December 30 2010 12:23PM
Life without Ryan Whitney begins tonight for the Oilers, and it doesn't seem likely that they will have the horses to stay competitive. Whitney has been Mr. Everything for the Oilers this year. He leads them in points, assists, plus/minus and icetime. He is +13 on a team where the other D-men are all minus, except Jim Vandermeer (+3), and are a combined -32. Whitney was having a career year, and the Oilers backend looks overmatched without him.
December 29 2010 06:45PM
With Ryan Whitney out of the picture for two months, the Edmonton Oilers’ already strong chance at a lottery finish just got a little stronger. The reality is that this team has had a stranglehold on a lottery position since the get-go, and this is just a little extra insurance to get them over the line.
December 29 2010 01:26PM
Back on December 3rd I wrote that the the Oilers were ready to put ELPH in the rearview mirror, and would not finish in the bottom five. Shows how much I know, although I did state the only way they would stay in the hunt for a lottery pick would be if the injury bug hit. The injury bug bit Ales Hemsky for 13 games, Shawn Horcoff has been out since December 7th and now Ryan Whitney will be out at least a few weeks.
Most teams would struggle losing arguably their three best players, but when you are a young team the impact hits even harder.
December 28 2010 04:10PM
I don't know if Andrew Cogliano is ever going to play his way back into the long-term plans of the Edmonton Oilers, but I can't help but think his best chance to do it will come in the next month.
That window of opportunity swings open tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, when he'll line up between Dustin Penner and Ales Hemsky on coach Tom Renney's second line. It'll stay open as long as Renney leaves him there, or until Shawn Horcoff returns from the sprained knee that has him on the shelf.
December 28 2010 02:46PM
Jeff Petry was the Oilers first draft choice in 2006, 45th overall. After being drafted he spent one more season in Des Moines in the USHL, then three years of NCAA at Michigan State University, 32 games in Oklahoma in the AHL and tonight he will make his NHL debut. Petry looked decent at the rookie camp in Penticton in September, and showed even better at main camp and in the preseason, and this evening he will become the 5th Oiler to make his NHL debut this season.