With Taylor Hall done for the season, Ales Hemsky on the IR again and Dustin Penner exchanging one-liners with Matt Greene in LA, Steve Tambellini put out the SOS for career-minor leaguer Alex Giroux. Giroux will play his 32nd NHL game tonight on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Liam Reddox. Giroux has a whopping 139 goals in his last 199 AHL games, so I’m sure we’ll see him on the 2nd PP unit, but I don’t think Giroux can do much to help the Oilers "Salvage Our Season."
The BB-gun offence of the Oilers will try to put up a fight in Denver tonight with the Cogliano line along with trios of Magnus Paarjarvi/Shawn Horcoff/Jordan Eberle, Ryan Jones/Sam Gagner/Linus Omark and JF Jacques/Colin Fraser/Steve MacIntyre.
Once again, Gilbert Brule is out with an undisclosed ailment.
Alex Plante will dress and likely be paired with Jim Vandermeer.
CAN’T LOOK AWAY
The Oilers’ final 17 games could be, who am I kiddding, they will be a trainwreck, but the good news for Oiler fans is you’ve seen this movie before, so you should be prepared. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that this stretch won’t be as bad as the final 20 games of 2007 when the Oilers went 2-17-1.
In the final 20 games of 2007 the Oilers scored a measly 25 goals. They were shutout five times and scored one goal eight times. It was a painful time for Oiler fans, and the worst part was they won the final game of the season and missed out on the draft lottery, because they held the tiebreaker over Chicago.
The slide began when Ryan Smyth got trade for Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra and a first rounder (Alex Plante). There was one incredibly aawesome thing to come out of that death march season….OILERS FREAKING NATION.
That’s right, Wanye Gretz was so upset by the trading of Smyth,that he found time in between crushing 15 BLs a day to build Oilersnation.com and he even made T-Shirts protesting the deal. There is no way these final 17 games will unearth something as wonderful and addicting as the Nation, but a few of the remaining games will undoubtedly be as painful as what you witnessed in 2007.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: If the Oilers can’t be a sieve like Brian Elliott then they won’t win for a month, but they will pump a few weak wristers past Elliott and start this ROAD TRIP TO HELL with a win, 4-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Jordan Eberle will pot a pair of goals, and Oiler fans will instantly wonder, is it possible he could win the Calder, because they need something to make the final stretch watchable.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The legend Rod Phillips will call his 8th of ten Rod’s Classics along with Bob Stauffer. Midway through the 2nd period, the Oilers will get their 3rd straight penalty, a weak holding call, that will set Rod off. For old times sake, he will go off on one of his patented rants on the officials. He will toss it to Bob, but Stauff will try to speak while laughing at Rod’s rant. The two will spend the next few minutes regaling listeners about some of Rod’s most famous Ref Rants….It will be golden radio, and will be much better than listening to Mark Lee.