GDB XII: Stopping a snowball

The Oilers will try to stop a two game losing streak versus North West opponents tonight, when the surprising Colorado Avalanche come to town.

The Avs are 8-1-2 this year, and 4-1-2 on the road and overall they are averaging 3.4 goals per game, and giving up only 2.2 The Avs are similar to the Oilers in that they have consistently been out shot.

Shots by Period:


1st period

2nd period

3rd period

Avs’ opposition
Oil’s opposition

The Oilers have been a bit better in shot differential the past few games, but they lost both of those.

Mike Comrie returns to the lineup tonight and here is how they practiced this morning.

Penner — Gagner — Hemsky
Comrie — Horcoff — O’Sullivan
Jacques — Brule — Nilsson
Moreau —Cogliano — Stortini

Gilbert — Grebeshkov
Smid — Visnovsky
Strudwick — Chorney

Fernando Pisani skated with the team for the first time in almost a month, but he needs a few more practices before he is ready. He could make his debut in Boston on Saturday or Long Island on Monday.

When they do activate him, they will probably put Souray on retroactive LTIR in order to have enough cap space to activate Pisani.

The suggestion that the Avs are coming back to earth is off-base at this point. They haven’t lost a game in regulation since Oct 8th, and since then they have won six and lost in OT in Minnesota.

The Avs have beaten the Wings twice in the last week, and they also have wins over the Bruins and Sharks this season. Their special teams have been great so far.

They are 7th on the PP with 12 goals in 45 chances for 26.7%, and their PK is 6th at 84.3%, and they were a perfect 8-8 on the PK v. Detroit this past Saturday.

Craig Anderson has played in all eleven games for the Avs and his .936 SV % and 2.14 GGA are both in the top ten. The Oilers will have to get him moving side-to-side if they want to get some past him. He is a big guy who plays the angles very well, and they won’t beat him from the outside.

Money management

Pat Quinn was 30 minutes late for his usual press conference this morning, and the reason was he and the coaching staff was meeting with management discussing what they will do with Pisani. Pisani might be ready Thursday, but it’s more realistic we will see him Saturday, and I’m guessing the organization was discussing who comes out, but also how they can fit him in money-wise.