Having had to wear Tuesday’s 10-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres like a bad haircut and endure the musical taunting of a smart-ass radio station from The City of Cows since Tuesday, the Edmonton Oilers get a chance to redeem themselves, not a minute too soon, when the Minnesota Wild come calling at Rexall Place tonight.
Niklas Backstrom? Pfft. Derek Boogaard? Say hello to my little friend (insert photo of Steve MacIntyre speed-bagging Jimmy Vandermeer or Allan Watt scowling as he works the speed dial here) (ed note: no such photo exists… yet).
After 72 hours of torment, the Oilers get the opportunity to prove that Tuesday’s “debacle of monumental proportions” was a fluky, freakish one-off never to be repeated. Same thing for that, ahem, 9-2 starching from the Chicago Blackhawks… never mind.
What better circumstances to do it in than against a Minnesota team that arrives with the exact same record, 24-20-3 for 51 points, and is probably still reeling from Tuesday’s 6-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs… never mind.
That aside, the Oilers come into this HUGE FOUR-POINTER with untold confidence and a flawless 0-10 record against Backstrom after having lit him up like a cheap cigar in a 5-1 loss in Minnesota Jan. 15… never mind.
What could possibly wrong?
Second look for Potulny
Look for Ryan Potulny to be back in the line-up tonight on the second line between Robert Nilsson and Erik Cole. After tallying three assists in four games during his first stint, Potulny is eager to show well again after being recalled from Springfield.
“Hopefully, things can go the same way they did last time,” Potulny said of getting another crack alongside Cole.
“I guess there’s a little bit of pressure, but it’s a good pressure. Any time you come up you’re going to put pressure on yourself. You have to do whatever role you’re put in. I’m just going to go out and play hockey.”
If coach Craig MacTavish wasn’t pulling any fast ones with his lines this morning — like his little bit of mis-direction over Zack Stortini’s readiness to play the last time out — the line-up should look as follows:
Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
Nilsson – Potulny – Cole
Moreau – Cogliano – Pouliot
Macintyre – Brodziak – Reddox
Souray – Gilbert
Grebeshkov – Visnovsky
Smid – Staios
Dwayne Roloson will get the start in goal against his former teammates despite getting yanked after allowing three goals on eight shots against Buffalo.
— Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6pm on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on TEAM 1260.