GDB XXX: Watch for swinging sticks

How fitting is it that the Oilers are heating up on the ice and getting set to play in Florida, while the first cold-snap of the year hits back home? Would a three-game winning streak warm your heart, or would it piss off the angel on your shoulder?

I don’t know if the Dallas win did anything to solve the SPLIT PERSONALITY FAN problem that exists amongst many Oiler faithful right now.

Regardless, with a win tonight the Oilers will match their season high of three consecutive wins. The Oilers beat Minny, Van and Columbus from Oct 16th to the 22nd, but since then they’ve gone 6-12-3.

They still sit 14th in the West, because suddenly the Wild are hot with five straight wins.

The Oilers have won the last two times they played in Florida, They won 4-3 in 2007 and shut out the Panthers 4-0 back in 2002/03. Overall their record is 3-5-2 in ten meetings.

Once again the Panthers are struggling, so much so that they are trying to decapitate one another (see video above)

Keith Ballard probably still feels like an idiot, because, seriously how could he not. That ranks up there as one of the dumbest play I’ve ever seen; especially when he swings again and breaks his stick over the goal post. Do you think Stortini will be giving it to him tonight? He should be.

The Panthers have given up the 4th most goals in the league, 100, while the Oilers are tied for 8th in goals for. The Oilers should be able to pot at least three of four tonight.

The Oilers also have an advantage on special teams. The Oilers are 11th on the PP and 26th on the PK. The Panthers are 27th on the PP and 29th on the PK. You’d think that if the Oilers can draw a few penalties they’d have a great shot at winning.

Don’t expect any lineup changes for the third straight game, and there probably won’t be any changes until Denis Grebeshkov, or Mike Comrie is healthy. Grebeshkov has resumed skating, while Comrie is still in banished from the team. He could resume skating with the team next weekend when they return home.

GOOD LUCK CHARM

Ryan Stone is getting a lot of love right now because the Oilers are 7-2-1 with him in the lineup. Good for Stone, but let’s not give go crazy yet. Ales Hemsky has missed seven games this season and the Oilers are 4-1-2 without him. Do you really think not having Hemsky in the lineup makes this team better?

I like that Stone brings a consistent physical element to this team, and it is obvious they need more guys like him, but I don’t think we can give him that much credit in being a difference maker in the game. What Stone does well is he brings consistency and energy. I’ve said it for years that third and fourth line guys who bring energy are more valuable than those who pot 30 points, but don’t show up on a consistent basis.

Down, down, down

I made a slight error above which has been fixed: Taylor Chorney and Ryan O’Marra have been sent back down. We’re waiting on Grebs and Comrie, and not Chorney.

  • Just when you think this Oiler team was headed straight for the crapper again. They real off two huge character wins against teams that have their own parking spots at Rexall. I know the games were played in their cities but you know what I mean. I think tonight the Oilers should maintain the momentum, with Stone and Jacques running all over the ice keeping the other team honest I think this one will be a walk. The Oilers wanted an identity and so far it's these two guys who are finally establishing a tough fast physical team. As for the Souray rumors we better get a huge overpayment for this guy from another team. I'm talking picks and a good player or two in return. No way this guy should be being shopped, if anyone should be shopped it should be one of Gilbert or Grebs.

    Oilers 5-1 Trick from Penner, Patches and Vishnovsky.

  • Game Day Prediction: 3-1 Oilers. Goals from PDP, Gagner and Horcoff.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: Mac (Edit: and by Mac I mean Horton) and Storts will duke it out and Stortini hill "hug it out" to a draw.

    Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: After Ballard slides his stick to Vokoun as per the Scientist, Vokoun will duck instinctively and lose his balance when he accidentally steps on the stick causing him to tubmle to the ice where he is speared repeatedly by Oilers trying to recover the puck from a scramble in the slot. The Plastic Surgeon who fixed his ear grins maniacally, rubs his hands together, and thinks of his soon to be purchased new winter home in Costa Rica.

    Goilers!

  • Jmask5

    If the Oilers are to make the playoffs they have to go like 10 or 11 games over .500 the rest of the way. That's hardly unattainable but then again this is the Oilers afterall.

    I can't help but feel that the Oilers have given up a lot of easy points already and the next 4 months or so are going to be much harder then the games they have already played.

  • Chris.

    I predict the Oilers win 4-2 tonight and grab points in each of the remaining road games.

    Furthermore, I predict the Oilers will use the positive energy from this trip to go on a terror; playing at a neat .750 clip till the Olympic break. This will lead to Tambellini being paralysed at the trade deadline; unsure if the team should be a buyer or a seller. The Oilers will then cool; finishing with a 39-35-8 record (86 points): 11th in the west 20th overall. Tambellini will keep his job. The Oilers will draft another solid, but non-impactful player. I'll age another year.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    Game Day Prediction: 5-1 Oilers. Goals from Smid, Brule, Staois, Penner and Horcoff.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: After getting a taste of goal scoring, Smid will continue his offensive dominance and produce 1 goal and 3 assists tonight. Also, the FLA ice girls will be hot.

    Not So Obvious Game Day Prediction: At some point in the game Vokoun will lose his stick. Ballard, being in the perfect place to lend him his stick will put it on the ice and slide it over instead of handing it to him and potentially knocking his block off… Also, Sam Gagner will have a nasty sun burn in his moustache region.

  • BarryS

    Jason Gregor wrote:

    'I’ve said it for years that third and fourth line guys who bring energy are more valuable than those who pot 30 points, but don’t show up on a consistent basis.'

    That wouldn't include Hemsky, right?

    I can't help it: it looks like Oilers play faster without him.
    But again, he'll be back in full health next year, which should help big time.

    Go Oilers! Goals form Panner, Patches and Poulny.

    • Oiler Country

      I think MacIntyre was placed on waivers by Florida after they claimed him, no one picked him up, which Florida was confident no one would. Now he's a call up for the farm team and I think he's played like 3 or 4 games with the big club and laid some brusings to Brashear and Ott. I could be wrong..

      I miss Mac, the guy and feel good story of the NHL. I do not miss the Mac player who was unfortunately terrible on this team..

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    I've done some looking at the schedule for this month and if this team is to be a playoff team we should be winning more often then not.

    I guess by month's end we should know if we can play without Hemsky.

    Comrie banished, LOL.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    If your focus is man love, fine, but you've got the wrong place. Try imadeviant.com or maybe quimbyboy.com. Hockey here, please.