I said in the last post, hockey is a game of energy consumption, whoever has more energy at the end of the game will likely win it. All this means is taking the body early and pushing the pace of the game throughout. At the other end of the ice, Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid come back a beleaguered bunch. Smid was -5 and Gilbert was -6 in the last 3 games of the trip, against some of the best the NHL has to offer. The Ottawa Senators come into this game winners of 2 in a row, coming off a 3-1 win in Calgary on Tuesday night. This is a winnable game for the Oilers and they cannot allow Ottawa to set the tempo for this game. The Oilers have to come out and take it.
- The Oilers skill and speed will have to take over this game for them to win.
- Erik Karlsson is one of the craftiest Dmen around. The Oilers could sure use someone like that.
- Could be the last night in awhile I give Khabibulin the benefit of the doubt. We'll see.
Special Teams Senators
- The Senators have the 3rd ranked power play. A good test for the slowly sliding south 7th ranked PK of the Oilers.
- Back to having last change and hopefully the reforming of a checking line.
- The Oilers have had 2 practises and 3 days of rest to get their stuff back together. We'll see if they learned anything.
Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet Oilers.