GDB 60: V-v-v-v-v-v-v Vinny and the Bolts

vbolts

Vinny, Vinny, Vinny and the Bolts. Or maybe it is Marty, Marty, Marty and the Bolts because after those two, the Bolts don’t have much. The Bolts have scored the fourth fewest goals in the league, with 152, but 43% of their goals come from three players in Lecavalier, St. Louis and Ryan Malone.

Tampa gets basically no goals from their D-men. They have a league-low 11 goals from the backend, while the Oilers have 33 from the rearguards, the fifth most in the NHL.

The Bolts have also given up the fourth most goals, 191, so they don’t score much, they don’t defend very well and their goaltending is suspect. This should be guaranteed-win night for the Oilers, but this is a home game for the Oilers and nothing has come easy at home.

The Oil have 30 points in 28 home games, and are tied with LA for the fewest home wins in the Western Conference. What’s even worse for the Oilers is that they have been outscored 75-81 on home ice.

Yes, their offence has been inconsistent, but the biggest reason the Oilers find themselves out of the playoffs today, is because they have no identity at Rexall Place. This isn’t a tough rink for the opposition to come into right now. The Oilers don’t amp up their physical play at home; in fact, they are much more aggressive on the road.

Tonight is the first of three straight home games, against teams that are beatable. Tampa, Columbus and Minnesota are not world beaters, and when you look at key stretches of a season, tonight starts an important three games.

Currently the Oilers are on pace for 87 points, which would leave them outside the playoffs. Columbus, Dallas and Minnesota are all on pace for 90 points. Granted those projections can change quickly with a two-game winning or losing streak, but today they are outside the playoffs. It looks like they will need 92 points to ensure they get in, so they will need to go 13-7-3, or 14-8-1 or 12-6-5 or some combination of that to make the dance.

Tonight is a must-win for the Oilers, and the line-up will be the same as Saturday.

  • 27-10-83
  • 12-89-26
  • 18-13-46
  • 85-51-33

Same D and Roloson will start again. The drive to the playoffs begins tonight, and the Oilers can’t afford to hit the ditch against the lowly Lightning.

  • jdrevenge

    David S wrote:

    jdrevenge wrote:
    if they’re looking for second line scoring why isnt Cogliano moved up to the second line

    Our second line is at best a compromise for a guy that’s used to being surrounded by actual NHL’ers. Take Cogs and put him on the second line, maybe you might have something. But put Cole on the black hole third line and you’ve wasted a highly paid player.
    I feel bad for Cole because there’s not really an optimum place for him right now. If Nilsson and Gagner were on fire maybe, but they’re struggling this year. I think Sam’s ankle is worse than we know and he’s the set-up guy for the two finishers.
    Cole again! Yeah. We should trade him right now.

    I say keep Cole. He's a Detroit Red Wing and we need more of those. The guy sets up the power play like Todd Marchant. His speed puts the other team at an auto disadvantage….

  • David S

    jdrevenge wrote:

    I say keep Cole. He’s a Detroit Red Wing and we need more of those. The guy sets up the power play like Todd Marchant. His speed puts the other team at an auto disadvantage….

    I wrote that post wrong. What I meant was Cole is one of the few guys giving 'er full bore every night. We need this guy bad. It's my thought that with the way things are going right now, he may not get the offers everybody thinks he will. This whole "trade him for picks and prospects" is crazy talk. He's a proven asset that we might be able to have for ourselves if things go right. Enough of the tomorrow, let's do something for today. I'm having a hard time seeing who we could get that would be so much better than Cole without giving up another high-value asset like Cogliano. We have alot of dead weight, but Cole isn't the major offender by any stretch.

    In other words, I too say we try to keep Cole.

  • W.T.

    W.T. reminds everyone that it was Fred Stauffer when he was on the "other" station that said that Ryan Airbag Smyth was selfish in the dressing room. He went on to say that maybe he isn't the team guy everyone thinks he is.

    W.T. suggests it is now time to put to bed who ran the team during the last Stanley Cup run. With both Peca ad Torres in town it's time to ask. W.T. remembers reading on a post a while back that it was Pronger and Peca who took over the dressing room during the run. W.T. heard same thing when it was actually happening. Let's have R.B. or J.G. get down to the bottom of this, if they haven't already.

    W.T. hears roads in Edmonton not good due to snow. Drie safe. Roads in Atlanta clear.

  • douggy

    @WT
    You cant argue that the oil have been a great team since smytty was traded. who else will score 20+ goals on the season? certainly not penner, or horcs, or pies. pretty much no one except hemmer and souray. selfish in the dressing room? i guess maybe that so called selfishness wasnt the problem! give your head a shake next time before you cut down one of the greatest oilers to ever wear the sweater.

  • Jimmy from Seinfeld

    @ W.T.:
    Hey WT, keep up the great work with the whole "Third Person Schtick". It was hilarious when I did it on Seinfeld more than ten years ago, and it's even funnier when you combine it with your insightful and witty hockey banter.

    clap….clap….clap….

    * continues looking through the want ads for a new dishwashing job.

  • Ender the Dragon

    longtimefan wrote:

    Mact always looks stunned when we score like he is suprised it was us . . .

    I noticed that too. When we score, he looks confused. When the opposition scores, he just calmly takes a sip of water, like he expected that. I'm not asking for an emotional outburst, but just once I'd like to see him either smile or frown accordingly. Clap someone on the shoulder or mouth a swear-word. Something.

  • Ender the Dragon

    Jimmy from Seinfeld wrote:

    Hey WT, keep up the great work with the whole “Third Person Schtick”. It was hilarious when I did it on Seinfeld more than ten years ago, and it’s even funnier when you combine it with your insightful and witty hockey banter.

    Yeah. I was really impressed with his inside views on Smyth, Peca, and Pronger. I'm punching myself for not seeing the Torres connection myself, and when you add in the fact that we get the Atlanta weather as well . . . I'm just really glad that W.T. takes the time to post here.

  • Chaz

    I was thinking while watching the game last night about something: Would all of the ire directed at Mac T this year be directed at Lowe if Souray wasn't having such a great year? I imagine the FLNF movement would be in overdrive right now if Shelley was having a poor or even average year. Just a thought. Comments?

    *Goes back to pretending to work.