Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pre-Game: Game #12 Oilers vs. Blue Jackets

The Oilers head into Columbus limping badly. Losers of 5 of five in a row (but 3 loser points!) has this team wondering how its going to find any semblance of offense. Oilers have gone 6 straight games without scoring more than two goals. That streak has to end today against fellow cellar dwellers in the Blue Jackets. Time for the Oilers to get their scoring hats on and its time to break this streak. The Oilers hold their fortune in their own hands for now, but they need to start picking up some wins tout de suite, otherwise we could be counting this team out by mid-March. The Oilers tried some new line combinations with little result. The Oilers mix is not condusive to creating chances. Too many slick perimeter wingers, not enough battle, center depth is weak, its very difficult to win in the NHL with just pure skill and very little battle level. The NHL isn't shinny and until every player gets its nose dirty, expect more of the same. At the same time, if you have the likes of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins throwing their bodies around, injuries might ensue, so its a difficult balance. I've believed the entire time through the lean years and all the high draft picks that this team was being constructed in a matter that was going to take time as this team was acquiring high end talent. At some point a shrewd GM is going to have to take a fine tooth scalpel and cut the pieces that need to be cut. The time for talent acquiring and position be damned is over. The time for building a team should be starting now.

Forwards Oilers
- The kids are stone cold right now but I still give them a leg up on the Blue Jackets forwards. Both teams are breaking in new forwards this season.
Defense Oilers
- The defense has not been the problem for the Oilers minus a few mental breakdowns. The Oilers can expose the Blue Jackets defense if they are willing.
Goaltending Oilers
- Oilers should be going back to Devan Dubnyk in this one after a strong start from Khabibulin. Not a fan of either Bobrovsky or Mason.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers lost a special teams battle they should have won against the Red Wings yesterday. Columbus PP and PK are 25th and 10th respectively.
Coaching Oilers
- Really a coin flip between Krueger and Todd Richards. I like the way Krueger has coached up the defensive scheme but his ability to put together lines for offense is abysmal.
Intangibles Blue Jackets
- Once again the Oilers dominate the board, but here is where they might lose. Back to back games. Fatigue, lethargy and apathy are the only things that might do in the Oilers in this one.

Oilers: (my version)



Blue Jackets:



Game Time - 4 PM MT @ Columbus on Sportsnet West.

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