GDB VIII: Using Oil to drown an Orca

It’s amazing what a few wins will do for a team. The mood at Rexall this morning was shockingly loose. Hell, even Brownlee was smiling, but I digress. The players seemed relaxed and having fun, but every player you spoke with insisted this team needs to be better. They realize that they have to limit the scoring chances of the opposition, and try to generate more consistent offensive pressure.

The best news for the Oilers, and their fans, is that Daniel Sedin isn’t dressed tonight. The Sedin Sisters have owned the Oilers the past few years, especially on the PP.

Henrik Sedin has five points, all assists, in the three games since his brother broke his foot, and has eleven points to lead the Canucks.

The Canucks are 3-4 this year, and might be worse if it wasn’t for their powerplay. The Canucks have been outscored 13-12 at EV, but they have nine PP goals in 29 opportunities (31%).

The Oilers, however, have been winning games due to their solid five-on-five play. The Oilers have out-scored the opposition 22-13, with Dustin Penner and Gilbert Brule leading the way. Penner has the 3rd most points in the league while EV, and Brule is 4th.

Hemsky game-time decision

After spending the weekend in bed with the flu, Ales Hemsky was on the ice this morning. Hemsky, who is normally the first guy off the ice after practice, stayed out late doing some drills, to see his body would respond. He will be a game time decision; if he plays Robert Nilsson will come out. Right now it seems 50/50 if he’ll play.

Steve Staios did some light skating by himself, but he is still day-to-day, while Sheldon Souray is much farther away. You can’t rush a player back, and considering the style of play these two play, I’d guess the training staff will be very cautious before giving them the green light to return.

The good news is that the Oilers are getting a chance to see Taylor Chorney. Chorney could be the key, if Steve Tambellini thinks about moving one of his offensive defensemen. If they feel Chorney is ready to replace one of their top guys, then Tambellini might be less hesitant to make a move.

Quotes of the day

“I think Don Cherry brainwashed me. I have all the Rock ’em Sock ’em videos and he was always saying act like you’ve scored before.” But if the best goal scorer in the league can celebrate maybe I will try one soon.”

Penner had a laugh when we were talking about goal celebrations. Penner is very subdued in his celebrations, compared to Brule or Sam Gagner. I asked him if he thought about jumping up against the glass like many do, “I’m worried I might go through it,” he laughed.

Penner also said confidence is the biggest difference in his game. “Last year I wouldn’t have carried the puck into the zone and made plays, but now I feel I can make those plays. I just need to find out how to keep it going”.

“I can’t even find one right now," Jason Strudwick laughed when asked about getting that first tilt out of the way.

What about Derek Boogaard asking him last game? “I’d fight him, but if I did I’d be going into it looking for a tie, and that is no way to enter a fight.”

“He has the fastest hands I’ve seen in a long time. Guys around the league will need to take notice or he’ll surprise them. He is very entertaining as a fighter,” Darcy Hordichuk on teammate Rick Rypien.

Rypien is not a former gold-glove boxer — his dad was. But he spent lots of time training with his dad and brother and it is obvious when he drops the mitts. Rypien is top-three middleweights in the league, and Louie Debrusk thinks Rypien is pound for pound the toughest guy in the league.

Final Thought

Khabibulin struggles more v. the Canucks than any other team, he is only 6-16-3 with a 3.39 GAA. He hopes to change that tonight.

Click here to see what the competition’s saying.

  • Jason Gregor

    Hey, I'm a flames fan, but love your site.
    I was just curious: who do all of you oiler guys hate more, calgary or vancouver?
    To be honest, although I am 'supposed to hate' the oilers, I have a hard time with it. Everyone on your team is pretty likable, and usually are pretty entertaining on the ice. I would assume Oiler fans are probably not too pumped on the Flames after those two bullsh*t wins Calgary scraped up against Edmonton a couple weeks ago, but beyond that, what is the general consensus from Oilers Nation regarding their western Canadian rivals?

      • Ender

        It's ok to taunt your rivals with well-aimed barbs (How ugly is Phaneuf again?) but always keep in the back of your mind the following:

        How fast would your outlook on those players change if they pulled on Oilers sweaters? The Sedin sisters take a lot of heat from Edmontonians, and that's ok. But I bet you 98% of the people kidding about them now would be cheering them pretty loud if they were leading the Oil roster in points this season.

        • Librarian Mike

          How fast would your outlook on those players change if they pulled on Oilers sweaters? The Sedin sisters take a lot of heat from Edmontonians, and that's ok. But I bet you 98% of the people kidding about them now would be cheering them pretty loud if they were leading the Oil roster in points this season.

          You speak the truth, but I can say with all honesty that I would not be happy to have them on the team. Seriously, look at their eyes. They may be giving that limp smile in all their pics, but the eyes are planning all the nice clothing they'll make with your skin…

    • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean

      Hands down I hate the 'nucks more then the flamers! How can we hate the flames when 99% of their players are from Edmonton?? It's like cheering for the young Oilers fans!

    • Nuge&Connorvs.Sam&Sean

      Well, you guys are closer and there's more history so in my book, you guys are first trhough 4th. As for the Canucks, they are just a lot of hype and kicking and screaming and things like that. So I don't really think much of them. How many significant tittle banners do they have anyway.

      Tonight, the Oilers bury them farther in the standings with a 4-1 win. Bullin with 40 saves and Penner with a goal and two points.

      And your damm horn does not help things at all….

    • Ender

      The Flamers are torn, because even though there is a longstanding rivalry in the 'Battle of Alberta', Calgary has (arguably) acquired reasons to hate Vancouver even more.

      It's a little more cut and dried with Edmonton. For awhile, we hated both Colorado and Dallas because they kept knocking us out of the playoffs, seemingly by turns. By now, though, it's been so long since we've been in the playoffs with any regularity, I think that we've realized that the Avalanche and the Stars might not have been the real problem.

      Long story short, we have no one left to hate more than you. You get our undivided hate attention. Aren't you lucky?

    • rindog

      Is that maybe one of the problems with our team?

      Are our players too "likable" and not big enough pests/agitators?

      Maybe we need a few more players that the opposition has a "hate" for?

    • For the last few years I despised the Canucks more. Mostly because of their goalie and their fans (with that stupid Loooo chant). Not to mention the losing…

      Calgary earned some hate points with Keenan because it is his fault Lou is in our division for the next 112 years.

    • Eric Johnson

      Canucks and Oilers have had some very spirited games over the past few years and there is a tangible dislike of each other by the players themselves it seems.

      So yeah we hate the Canucks. But with Iggy's little play last game I think itl ignite the hatred down QE II.

      No matter how much Oiler fans hate the Canucks, Flames will always be the public enemy #1 just due to proximity.

      Thats my 2 cents anyway.

  • Amber McCormick

    Statistically, there's very little reason to think we won't walk away with victory tonight. Vancouver in 13th place? Correct me if I'm wrong but it was speculated that they would end up in first or second…at this point, although early, it doesn't look good. Being short a Sedin isn't going to help. Goilers!

  • Eric Johnson

    Oilers 5-2

    Penner with a goal and an assist. Gagner with 2 assists and Stone with his first NHL goal. O'Sullivan, Gilbert and big JFJ with the other markers.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    *looks at the screen of the newly fixed SuperComputer in a bit of disbelief*

    Says here…*hits to screen, just to be certain* that the Game will be a high scoring one – 7 to 5 for the oilers. Penner will have 1 goal and 1 assist (obviously), Strudwick, Gagner, Comrie, O'Sullivan and Jacques will each have one. Stone will pick up his first part way through the second period. Luongo will get pulled after letting in 4 weak goals early in the game. There will also be a number of fights, and the camera man will keep showing the same super hot chick: Section 102, Row 18, Seat 5. Should be a fun one…

  • Eric Johnson

    great interview by Statuffer on the Oilers web site with Dustin Penner.

    He really sounds like he more than deserves that "A" he was wearing last game. What a transformation of a player.

  • Chris.

    Can't wait for gametime. Even the lackluster Oiler team of last season managed a higher level of emotion against these clowns: Should be a great game. Here's to hoping Luongo's poor SV% and the Oiler high shooting% don't begin their correction tonight!

  • Vaclav

    I hate the fracken Canucks more than anything!!
    I really hope Smac is playing tonight to pound some Canuck a$$ like Rypen and Hordichuk who got knocked the f$%k out in Calgary!! Yeah!! I think a great intro song for when teams hit the ice would be "I will kill you!! -Cannibal Corpse

    • Jason Gregor

      He has been sick. He looked like crap. Whether is groin is sore is another issue, but his groin didn't give him the flu I can tell you that.

      ***Try to refrain from comments regarding what ailments a groin can give you***

  • Victoria

    "Khabibulin struggles more v. the Canucks than any other team, he is only 6-16-3 with a 3.39 GAA. He hopes to change that tonight."

    But then, he's been great against the Flames in previous years and now he seems to suck against them. Maybe that trend will continue.

  • Shapeman

    FIRSTly i must say that i am fairly impressed with the play of the oil so far this year. They have been much more exciting and scoring way more goals. Lets hope PDP can keep this up and that Hemmer gets going soon. GO OILERS!!!

  • The Pestival

    There is no team I despise more than the Canucks, can't wait for tonight! I think this might be the year we start owning the Nucks again. Hopefully it doesn't take too long for Stone and Brule to introduce themselves to the last standing Sister.