Saturday, 4 February 2012

Feb 4: Detroit at Edmonton, 8:00 PM, HNIC

Game Day

Yeah. If you're wondering why I didn't post a WOOOOO post after, I thought silence after that kind of night was the best kind of reverence.

If you live under a rock, or not in a hockey city, you wouldn't know that Sam Gagner, that guy who was on Trading Day as well as various numerous hate lists, scored 8 points... on 8 goals.

Finishing the night with 4 goals and 4 assists, he paced the Oilers to a 8-4 win, as well as a place in the Oilers record books beside Paul Coffey and some guy named Gretzky.

Both of whom called to let him know that he's awesome. Nuff said.

Detroit = Killjoy?
If you want to look for a team that would possibly equal a killjoy after that kind of a game, it's these guys. Or the Flames. But mostly these guys.

Detroit News
Detroit beats us like they beat the rest of the league - soundly and with little difficulty. They're the best team in the Western Conference, and have been so since around 1992. They're so freaking efficient, Lidstrom only needs to replace his batteries every few weeks instead of every day.

A good thing for Oilers fans is the lack of All-Star goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has broken his finger - he'll be out for likely the next two meetings against the Oilers, which could be, well, a savoir if you want wins.

Detroit looks to be starting 2006 Oilers second-string goaltender and likely the second-most hated Oiler in a generation Ty Conklin. Let the battle begin!

Oiler News
Some guy named Gagner did something that was big and it looks like the league hasn't shut up about it. 

Also, the MASH corps has finally gotten almost everybody back. We might be healthy for the first time this season. Heard of Nugent-Hopkins? He was so far ahead of the other rookies that he's still in the lead for rookie points 13 games later. He's back. And he wants blood.



Dubnyk will get his fourth straight start. He was overshadowed by Gagner's magical night - he had 43 freaking saves. As you know, that's kind of ridiculous. The Fuhr, if you will, to the Gretzky.

Gilbert is likely still a game away - but if he takes the drop-off test in the morning, like Cam Barker did, he could very well be ready to go for the game. Potter should come out.

If the D-Corps stays healthy, I believe Peckham's days in an Oilers uniform are numbered. He'll bring possibly more return than Andy Sutton - a young defencemen with a nasty edge. And we like Sutton's leadership and will likely tender a contract to the man after the season.

NB: Barker, if you remember, comically fell over in the first period, which gave Oilers fans either epic giggles or a minor heart attack. He ended the night +3 and with a goal that 29/30 goaltenders should have stopped - continuing the belief that a "bad" defenceman is contributing to more and more wins. 

Glorious Prediction - I was simply not glorious enough last night. But I don't expect anything close to that with Nicklas Lidstrom, Nicklas Kronwall, Jakub Kindl and such on the ice tonight. But with the Nuge back - anything is possible. Four point night for Mr. Hopkins, 2 on the powerplay as the Oilers take this one 5-2. Eberle with two goals.
Realistic Prediction - Oilers fans are really excited about watching a game for the first time in a really long time. And really, this is a game we have no business being in. Dubnyk will let in a soft one in the third, and this one will head to overtime... where Gagner puts away a Hall rebound. Oilers 2 - 1 Detroit (OT)
ELPH Prediction (the E is back as long as we're tied for not-second-last) - We ditch all semblance of defensive hockey. This comes to bite us in the rear as Dubnyk/Deities cannot stop the thunder of Datsyuk. 5-3 Detroit, but we sure as hell make this game exciting.

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