GDB LVIII: 11

Who will reach lucky number 11?

The Ducks tied a franchise record with their 10th consecutive home win Monday v. the Kings, while the Oilers set a franchise record with their 10th consecutive road loss the same night. Tonight they meet for the first time this season, and if you were ever going to play Sports Select tonight might be the night to bet against the Copper and Blue.

Hell, don’t just pick them to lose, if you put down a hundred on them to lose by two you will win 110. Doubling your money is never a bad thing. I don’t condone gambling because too many people have ruined their lives over it, but taking a chance when the odds are this good, might give you an extra reason to watch the game tonight. I don’t bet very often because I suck at it, but when I look at these streaks and just how bad the Oilers are playing right now, even a conservative gambler like me is contemplating it.

In their ten-game home winning streak the Ducks have scored five goals twice, lit the lamp four times in seven games and scored three once. They are averaging 4.1 GPG in this stretch. Meanwhile the Oilers have scored a whopping ten goals in their ten-game losing skid.

If Ryan Getzlaf was playing I’d take this bet in a second, I still might do it, but the Olympian is on the shelf rehabbing his ankle and praying he will be ready to go next Tuesday when Canada plays their first game. I should also mention that the Oilers have won four straight in Anaheim, and nine of their last 12 at the house of Duck.

VETERAN PRESENCE

Getzlaf’s absence is music to the ears of the Oilers non-checking line of Ethan Moreau, Shawn Horcoff and Fernando Pisani. You can’t hide the fact those three have been terrible lately.

Horcoff is -31, Moreau is -18 in his last 32 games and Pisani has only dressed for one win this season; ONE.

I’ve had some GMs and scouts tell me there is interest in Moreau, but the way he is playing I can’t understand why. The Ducks were a team that was sniffing around a few weeks ago, so if Moreau is ever going to play well this year, you’d think it would be tonight and Sunday when the Ducks come to Edmonton.

It is clear Moreau and Pisani aren’t worried about showcasing themselves, because if they were, they’d be playing much better. At least show some emotion. Hit someone, get in a pushing match, or even better, make the correct play with the puck.

The only explanation for Pat Quinn not stapling these three to the bench is that the organization believes that opposing scouts want to see them play. I’d argue the Oilers might be better served to start giving these guys some soft minutes to try and pad their stats, or least stop them from becoming worse.

DUBNYK TO START?

It doesn’t make any sense to recall Devan Dubnyk and not start him tonight, so I’d expect to see the former first-rounder between the pipes. I do expect the Oilers to then send Dubnyk back to Springfield before the roster freeze on the 12th and have Bryan Pitton back up Deslauriers on Sunday, and then send Pitton to the ECHL. If they send him directly to the ECHL, it sounds like he doesn’t need to clear waivers so then only Deslauriers won’t be playing during the Olympic break.

At this point I’m not sure it really matters if they dress Zach Stortini or sit a forward from Monday’s loss, because Quinn can only take out one forward. Right now eight forwards deserve to take a seat in the pressbox.

After two horrendous efforts the Oilers need to show up tonight. They aren’t good enough to be expected to win, but at least compete and try to play smart. The Oilers have 12 players who will need a new contract next year, and when you throw in Steve Staios, Ethan Moreau and Robert Nilsson, who might get bought out if they don’t play well that is 15 guys who have their careers to play for. Pride should be enough to motivate them, but if it isn’t then their future career should be.

GASP! AN OILER ISN’T WORST

When times are tough, some days you need something to boost your spirits and with the Oilers in 30th place in the league, 29th in goals scored, 29th in goals against here is a list where one of their players in only 4th worst. Now this list isn’t filled with a lot of data,  and I’m sure if someone (Willis) did a point-per-dollar X minutes played comparison then Horcoff might sneak into the top three, but according to Goldstein Horcoff is the 4th worst contract in the league.

Rejoice Oiler fans: he isn’t the worst.