Monday, February 27, 2012
Pre-Game: Game #62 Oilers vs. Jets
The trade deadline is finally here and now that is here, who knows whats going to happen. Could be nothing, could be everyone. Something in the middle is more likely. As an Oiler fan and observer, it would be pretty disappointing if nothing happened. Watching the same group going forward until the end of the year would be awfully frusterating. If the Oilers braintrust decide to pin all of this on Tom Renney, they are fooling themselves. Not that Tom Renney has had a good year as bench boss, but to think the issues are strictly coaching is ignorant. The Oilers have had chemistry issues since 2006. The problem with the Oilers is a philosophical one. Watching a bunch of mighty might forwards run around like a bunch of gnats is not winning hockey, its exciting hockey, but its not winning hockey. The Oilers need a better blend of big and small, fast and positional, smart and strong. Its something the Oilers aren't that far away from, but a decision they are going to have to make is which smaller fiend becomes expendable. I thought it was Hemsky, but its become apparent that its not. So who's to go? Maybe Gagner? I dunno. Its seems if Gagner or Hemsky are dealt, the Oilers fans would be fit to be tied. Obviously, Hall, RNH and Eberle aren't going anywhere. It will be interesting to see what moves will be made if any at all. The Jets come into this game, coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Blues. The Jets have been in a win one, lose one type streak. The Jets are currently in an 8 game homestand.
- The Oilers have the talent, just not the dimension. The Jets have the dimension but lack depth.
- Slightly better group on the Jets led by Dustin Byfuglien.
- Ondrej Pavelec is the biggest reason why the Jets are even thinking about playoffs this year.
Special Teams Oilers
- With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins back in the fold, the Oilers already formidable power play gets a bigger boost.
- Claude Noel is doing more with his group than Tom Renney and his staff has done with his.
- Jets have been very good on home ice this year while the Oilers have not been road warriors.
Game Time - 6:30 MT @ Winnipeg on Sportsnet West.