Saturday, November 26, 2011
Pre-Game: Game #23 Oilers vs. Avalanche
The Oilers keep finding ways to win and keep exercising demons of the past. Every win feels like it comes with a "yeah, but" attached to it. Question is: Do we accept this team the way it is, with all it potential for greatness and all of its flaws? We know there are teams out there that will test the strength and mental will of the Oilers. Both got tested last night and both were beaten into the ground by the Oilers in a hard fought 5-2 victory over the Wild, ending a 17 game losing streak in Minnesota. Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle are starting to finish their checks, something that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has started and is now starting to be infectious throughout the lineup. The Oilers continued a pattern of scoring first = winning. The last two games against Nashville and Minnesota were likely the two most impressive wins of the year. They played the game the right way. Strong, both mentally and physically. The next step for this team is to battle adversity and win, we know they are comfortable with a lead, but now can they come back when they are down? Stay tuned on that one. They have 2 of 3 on this road trip so far, with the easiest stop on the tour in Colorado on the schedule. This game game against Colorado poses a different threat, one of being the favorite and one of battling fatigue at the end of a road trip. Another game, another test. Colorado comes into this game losers of 2 in a row. They lost Wednesday night to Vancouver 3-0. Colorado is 2-8-1 in November.
- The Oilers forwards are rolling right now after scoring 5 and 6 goals over the last two games. The kids and Ryan Smyth are hot.
- Ryan Whitney coming back really helps the depth chart on the backend.
- Dubnyk seems to have righted himself after a nice start in Nashville.
Special Teams Oilers
- The Oilers have the 5th ranked PP and the 7th ranked PK. Colorado is 2nd and 26th in the same catagories. Oilers can make hay on the power play.
- Tom Renney is pushing the right buttons now, but I'm not sure how long it will last.
- Back to backs are killer, especially at the tail end of a road trip.
Game Time - 5 PM MT @ Colorado on CBC.