At least in Groundhog Day Bill Murray eventually escaped from his daily routine, but Ales Hemsky seems unable to escape the inevitable trip to the injured list. Hemksy re-aggravated/re-injured his shoulder last night in Minnesota. He is getting an MRI today and Tom Renney said he wouldn’t know the results until later today.
Renney did mention that Hemsky felt better today and the coach is hoping the MRI shows no further damage. It seems likely that Hemsky won’t play tomorrow, but Renney didn’t rule that out.
He did juggle his lines today and it looks like we will see the H2E line tomorrow. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle were a trio today, while Shawn Horcoff skated between Ryan Jones and Ryan Smyth, Eric Belanger centred Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark and the 4th line stayed the same.
Ben Eager was back in a baby blue jersey today, so he isn’t any closer to playing.
It looks like Jeff Petry will be the odd man out tomorrow on the backend. Corey Potter was paired with Andy Sutton, Theo Peckham moved back to the left side and was paired with Cam Barker, while Ladislav Smid and Tom Gilbert look to be the first pairing.
Once again Renney didn’t say who would start in goal tomorrow, but you can bank on it being Devan Dubnyk. Goaltending has been the only consistent thing through two games.
Dubnyk and Khabibulin have been almost identical. Both have a 0.92 GAA and 0.971 SV% in 65 regulation minutes. Both stopped two of their first three shootout attempts, with the only difference being Khabibulin faced one extra shooter and allowed the extra shootout goal.
- No offence but if you were a fan blaming Horcoff and questioning Renney for using him in the shootout you haven’t been paying attention. Horcoff was 9 for 17 before his attempt, best % on the team, and now he is still 50%. You can hate on his game all you like, but putting him in the shootout was not a bad move. Keep in mind that Hall and Lander both missed before him.
- Another groundhog theme seems to be the Oilers inability to play consistent for close to 60 minutes. They were great in the first period in Minnesota and awful after that. Against Pittsburgh they were average in the first two frames and came on strong at the end. This team needs to learn how to play consistent for the majority of a game before they have any hopes of competiting for a playoff spot.
- If you are a diehard sports fan, I’m giving away a "Double header day" package at the Pint Off Whyte today. You’ll get tickets to the Esks/Bombers game at five, and then head over to Rexall for gold seats for the Canucks and Oilers. Be there between 4 and 5:30 for your chance to win.