The Oilers playoff hopes are on the brink (I said a loss against the Ducks was the unofficial end of the dream, but mathematically they are still alive), and the Sharks are circling tonight. Do they smell blood?
Can the Oilers live to skate another day? Who the hell knows? One game at a time was the overwhelming theme and retort inside the lockerroom, and really, what else do the Oilers have to cling to.
I suggest covering your eyes when the second period starts. The Oilers have been outscored 90-74 in the middle frame, while the best frame is the 2nd where they have dominated the opposition 86-50 on the scoreboard.
The Oilers best frame, not surprisingly is the third where they have potted 73 and given up 66 goals. The first period they are -4, scoring 67-71. Maybe they should each chug a Rockstar or one of those Five hour energy drinks. Or get their video guru, Brian Ross, to have a motivational vignette of great movie speeches.
Play parts of Rudy, or the Reg Dunlop speech when he tell the team the only option left is to win the F-ing league. How about Tony DAmatos (Al Pacino) halftime doozy during Any Given Sunday to fire up the troops? Because whatever is happening in the first intermission is not working, so they better do something to change it up.
RYE AND COKE TO SPARK THE TEAM
The Trailer Park Boys were at the Rex this morning. They must have had a ripper of a party in Lethbridge last night because the aroma was obvious this morning. They eventually made their way to the players only area in the back of the room. Maybe Bubbles or Ricky or Julien loosened the boys up with a skit or some inspirational story about gathering shopping carts, living in a car, dealing pot or how to succeed with a drink in your hand 24/7.
At this point the Oilers need to try something different. Their routine is not working. Sixteen wins in 37 home games is pitiful. There will be one lineup change tonight. Robert Nilsson will skate on the LW with Gagner and OSullivan. Penner will play with Stortini and Brodziak. Expect to see Horcoff go against the Thornton line, and he will be flanked by Pisani and Moreau on certain shifts, and Hemsky and Kotalik the rest of the time.
The Oilers have more EV goals than the Sharks, 143-132, but they have also given up more 140-116 five-on-five. The glaring difference between these teams comes, wait for it, on special teams. The Sharks have 70 PP goals to the Oilers 48, and theres a bigger gap on the PK. The Oilers PK has surrendered 70 goals, while the Sharks have only been scored on 44 times.
Combine the two and the Sharks are 48 goals better than the Oilers on special teams. That explains the 30 point difference in the standings. I’m not sure what will have more life support tonight; the Oilers or the ER finale. Both might become unwatchable.