Even if the Edmonton Oilers manage to win in Denver tonight, it’s looking like the race for 30th place and the best odds at second straight No.1 draft pick will be a runaway by the time they get back from a five-game road trip.

With Dustin Penner in Los Angeles, Ales Hemsky on the shelf for several weeks and Taylor Hall gone for the season, the Oilers best and likely only chance to win a single game on this trip will come against the struggling Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Centre. I’m not even sold on their chances there.

While it’s hardly a stop-the-presses revelation, the Oilers, 10-16-4 on the road, should be home and cooled as locks for 30th place by the time they get back from stops in Denver, Philadelphia, Washington, Detroit and Pittsburgh.

For a depleted Oilers outfit that might have trouble sweeping a five-game swing against the top five teams in the AHL right now, this trip stacks up as a proverbial Murderer’s Row. The 20th-place Ottawa Senators should be a speck in the rear-view mirror by the time they get home.

The over-under is one win. Tonight.


The Avalanche, 26-30-8 overall and 14-15-4 at home, represent the only non-playoff team on the stop and are on a 1-7-2 skid in their last 10 games after coming right off the rails in February. There’s a nice little bar in downtown Denver named Rock Bottom, and if the Oilers lose tonight, they will have found it.

The second stop comes in Philadelphia, where the Flyers will most certainly kick the Oilers teeth down their throats. The Flyers sit atop the Eastern Conference and are 20-9-3 at home.

Next up, the Capitals, who are 19-8-7 at home. Despite being so-so to the point where Bruce Boudreau better win something with this team this season or find a new job, what’s left of the Oilers won’t push them.

Then, it’s on to Detroit, where the Red Wings have a rather modest 17-10-4 record at grimy Joe Louis Arena, but still sit second in the Western Conference. They’ll beat the Oilers for fun.

The trip wraps up in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins are 20-11-2. Even with Sidney Crosby still goofy, Evgeni Malkin out and the Penguini’s a miserable 2-4-4 in their last 10 overall, I can’t see the Oilers taking two points out of the dome on the hill.

This is Captain Obvious wishing you all a good weekend.

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • shanetrain

    I guess this is a good addition for guys like Gagner, Cogs, Omark and the botom six to see if they want to stick with the oilers next year or you look to package players on trades if you can. A big if.

  • shanetrain

    I guess this is a good addition for guys like Gagner, Cogs, Omark and the botom six to see if they want to stick with the oilers next year or you look to package players on trades if you can. A big if.

  • Wanyes bastard child

    Hrmm, I think id like to see Horcoff between Omark and Magnus as our top line. Then id put Gagner, Eberle and Brule together. Cogs with Jones and Reddox since they have worked well in the past and go with a Fraser/JFJ/Smac 4th line.

    I still agree with you though Robin, we gonna lose alot!

  • Chris.

    When will last place hockey stop being exciting? (I stopped being excited about it last trade deadline)… Where will all the Tambellini apologists be this time next season when Teubert debutes on yet another 30th place team? When does patience and understanding become gullability and denial?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I’m with you, Chris. I’ve been a fan of this team since they joined the NHL & these are the worst of times. Not so much because they’re losing but because of the continual mistakes this mgmt team makes. The Penner trade was the final straw for me. But it’s just another bad decision in a long string of bad mgmt decisions. They make far more bad ones than good ones.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    For documentation purposes, is this opportunity #754 or #755 for Sam Gagner to lead this hockey club? Maybe this is a good time to experiment with playing him on the wing.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    I’m thinking the Oil actually over achieve the last 5 weeks (which realistically means anything better then 7 – 10) with Gagner putting up a whack of points.

  • Rogue


    ~ Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?~
    (With credit to Oddball, Kelly’s Heroes)

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  • Taylor Hall isn’t out for the season. He is out for 8 weeks. By my calculations he should be back for the second round of the playoffs.

    *is immediately fitted for a straight jacket*

  • I agree this is now the time to see what some of these kids can do when they will now get more ice time. I think we have too many small players so I am sure that mgmt. thinks the same and changes will be made in the off season to correct that. A lot guys have been brought up from the farm and gotten a lot of ice time whether or not it has been for one or two games. Although Gags has played pretty good this year we will also likely geta lot more for him that Cogs. Look forward to next year.

  • Kodiak

    Gagner;s on pace for 48 points again, less than 20 goals..
    of course he will light it up again in the remaining 17 games or so because he always does, maybe we can showcase him..maybe he;ll score 17 in the next 17 which would give him 56 points on the season, easily worthy of a top five pick along with the Kings pick (or package Gagner and Cogliano or something)
    Not saying hes no good, just might not be the right guy for the Oilers, yeah I know he is young and will probably score 60 points someday, but so will one of either RNH, Landeskog, Coutourier, or Strome, heck, maybe even Larsson will crack 60 one day.

    • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

      We need 2 offensive centers (maybe even three). How about we add a few more before shipping away the only one we have under 25.

      He’s already producing like a decent 2nd line center. Even if he’s just a 60 point guy in 2-3 years then he’s an excellent 2nd line center.

  • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

    Its a good thing I am following my Oilers around Eastern united states. Flying in to PHI then hoping on a train to Washington the flying up to Detroit back to Pittsburg then catching a Blackhawks / SJ game on the way home back to EDM. Man no Hall, Hemsky, Penner, Crosby, Malkin man o man i dont think I well be celebrating many victories.

  • Bucknuck

    Let’s look at the Klowe and Mr. Dither record down the stretch. Horcoff contract, Habbi signing and contract, Glencross gets away for a couple hundred thousand, Pronger return, Gilbert contract, Souray debacle, failure to sign NHL roster players during the off season to fill some holes and protect the assets, Penner trade, and you fill in the rest of the blanks

    Some will say we got Hall. Ya, he fell in our laps, it had nothing to do with good management, but incompetent moves that cratered our team. Remember, when we all wrote Calgary off this season as no assets, no players, no future. Their GM was shown the door and look what we have. A playoff bound team. Buy Klowe and Mr. Dithers. Thanks for the number 1 pick this year too, because you have been such terrible managers.

    • Bucknuck

      There were lots of good things, too.

      all the moves in 2005/2006, then the Penner contract, Hemsky contract, Whitney trade, Staios trade.

      All in all it is a pretty small list of bright spots since 2006. A dismal record. Perhaps it is time for the door. Lowe has at least shown me something a few times, but I don’t think I will ever forgive him for the Smyth trade. I wouldn’t be sad to see the pair of them “retire”.

    • ed from mada

      Let’s see what Tambi has done or not done.

      Horcoff – Kates/Lowe move
      Trying for Hossa and ignoring Glencross – Kates/Lowe
      Pronger – Impossible to get full value for a super star (see Gretzky, Messier, Thornton, Kovalchuk, Heatley)
      Souray – Lowe
      Gilbert – Lowe
      The Eric Cole fiasco – Lowe

      So Tambi’s move have been

      Signing Khabbi – Looks pretty ovious now that resigning Roly would have been better. Having said that with Dubnyk looking more like an NHL goalie best case would be Dubnyk playing 60 to 70 games next two years and Khabbi being an expensive backup.

      Getting something for Staois
      Aquiring Whitney
      Vandemeer for O’Sullivan

      Penner for futures.

      I don’t think we can question that at least 3 of these 5 moves have been positive and it’s too early to tell about the Penner move.

      We really need to distiguish between Lowe’s reign of error and Tambi trying to fix the mess.

      Does anyone know what a VP of hockey operations does? Do most other NHL orgs have one?

      • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

        Pretty funny that you leave out all of Lowes good moves + ignore a bunch o Tambillini’s secondary poor moves (Brodziak/Foster/Frazer etc.)

        • OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F

          After the cup run have there been any good moves? I would say the Penner signing was a net positive and he did get Roly to re-sign. Anything else?

          I agree that the Brodziak move was not good, I’ll dpend on your memory that this move came in the first days of Tambi and not the last days of Lowe.

          WRT Foster and Fraser when you are the 30th place team starting a long term re-build in Edmontonyou you pick up what you can.