Weak Goaltending and the World Juniors Go Hand-in-Hand

Jonathan Willis
December 20 2011 02:38PM

The last several years have seen strong Canadian entries at the World Juniors. When it comes to the talent of their forwards and defensemen, Team Canada has access to riches unparalleled in any other country in the world.

The situation is a little different in net, where the uncertain tandem of Mark Visentin and Scott Wedgewood will backstop this year’s team.

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Jason Gregor
December 20 2011 10:45AM

Last Friday Magnus Paajarvi was sent down to OKC in the American Hockey League. After a solid rookie campaign last year in Edmonton, Paajarvi struggled mightily this season with only three assists in 25 games. I've been pushing for the 10th overall pick in 2009 to go down to OKC since early November, likely to the point it sounded like nagging, but I didn't see any negative in sending him down. Those who opposed a trip to the AHL worried that he might become bitter towards the organization, or that it would somehow signal that he was going to be a bust.

After talking with Paajarvi yesterday it is clear no one should worry about his mental state. He sounded excited to be playing more, determined to develop his game and in agreement with the decision to send him down.

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December 19 2011 09:57PM

As time goes by, the things we cherished in our youth fade. We have the memories, and those are most dear. It's important then that we spend some time this 11-12 season with ol '94 and hold him in our minds-eye as he is: determined, gritty, fierce and devoted to being an Oiler playing this beautiful game. Ryan Smyth is an all-time Oiler great. Full stop.

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Robin Brownlee
December 19 2011 03:01PM

It doesn't take a vast intellect or astute observation skills to realize Ryan Whitney isn't near the top of his game, or to conclude that the playoff hopes of the Edmonton Oilers decrease with every game it takes him to ascend to that lofty lefty again.

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Jason Gregor
December 19 2011 12:41PM


With only six wins in their last 20 games, the Oilers have fallen six points out of the playoffs as they face the surging Detroit Red Wings tonight. The Wings have won 15 of their last 20, and they've outscored their opponents 80-40 in their recent hot streak. The Oilers will need their veterans, Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky to make an appearance tonight if they hope to stay competitive against the cagey Wings.

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