Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pre-Game: Game #54 Oilers vs. Red Wings

Off to Detroit for another game on the tour. The Oilers looked pretty lethargic for the most part in a 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last pre-game I was talking the hint of playoffs, welp put that on the far, far, back burner. Until this team can learn to win on the road, they aren't going to get the chance to win in the playoffs. The Oilers road record this year is a pathetic 6-19-2. The Oilers defense turn into turnstiles on the road as they don't get the desiravle matchups they do at home and end up drowning in the deep end. The Oilers need to dig deep and play harder on the road because they can't win the matchup battle. Defense needs to play more physical, forwards need to be more tenacious, its an uphill battle for the Oilers. Magnus Paajarvi was recalled by the Oilers as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is out allegedly 7-10 days with a shoulder injury. I'm not going to bag on Paajarvi like many others have needlessly. Paajarvi just needs to push the play and make a contribution to the team, even if it isn't on the scoresheet. If he keeps the puck moving in the right direction, eventually he will get there. Just for the love of jebus, can he play with someone other than Belanger? I'm also hoping for Andy Sutton to find his way back into the lineup. Cam Barker and Corey Potter were atrocious last game. Unless they play him for shopping purposes, Barker should rightfully be the healthy scratch. Detroit comes into this game losers of 2 in a row. They lost 3-1 to Phoenix on Monday and 5-4 in a shootout loss last Saturday to the Oilers. You have to figure the Red Wings are hungry for a win tonight.

Forwards Red Wings
- As quickly as RNH came off the IR, he went as quickly back on. Red Wings are pretty healthy up front.
Defense Red Wings
- The Oilers defense has some pieces, but Detroit's defense has been very good for a long time.
Goaltending Oilers
- Jimmy Howard is out with a broken finger. Figure to see Khabibulin in net tonight. He'll see a lot of rubber.
Special Teams Oilers
- Despite having a good team, the Red Wings special teams are below average. 25th on the PK and 15th on the PK.
Coaching Red Wings
- Mike Babcock + home ice = bad news for Oilers.
Intangibles Red Wings
- Red Wings start a lengthy home stand in need of a win.

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



Red Wings:



Game Time - 5:30 PM MT @ Detroit on TSN.

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