Monday, January 23, 2012

Pre-Game: Game #48 Oilers vs. Sharks

So, sounds like the Oilers are offering Steve Tambellini a contract extension, eh. I'm not sure how all of this equates, as any normal team would have turned over their managaments and coaching staffs a long time ago. Welcome to Team Oiler where loyalty matters over everything else, including results. The clueless and the heartless come back to take center stage once again, against a veteran laden, battle tested group of San Jose Sharks. I would like to say that this is an interesting matchup, but its really not. When ownership and management makes it clear that the wins don't matter and the losses don't matter, than what is supposed to matter? Development? Chemistry? Role definition? Pride? Because none of those things are happening either. A team as bad as the Oilers should have had a line brawl by now, but they are afraid of getting their backsides kicked there too. So what's left? For the record, teams that rebuild usually see management and coaching changes once, twice, maybe three times during the course of the rebuild. A lot of it has to do with stale ideas, players tuning out, everyone questioning commitment to winning. There is a lot that goes into creating a winning environment and right now, the Oilers have turned out the lights on the paying public. Jebus knows whats gonna happen next. Either a surprise party or a knife in the back. Sharks come into this game losers of their last two games. Sharks are an odd team, just a team that always seems to leave stuff on the table. This game can go anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if the Oilers won this game or got blown out. Oilers cleaned out the bottom end of their roster by reassigning Josh Green, Ryan O'Marra and Colten Teubert and calling up Teemu Hartikainen, Lennert Petrell and Taylor Chorney. Sounds like a good chance that Ryan Whitney will be back in the lineup tonight.

Forwards Sharks
- Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, et al are going to be a handful for the Oilers.
Defense Sharks
- What the Oilers could do if they had Boyle and Burns.
Goaltending Sharks
- Oilers goaltending is brutally inconsistant at best, maybe just flat out brutal.
Special Teams Oilers
- For as much talent as San Jose has, their special teams should be better. 19th on PP, 28th on PK.
Intangibles Sharks
- I just don't see much of an advantage here for the Oilers unless San Jose has one of their flaky episodes.

Oilers: (my version)
Hall-Gagner-Hemsky (Sc1)
Paajarvi-Lander-Eager (Sc2)
Smyth-Horcoff-Jones (Chk)
Hartikainen-Belanger-Hordichuk (Eng)






Game Time - 7:30 PM MT @ Rexall Place on TSN.

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