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.