Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Feb 8: Edmonton at Detroit, 5:30 PM, TSN

Game Day

Injury Voodoo Required:
The Oilers continue their remarkable streak stretching back early into last season for having not a single game with the entire line-up, top to bottom, healthy for at least one full game.

RNH, that rookie phenom, popped his shoulder and is now out for a week. He's likely to return against *gasp* Toronto next week. That's lol-worthy.

To add, not surprisingly, insult to injury, Tom Renney wasn't at last game because Ladislav Smid, obviously unhappy, made like Lee Harvey Oswald and smacked a puck off the coach's face. Both parties were incredibly apologetic, but we all know Smid was secretly angry. Don't we, Smid.

Detroit News
The Detroit Red Wings do not know how to lose at home. 20-2-1. That's incredibly ridiculous.

That being said, however, this team is only at .500 on the road. To make matters worse, they're on a two game losing streak, and we're part of that losing streak! HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND.

To compound matter on matter, they don't have all-star goalie Jimmy Howard, who's presence in net is really being felt in his absence. Ty Conklin has been out for precisely one period, where the Gagnertrain destroyed him. Guess who just entered the market for a decent backup goaltender?

Edmonton News
As with tradition with the fanbase, a 5 straight game point streak had many fans chanting Playoff Run before you could even think about one.

A very Oilersesque performance in Toronto resulted in a 6-3 loss, and those same fans are now chanting MURRAY MURRAY. Look, I understand you guys are temperamental, but I don't believe any of us* could have thought this team was going to go after the all-star break undefeated. Live on the win streak. It's a lot better to watch than the losing ones.

These Oilers are significantly different than the one before the break. The cautious, powerplay pouncing, neutral zone trapping RNH-style Oilers have been replaced by the quick, fast-paced talent-laden defense-forsaking Hall-led Oilers. Who knows why?

Doesn't matter that Eberle led both systems in points. The man is a machine and a stud and can play in any situation and get you goals. He just exists.

Whatever it is, this team is dynamic and a lot more fun to watch than the first half team. In fact, I would argue that they're a little bit better with the defensive gaffes than they were before. We're not losing 1-0 games anymore. I like it.



If anybody is going to profit from this run-and-gun offence, it's ... I'd really like to say Paajarvi, but I just don't think he is. He's much more defensively responsible than I'd like. 

To be quite honest, I'm hoping that Petrell gets sent down as soon as Omark gets two games under his belt in the AHL. That kid, there's someone who will flourish in this system. Doesn't know a thing about defensive hockey. Put him on a line with Lander and Paajarvi, and you have yourself two incredible lines.

By the way, these past few games, Hall-Gagner-Eberle have been the best line... in hockey. Move over, Getzlaf-Perry-Ryan. A team that can play defence as well as Detroit, as well as Toronto that gets ripped apart EVERY shift by these boys... they play hockey indeed.

Glorious Prediction - TY CONKLIN gets the start. Gagner has more fun than before, getting 4 points, but its Petry, the boy from Michigan State, that gets his first career hat trick after a career night in Toronto, who surprises all. Oilers take this one and restart the push for 8th in spectacular fashion, 6-1.
Realistic Prediction - I can see the Oilers salvaging a point out of this one, but I physically can't see any team beating Detroit at home. In fact, unless Howard gets injured, if these guys get home-ice advantage in the playoffs, they're going straight to the cup.
Oilers 3-4 Detroit (OT)
ELPH Prediction - Nobody's getting a shutout. We're too runandgun for that now. But they do lose big.
6-3 again, Hall and Ebs getting the goals, likely Ebs with significantly more frustration being stuck at 2.

*33-0-0. You did *not* see that here.

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