GDB 34.0: AN OILERS WINNING STREAK?

Jason Gregor
March 30 2013 10:55AM

Tonight the Oilers will try to win three consecutive games for the first time this season. They've won back-to-back games only three times this year, and in their two previous attempts they lost in a SO vs. San Jose and in OT to Detroit. Their inability to put together a winning streak, even a short three-gamer, is the reason why they sit in 12th place in the west.

The Oilers are one of six teams without a three-game winning streak, and not surprisingly all six of them are out of the playoffs. Florida has won two straight game only twice, Oilers have done it three times, the Flames, Avalanche and Flyers four times and the Coyotes have won two straight five times.

No team in the history of the NHL has made the playoffs without a three-game winning streak, so if the Oilers have any post-season aspirations they need a win over the red-hot Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks skate into Rexall Place on a six-game winning streak. They've won all six by with excellent goaltending and an average offence. Corey Schneider has allowed only 6 goals on 166 shots, .963SV%, while the Canucks have only scored 13 goals in the six wins.

The Oilers faced Roberto Luongo in their previous two meetings this year. They won 3-2 in a SO on January 20th in Vancouver and lost 3-2 in OT at Rexall Place on February 4th. While Schneider is playing great, the Canucks offence isn't that dynamic. They've scored 3+ goals in only 4 of their past 14 games, while the Oilers have tallied 3 or more in 6 of their past 9 games.

I doubt the Oilers can beat the Canucks in a defensive matchup, so they should try to turn tonight into a run-and-gun affair.

LINEUP

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Jones/Horcoff/Yakupov
Paajarvi/Gagner/Hemsky
Brown/Smyth/Petrell

Smid/Petry
N.Schultz/J.Schultz
Whitney/Potter

Dubnyk

Dubnyk picked up his 9th win of the season after replacing Nikolai Khabibulin 33 seconds into the third period. Dubnyk stopped all nine shots he faced and he'll try to end Schneider's six-game winning streak tonight.

I don't see any reason Krueger makes any other lineup changes. Only option would be to bring in Fistric for Potter/Whitney.

QUICK HITS

  • Ralph Krueger benched Taylor Hall for two shifts at the start of the third period, after two bad turnovers in the neutral zone late in the 2nd period. The Oilers can't afford to sit Hall for an entire period or a game, but Krueger's message was loud and clear. Benching Hall for two shifts sends a strong message to every player, and Hall admitted after the game that he deserved it. The best part was that no one made a big deal about it. Hall got the message, coach got his team's attention and Hall will likely be much smarter with the puck tonight.
     
  • I sat in row one on Thursday and it was a great reminder of how fast the game is. Watching it on TV and from the pressbox makes the game look much easier than it is. It's amazing how quick the players react, how fast even the slowest NHLer is, and how excellent their hand-eye coordination is. 
     
  • Thursdays game might have been the best home game of the season, from a pure entertainment standpoint. The goaltending wasn't great, Khabibulin, but there were three highlight reel goals; Eberle, Anisimov and Hemsky. There were lots of chances, few penalties and an exciting scrap. Fans don't get to experience many of those games, but that one offered something from beginning to end.
     
  • Taylor Hall, 31 points in 30 games, is on pace to become the first point-a-game player in Edmonton since Ryan Smyth tallied 31 goals and 53 points in 53 games in 2007. He finished the season with 15 points in 18 games with the Islanders, so his full season wasn't a point-a-game pace, but he did do it with Edmonton.
     
  • Doug Weight was the last Oiler to play a full season and average over one point-per-game when he tallied 90 points in 82 games during the 2000/2001 season.
     
  • The Penguins announced today that D-man Paul Martin will be out for six weeks. The Penguins still have about $4.5 million in cap space, so don't be surprised if Ray Shero makes another bold move.
     
  • In the past four days, the Oilers' playoff chances have jumped up 8%. After back-to-back wins they are up to 12.1% according to sportsclubstats.com. Could they jump to 16% with a victory tonight...Dare to dream Oiler fans, dare to dream.
     
  • Rumblings from Vancouver today is that the Canucks have put David Booth on LTIR, meaning they have the value of his contract, $4.25 million, to spend above the cap. The Canucks desperately need some more scoring, and this move gives Mike Gillis the cap space to make a move.

TONIGHT....

 

 GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers will get their first three-game winning streak of the season with a 4-3 regulation win. Eberle, Hall and Gagner will each have two points.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Saturday night game on a long weekend means 25 people will get booted out during the game. I'll chat with security after the game to see the final tally, but I'm always amazed at how many people spend big bucks to go to the game, but end up allowing the Rexall Beer to get the best of them. Drink responsibly my friends.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Sam Gagner and Alex Burrows drop the gloves in a spirited second-period tilt. Anytime Samwise drops the mitts the fans get energized. Gagner likes to scrap once or twice a year, and after Burrows gives Paajarvi a cheap shot, Gagner flies in to defend his linemate. After the fight the crowd chants, Re-Sign Gagner, Re-sign Gagner... 

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
#151 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
March 31 2013, 10:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Mac962 wrote:

I still want one mean sob to take care of pricks like Bieksa. One shot to one of the sisters faces should have come there is no question in my mind. Hall or any of the kids not not be touched to that extent without retribution.

I get the point and agree.....question is do you want one "coke machine" playing 3 minutes a game and taking up a roster spot....

Or 2 more Mike Browns.....

Or, is there a guy out there you see who can play 12-14 minutes and play the enforcer role?

Avatar
#152 15w40
March 31 2013, 11:27AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Jones for Tootoo??

Avatar
#153 Rod from Viking
March 31 2013, 12:02PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The other 4th liner tough guy we need would have to be able to play and not be a defensive liability, I am in the Stauffer camp on the thought that 2 of the 3 on the fourth line have to be able to kill penalties and the 3rd can expect to only play 5 on 5, this person could also be a 6th or 7th D , it is too bad Andy Sutton got injured because he was good at this role.

Avatar
#154 geoilersgist
March 31 2013, 12:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey ho let's go! What a game that was last night. Do I ever wish I didn't miss the first period.

What say you DSF?

Avatar
#155 DigDeepNBleedBlue
March 31 2013, 01:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty) wrote:

DigDeepNBleedBlue.....you should consider an a.k.a. for special games.....like Oilers/Flames.....DigDeepNDrawBlood !

I'm in, Old Retired Guy AKA Die-Nasty!

Go for the jugular, Oil! Bleed 'em out. Muhahahaha

Monday's already planned. GF is kicked out, fridge is stocked, I'm not shaving and I got me one of those Vuvuzelas.

Plus, I'm mentally prepared.

“Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the Attack.” - Sun Tzu

Hammer down, boys! Go, Blue!

- DigDeepNBleedBlue AKA DigDeepNDrawBlood AKA KillAnythingThatWearsRed

Disclaimer: If your reading this and you're a crazy person, please don't kill anyone...

Avatar
#156 NewAgeSys
March 31 2013, 02:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Old Retired Guy wrote:

WOW......Once again, a glimpse at the future. Only the future seems not so far away.

The whole was greater than the sum of the parts. Hall, Ebbs, and Nuge on one line, and we still had a balanced attack across all 4 lines.

Magnus Paajarvi is quickly working his way into the group of 5.....untouchables. (soon to be the group of 6)

Petry played like a top-2 Dman and Dubnyk like a 1A.

Makes you think twice about making any hasty moves at the deadline. A win against Calgary on Monday could actually turn us into buyers.

And we've got Klefbom and a Curtis Lazar (or equivlant) waiting in the wings. Also, a handfull of larger/more rugged 4th liners in the system (to take the load off of Mike Brown).

Of course there will be bumps in the road (i.e. when the wheel on Oilers bus runs over DSF). I'm just trying to remember the name of that show in the 80's with all those stars and all that drama....oh yeah....now I remember.......DYNASTY!

@ Die-Nasty the Poster formerly known as Old Retired Guy

Great post full of accurate well balanced observations.

Just like the system execution the Oilers projected and forced on Van -- accurate and well balanced.

Now we have every right to expect this same prepared, accurate,balanced dynamic pre-game managment and system execution against the Flames.

Yes in fact the Whole was Greater than the Sum of the Parts, and a much more focused and influential Intuative Dynamic managment tactic has been the catalyst of this chemistry and ability to optimise specific skillsets ultr-effectively. From the lines themselves to the pre-game preparation to the immediate and consistant system execution to start games that now carries through 60 full minutes, Intuative Dynamic managment techniqueshave been infused into the Oilers mindset and focus.

We are managing games from a new dynamic perspective and this managment style perfectly suits our roster. Simple dynamic system execution ,consistantly presented creates solid defensive structure with fewer mistakes and a solid base from which to catalyse opposition system breakdowns,tactical pre-game preparation is allowing us to shut teams down immediatly in the first few minutes and we are prepared with dynamic attacks PREGAME so as soon as their system reacts we can strike. This is an entirely new presentation by Ralph asan NHL coach with this system. We are taking the initiative as soon as games begin, like other teams are doing these days, the 2minute drill is common and teams begin and end periods with a tacticlly planned bang.

Lets use the Flames to vault into the playoff picture, lets inject them with Oilers venom early like we did to Van and then gently lay their heads down like we did last night and close the games out cleanly.

Avatar
#157 sjshep
April 01 2013, 09:09PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey Rama Lama stay on holidays your are the oilers jinx

Comments are closed for this article.