For the second straight game, the Oilers offence will get a boost; the fog has lifted and Robert Nilsson will play tonight with Gagner and Cole. Nilsson skated hard yesterday, and was cautious about a return tonight, but after the morning skate he was smiling and excited to play with his father in the rink tonight.
Nilsson’s return means a shuffle: Reddox is off the second line, and based on practice he might be in the pressbox tonight. Reddox and Strudwick were the last two off the ice at the morning skate, normally a sign that they won’t play tonight. The problem with that theory is that Strudwick has been the last player off on game day many times, yet still laced them up that night.
Reddox, Brule, Strudwick and MacIntyre are the options to flank Brodziak, and none of the players were saying who was playing. I would lean towards MacIntyre and Brule being in tonight.
Hall & Oates
Many of you were stunned watching the Oilers, specifically Ethan Moreau, clapping in unison to Private Eyes, after their win against Phoenix. Veteran Strudwick explains the reasoning behind this song:
Strudwick: First off, I really liked the ’80s. There was lots of good music produced, synthesizers and bad hair were a good combination. As far as Hall and Oates, we’re searching for a song and right now that seems to be the go-to after the game. I like the song a lot and I think we should stick with it.
Gregor: Is it because of the clapping sequence, the unison factor?
Strudwick: We had tried harder clapping sequence, but not everyone could get it, but now this song there is only three claps every two minutes so we can keep the pace.
Gregor: You’ve been around the league a long time — are there any other songs that were this team-building-ish.
Strudwick: Most teams after a win play the same song. Last year in New York we had a song by Eminem — Shake Your Ass — not sure if you are familiar with it, but it is quite a good number. The other year we had Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond, which was Jagr’s song. We’ve had quite the potpourri of music.
Moreau kicking out Pouliot
Many of you thought Moreau was a horrible leader for waving Pouliot out of the dot a few games ago, so I asked him why?
“I take it because then Cogs can stay on the left side, where he is more comfortable, and not go on the right. Really, Poulie and I laugh about it when we look at one another to see who will take it. It isn’t a big deal at all, but the main reason is so that Cogs can stay on the left where he is more comfortable.”
I asked Pouliot his thoughts on it, and if he felt being a centre he should take the draw.
“Cogs hates the right side, so it is easier for Chop (Moreau) to take the draw. If he loses it I bug him hard that I should take it next time, but we laugh about it. When he waved me out it was because Cogs yelled at him to take it so he could stay on the left. I don’t think it is a big deal, other than I can bug him if he loses it.”
Garon and contract
To clarify whether Garon got a contract offer from the team this summer, I made a phone call. Garon said he had never spoken to the Oilers about an extension, while I was told a few months back there was an offer.
The truth is that Garon’s camp called the Oilers about an extension in the summer, and the Oilers said they would look at it during the season. So Garon never turned down an extension, but they did have contact with the Oilers about it. This according to Kevin Prendergast.
My original source was correct that talks had occurred, but it was, in fact, the Garon camp that started them not the Oilers.