GDB 71: Shifting Fortunes

Jonathan Willis
March 20 2009 05:24PM

Gagner/Kane

It’s March 20th, a rather appropriate day for things to be the opposite of how they should be. You see, it was on this day in 1815 that Napoleon returned to Paris after being imprisoned on the Island of Elba. The country turned upside down as loyalists to the French royal family were ousted and men loyal to Bonaparte were installed. Everything seemed possible, if only for a little while – even if it was only 111 days later that Napoleon would request asylum from a British naval captain and return to exile.

The Edmonton Oilers enter the United Centre tonight fresh off an 8-1 victory over Coloardo. Sam Gagner recorded a hat-trick in that game. The penalty-kill didn’t allow a single goal against. Ales Kotalik looked effective; in short, the Oilers found themselves on the right end of a blowout for a change. With points in there last six games and eight of their last nine, the Oilers may even elect to give Dwayne Roloson a game off – after playing 26 straight games.

The Chicago Blackhawks, on the other hand, enter tonight’s game with four straight losses, and only one win in seven games. That stretch includes losses to the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Islanders and two to the Blue Jackets. The young team, so dominant since the hiring of Joel Quenneville only four games in, have seen themselves fall to fifth in the Western Conference.

The smart money says that the Hawks rebound. The Oilers are playing their second game in two nights, and didn’t even get into Chicago until 3 A.M. The odds against the Oilers are even longer when you consider that the Blackhawks have gone 3-0 against Edmonton this season, outscoring them 15-3 overall (including a 9-2 victory; their best offensive performance of the season). Add in a possible start for Jeff Deslauriers - who hasn’t played since February and hasn’t started since being pulled in an AHL game on January 10th – and things seem very unlikely to go the Oilers’ way.

Personally, I think the Oilers might just be ready to go on a roll. Prediction:

Oilers 4 – Blackhawks 3. Goals by Sam Gagner, Patrick O’Sullivan, Ales Hemsky and Sheldon Souray.

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Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#101 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:24PM
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ROLL OUT THE CARPET!!! MIGHT AS WELL JUST GIVE US THE CUP!!! MATS SUNDIN IS THE GREATEST PLAYER EVER!!!

Uhh, whoa. WHat just happened? God I get hit with way too much pro Canuck propoganda every god damn day.

Seriously though, I hope to god that the boys can keep up this torrid pace. This is way more fun to watch than getting blown out 9-1.

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#102 Ssseth
March 20 2009, 09:24PM
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#103 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 09:28PM
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Wait, what the hell. The Blues are winning?

God I hate the fact that for the past 2 days I've been cheering for Vancouver And Calgary to win. It's killing my soul.

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#104 oilersordeath
March 20 2009, 10:27PM
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What a game!! Nice to see the Oil play with some emotion!! Fun to be an Oiler fan again! Sick goal by Sully!

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#105 jeanshorts
March 20 2009, 10:34PM
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Anyone know if Hudsons has burned to the ground yet in celebration or what? Who gets stuck with bailing Wanye out of the clink tonight? Brownlee?

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#106 David S
March 20 2009, 10:38PM
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jeanshorts wrote:

Anyone know if Hudsons has burned to the ground yet in celebration or what? Who gets stuck with bailing Wanye out of the clink tonight? Brownlee?

Wanye's ghost riding a cop car at WEM as we speak.

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#107 SquidRx
March 20 2009, 11:02PM
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Whoop! Whoop!

*doin' a little dance, makin' a little self love, gettin' down this night*

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#108 Milli
March 21 2009, 08:53AM
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That was sweet. I don't know if I bin drinkin way to much, but goddam, the last few games, they look good. Puck movement, offensive skill, the lines are working, they are actually working.....SWEET!!!!!!

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