Who saw this coming?!

The unpredictability of sports, and especially hockey, is what makes it impossible not to watch, even the most meaningless game. All of a sudden the Oilers have won three straight home games for the first time since October, and they’ve beaten three playoffs teams in the process.

A big “Who saw that coming” is fitting right now.

Roberto Luongo was dreadful tonight. The Tom Gilbert and Andrew Cogliano goals were brutal, while the Robert Nilsson goal was questionable at best.

And speaking of “WSTC,” you have to think Nathan Deobald felt that way when he got to live out every hockey kid’s dream of suiting up in the NHL. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t get in the game, but he took the warm up, faced shots from NHL players, sat in the dressing room, listened to Pat Quinn’s pregame speech, had the best seat in the house for a game and then soaked up the atmosphere in a winning room. It’s probably better he didn’t play, because now he only has positive memories to recant to all of his buddies for the next 50 years.

Don’t tell me you wouldn’t love the opportunity to dress for an NHL game. Anyone who says it doesn’t count because he didn’t play is lying and doesn’t understand what it means to fulfill the dream. Good for him and his family who got to watch the game live at Rexall.

New face in town

There has been lots of dialogue and discussion whether Jordan Eberle should get a few games with the Oilers this year. And it has been interesting talking and listening to people in the organization and around the league about the decision to put him in Springfield.

I’d like to see him play here, but I understand that four or five games in the NHL this year won’t alter his career.

I think he’d benefit from getting a true feel of how fast the game is, and what areas he needs to improve on in order to stay here next year, but the team is in no hurry to rush him along.

In fact, I get the sense from some that Eberle might not start here next year. What if the Oilers want him to develop his game a bit more in the AHL for 30 or more games next season? I’m guessing it would infuriate some fans, but it might — and I stress might — help him develop. He is a smaller guy, with average foot speed, so maybe some seasoning in the AHL could help.

I’m not sold on that idea, but I don’t think 30 or 40 games in the AHL would be the worst thing either.

Some are worried that if he gets called up this season, all the focus will be on him compared to next season when he could come to camp with MPS, Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, a healthy Ales Hemsky and a sober Nikolai Khabibulin.

Is that a valid concern?

I don’t think so, but that seems to be one of the thought processes of the team right now. As of today, it sounds like Eberle won’t get recalled, but I won’t believe that fully until the season is over.

While you debate whether he should be here or not, don’t be stunned if another Oiler prospect makes an appearance in Edmonton before the season is over. The Oilers have nine games remaining and they could bring in a young guy to play the remainder of the year, and it wouldn’t count as a contract year if this was his first foray into pro hockey.

Jeff Petry might make an appearance in Edmonton sooner than you think. Guy Flaming, from The Pipeline Show, is pretty tapped into all the prospects on the Oilers and around the NHL. He mentioned to me that he thinks this is a legitimate possibility.

It makes sense, when you consider Petry just wrapped up his season with Michigan State and is in playing shape. He won’t benefit from another year in college and he has a NHL caliber shot right now.

You might not see Eberle this season, but you might see another player we’ve been hearing about since he was drafted in the 2nd round in 2006.

“Who saw that coming?!” — Colonel Eldrick V. Towel Boy

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Or did Peeters sign in ANA before we signed Chabot? Thats the only reason it would make sense to me… actually, researched that:

    On July 6, 2009, Chabot was named the Goaltending Consultant for the Edmonton Oilers.

    On July 27, 2009, Peeters signed on as goaltending coach for the Anaheim Ducks.

    Nope. Bah!

  • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

    How much has Szabados been practicing since the Olympics? Playing? Maybe that had something to do with it.

    I won't get into the gender issues because in today's society there's no right answer, but only one acceptable one.

  • Reggie

    I know Shannon fairly well, and from what I know she is NOT the type of person who would be 'pissed' that she didn't get a call from the Oilers. I don't know exactly what her reaction was but I am pretty sure that is not how she would react to this situation.

    She has always been very level headed, and comes from a good family.

    So before anyone else calls her out personally, you should stop and know that there are 2 sides to every story.

    This shouldn't even be a story; thanks Terry Jones.

    • Reggie

      Pokey, you know the lady, I do not. I would have to agree this was all about Jones making the story and taking the angle that would generate the most controversy.

  • Dan the Man

    I think the last three games have been more a case of the visiting team thinking they could show up for one period or portion thereof and get two points. The bullets used in Edmonton are made of foam instead of lead….have been since Christmas. It's difficult to gage progress when the games have little meaning.

  • Dan the Man

    From David Staples yesterday:

    I just came across this item in my "In" box, from a veteran NHL reporter, Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, which gives it credence: "The Oilers dangled Dustin Penner and Tom Gilbert Boston’s way before the trading deadline.(For Boston's first pick)

  • In all seriousness they should have dressed Calvin from my beer league team, they would have had to have him sit on the other end of the bench to have full access to the lounge while play was under way but thats a minor detail.
    It would be a feel good story. The post game interview would have been killer as well.

  • Reggie

    Szabados is or will be the best female goaltender that this country ever produced. I wouldn't have minded one bit if she was backup for a night witht the Oil. Most of us never even played or made it to the AJHL or NAIT hockey. As far as Petry, I don't care if they sign him and then let him play some games in the Bigs. We need to lose a few more games.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Hahahaaaa

    Hey Freeze, did you read the Journal today? Don't know were to find it on the interwebs so i'll just type in the quote here.

    Deslauriers put on Gumby impression

    "Deslaurier's stop on Wellwood was about the sixth or seventh pad robbery for the Gumby-like Deslauriers."

    Maybe we should charge them for royalty or copy-wright or something like that 😛

  • Shannon

    I hope this hasn't been brought up by previous people, but there is regulation that only NHL pre-approved equipment can be used. Maybe that's why she wasn't asked?

    Here is what the NHL website says (http://www.nhl.com/ice/page.htm?id=26287): A goalkeeper who plays with equipment that has not been inspected and approved by the League’s Hockey Operations Department, or who tampers with equipment after it has been inspected and approved by the League’s Hockey Operations, Officiating and or Security departments will be suspended for the next two (2) League games, his Club will be fined $25,000.00 and his Equipment Manager will be fined $1000.00 (to be deducted from his pay), regardless of whether or not such equipment previously complied with League standards. Each additional violation will result in all game suspensions and fines being doubled.

    I'm pretty sure I'm citing the right section. Apologies if I'm not.

    As an aside, the Capitals put their web guy in one night: http://bit.ly/dq28os

    Just another perspective!

  • Shannon

    It's not just that the Oilers are winning they are playing better as a club. They are still being outplayed but that's a given considering their lost man games has reached 450+. But their players are communicating better and they are finally giving puck support to each other as they have moved the puck much more efficiently than during their brutal 40+ game stretch from November to February. I noticed that with O'Sullivan out of the lineup they've been better. Not to knock the Kid but his poor defensive coverage has really hurt his linemates +/- as Horcoff's is more a reflection of his linemates than poor defensive play as he has shown that with competent linemates (Pisani & Moreau) he is at least capable of playing decent defensive hockey. No matter what happens O'Sullivan cannot be back next year.

    PS. I would prefer Seguin over Hall just because the Oilers need to draft someone who has the potential to be a no.1 center and Hall is more comfortable at LW.

  • Stunted growth at rookie and AHL level , and development of a solid veteran core base over last 3 seasons has left us wallowing in the basement with little hope for a turnaround anytime soon . Managerial failures look like they are going to impede us even more into the future . Next year seems to be shaping up as even a worse season , as team looks to be getting over gutted of veteran base – which is not very good to begin with . The core ever since Smyth was let go has been diminishing every year since and has never gotten better . How they are going to find an acceptable base with what is left is puzzeling at best ? Most players most productive seasons are their 4 th-5th year. Several Oilers are entering that time next season , and that should be a positive going into next season with the likes of Gags, Cogs, Brule, Nilsson , etc.. Oilers may well have to use several rookies next season to make up for a less than stellar base , and lack of success at AHL level .

    • Petr's Jofa

      Your saying none of the prospects have imporved in the last 3 years? Really? No improvment

      You believe getting a healthy Souary, Hemsky, and Khabibulin back with plus Hall/Segiun & maybe Hall will mean a worse season?

      Ryan Smith was traded at the deadline because this team wasn't going to make the playoffs in 2007. Meaning the downward sprial started before the Smyth trade.

      Where did you dig up your fact that the 4th-5th year is a players most productive? Is it the 4th -5th year in the NHL. Is it for all positions or is it based on a players years in the NHL or true age.

      This team suck, there are many thing on this team that suck. But there is no reason to go and make up melodramatic half-facts to pile on them even more.

      • Petr's Jofa

        No , your reading it wrong . I'm saying that if we had a solid core(base) over last 3 seasons the kids progress should/would have been better. Check out most players career stats , and you will generally find their points most productive years are generally the 4-5th season in the NHL – not from the year they are drafted . Hope that clarifies it better for you . It appears with what the Oilers are still trying to unload in off season , that what little base we have left will leave us further from a solid core or base next season – for i see nothing as to what they plan to replace it with !

  • Petr's Jofa

    Fair enough, I'll agree that if we had a solid base over the last 3 seasons, we woulddn't suck. Remember, sucking and trading vets is what got us the kids we have now.

    Curious as to how you know that the Oilers are looking to unload vets in the offseason and not replace them?

    • With all the talk of getting rid of Pasani , Moreau , Souray , Comrie and several of our smaller players( by trade or otherwise ), etc. what is clubs intentions toward building a solid base and not a further downturn ? In the last 3 seasons we seem to have replaced it with less than adequate replacements to be honest, and i don't see that trend changing with present managerial group . Do you see it getting better ,and if so , how ??

      • It will get better with a man days lost to injury number south of 300 rather than north of 500. It will also improve with players under contract treading water in the value department rather than floundering in sinking ship mode. I am assuming (righty or wrongly) that the overwhelming amount of guys playing worse than ever shall stabilize to a few guys, call it the law of averages.
        It would also seem to hold merit that the list of guys playing surprisingly well and making the most of an opportunity would be longer than Ryan Potulny… (and Aaron Johnson).

        But who knows, the hockey gods may still be mad about the "we want the cup" chant in the second round of the 06 cup run.

      • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

        well, things cant get any worse now can they.

        so yes, i see things getting better. will things be ALOT better? no, probably not. it took klowe 4 or 5 years to make the mess, it isnt going to be fixed in 1 or 2 years.

          • Bucknuck

            This team isn't that far off of the team from 2 yrs ago…it's the injuries that have us where we are today, which by the way is exactly what we needed.

            I don't think this team is going to be as bad as many of you are making them out to be next season as long as they stay healthy and don't trade away the rest of our best players on draft picks.

          • Bucknuck

            Some key problems the team had and what tambellini has did to solve them prior to this season blowing up.

            Lacking Grit: Cole out, O'sullivan in

            Faceoff prowess: Brodziak out, 5th round draft pick in.

            Tight to the salary cap: Bring in Khabibulin for four million a season for FOUR years. Complete overpay for too long a period for an aging goalkeeper.

          • Crackenbury

            Like I said not too much different from a couple of years ago…

            Losing Cole, no loss whatsoever…Cole has done absolutley nothing since going back to Carolina…so far this year he as managed all of 31 games played and he has a whopping 12 pts and 21 PIM's…so Cole wasn't going to supply any grit and in fact he would have been another long term injury. So O'Sullivan > Cole

            Carolina is not a playoff team and they have Cole and all his grit.

            Losing Brodziak was also not a great loss…there's no way he plays in our top 6 and like you said the team is lacking grit and it's needed in our bottom six. Brodziak doesn't exactly bring much grit to his game. Very little lost there…

            Minnesota is not a playoff team and they have Brodziak.

            Khabibulin at this point does look like a mistake but on the bright side it has allowed the Oilers to play JDD and DD extensively and it could be that both of them are starting to arrive. Could be the silver amongst the dark clouds.

            With the loss of Hemsky, Khabibulin, Souray this year and many other players out for extended periods of time the rest of the team has been exposed for how good they really are…now we wait and see what it looks like next year…but so far as this year goes…not much different than the team of 2 yrs ago…talentwise.

            The team is now no longer tight against the cap either even with Khabibulin.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            this team is loaded with inflated contracts handed out by lowe.

            i will agree 110% tambo hasnt done much to fix things, and to a degree he has made things worse on himself.

          • Crackenbury

            I think he's just trying to get a rise out of you. The problem with this team and every other team in the Oilers situation are "problem contracts" and klowe is responsible for every one of them. If 'Bulin bombs out next year then Tambo has 1 strike against him as well, but that's going to happen occasionally. Klowe made a habit of dishing out overpriced lengthy contracts. If 'Bulin comes out and plays well, he's light years better than anything we've got right now.

  • Petr's Jofa

    Who from the Oilers is talking about getting ride of "Pasani , Moreau , Souray , Comrie and several of our smaller players( by trade or otherwise "?

    And who is suggesting that we don't replace them?

  • I don't want to burst any bubbles but the 2006 run was a fluke. Don't get me wrong it was an incredible ride and my voicebox hasn't quite recovered, but the Oilers didn't deserve to make the final that year. Giving KLowe credit for that doesn't seem right.

    That year in the playoffs they were outscored 5 on 5, they had a pitiful 17% PP, and they were outshot 31.7 to 27.3. I know I'm being particular with my stats, but most would agree great playoff teams usually do well in these categories.

    • Dan the Man

      2006 was a surprise for sure but to say KLo doesn't deserve any credit for it is ridiculous. He brought in Pronger, Peca, Spacek, Samsonov and Roloson that year.

      I'd say that deserves some credit.