GDB XIV: Taming the bear

Thankfully there aren’t many of these 11 am starts, especially on a Saturday Halloween. I wonder how many of you will be drinking the hair of the dog this morning, beer and clam, trying to ease the throbbing in your head? And hopefully the girl or guy you met last night didn’t just look good in their costume.

The Oilers overall record in the afternoon isn’t great, but in the last six years they’ve been much better.

The Oilers are a combined 7-20-3-1 in Boston, and they haven’t won there since 1996/97, granted they have only played there six times since then going 0-4-1-1. Last year they lost in OT to the Bruins 1-0 at Rexall Place.

Mike Comrie and Lubomir Visnovsky will take the morning skate. Yesterday, Louie Debrusk said on my show that Visnovsky wasn’t on the trip, but he texted me late last night and said he missed him and indeed he was, so he and Comrie will be game time decisions.

It doesn’t look like Pisani will be activated for this game, and he says he is healthy, but the medical staff must disagree or he is out because of salary restrictions. Too bad, because Pisani has four points in three career games v. the Bruins.

No one on the Oilers has more than two career goals v. the Bruins, except for Sheldon Souray, and he won’t play. Comrie, Visnovsky, Ethan Moreau and Shawn Horcoff each have two, while Patrick O’Sullivan has one.

Ales Hemsky has never scored v. the Bruins, and neither has Dustin Penner, although Penner has only played them once in his career so far.

The Bruins special teams are killing them right now. Their PP is 27th at 14.3% while their PK is 24th. The Oilers are better in both categories sitting 16th in PK, and 13th on the PP at 21.3%.

Don’t be surprised if the Oilers see Tukka Rask in goal today. Matt Kalman from www.thebruinsblog.net said yesterday there is a 70 per cent chance we will see Rask today. Tim Thomas has struggled early, so Claude Julien might go with the rookie.

Another side note…The Bruins have basically been alternating, wins and losses, and if that trend continues then they should win today, but the Oilers have been bucking trends all season, especially Penner, so we will see if they can hand the Bruins their first losing streak of the season.