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?
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.
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.