Thursday, 2 February 2012

Feb 2: Chicago at Edmonton, 7:30 PM, TSN

Game Day
The City of Champs at night, apparently

Can we do it again?
Throughout the season of inconsistency, there has been one little blip in the logic train.

The Oilers can beat the Blackhawks.

Doesn't matter if we play Detroit the next game. Doesn't matter if it's the October of wonder or the December of blunder.

The Oilers know how to beat the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks now sit in 6th place in the Western Conference. The Oilers (hah) try to make a playoff push (sniff hah) from 14th spot, red hot* in their last three games, picking up 5 of 6 points. Let's face it, they're spoilers. And they play very well against playoff teams. Let's see what happens - they might just pull an upset.

Hall - Horcoff - Hemsky
Cornet - Gagner - Eberle
Smyth - Belanger - Jones
Eager - Lander - Petrell

Whitney - Potter
Smid - Sutton
Peckham - Petry

Dubnyk gets the start tonight - he's been red-hot, although he has not changed one bit (still lets in 1 bad goal/game. It's incredibly consistent.)

The injured corps is returning VERY soon, in fact, you might even see the one they call "Nuge" show up tonight. If he is, expect Gagner to suit up on the top line, RNH to slip in with Eberle and Cornet, Horcoff and Belanger in some combination to the third and fourth lines, and Lander in the press box.

Gilbert and Barker remain 3-4 games away, although Barker says he could be in against Detroit.

With a healthy D-corps, I see no reason why this team couldn't go 33-0-0 with the rest of their games**.

Glorious Prediction - OILERS GOOOOAL. The return of Nugent-Hopkins is deadly, as someone tells him that he has been eclipsed in the rookie scoring race (which, ridiculously, he hasn't been). Not to be outdone, Nuge chalks up an incredulous 5 points, a goal and 4 assists, as the Oilers take this one 5-1. Chicago, Edmonton, and the collective universe scratch their heads as Belanger gets a goal on the powerplay again.

Realistic Prediction - Nuge doesn't make the line-up, but the M.A.S.H. corps somehow ekes out a hard-fought, talent laden, sweet victory. Hall and Eberle score again, as well as Andy Sutton, who gets a dandy feed from two Ryans.

LPH Prediction - Toews and Kane on the top line? Don't even bother.
We play defence for three periods and lose this one 2-0 in the third. Dubnyk's fault on the second as it just goes past his glove hand off a juicy rebound.

*Red-hot in Pittsburgh or Nashville is winning 8 in a row.
Red-hot in Edmonton is not losing miserably every game.

**Denial. It's one of those steps in admitting you have a problem or something.

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