Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Pre-Game: Game #45 Oilers vs. Blue Jackets
The Oilers finally got a much needed win, 2-1 (OT) win against the Kings on Sunday night. They had lost their previous 5 games prior. The Oilers finally found some semblance of defense that they had rode off to a quick start earlier in the season. The Kings managed only 21 shost against the Oilers Sunday night. Eric Belanger was a late scratch in Sunday's game and the Oilers rolled with Gagner, Horcoff, O'Marra and Green at center. Not sure I'd want to roll with that full time but they competed hard to get the two points. With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle out to injury, the Oilers are struggling to score goals. Whlie they struggle, they cannot afford to sacrifice their defensive game in the pursuit of goals. 2-1 and 3-2 scores will be an order until they can get healthy again. The Oilers face the worst team in the NHL, the Columbus Blue Jackets. Doesn't mean a lick because the Oilers gassed a game on Friday to the Ducks who were the 2nd worst team in the NHL. Right now as it stand, the Oilers are tied with the Lightning and the Islanders for being the 3rd worst team in the NHL. The Oilers are once again stuck again in no man's land, trying to decide if winning or losing is more important, in January. The Blue Jackets are coming off a 2-1 loss to San Jose on Saturday night.
- Tough call here but I'm giving the nod to the Oilers for Taylor Hall.
- Whoa, both these defenses are thin. A little more ruggedness on the Oiler side.
- Haven't liked Steve Mason's game for quite some time now. I'm sure the Blue Jackets are feeling the same.
Special Teams Oilers
- Columbus is 26th on the PP and 29th on the PK. 'Nuff said.
- I'll give Tom Renney the nod here because I'm not sure of new Columbus coach Todd Richards knows what he's getting into.
Intangibles Blue Jackets
- Longer layoff for the Blue Jackets and a travel day for the Oilers on Monday.
Game Time - 5 PM MT @ Columbus on Sportsnet West.