Friday, October 29, 2010

Declaration of War #9- No Pressure

Tonight the Edmonton Oilers take their Exciting Last Place Hockey into Chicago to play the defending Stanley Cup Champions. I swear if I hear this song more than say, 3 times tonight, I will not be pleased. Yesterday as you may know, I made a prolific pick on this very blog, I predicted Taylor Hall to score his first goal last night(well actually I kept saying it Tuesday but meh). Tonight though will be someone else's night to shine and my money would be on King Magnus to do so. 

Word is circulating that Hall will be taking the spot of Penner on the left of Gagner and Hemsky. This move would not surprise me at all, even though Penner does have 3 goals in this young season, he seems to be "half assing" it out there. Seriously did he hop back on the wheat and barley based beverages bandwagon again? Seriously what gives? (I figure if I keep calling him out he will perform). Khabi gets the start tonight in what should be a fairly exciting game. 

Oilers: 4
Hawks: 3

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Declaration of War #8- You Mean We Have Other Goalies?

Tonight is the 8th part in the Oilers march to somewhere, where that place is, I don't know. Tonight/afternoon(depending on where you are) also marks the first time this season that we see someone other than Nikolai Khabibulin in the Oilers crease. Did anyone else know we have three goalies on the roster? Tonight will also be a historic game as I am predicting, for sure, that a certain #1 draft pick will score his first goal tonight. I know I have said it a few times but, for sure tonight in Columbus Taylor Hall will score.

The Oilers lines are not changing tonight with the exception of Vandermeer in for Foster. This almost baffles me, I'm sure you all saw the game on Tuesday night, and the games before that, is there anyone who can seriously tell me that Dustin Penner deserves to be riding shotgun on a line with Gagner and Hemsky? We are seeing a Penner that we thought died last year under Pat Quinn. What has changed? Does he not want to be part of a rebuild? Is he sick? What is wrong with the player many call "The Flying Fridge"?

Last night I had the opportunity(that's what we'll call it, there isn't much to do here) to see 2011 draft prospect David Musil play. And let me tell you, he looked good out there. Sure it was only against the Lethbridge Hurricanes, but I now see the reason why he is ranked in the top 10 for the upcoming draft. He almost made shutting down the Hurricanes power play look effortless. He got in the right position to block shots and passes, and looks like an effortless skater. I know this is still early but add him to the list of players I would like to see in an Oilers uniform in the future.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Declaration of War #7- Le Sigh....

The Edmonton Oilers will walk into the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight looking to end two disastrous streaks, one, the Oilers have not won in Calgary since 2008, and two, they have not won a road game in regulation in 26 games. Sorry for being negative but if you were looking for the Oilers to snap their 4 game losing streak, look at Thursday against Columbus for that.

The only things to maybe look forward to tonight are a close game, and maybe a Taylor Hall goal. I doubt he scores this game since apparently no one on the team(except Eberle) can score. I am interested to see if Renney gives someone like Paajarvi a shot at playing with Hemsky, since Penner just can't seem to cut it. And when I say can't cut it, we are seeing Fatgoose 2008/09 edition. Maybe he is just sick but the last couple of games he looked like he could care less what happened.

My prediction:
Calgary: 5
Edmonton: 2

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Thoughts After 6 Games

As I sit here and admire the nice green grass still outside(yes, it has not yet snowed here) there are a few thoughts that I must clear fom my mind. Let's be honest here, this Oilers team looks bad, I'm not talking last year bad, but if we can't learn to kill a penalty, we better hope Adam Larsson can, because that's where we're headed. On our potential top 3 pick, what the hell is with the love affair with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins? The guy is a pencil! If we do have the opprotunity to pick there, I sure hope we do not pick RNH, sure he has talent but he has to do a lot to fill out, time I don't think we can waste. Speaking of #1 picks, holy hell is Taylor Hall the most inconsistant player I have ever seen, he goes and has a great game against Minnesota then does, next to nothing against San Jose. I think once he finds the consistency in his game then he will turn out to be the player we have been looking for.

Another weakness that the Oilers have is special teams, not just on the PK but on the PP as well. I think the solution to the PP is a simple one, change the strategy. I get why they use an overload strategy on the PP, but it makes 0 sense to have two forwards within 10 feet of each other, what they should do instead is switch to something that resembles the umbrella strategy. Have two of the forwards on each side of the ice with someone creating traffic in front, and get the puck to Foster more, the guy was signed to replace Souray on the powerplay and we have not been going to him quite as much as we need to be. The penalty kill leaves a lot to be desired as well, I don't know if it is the players that they use or what, but we just can't seem to kill penalties. What the team should do is make a call to Oklahoma City, and bring up some players who, until yesterday, killed off 35 straight penalties. If they can't do any better than what we have now, there is little to no hope for us, and like I said earlier, we had better hope Adam Larsson can kill penalties, because no one on this team seems capable of doing so.

The defense of this team is more than just an achillies heel, it is more like a gunshot wound that just doesn't stop bleeding, you can't honestly sit there and tell me that you would rather have Theo Peckham, Jim Vandermeer or Jason Strudwick on the back end over someone like Shawn Belle. We need to send a goalie down and maybe Ryan Jones and bring up Reddox and Belle. Those two, I think would make a difference right now as well as send a message that there is no job that is safe on the team.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Declaration of War #6- WE WILL WIN!!!!!!

That is right loyal readers of this blog, the Oilers will win tonight! You might be asking yourself why this team will win against the Sharks? To which I say, remember the last time the Oilers were on HNIC? Add that this team seems too proud to lose 4 games in a row, which is what they are looking at tonight.

The only lineup change the Oilers are making is Jason Strudwick draws into the line up for the first time this season for Theo Peckham, who injured his hand on Thursday night. Tom Renney should seriously consider not rolling 4 lines again this game, that line was brutal in the minute of ice they played together all game. I would say to not even dress them, but then some injury might occur or Penner gets another 10 minute misconduct(Don't worry Penz, only the best of us can get those).

The Oklahoma City Barons are in action today, taking on the Toronto Marlies. A game preview and tweetcast can be found here.  The only thing I hope for from this game is for someone(Belle) to run over Nazem Kadri. Him doing so could only make this day better.

Go Oilers!
Go Barons!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Declaration of War #5- It's been a while.

Who makes this schedule? I mean really? 5 days between games? If you say so NHL. Many of things have happened since the last Oilers game, there were fans being attacked by players, the Leafs came crashing back to earth(even though their fans still have the parade planned), and a new episode of the 7 part series "Oil Change" was debuted last night to many of fans delight. If you are one of a handful of fans to not watch it, go here. I don't know about anyone else, but if we managed to somehow get the 4th overall pick(without trading Eberle) and draft Ryan Johansen along with Hall, I could not imagine what reaction would have been, although I think I summed it up pretty well here. After hearing Renney speak during that particular episode, I wonder if there are still people who doubt him as coach?

Looking at the Oilers website, so far it looks like there are no major line up changes(no surprise since it's still 9:40 a.m.), but there should be given that the lines were mixed all week in practice. The line I would like to see used are as follows:


How could we lose with those lines? We have someone on our 3rd line that can actually win faceoffs, we have a line of 3 players who can cycle the puck well, and we have Hemsky and Paajarvi on 2 on 1's all game. Seeing how this is a "rebuilding year"(that's what they say in the media right?) why not switch things up early this season and who knows, we might surprise some people.

Edit: Via Dan Tencer on twitter these are the lines for tonight:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Declaration of War #4- The Second Battle of Alberta

Tonight marks the second time this year we play our rivals to the South, and the first time Rod Phillips is behind the microphone for the radio broadcast this season. The Flames, who have been absolutely horrible this season(HA!) will be looking to extract revenge for the beating they took on opening night in Edmonton. The Oilers on the other hand will be looking for a strong performance after that duck they put up in Minnesota the other night. I mean the 14th time is a charm, right?

I see many of Oilers fans are still debating the idea of sending Hall back to junior. What good would that do? He has absolutely nothing left to prove in junior so why send him there? Same goes with Paajarvi, do you actually think he should be down in Oklahoma City and Omark on the team? If so please take your hand, palm open, and smack yourself repeatedly. Omark has done nothing to show he would be better on the team than Paajarvi, both in training camp and in the AHL so far. I mean if there is one person who has not lived up to the hype so far it's Omark(or anyone not named Hartikainen in Oklahoma City right now).

Tonight should be a good one folks, it's unfortunate that the Flames will fail to score for the 3rd time in 4 games.
Edmonton: 3
Calgary: 0

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Jokinen. (Gets me every time)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Declaration of War #3- Is this for real?

So last game being on Thanksgiving and all, I had the opportunity to miss such an awesome game. I mean I saw the first period where Khabi stood on his head, then left for dinner, and by the text updates that I got, I saw the Oilers happened to pull off a victory. When I got home and saw my twitter feed from the game it appears that we didn't play the best of games. Meh, we're projected to finish last, I think we'll take what we can get. The lines for the game appear to be the same, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Although over at Oilers Jambalaya it says different. For some reason, I think that whoever wrote that post assumed that Pitlick would make the team, and had this post ready to go for months.

It was announced that the game on Saturday is going to be the first of the 10 games that Rod Philips calls this year. If you are tired of hearing Mark Lee call Taylor Hall, Adam, then this might be a good game for you to mute the TV and listen to the Hall of Famer call the game.

Things to watch in tonights game would be:

  • If this team can win faceoffs. They had a good showing but put up ducks against the faceoff juggernauts Florida.
  • Will Taylor Hall finally score? No pressure or anything kid. 
  • Assuming Khabi starts will he continue to look sharp?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Declaration of War #2- Everything Is Alright.....I think......

Today the Oilers match up against the Panthers of Florida, in their 2nd battle on the way to the playoffs. While this team might not make the playoffs, we can sure as hell try. I mean we're going 82-0 right? Jordan Eberle will score 164 points, and Khabi will finish with a GAA of 0.00 and a save percentage right? What's that, those feats are impossible? Balderdash. Anything is possible, right?

According to the Oilers website the only changes to the line up is that Stortini is in for MacIntyre and Deslauriers is the back up tonight.

That would mean the lines are(for those too lazy to look):




Based on what happened last game, combined with the fact it's Florida I expect nothing less than a victory tonight.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Battle of Alberta #1 Recap- Are you F**king Kidding Me Eberle?

Seriously Eberle? Wow. That is all. It will be hard to temper enthusiasm, I mean look at that, how the hell am I not supposed to Squee over that goal, and hope for that all year. Yeah I know Hall and Paajarvi looked good too but look at the blog title, Eberle is god.

Big Mac looked pretty good in his job tonight. Knocked out Ivanans. Made sure the kids were comfortable.

Hockey is back Ladies and Gentlemen, discuss.

Declaration of War #1- The First Battle of Alberta

Today is it folks, today is the day we have been waiting for since June 25th. Today is finally the day we get to see the magic of Taylor, Jordan and Magnus. Today is the day we remember what Ales can do, see what Sam can do, wonder if Dustin stayed off the wheat and barley based beverages. Today is the dawn of a new era of leadership on the team with Shawn dawning the C for the first time. Today is the day we get to see if Nikolai can regain his form from years past. Today is the day we can see we get excited and see the dawn of hope, promise of a better time, a time where we were top of the world. A time where we won 5 cups in 7 years. The dawn of the new era begins tonight.

Tonight we start the new era against long time rivals the Calgary Flames. Tonight we sit and watch as our young guns start their march to restore greatness in the City of Champions. We have not won a game versus these Flames in a while, why not kick off the new season with a win? Sounds good to me.

According to the Oilers website the lines for tonight are as follows:

Jones-Fraser-Stortini(though I expect Big Mac to be in tonight)



If you are not excited for this game yet, WAKE UP!!!!!! This is it, this is where it begins, we all saw what the Big 3 could do during the pre-season now it's time to see what they can do for real.


Calgary Sucks

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Preparation for War #6- We're Almost Ready

Tonight marks the 6th and final game of the Oilers preseason, where they will play the Calgary Flames down at the Pringledome in Cowtown. Tonight will be the final chance for players like Peckham, Omark, Petiot, Giroux, Jones, O'Marra to audition for a spot on the Edmonton Oilers this season. Two of the scratches that strike me as odd for tonight are the scratches of Liam Reddox and Chris Vande Velde. I don't know about anyone else but would it not make sense for say, Vande Velde, to head down to Oklahoma City to join the Barons instead of watching the game from the press box? Maybe I am looking too much into it, but it's defiantly food for thought though.

I wouldn't look too much into the lineups for tonight as it is an assessment game for the 11/12/13th spots on the roster. The lines will look as follows:

Penner - Cogliano - Eberle
Giroux - Gagner - Brule
Omark - Fraser - Jones
MacIntyre - O'Marra - Ondrus

Smid - Peckham
Strudwick - Gilbert
Petiot - Belle


Judging by those defense pairings, it would appear that Petiot won't be on the team. But then again maybe the team wants to see how effective he can be given 3rd pairing ice, who knows? Based on this lineup though I expect nothing less than what we saw on Friday, unless the killer D's stand on their head it should be a long night for Oilers fans.

Little off topic for a second, I would again like to congratulate the Oklahoma City Barons on the first win in team history last night. It may have only been preseason but it's hard not to be happy for the "Baby Oilers" after their come from behind win last night. It sounded like Pitton learned to play sometime before the game last night and my boy Teemu Hartikainen sounded like everything I expected him to be. It will be a fun year not only for us Oilers fans up here, but also for the Barons fans down south.

Go Oilers!!!!!
Go Barons!!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Preparation for War #5- The Big 3 Meet The Flames

Tonight is the 5th and almost final stage in the Oilers Preparation for War™ and we can see what sort of line combinations will be used come October 7th. Based on the last couple games it is a safe bet that Hall-Horcoff-Eberle will be one line and that Paajarvi-Gagner-Hemsky will be another line. It is not unreasonable to suggest that Penner-Brule-Cogliano will be line 3, which leaves Fraser, Stortini, Reddox, Vande Velde, Big Mac and apparently O' Marra who for some reason is like a f**king cat, seriously this guy can hardly make the Falcons last year and the Oilers think that he can make the team. Yes I know what he did as a World Junior player but still we have not seen that same player since we acquired him in that trade we had with the New York Islanders but yeah....

The lineups for tonight are as follows:

Paajarvi-Gagner-Hemsky (I'm not sure which of these 2 lines are line 1)
Big Mac-Vande Velde-Stortini


Khabibulin(He gets the whole game)

Newsworthy notes from today include Sheldon Souray cleared waivers(Who saw this coming?) as well with Martin Gerber. Gerber is for sure going down to Oklahoma City, Souray on the other hand, well no one knows where he is going. For those paying attention to the Barons training camp, you will notice that Phillippe Cornet is not there yet. You may be thinking to yourself WTH?!?!?! Well don't fret folks, he is still in Edmonton dealing with immigration paperwork. 

My Score Prediction:
Oilers: 5
Flames: 3