GDB 15.0: HISTORIC TREK CONTINUES

The Oilers are in the midst of something they’ve never done in their 32 year-history; play four consecutive road games against Original Six teams. I know, you are shocked and amazed, but it is true. It is a quirky stat, but in ten years from now when you sit back and recall the crazy 2011/2012 season I’m sure you’ll remember it for those four consecutive road games v. Montreal, Boston, Detroit and Chicago.

The Oilers have played four OS in one trip before just never consecutively.

November 3rd to 13th of 1996, December 6th to 15th of 1999, November 4th to 13th of 2003, and in 1993 they played five of the six OS during a seven game trek between November 6th to 17th. They lost to Chi, Bos and Mont, tied Tor and beat Det.

What does it mean?

Nothing, other than I was interested to see if it had ever happened before.

Since we are off to an obscure start, let’s continue with a few other tidbits that involve the Boston Bruins….and other stuff.

  • The Oilers haven’t won in Boston since November 7th, 1996. Kelly Buchberger had three assists, was +4 and had a fight in the 6-0 victory.  *Can you name the Oiler who scored a hat-trick that night? Who got the shutout? 
     
  • They are 0-5-2 since that win, and the Oilers are a dreadful 6-22-3-1 all-time in Boston.
     
  • The Oilers have been shutout in their previous two trips to Boston. We might see a 0-0 regulation game tonight.
     
  • Modern Family was a repeat last night, and they had a repeat on Halloween as well. Is it really that hard for a show to come up with 25 new episodes. Be better.
     
  • Eric Belanger has 7 goals in 16 career games v. Boston, his best GPG, 0.438, against any team in the league.
     
  • The rest of the Oiler dressed tonight have five career goals v. Boston. Smyth (3), Horcoff (1) and Hemsky (1).
     
  • Everyone is crucifying Joe Paterno like he did the crime. Turning a blind eye was horrendous, but I’d like to know why Mike McQueary didn’t try and stop Sandusky when he allegedly saw him in the shower with a young boy. Was he worried about getting fired? It’s an awful story and Sandusky is the disgusting pervert in this case, but hopefully we can learn from it and realize people shouldn’t be afraid to try and stop it. Name calling won’t help stop further cases, instead people need to have open lines of communication to ensure it doesn’t occur again. I also find it strange that McQueary is allowed to coach. Why didn’t he go to the police?
     
  • Guy Boucher should get fined for coaching like this. That is embarrassing. I get if a team is holding a lead late in the game, but having your players stand still in the neutral zone in the first minute of the game is pathetic. Peter Laviolette illustrated how stupid it was by having his players just stand there. As for the argument, "The Bolts won," do you really think that trapping in the first 30 seconds of the game was the key to victory? It’s bushleague and the NHL needs to come up with something to get this type of coaching out of the game. How come no coach can come up with any sort of innovative offensive tactics? If Boucher is such a brilliant coach how come he can’t figure out an innovative offensive attack. He isn’t the only coach who does this, but I can’t recall a team doing that in the first minute of a game. The NBA has an illegal defence penalty maybe the NHL should look at something similar?

 

LINEUP

Tom Renney will go with Devan Dubnyk tonight, and Nikolai Khabibulin tomorrow in Detroit. The rest of the lineup will be identical to the one that defeated the Canadiens 3-1 on Tuesday. Maybe Renney is playing a hunch considering Khabibulin is 6-10-3 with a 3.00 GAA and 0.897 SV% all-time v. the Bruins.

Hall/Nugent-Hopkins/Eberle
Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky
Jones/Belanger/Gagner
Eager/Lander/Petrell

Smid/Gilbert
Barker/Potter
Peckham/Petry

Dubnyk

TAYLOR V. TYLER

This "rivalry" is born more from some media outlets than it is from the players. They don’t play one another often enough to have a legitimate rivalry, but they will forever be linked because of their draft status.

Hall was better last season, although Seguin’s playoff push made it close, but this year the early edge goes to Seguin. He is off to a great start with 8 goals and 15 points in 13 games, while Hall has 3 goals and 9 points in 13 tilts. Hall desperately wants to be the guy, which is a great quality to have, but he’s been pressing a bit lately.

He has always elevated his play in big games, and while this game isn’t that big for the team, there might be a litte extra personal incentive for Hall. I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll be at his reckless best tonight.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers rarely win here, and the Bruins are starting to play better. I would love to predict we will see lots of goals, but I doubt it. Oilers lose 3-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hall has his best game of the trip, and picks up a point and fires six shots on goal. He’ll run into the Human Crane (Chara) early in the first period, and he’ll realize quickly he needs to have his head up even more with that monster lurking around.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Rene Rancourt is a legend in Boston. He’s been signing the Canadian and American anthems at Bruins’ games for 35 years. In the song Time To Go by Dropkick Murphys, he’s the only "Bruins" name they mention. Tonight as he belts out the Canadian anthem an over enthused Oiler fan tosses her bra at him and it lands on his shoulder. Rancourt doesn’t miss a beat and finishes the song and leaves the bra on his shoulder until the very end of the Star Bangled Banner. As he is finishing the American anthem he whips the bra off his shoulder and waves it in the air as the crowd goes nuts. Both benches feel the eletricity and the first five minutes are excellent. 

 

* Mariuz Czerkawski had the hatty and Curtis Joseph got the shutout.

  • A-Mc

    Will need to review the pvr recording but gagner seems to be invisible. Jones and Belanger are working at it. Gagner… I dunno.

    I’m several beers in

    agreed about duby. I still want duby in full time after khabi falls from grace but tonight he hasn’t looked as good as we all KNOW he is

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        definitely think he’s playing with more jam. and he wins in the circle (crucial for the PP) but still not sure he’s got the offensive chops to get that prime ice time… I hope he proves me wrong. If just one of that group of third liners got going… wow we’d be much better.

        • A-Mc

          I’m not sure anything other than face off % is going for the oil on the PP

          Our PP seems to have disappeared once we left e-town. I’m not worried though; we will lose some games but I’m already convinced the oil are not the same team as last year.

  • A-Mc

    If the game ended right now I’m not sure I could identify exactly where we went wrong.

    IMO the oil are playing quite well

    (except for the goal just now for the bruins 5th)

  • A-Mc

    Ok I think my goat of the night is duby. And that hurts because I really like him.

    This 6th was weak. It’s good a 15 of lucky will drown the sorrows of this loss

  • Kodiak

    We’ve turned the puck over in bad areas tonight more than I think we have the previous 3 games on this road trip combined. Dubnyk didnt play well but as a team we were terrible

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Boston is certainly rising back up to where they belong on paper… I just hope we aren’t falling back to where we belong on paper…

    We played better for stretches than the score suggests. But for 60 we got fed a pile. Good test to run into a team that solid and capable of punishing our rookie mistakes.

  • DoubleJ

    Barker was super awesome tonight. I don’t know who looked lazier, Barker or Hemsky.
    Eager sucked balls too. Hit someone that’s why you are here.

    I would sit Eager and Barker tomorrow.

  • A-Mc

    When I say we’re not bad but people here and Lou say we turned the puck over too much, I’ve got to think I’ve had too many beers and ive probably passed out already.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    You SUCK Dubnyk!

    Take tonights .786 save % with you. He’s allowed 10 goals in 2 losses on this roadtrip, what a waste of a fricken jersey. All 4 regulation loses have been with this stiff in goal.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        Never been fooled by Dubnyk. Anyone can play goal when the games mean nothing. Now that there’s a little more at stake, he’s coming up short like i thought he would.

        It was an over reaction on my part but this Dubnyk kid is nuffin special.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    did anyone else get the NESN stream… These guys are pretty funny. Not big hockey guys, just kind of lazily describing the action like an alien would. Funny though.

    • A-Mc

      No cable or are you remote to Edmonton?

      We did the stream thing all last year and it’s tough!

      our telus tv package from the condo we lived in last year sucked. If it wasn’t CBC broadcasting the game we were streaming it. PS! Who got the rights to the old hokey night in Canada theme song?

      • Romulus' Apotheosis

        no cable, toronto bound. thought about gamecenter but it blackouts so many games (that I wouldn’t get anyway because I don’t have cable) and basically all the playoffs… just wasn’t worth it.

        Streaming sucks… but it’s hard to complain when I think only a few years ago there is no way I’d be able to actually watch every Oiler game… living out of market.

        CTV i thought?

          • Romulus' Apotheosis

            Oh totally… Or if I lived out of NA, or in alabama or something. then nothing would be blacked out.

            In Canada the real problem is the playoffs. they are virtually all broadcast so you end up paying for the whole season and miss about 1/5 or something of the games – the most important games too.

  • A-Mc

    Get Horcoff off the PP and put a D-Man back where Ebs is playing an the first line PP win look like one.

    Also break up Gilbert an Smid to even out the D-lines.

    Play the kids more I think they would love more ice time.

    • A-Mc

      Remove horc? You think that’s a gOod idea when the guy has proved he is very effective in both pk and pp scenarios?

      In your new line who takes the face offs? Horc vs Belanger is no contest: horc is in. Anyone else isn’t consistent enough on the dot OR in being able to muscle thier way around the zone

  • A-Mc

    Anyone think paajarvi will be back in tomorrow?

    PS I havnt seen chorney in a while but petry is not rubbin me the right way lately. Gilbert from behind the play catches up and gains better position on that almost-Boston-break-away. Petry takes the penalty. Am I alone in thinking that someone else should be in?

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Surprised MP sat two. Expect he plays tomorrow. Maybe Gags sits.

      the NESN guys kept calling him “pet-ree” rather than “pee-tree.” He seemed a bit slow tonight. not as slow as Barker mind you! I’d definitely take him over Chorney though. Plus I believe Sutton returns tomorrow.

      Who tossed Hamill into Dubs and took that highsticking penalty. That whole play pissed me off.

      • A-Mc

        it’ll be interesting for tomorrow.

        if Sutton and Paajarvi are back, we’ll somehow steal the win based on Excess energy alone.

        I expect Paajarvi to be flying tomorrow even if he comes up with zero points. He needs to prove himself to show Renney he’s not a guy that should sit when someone comes off Injured Reserve.

        Icing on the cake would be Gagner coming out for a game and PRV having some success with Jones and Belanger. There is opportunity for 2 men of the 3 to kickstart their offensive contribution.

        • Romulus' Apotheosis

          I’m dying for something to happen on that line.

          Did you get a chance to watch Hemsky for backchecking in the end? A couple of people here pointed it out tonight and I know you had it in mind after last game. On one of the Bruin goals it looked like he got caught lazily trying to carry it out of his own end… but who couldn’t you say that of tonight, right?

          • A-Mc

            Honestly that’s like level 2 attention span. On a fake friday when I’m working on a 15 of lucky extra, Back checking isn’t a concern.

            I’ll be watching the game again sometime this weekend to really get a feel for what went on. I did notice that he hustled on the backe check when Boston was on the move, but a few times isn’t indicative of his game-wide performance.

            I need to review last game too to make sure I’m not taking 1 play and applying my impressions of it to the entire game performance.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    I must say I’m a Gagner fan, always was and always will. But this kid is playing with ZERO confidence right now and its such a shame. Five years ago,he was the “Golden Boy”. This year, he’s the “goat”. It’s disturbing how things changed for the worse for Gagner.

    My impression is that Gagner is playing with little to no confidence right now and the fact that he’s playing with Belanger and Jones isn’t helping his case. That injury he sustained in the pre-season didn’t help his momentum for a comeback season either.

    My only hope is that for both the Oilers and the sake of Gagner’s career, they need to part ways. Gagner is wasting his potential here with third line minutes and he needs a fresh start and a change of scenery. I’m sure Gagner will have a long and decent career in the NHL and possibly mold himself into a reliable 2nd line centre 3-4 years from now, but unfortunately, us Oilers fans won’t see that in an Oilers uniform.

    • A-Mc

      i Agree. Although i was somehow offended by the line where you mention Jones and Belanger. Jones is a balls out kind of player and i don’t think anyone can argue his effort and the results he’s had. Belanger, only IMO (stats cant support me) looks to be moving faster, shooting more, and thinking smarter (or something); he looks like a capable forward but Gagner is the ball drop on that line ATM.

      I’m not sure it’s fair to blame his line.

      • Belanger isn’t a type of player you rely to put up offensive numbers, neither is Jones. There is a reason why Paajarvi, Gagner, and heck even Omark dried up offensively and I don’t really think its a coincidence. Belanger is a player that wins faceoffs, make smart defensive plays, and add value to our bottom 6. Not trying to offend anyone.

        All I’m saying from my previous post is that Gagner needs a change of scenery. I like the kid and I think he’ll do well and he will become a solid NHL player in this league, it’s just we won’t see that in an Oilers uniform. As a Gagner supporter, I hope he finds a niche elsewhere because he won’t find it here with the Oilers.

        • A-Mc

          Belanger is a 35+ point scorer consistantly over several years, so there is no reason to believe he cannot rise to the occasion and achieve those stats. So far he has less than impressive point results but i find it hard to believe he’d shut down entirely poin twise over 1 year.

          Jones is fairly young and dispite what you might think about the TYPE of player he is, He’s getting some decent results. He got 34 points last year and so far is doing quite well for himself. The argument with jones is, is it line induced success or is Jones actually creating it for himself. IMO, over the couple years he’s been an oiler, jones’ hard work has created the success this player has experienced.

          I Agree Gagner needs to move.

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    And please lay off Dubnyk’s case. Sure he had a bad game but the players in front of him didn’t do much either. Offense was turning the puck over, defense looked totally out of sync. The way the Oilers played in front of Dubnyk reminded me exactly of the 30th place Oilers I was so accustomed seeing for the past two seasons.

  • John Chambers

    Chambers’ goat for the year: Dubnyk.

    Chambers’ star: Khabibulin.

    Cisco shares up 7% today on 1st quarter earnings. Yep, you can come ask me for stock tips, next year’s fashion trends, and even whether you should marry that girl or not. Gregor?