GDB XXXIII: Home sweet RX1

The first game at home after a lengthy road trip is tough on many teams, but over the years the Oilers have struggled to put forth a good effort — and they know it.

They had a meeting this morning that focused on ensuring they don’t have a let down tonight. With five straight wins, they have raised the bar and we’ll see if they can live up to their new standard.

The Kings didn’t skate this morning after losing in Vancouver last night, but don’t expect the Kings to be fatigued. This is their 7th set of back-to-back games this season, and they are 3-2-1 in the second game so far this year. Three of their first six games went to a shootout. They are 3-3-1 in the opening game of back-to-backs so they’ve been pretty much the same team both nights.

The Oilers need to be aware of Anze Kopitar, but they have to be more concerned if he gets a point in the first period. Twenty-three of his 38 points have come in nine games, and if gets an early point he seems to smell blood.


Sheldon Souray declared he’s ready to play as did Denis Grebeshkov so it looks like there will be some line-up changes. Pat Quinn hinted he might dress seven D-men, something he contemplated in St. Louis, but elected to go with the usual 12 forwards and six D-men.

If he goes with only eleven forwards it will be interesting to see who he sits down. It looks like it will be JF Jacques or Patrick O’Sullivan.

The top three lines should be as follows:

Penner — Gagner — Brule
Nilsson — Horcoff — Stone
Moreau — Potulny — Cogliano

Zack Stortini will dress for sure so that leaves Jacques and O’Sullivan. If Quinn elects to go with seven D, then I’d bet Jacques gets the short straw because Jason Strudwick can play forward and his game is more like Jacques’ than O’Sullivan.


When Bill McCreary gave Souray ten minutes and a game misconduct, it was the first of Souray’s career. He’d been given misconducts for fighting or a major penalty, but never for talking.

Souray said he was surprised it escalated that quickly.

"I really didn’t say much. I thought he wasn’t protecting our goalies very well, they scored one goal right on top of him (Deslauriers) and then they got a couple whacks on our goalie. I skated off and said, ‘Bill you are having a bad game tonight,’ then he gave me a ten and called me name. I said, ‘So are you’ and he gave me a game."

Souray chuckled afterwards that once he got the game misconduct he said a couple more things because he had nothing to lose, and wanted to be like a manager in baseball.


Souray admitted his back has been bothering him all season, but it’s something he can play through as long as it doesn’t get much worse.

"I’ve had an issue with my back since I came in this year. It’s something you have to stay on top of and get rest and the proper therapy. There hasn’t been a lot of time to take a day off, but the past few days were a good time to stay off the ice and get a little healthier."


Jim Matheson asked Quinn if there was a chance that Khabibulin would be practicing with the team soon.

"We are hoping. He has to go through a procedure today and hopefully it helps him improve. He’s made some progress and we’re anxious to see him comfortable enough to get back on the ice."

Then I asked Quinn what procedure?

"It has to do with spinal stuff that they do. Enough said. We don’t talk about injuries that much."

So Khabibulin is getting a procedure done today. There has been speculation that he had a herniated disc, and had surgery. I can tell you that as of right now he hasn’t had surgery. That doesn’t mean he won’t need it in the future, but as of today he hasn’t had surgery.

When Ryan Stone needed surgery Quinn said it right away, similar to Comrie and mono, so based on that I’d believe Quinn when he says it is a procedure that Khabibulin is having on his back today. What we don’t know is if he will need surgery later on or if the procedure/treatments will be enough.

I spoke with a doctor right after the press conference, and he told me that in many cases they will do traction on a back to try and relieve the pressure. Traction is distraction of the spine, it is also called spinal decompression. Another common procedure would be a cortisone shot.

Most surgeons would try one or all of these procedures before surgery.

There are many types of herniated discs. A slight protrusion, or a complete herniation or a prolapse of the disc which is when the piece of herniated disc separates completely from the disk itself. Technically it is the nucleus (the jelly inside the disc) that herniates not the disc itself.

Where it herniates is the most important. If it pushes on a nerve that causes lots of pain, or if it is in the upper back it can push on the spinal cord if it is a large central contusion.

It would seem the Oilers are trying some procedures before they decide if surgery is necessary.

  • Muji 狗

    The picture is awesome.
    An ice rink that needs to be heated. Hahaa.
    I love my Oilers but I'm so glad I've moved to Vancouver (where people freak the f out when the mercury drops below 0).

  • Klima's Bucket

    I don't really see any reason why 43 would remain in the lineup rather than 22 and hopefully Quinn hears what he needs to in order to just go with six dmen.

    Very disappointing to hear that 44's banged up again, BTW. That explains the drop off in his play and why his shot doesn't seem nearly as dangerous as it once was; plus, it's also another partially wasted year on his contract.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      Souray doesn't have as much of an opportunity to shoot on the PP anymore, either. It's a mixed blessing, because it means it's not the only play in the book.

  • Klima's Bucket


    Anyway we can move Gilbert and Cogliano to create some much needed cap space for Kovalchuk next year?


      • misfit

        Let's hope so. If Kovalchuk is out there, we can pretty much guarantee any hole in our roster will be ignored while they spend the entire offseason chasing him around despite the fact that he has no intention of playing in Edmonton.

        Actually, he'll probably take a day or two in the middle to send Jordin Tootoo a 3 year, $8.25M contract.

        • Tracie

          Woo! Misfit! You sound a bit bitter!! lol! I agree some of Tambo's moves have been questionable but I don't think we should get the house-burning party together just yet!

          I'm just kidding! But if Souray and Grebs aren't 100%, it makes sense the 43 would be in b/c he can play forward and if one of those two go down, he can take up the spot on D where as I don't think we want to try JFJ there just yet!

          just my thoughts!

  • HansBaurMesserschmittWatson

    souray is a funny guy. i wonder what he said to the ref after he got the game ?

    oilers will win tonight. cogliano will score. moreau or staios will get a game misconduct for elbowing one of the kings.

    POS will sit, nillson is getting demoted to horcoffs line to try to help him get another point.

    lubo & ladi will tear it up finishing the game with +3.

  • Homie

    I have not been remotely close on my predictions so far, but here goes:

    LA 6 – EDM 3

    Kopitar with 2 goals and 2 assists. Penner with 3 points and POS with a goal. JDD gets pulled halfway through the first and Dubnyk stands on his head.

  • Librarian Mike

    Prediction time!

    Game Day Prediction: Oilers will win 3-2 in OT with a goal from Nilsson, who sparks a flurry of 'he has finally arrived' articles.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: Stoll will score on the PP with a shot from the blue line.

    Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: Visnovsky gets caught by security trying to sneak onto the Kings' bus after the game.

  • Bucknuck

    I think they would play strudwick in the event that Souray or Grebs can't finish the game. It's good to have that insurance, especially against a fast LA team that could take advantage of tired defenders if they end up with 5 D.

    If it were me I would sit out O'sullivan since he has been terrible lately and could use a trip to the pressbox any way you look at it.

  • smiliegirl15

    The Oilers as a whole need to have a weekly pilates class. There would be a lot less back trouble if they did.
    I am looking forward to tonight's game. Hopefully they can keep this winning momentum going.

  • Game Day Prediction: Can six in a row actually happen? If it does dogs will lie down with cats, Brownlee will stop being so irritable, HansBauerwhatshisface will post something intelligent, articulate and spelled correctly, and up will be down in bizzaro NHL. Oilers 3 LA 2. Kopitar gets one and a helper and Horcoff, Penner and Gilbert for the oil

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: Storts will fight someone and will look gloriously unshaven whilst doing so.

    Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: Because we are in bizzaro world each successive win actually puts us farther away from playoff contention making the kool aid drinkers think that they are actually happy with the direction of the team. The DFF'ers will eventually realize that the team is actually accumulating lottery balls in reality because the wins are bizzaro in nature and once we snap out of it we find ourselves looking up at the Anaheim Ducks.


  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Not sure why we wouldn't just sit Strudwick and play Jacques who is going to be needed to counter all the hits that Brown and Simmonds throw.

    On Bulin can you ask Olyzyck what the deal is with guys in Bulin's situation in terms of the cap? It sure would be nice to hear from someone that understands the cap.

  • Jmask5

    Strudwick should sit. There problem solved. I must be genius cuz I figure that out all by myself based on logic and common sense. Why do coaches over think things?

  • Gregor,

    Your final paragraph is what separates you from most writers. You actually got into the real aspects of a back problem. Nice break down. Hopefully the procedures work. Thanks.

    • Jason Gregor

      Like I said it was an eductated guess. I do know that Jacques' back will always be an issue, especially with the way he plays.

      I still bet they will go with 12 and six tonight, but with Quinn mentioning seven D-men it got me thinking.

      I agree that Jacques has played well and if Quinn gets the green light from the medical staff that both Souray and Grebeshkov can play their usual minutes, then I'll bet twelve forwards will play.

      • Jason Gregor


        " Souray and Grebeshkov can play their usual minutes"

        Makes things more clear, I could see him wanted Struds dressed for versitility should their be questions about how long they could play/how effective Souray/Grebs would be.

  • Travis Dakin

    I know they have been "winning" lately but those top 3 lines look damn OOGLY.

    The internet sure is buzzing about Habibobblin needing surgery. Where there is smoke…. Let's hope there is fire!!! HAHAHA DFF all the way.

    Just kidding*

    *Only kidding a little bit. I wouldn't wish anybody to need suregery and that would be a very dick move of me.

  • Jmask5

    Seems strange to sit JFJ, he doesn't belong in the top 6, but he's done what he needs to do to be an effective bottom 6 player.

    @ Gregor, has this been building up? ie is Quinn disapointed with some part of JFJ's game that we might be missing?