Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Pre-Game: Game #42 Oilers vs. Devils
...And on to the 2nd half of the season. The Oilers finished the first half 16-22-3, a far cry from the 9-3-2 start they got off to. The Oilers have fumbled, stumbled and bumbled themselves into what right now would be the 4th overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft barring lottery. The Oilers recalled Magnus Paajarvi and Ryan O'Marra from OKC and recently demoted Teemu Hartikainen and Josh Green. Jordan Eberle looks to be on the shelf for 2-3 weeks after suffering a knee injury on Saturday against Dallas. The Oilers also did some housecleaning after putting Gilbert Brule on waivers and Phoenix claiming him. Brule was done here anyway. The lineup has a little more balance to it. I still think having Hall playing with Hemsky and Gagner is a waste, but it is what it is. Gagner and Hemsky are just placeholders until RNH and Eberle get back in the lineup. The forwards are starting to take shape of how I envisioned it. The defense is still a mess but what can you do with some crucial injuries on the backend. Just try and patch it up and make the best of it. The centers have to do a better job of helping the defense out. The Devils come into this game losers in Calgary last night 6-3. The Devils have been very Jekyll and Hyde this year, it will be interesting to see which Devils team shows up tonight.
- No RNH, no Eberle. Devils have Kovalchuk, even though he is hit and miss, the Oilers are the type of team he feasts on.
- Outside of Adam Larsson, the Devils don't have much. The Oilers at least have a good balance to their D corps, even if it is unproven and slumping.
- Future HOFer Martin Brodeur was pulled in the loss against Calgary last night, will likely see him tonight. Oilers' G's are stonecold.
Special Teams Oilers
- The Devils have the best PK in the NHl but only the 26th PP. The Oilers are top 10 in both. (4th and 9th)
- Pete Deboer is getting the Devils to overachieve with a no name defense. Tom Renney can't get the Oilers to do the same.
- Back to back for the Devils while the Oilers haven't played since Saturday. Tom Renney should get a chance to macth lines in this one.
Game Time - 7 PM MT @ Rexall Place on TSN.