Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pre-Game: Game #52 Oilers vs. Red Wings

What does Sam Gagner and the Oilers do for an encore? Not sure but that what makes hockey so fun, its unpredictability. One thing is for certain, the Red Wings aren't likely to allow the frewheeling, run and gun style hockey that occurred on Thursday night. You wanna be a great team? You have to find different ways to win hockey games. 8-4 or 2-1, they all count for 2 points. I'm sure Sam Gagner will be under more of a spotlight than he has ever been, it may open up some space for some of the other kids to roll. Tonight's game should be the return of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Another weapon to add to the offensive arsenal. The Oilers now have points in 4 straight games, winners of 3 of those games. Devan Dubnyk has really turned a corner in his career, playing with a lot of resolve. A big reason for the Oilers recent resurgence. It's a litmus test game for the Oilers to see, if they are coming along in their development or if all of this is a charade. The Red Wings have won 2 in a row since getting paddled 7-2 in Montreal before the AllStar break. They won 4-3 in a shootout against Vancouver on Thursday night.

Forwards Red Wings
- Tough call. RNH brings some depth and offense to the Oilers, but the Red Wings have depth, offense and experience.
Defense Red Wings
- Good blend of skill and toughness on the backend for the Red Wings.
Goaltending Oilers
- Never know what your gonna get from Jimmy Howard from game to game. Dubnyk has been hot lately.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers are finally in a position where they can rely on their special teams to win them some game. 3rd on the PP, 14th on the PK.
Coaching Red Wings
- Mike Babcock is the Bill Belicheck of the NHL. He's a schemer.
Intangibles Oilers
- Oilers are loving home cooking right now while the Red Wings are at the tail end of a Western Canada swing.

Oilers: (my version)
Hall-NugentHopkins-Hemsky (Sc1)
Eager-Gagner-Eberle (Sc2)
Smyth-Horcoff-Jones (Chk)
Lander-Belanger-Petrell (Eng)



Red Wings:



Game Time - 8 PM MT @ Rexall Place on CBC.

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