Friday, December 2, 2011
Pre-Game: Game #26 Oilers vs. BlueJackets
Game #3 of a 6 game homestand, where the Oilers dropped a 3-2 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild. I heard on the radio today where one of the local pundits was calling for 9 out of 12 points in the homestand. Welp, they only have 1 out of 4 points so far. Meaning they would have to get all 8 points in the next 4 games. I think it's a tall order with the way this team is running and Taylor Hall on the shelf. The Oilers face the BlueJackets, the Flames, the Hurricanes and the Avalanche on the rest of the homestand, none of them world beaters and all the games are winnable, but like the Oilers teams of the past, the fact they can beat themselves or they don't have enough bullets in their chamber will lead to their undoing at some point. Let's face it, the forward ranks are too light. When the Oiler forwards only have 5 players over 200lbs and 3 of them are 4th liners, Hordichuk, Eager and Petrell, that's not good. The Oilers can't play the "wear down game' with other teams because they don't have enough heavy bodies to lean on teams. It really disables them to win in that fashion, leaving other teams fresh and with hope at the end of games. Columbus comes into this game 7-15-3, the worst club in the NHL. A team that played Calgary on Thursday night and won 4-3 in a shootout. They had a late game comeback to get 2 points out of Calgary, so they have a bit of mojo going. I might be watching tonight's game with my eyes closed because its a game they need to win and its a game they might lose. Outskill. Outwill. Outwork. Outsmart. Outlast.
- The Nuge and Eberle are running real hot, they need that to continue to work here.
- The defense has a good blend and is playing well over the last few games.
- If Dubnyk gets the start, I'm scared, but Columbus goaltending is a mess.
Special Teams Oilers
- The Oilers top 10 in PP and PK while Columbus is bottom 3rd in both.
- Its the only place where the Oilers can lose this game. The lines are a mess, they need to be tightened up.
- This is the back half of a back to back set for the BlueJackets.
Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West.