Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pre-Game: Game #68 Oilers vs. Avalanche

Another day, another game. Season's almost over, 14 games left. This game means a heckuva lot more to the Avalanche than it does to the Oilers. The Avalanche are one point out of a playoff spot while the Oilers are checking and re-checking their draft lists. I expected the Oilers to be where the Avalanche are in the standings this year. Playing meaningful games in march fighting for some semblance of a playoff life. Instead we are treated to meaningless games in March and naval gazing about where this team is really headed. It's tough to see the Oilers vets mail the season in while the kids seem exasporated at the struggles of the Oiler franchise. Oilers fans seem to be looking for answers in all the wrong places. Oilers fans thoughts are all over the map right now, everything from gutting the team and management to keeping the status quo. Truth is, all of that lies somewhere in the middle. The next person to head up the team will need a fine tooth scalpel and cut precisely, understanding what pieces need to be kept and which pieces need to be replaced. Going forward and improvement in the standings should be what this team is all about. This team should be better than what it is this year. Its safe to say they have underachieved this year, from top to bottom. Their plan needs to be more clear and concise. Colorado comes in to this game coming off a 4-2 loss in Nashville. This is pretty much a must win game for the Avalanche. This game will show if they are contenders or pretenders. Ben Eager didn't make the trip due to the flu and Corey Potter will be a gametime decision.

Forwards Oilers
- The kids need a better effort than they gave against Montreal. Matt Duchene is out of the Avalanche which is a big blow to them.
Defense Avalanche
- The Avalanche defense hasn't been great but the Oilers defense has been so erratic you don't know what to expect from them.
Goaltending Avalanche
- Oilers goaltending has been so inconsistant that I don't know how I can give them the nod. Avalanche goalies have been somewhat stable.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers still the owners of the best powerplay in the NHL. PK has slipped of late, now 18th.
Coaching Avalanche
- Both coaches on the hotseat, but Joe Sacco has gotten more out of his group.
Intangibles Avalanche
- Both teams had long travel days. Afternoon game will be a tough one for the Oilers to get up for.







Game Time - 1 PM MT @ Colorado on Sportsnet West.

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