February 19 2014 01:27AM
After three rather uneventful preliminary games, we finally get to the games that matter and Canada ends up with the easiest quarterfinal opponent in Latvia. Give the Latvians credit, they scored three goals on the stingy Swiss yesterday and were deserving of their 3-1 victory, but their Cinderella run ends today.
Had Canada lost to Finland they would be playing Russia, and the angst and excitement would be much higher, but I think we will have to wait until Friday to be excitedly nervous about a game.
While I'm giving Latvia no chance, the Canadian players won't be looking past them. Canada's forwards are horny for goals, and I expect we'll see quite a few of them break out offensively.
February 14 2014 07:36AM
Canada will continue its warmup games this morning when they take on Austria. The Austrians will actually try and attack instead of playing sit-back-boring hockey like Norway did yesterday. Canada will score more goals, but Roberto Luongo will likely face a few more quality scoring chances than Carey Price did yesterday.
Micheal Grabner scored three goals in the Austrian's 8-4 loss to Finland yesterday, and along with Tomas Vanek they will present more of an offensive threat, but expect Canada's offence to explode.
February 12 2014 12:44PM
The Oilers powerplay started the season at almost the exact same success rate as last season -- 17 of 82 (20.7%) in the first 25 games -- but they've struggled mightily during the last 35 games, scoring 18 goals on 123 chances (14.6%.)
What has changed? Is it coaching or is it the players?
February 10 2014 10:58AM
|1||* - Abbotsford Heat||50||31||15||3||1||66||0.660||156||136||0-1-0-0||6-2-2-0||5-1||604|
|2||* - Grand Rapids Griffins||49||30||15||2||2||64||0.653||163||123||1-0-0-0||4-5-1-0||2-2||653|
|3||* - Toronto Marlies||48||28||16||2||2||60||0.625||139||127||0-1-0-0||5-5-0-0||4-2||904|
|11||Oklahoma City Barons||49||21||22||1||5||48||0.490||148||169||5-0-0-0||7-3-0-0||1-5||817|
|13||San Antonio Rampage||48||19||21||3||5||46||0.479||134||151||4-0-2-2||5-1-2-2||7-5||729|
|14||Lake Erie Monsters||47||20||23||0||4||44||0.468||121||148||0-2-0-0||3-6-0-1||4-4||1012|
While the Oilers are on their Olympic break, the OKC Barons have won five straight to get themselves back in the playoff race. I caught up with head coach Todd Nelson to get an update on his team, but mainly we discussed how some individual players have been performing.
February 07 2014 01:15PM
Ilya Bryzgalov will start tonight in New Jersey. The stats suggest it makes sense to start him instead of going back-to-back with Ben Scrivens, but considering the Oilers are winning by getting out shot, I wonder if combining that along with going back to Scrivens would guarantee a win.
We'll never know, but it is good to look at the possibilities.