This is David Puddy, one of the greatest supporting characters in TV history, from Seinfeld. Most of you remember Puddy, but did you know he only starred in 10 episodes as Elaine Benes’ boyfriend. He has only in ten episodes, but most of you will remember his hilarious antics on the show. While walking across the street, a car comes close to him, he leans on the hood, stares at the driver and yells, "The Devilllsss, The Devillss." The priest driving the car almost faints. And how can you forget his classic, "High Five." The Oilers need some of their supporting characters to show up tonight, to avoid getting embarrassed for the third straight game.
Devan Dubnyk will start his second game of the season, and if the former first rounder plays well, then Tom Renney should give him the start on Sunday as well. Nikolai Khabibulin hasn’t been good lately. He hasn’t had much help in front of him, but a 3.64 GAA and a woeful 0.890 SV% isn’t good enough for Mr. Commodore 164.
It sounds like Shawn Horcoff will miss his 3rd straight game, and I think it is becoming clear that he was helping the kids more than they were carrying him. Despite his warts, it is clear the Oilers miss Horcoff presence on the ice, and their lack of experience and strength down the middle has been massively exposed during his absence.
The good news for the Oilers is that they are playing the New Jersey Devils tonight. The Devils are just as bad, if not worse, than the Oilers right now.
The Devils are 4-10-2 compared to the Oilers 4-8-2. Despite playing two more games the Devils have only scored 29 goals compared to the Oilers 37. Zach Parise is hurt. Ilya Kovalchuk can’ t handle the puck, Marty Brodeur looks old and their coach, John Maclean, is walking on a rooting bench that might collapse under him at any moment and send him to the unemployement lines.
If the Oilers want to win tonight, they need to score first; plain and simple. They’re as confident as every guy sporting an awful Movember stache trying to wheel a lady this weekend. If the initial reaction isn’t good, it will be a long night, and that’s exactly what will happen if the Oilers get behind early.
The Oilers are 1-5-2 when they give up the first goal, and 3-2 when they score first. The Devils are pretty much the same going 3-2-2 when they light the lamp first and a woeful 1-8 when the opposition scores first.
The Oilers need to score first tonight.
ICE WOMEN OF THE WEEK
We’ve made an executive decision at Nation headquarters, and from now on IWOTW will appear every Friday. When you watch the game tonight, you might see some of these Devils Dancers in the crowd tonight. Jacqueline is a big fan of Jim Carrey, Krystal loves fights in hockey and guys in moustaches (Okay the last part isn’t true but for all the guys growing staches they needed a pick me up) and Stephanie is a huge fan of the shootouts.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Both teams are desperate for a win, and in front of a half empty building the Oilers will lose 3-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite having the worst PK in the league the Oilers will have a good night down a man, because the Devils PP is absolutely awful. The Devils have four goals in 48 chances. FOUR. Good for a stunning 8.3%, so they should make the Oilers PK look great. AND Jason Arnott will of course score, because he’s an Ex-Oiler.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PREDICTION: The Oilers will be determined not to give up the first goal, so they use the vaunted Mighty Ducks-V style and protect the puck for the first seven minutes of the game. Unfortunately, during a line change, they will all try to enter and exit the bench at once causing mass confusion and sending the Devils in on a three-on-0. After the game Tom Renney will calmly state that his team is so young they honestly thought the Mighty Ducks movie was based on a real team.