Everyone who is a mega star now, was at one point impossibly young and just happy to be in the big leagues. Two of the youngest guns in the NHL meet tonight in Chicago. It might be argued that tonight’s game is the first between the Hawks and Oilers that has been of any note whatsoever in years.

It could also be argued that these teams will have important matches against one another for years to come.

Only time will tell.


The Hawks are in first place in the Western Conference with a 10-4-3 record. The newly Mighty-for-Realsies? Oilers are third in the West with a 9-5-2 record. It should also be noted that Columbus has only seven points, which is amazing when you stop and think about it. Thank heavens they did not tank this hard last year – they might currently employ the Nuge instead of good ol E-town.

On a road trip where a .500 record would be considered to be a complete success the Oil are coming into Chicago having lost two games in a row. Being blanked by Detroit after losing in Boston ain’t no particular thing, especially if you can take down the Conference leaders on your way back home.

The Oilers confirmed as much with a tweeted quote from Ryan Jones earlier today:

"Any time you can go .500 on the road is usually a success, especially a trip like this." – on aiming for a W in Chicago tonight.


No lines were ran at practice today in Chicago but the Oilers have confirmed that Nikolai Khabibulin will get the start against his former team. Ryan Smyth impossibly leads the team in goals and points and second to him is the Nuge.

Did we happen to mention RNH is five whole years younger than Jonathan Toews? Take that uppity Hawks fans who think they have the youngest guns in the league.


Let’s get after this one fellas. It could prove to be a big win.

  • Oilers4ever

    Seriously.. mgmt needs to get off their ass and make a trade.. defense has been terrible last 4 games… it is starting to show.. as has Khabby’s fluky play…

      • Oilers4ever

        No… because the ugly truth is finally showing its self in that they were winning early strictly because of Khabby`s strong play but the last several games have clearly shown that:

        1) The Oilers D is as bad as everyone feared it would be at the beginning of the season and until Whitney returns there is no relief in site and a trade is still needed to fix it.
        2) Khabby`s strong play is falling back to normal from last year. Everyone knew it would not last.

        Gagner is not good enough for this team and Omark sucks defensively. Package them together and get a top 4 dman that we need and get Hartski up here playing. He has the size we desperately need…

  • oilredemption

    I am not convinced having hemsky on wing with hall and nuge. Allstar players makes the other ones around them better and for most of the night it seemed like nuge and hall were alone making playing. IMO they need some grit on that line. I would prefer jones over Hemsky. Hemsky’s a good player but he needs to make the players he’s with better and also jones would help the defense lapses on that line due to them being offensive juggernauts. I hope Renny puts the kids together again and drops hemmer with PRV and Gagner.

  • RexLibris

    Okay, here are my thoughts on this:

    First, I’m glad that the balloon has come down a little. My fear was that this team would show better than I think they really are in the regular season and then management might start to move pieces or accelerate the rebuild in order to take short cuts. If we take the rebuild metaphor a little further, I want to make certain that the foundation has set before I start framing.

    Second: I wonder if sending Paajarvi and Lander down to play in OKC for a dozen games and calling up Green and Keller might not be a good idea. Let the Tre Kronors get some traction and chemistry in the AHL and let some veteran players who can handle being sat come up and fill the roles. I look at it this way, we want to model on Detroit, and if Paajarvi were in the Detroit system he’d have played last year and probably thus far this year in the AHL. I don’t want to see Magnus “demoted”, and in Oil Change Renney and Tambellini mention that they want to change the perception that going to the AHL is a demotion, but rather as an opportunity to work and improve.

    Anyway, better hope we stay out of the penalty box against Ottawa, they’re PP could bury us.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I could see Lander and MP going down… at this point I think MP needs it more… he needs ice time and the chance to get his confidence going. Lander needs to go down if he is going to be HS’d for more than a couple of games. i think it was a big mistake to sit Omark for 5.

      point of order: is Keller even on a two-way? and why not Cornet? or Hartikainen? or any of the other guys down there? just curious about your thinking.