Friday, December 9, 2011
Pre-Game: Game #29 Oilers vs. Avalanche
Another game, another chance at redemption. The nice thing about pro sports is that another shot to get it right is never too far away. The Oilers in my eyes, seem to be a hopeless cause. They have some of their defensive soul that they had from earlier in the year stripped away in order to try for more offense and what you get is a team that is caught in between. Many media pundits around town figured this is the Oilers team that we all should have expected. And while that is true to a point, the Oilers could have done themselves some favors if they had done some tweaking by either adding or subtracting. Instead they went status quo, added Hemsky and Whitney back from injury and what you get is a team that can no longer do heavy lifting game in and game out. And now the losses have piled up like a large snowdrift where all they can do is start shovelling and hope they can get themselves out the door. The 5-3 loss to Carolina was likely the low point of the season. The problem is with the Oilers of the last few years, one is never sure where rock bottom is. The Avalanche roll into town much like the Hurricanes before them. The Oilers get the Avalanche after they lost in Calgary the night prior. A second chance for the Oilers to get it right. It can get better or it can get worse. Andy Sutton is out for tonight's game and is likely to face a lengthy suspension on his hit on Alexei Ponikarovsky on Wednesday night.
- Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle may be enough to carry the Oilers to victory tonight.
- Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda already have gawdy plus/minus of -13 and -14.
- Khabibulin is back in net. The numbers are still there (2.00 GAA and .930S%) but the team's confidence is not.
Special Teams Avalanche
- Oilers special teams have been mired in a slump, both PP and PK have been brutal over the homestand. Avalanche PP #3 in the NHL.
- Sorry Mr. Renney but until you re-establish a "real" checking line, I'm even going to give Joe Sacco an edge over you. FIND THE CHECKING LINE!
- Once again, the Avalanche are on the 2nd half of the back to back....but then again, so were the Hurricanes.
Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on TSN.