GDB 25.0: A TOUGHER TEST...

Jason Gregor
November 25 2013 12:27PM

Fresh off a three-day break, the Oilers will try to extend their three-game winning streak vs. the defending Stanley Cup champions. Since the start of the 2010/2011 season the Oilers are 6-5-1 against the Hawks. The Oilers are 2-3-0 at home at 4-2-1 on the road.

The games in Edmonton have been blowouts. The Oilers have won by scores of 9-2 and 8-4, while the Hawks won 4-1, 5-0 and 4-1. The Oilers have outscored their opponents 15-3 during this short winning streak, but beating Chicago should be more difficult than beating Calgary, Columbus and Florida.

The Oilers' are playing their best hockey of the season, but so are the Hawks. Chicago is 10-2-1 in their last 13 games and they've scored 4+ goals in nine of those games. Patrick Kane is on a ten-game scoring streak and has 16 points in 13 games, while Jonathan Toews has 15 points in that same span, and they are on different lines.   

LINEUP

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Yakupov-Gagner-Hemsky
Smyth-Gordon-Perron
Jonesuu-Acton-Gazdic

Belov-J.Schultz
Ference-Petry
N. Schultz-Potter

Dubnyk

No reason to change anything when you are winning, although at some point you'd like to see more from Jesse Joensuu. He hasn't done much, and once they lose I could see Ryan Jones and Marc Arcobello re-inserted into the lineup.

Marian Hossa is in Chicago taking care of a personal matter, so look for Brandon Saad to play with Toews and Patrick Sharp. Kane has Brandon Pirri as his centreman, and recently acquired Kris Versteeg will play the other wing.

QUICK HITS

  •  This is the healthiest we've seen the Oilers in years, and if they can stay healthy we will get a much more accurate assessment of who they are as a team. The Blackhawks have 12 skaters who have played every game. Their top-five D-men; Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Oduya and Leddy, and forwards Toews, Sharp, Kane, Shaw, Saad, Kruger and Bollig. Hossa had missed four games and Bickell has missed two. Being healthy, especially when it is yoru best players, gives you a much better chance to win.
     
  • Look for the Oilers to attack Kane when he has the puck and not give him time to set up. If Kane has time to set up in the offensive zone he will embarrass you. Eakins said he'd rather see the puck on Kane's linemates' sticks.
     
  • Ken Hitchcock moving close to Hall of Fame, a goalie the Oilers have to look at in free agency, and a major blunder by the CFL. Read here.
     
  • Marc Arcobello has been a good surprise, but anyone who felt he was the team's MVP in the first quarter of the season wasn't watching close enough. It is great to want him in the lineup, but don't overestimate his contributions.
     
  • After reading Willis' solid piece on Perron's spike in shots on net, I asked the winger about his increased totals. "I've always liked to shoot, and right now I'm getting a lot of chances to shoot. I'm not sure if the system allows me more chances, or if I'm just getting more right now. It is early, but it seems every game I'm in a good spot to shoot. I really like playing with Gordo (Boyd Gordon) and Smitty (Ryan Smyth). We work well together and they get me the puck in good areas. I don't think I'm doing anything really different than I have in the past, but I noticed I have almost as many shots this year than I had all of last season, so hopefully I can keep it up," Perron said.

    He said he wanted to shoot more the past few years, but this year he said he has tried to shoot the puck quicker, and felt that he had more shots blocked last year. Interesting.
     
  • The Oilers PP is now 9th in the league at 21.5%. After going 6 for 49 (12.2%) in their first 15 games, they are a sizzling 11 for 30 (36.7%) in their last nine games. The Oilers are 18th in PP chances, but if you went by games played, they'd be closer to 23rd.
     
  • The Oilers PK has moved up to 15th overall at 83%. In their first 15 games they allowed 13 goals in 55 attempts (76.4%), but in their last nine games they've only allowed 2 goals in 33 kills (93.9%).
     
  • The Oilers still take too many penalties. They've been shorthanded 88 times thus far, tied for 7th most in the NHL. Eakins has no problem with aggressive penalties, but he feels his team still takes too many stick infractions. They've been one of the most penalized teams for the past four seasons, and eventually that needs to change if they want to start winning.
     
  • A big thank you to everyone who came out to DJ Suitcase party on Friday. It was a great night and we raised over $15,000 for the Inner City Children's Program. Nice work.

LOOKING AHEAD....  

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fans will be entertained with nine goals, but this won't be a blowout...The Hawks pick up their second 5-4 victory over the Oilers this season.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall picks up two more points. Hall has 7-10-17 in 11 career games vs. the Hawks.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner scores the first goal of the game, and a few people suggest he's on his way to another 8-point night. That won't happen, but Gagner picks up an assist to finish with two points. Gagner gets rocked by Andrew Shaw early in the 2nd period, and can't drop the mitts because his jaw isn't 100%, so Andrew Ference rushes in and he and Shaw have a spirited tilt.  

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#251 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
2
props

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

Avatar
#252 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
1
props

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

Avatar
#253 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

Avatar
#254 Mike Krushelnyski
November 25 2013, 11:13PM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
2
props

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

Avatar
#255 Haywood Jablome
November 25 2013, 11:25PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
+1
9
props

Jason Gregor with another bang on game day prediction. Hey Jay, how are you gonna pump your tires on the radio tomorrow?

Avatar
#256 U
November 25 2013, 11:25PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
2
props
Clyde wrote:

Anyone still wondering why Saad was a Calder finalist and Yak wasn't?

Get lost Flamer

Avatar
#257 U
November 25 2013, 11:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
8
props
Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

Wow....like wtf.........ummm...... What have u been doing the last 2 hours man?

Avatar
#258 Terran
November 25 2013, 11:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
3
props

I think Mike had too many wobbly-pops tonight

Avatar
#259 Daren Walker
November 25 2013, 11:37PM
Trash it!
5
trashes
+1
1
props

Hey Jason. Well thought out article. However, not many people are thinking about the CFL expansion draft on December 16th. 9 days away from Christmas, 3 weeks away from the Grey Cup, NHL ongoing, world jr.'s approaching, NFL ongoing, kids about to start their winter break. Seriously man, December one of the few months of the year almost nobody cares whats going on in the CFL. (this comming from a die-hard CFL fan btw.) So quit trying to stir up a story within the media.

Avatar
#260 Johnnydapunk
November 26 2013, 12:11AM
Trash it!
4
trashes
+1
6
props
Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

Dude, your interwebs is broken, I remember the last game you made like 3 pages of comments. Either you are spamming like a trooper or there is something seriously wrong with your PC or whatever device you are commenting from. It's not being a dick or anything, just you should get it fixed :-)

Avatar
#261 MessyEH!
November 26 2013, 12:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
8
props
Mike Krushelnyski wrote:

I have high hopes for the Bryzgalov-era Oilers. They've looked pretty good ever since he's been in net for them!!

You can say that again.

Avatar
#262 MessyEH!
November 26 2013, 12:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
4
props
U wrote:

Wow....like wtf.........ummm...... What have u been doing the last 2 hours man?

I used the word fist and Brownlee had a fit. Where is a monitor when you need one.

Avatar
#263 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 26 2013, 07:34AM
Trash it!
3
trashes
+1
3
props
michael wrote:

Why is Potter still an Oiler? Own goal.Pp and Sh goal. The Oil are finding all kinds of ways to piss this game away. Oh well. Looks like a recipe for failure tonight. BTW Columbus kicks the crud out of TO tonight 6-0. Friday night should be brutal for the Oil.

5-1 final tonight I think I 'll go watch a Miley Cyrus video on You Tube. Isn't that the joke? What's worse than watching the Oilers play Chicago? Answer? Watching Miley Cyrus.

Oil have been winning 3 of 4 games recently - 75%!

at this reate the squueeeeeeek into the playoffs for sure!!

Avatar
#264 Keeper of the bridge
November 26 2013, 09:26AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
+1
4
props

@Jeff In Lethbridge

Back under the bridge, u sarcastic troll.

Avatar
#265 VK63
November 26 2013, 09:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
1
props

It was a brutal game to attend. (again)

Zero resistance to the inevitable loss and the usual passive acceptance that coincides with another mail it in performance.

However… the fan behaviour during the goalie exchange and subsequent love in…… well…. wow. Also… pathetic.

"knowledgeable"

Stay classy Edmonton.

Avatar
#266 Mike Krushelnyski
November 26 2013, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Johnnydapunk wrote:

Dude, your interwebs is broken, I remember the last game you made like 3 pages of comments. Either you are spamming like a trooper or there is something seriously wrong with your PC or whatever device you are commenting from. It's not being a dick or anything, just you should get it fixed :-)

Yep I'm going to stop posting from my laptop for a while...

Avatar
#267 Rob...
November 26 2013, 12:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
3
props

@Mike Krushelnyski

You're not the only one who has triggered a double post, or more. If the powers that be can auto-turf a submission for having a swear in it then I find it difficult to believe that they can't add a bit of code checking to see if the last post contains the identical content of the current submission. Turf the submission if it does.

Avatar
#268 Walter Sobchak
November 26 2013, 01:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props
Romulus' Apotheosis wrote:

He didn't play well, that's for sure. Of course, Yak blowing a tire on a PP, Kane winning a scramble on their PP, Corey Potter punching the puck into the net and Shaw scoring on a 3 on 1 didn't help matters.

Look, no one EVER said Dubnyk was amazing.

What they (myself included) said is that he was playing terribly but was way more likely to rebound to his historical average (which happens to be league average or very slightly better, i.e., not amazing, not terrible), then to remain in the gutter, which many were dead certain of happening.

His play over the last 10 games was very good. And, I expect it to even out over the course of the season to league average or slightly better.

Feel free to continue to think otherwise. You would probably be seriously wrong and if you were in charge of an NHL team you would be likely to make many very bad decisions.

Kind of like your argument that Hartikainen was a true NHLer or the one where Paajarvi was??

Again, I’ll reference Dec & Jan and see where we stand after Dubnyk plays the Western conference big boys. I half expect him to be out played by Bryzgalov at the end of Jan though.

A whole 10 games!!! The same 10 game span where Dubnyk won against such power house teams like CBJ,CAL & FLA? Boy, that’s impressive, sign that man to an extension right now!!

Look at the same month of Nov, Dubnyk won against the league worst, but lost against any team around or above 500…

I will feel free to think otherwise, and you can keep using stats to back up players like Paajarvi, Hartikainen & Dubnyk, but by my eye, and apparently from management’s eyes they don’t feel the same way you do.

Comments are closed for this article.