It is minus 112 outside, or make that minus 123 with the wind chill, cars are breaking down faster than the Oilers roster, yet tonight Oiler fans can’t lose. The Oilers are currently in 27th place, tied with the Islanders and Lightning with 38 points, and they sit nine points up on the 30th place Blue Jackets.

If the Oilers win tonight, fans can celebrate a win, which hasn’t happened much in the past two months, lose and Oilers fans are one step closer to a lottery pick, and the possibility of picking first for the 3rd consecutive season.

I know that isn’t the best win-win situation, but it’ freaking freezing out, the Oilers are out of the playoff hunt in mid January, their two-best forwards aren’t playing so I couldn’t muster the energy to try and find some reason to be super excited leading up to tonight’s titanic battle between the Oilers and Blue Jackets.

I’ve spent mosf to the morning watching videos of white sand beaches and day dreaming of being on one, so pardon me if I’m not sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for puck drop at 5:07 Edmonton time.


Not much changes, because the Oilers don’t have any options.

  • Devan Dubnyk will get the start as he tries to put together a string of solid performances.
  • Eric Belanger is still out with a foot injury.
  • Alex Plante was cleared to play, but he got sent to OKC.
  • Jordan Eberle skated, but he won’t play tonight. He might go in St. Louis, but it seems likely he’ll be back for the battle of Alberta on Saturday. If he plays does he automatically get named to the AS team, since they said they only reason they didn’t name him was because he was hurt. If someone gets hurt, and he plays on Saturday I’m sure he’ll be added.
  • I thought Ales Hemsky was good on Sunday, but it’s kind of sad that people are saying that was his best game of the season. I’m not saying I disagree, but Hemsky’s best games used to be three or four point nights, not an assist on an OT goal. But he needs to start somewhere, and considering he’s bad more success v. the Jackets than any other team, you should expect Hemsky to have another solid game tonight.


  • Ritch Winter will join me at 4:25 MST today to talk about an article he wrote suggesting that the Oilers missed the boat not developing young D-men while watching Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins take centre stage. I don’t agree at all so it should be interesting.
  • Jonathon Quick is the best goalie in the western conference right now. If the Kings can find a scoring winger before the deadline, they could make some serious noise in the playoffs.
  • No chance the Kings will trade Slava Voynov for Ales Hemsky, or anyone else for that matter, so let’s stop talking about it. That kid is a hell of a talent, and I spoke with two members of the Kings management on Sunday and they both said, "NB chance," he gets moved. Lombardi has a made a few head scratching moves with the Oilers in the last 10 months, but I don’t see a third one coming.
  • I really like Anton Landers’s desire and work ethic, but he needs to get a 1/2 step faster. If he can improve his skating in the off-season, he could take a big jump next year.
  • Interesting to see the D-pairings lately. Jeff Petry played 27 minutes on Sunday and I suspect they are going to give him loads of icetime down the stretch. In a perfect world, they see Petry and Whitney as a pairing next year, along with Smid and Gilbert. Right now Corey Potter and Theo Peckham are playing together, because I sense they look at them as their 3rd pairing. Peckham has been more consistent the past month, and if he continues that and dedicates himself to working out hard in the off-season he could become a very reliable 3rd pairing guy.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Hemsky has a three point night, and the Oilers win 4-3.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The "Fail for Nail" camp will be livid watching the Oilers win and giving Columbus an 11-point lead with 37 games remaining. I’m not sure the Oilers can make up that type of deficit down the stretch.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Ben Eager scores, but doesn’t fight Derek Dorsett and fans will question his willingness to play his role. There is never a dull moment in the Nation, especially when the team is struggling. I honestly can’t wait to see how the Nation will react when the Oilers are actually good. Either the comment sections will explode and set records, or it will be crickets because no one will have anything to bitch about. Don’t worry we have at least two years before we cross that bridge, so keep your keyboards humming.

    • RCN

      They couldn’t do it 2 years ago with Hall AND Seguin.

      They couldn’t do it last year with Hopkins AND Larsson.

      They cannot do it this year with Yakupov AND Murray.

      So just STOP.

      QUIT it.

      NOT happening.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        You may be onto something there Ross. Doing nothing like the Oilers have, probably has alot to do with why the Oilers are destined for another last place two full seasons later. How much longer will the Oilers sit hunkered do in the corner trying to build a hockey club one booby prize at a time with the minumum due to them from the NHL? Management will get off their arses sooner or later and make a splash help their own cause.

        Being a Flames fan must be a little like having a beer on the deck of the Titanic on April 10th, 1912. Can you see the iceberg yet?

        Why even bother to get off your duff and make a little of your own luck eh, you might as well have quitter written across your forehead. Imagination is the foundation of reality, Fawker.

        • Silly Oil fan… can’t say anything without them referring back to the Flames… even tho that is completely irrelevant to what was said.

          Point being –> they don’t have what it takes to acquire a lottery pick; teams in lottery position rarely, if ever, trade those picks. Boston wouldn’t do it in a Hemsky package 2 years ago (when he had term left on his deal & less injury history). What are they gonna throw in a proposal now?!

          I tell you what. Washington will give you Alex Semin and some other scrap piece for your lottery pick… deal? Ya, that’s what I thought. GTFOH

          • Truth

            I would disagree with saying the Oilers don’t have what it takes to aquire a lottery pick, however it would never happen as they would be stupid to pull the trigger on trading Hall or RNH.(I realize you are probably implying this)

            The best chance to aquire a lottery pick through trade was with Boston. They had a strong team, usually lottery teams are just that because they’re weak and therefore deserve and require the top players in the draft. But I could imagine the asking price would have been Eberle +. Good thing they didn’t IMO.

            Whatever happens, take the best player available with a lottery pick. It would be a shame for Pitt. to have passed up Malkin to draft Barker b/c they wanted a defenseman in ’04.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            There’s more than one way to skin a cat 1d10t.

            Who said they had to do it all in one deal. They already have 83 leaving for a middling first rounder. Who says they can’t improve on that selection by adding a player or two and flipping that pick, possibly more than once?

            You have all the answers and a crystal ball, yet you can’t give us one reason why this can’t happen. Stick to your flames board junior.

          • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

            ~exactly. we can look at the last 20 years and see all sorts of examples of teams bundling up mid firsts with other players and picks to move in and snag a 2nd top 5 pick~

            anything is possible. for example, i could have a limo of playmates pull up to my door and demand i rub their cold hard nipples. likely? nope. possible? apparently anything is “possible”

          • Truth

            Sorry man Natural Cotton Candy landing strips on playmates is not possible, maybe a lot of to think about but not possible. then one has to think pink or blue and who woudl get which.

          • Quicksilver ballet

            Cough up the appearance fee and i’m sure all of your wildest dreams will come true, would they be disappointment or surprised with you being there Cableguy?

            Dreams cost money and the Oilers do have assets.

    • Spaghetti - Team Facalto

      Although i am inclined to agree with you on Yakupov, i have to disagree about Murray. I know he is currently ranked higher then Griffin Reinhart, but based on a Craig Button interview with, i wanna say it was Mark Spector I think this is the way to go.

      • Disagree, I wouldn’t take Yakupov. I would take Gregoiranko or how ever you spell his name. The team has some nice talent but they need to get some guys that have size and talent now to fill out the roster. I would take Murray, supposedly the most NHL ready and has the most upside. If he is gone then I’m all for Griffin Reinhart as I think he would fit in perfectly with the current Dmen in the system.

        Its kind of like a vehicle. You can add as many parts as you want, flashy rims, stero system, nice paint, but if you don’t have the right parts say a set of spark plugs, then its useless.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        We’ve seen Reinhart here a fair bit, have him pegged as another Paajarvi. When push comes to shove he doesn’t have the brass tacks to go in the difficult areas. He’s making a name for himself with his play in the less competitive areas of the ice. Not so sure we need another pre 2011-12 Tom Gilbert. I’d rather have a virtually NHL ready Murray than a Reinhart who could still be a yr or so away.

  • Forget Yakupov. Forget Forsberg. Forget Grigorenko. Forget Murray. Forget Dumba. The Oilers will inspire hope for next season not by tanking and providing another top 3 pick in the draft, but by winning a few games and overtaking the Islanders, Carolina, and even maybe Montreal.

    The best pick for the Oilers of all the available prospects is Griffin Reinhart who will lead a strong blue line behind him that will consist of Klefbom, Teubert, Musil, Marincin, and even Plante (finally)! They will be mentored by the likes of Petry…who will be playing like a seasoned vet next year thanks to a TON of playing time, and of course, the ever-loveable Smid. Gilbert will mentor but be gone by the time this talent rolls in.

  • Micbilly99

    Jason, where does the ‘perfect world’ Oiler defense fit within the current NHL? Are they in the top,middle or bottom third? I would think that they are in the bottom third and that won’t improve until they get a top 1-2 defenseman.

    • kawi460

      At that rate, the Oilers will be out of it in March next year and then right in the thick of things in 2013/14. I sincerely hope the world doesn’t end this year.

  • Chuckpuck5000

    lets go oilers, its freezing outside and im going to be inside watching the oilers.. cant wait, Gagner with 2 goals, PRV with 1(hes gotta score sometime) . oil win 3-1

  • MrCondor

    I hope im wrong… i feel them Jacket dudes feed the Oilers tonight
    unless the Oil come out Very Physical- Take it to them early
    and often even if it costs us a Penalty. Show we are the better team, and show Rick Nash, this is the place to be… Can u imagine ??
    I just popped wood thinking about Nash in Oilers colors.

      • smiliegirl15

        It wasn’t full wood ? Does that count ? But christ dude , its Rick Nash !
        I’d even let you give him a tug if he would play for the Oilers.
        Hey, what are are friends for ! It would be just between you and me
        honest ! Just kidding with ya bro…don’t come unglued…


        • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

          Hell no man I like a little comedy, espicially on here. A lot of guys get too worked up over stuff. I think people completely forget that hockey is a game and its supposed to be fun. Life is too short to be miserable and up tight all the time, crack some jokes, even rude ones, a good laugh makes my day.

  • A-Mc

    I’m totally on the fence. i have no idea what i want more: a decent fight to get as many points as we can, or a Lotto Pick.

    Realistically we cannot make the playoffs, but we only need to go 22-16-0 to have a .500 season.

    Perhaps the confidence boost for the team knowing that next year could be playoff year is worth more than another 1st overall pick? *shrug*


  • kawi460

    Do you actually think Petry will be on the top pairing next year? IMO the oilers need to take a serious run at signing a top 4 dman in the offseason. I would hope they resign Sutton, he seems to like the team and the city. Plus he is nasty to play against.

    Why would eager fight dorsett? did something happen last game? I could see Hordi and Boll going cause last time Hordi taunted him a bit after dropping him.

    Whats wrong with Peckham?? He doesn’t seem to be hitting as much as last year or fighting? Love his effort though, perfect #5-6 dman!

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    What do you call it when both teams are bottom feeders anyway? ELPH!

    It’s sad to think, however, that unless something crazy happens the rest of the world won’t even notice a game is happening tonight.

    GDP: Oil continue their inability to show up against weak opposition. Lose 4-2 goals by Hemsky and Potter (both on the PP). Too many BJ jokes are overheard everywhere. Hulk Hogan raises his hand to his ear only to hear the deafening silence of deflated “Hulkamanics.”

  • GSP

    Gregor…unfortunately I dont catch much of the Oil Kings games, but was certainly scratching my head when Craig Button had Reinhart ranked highter than Murray.

    What can you say about Reinhart’s game and do you agree with Button’s assessment of him being ranked higher than Murray?

  • GSP

    The Oilers will never win until they get rid of the loser mentality. They picked first overall the past few seasons and they needed it but I don’t want to do that again anytime soon. There are still pieces to be added but let’s make at least a marginal move up the standings. GO OILERS GO!!

    • Doug Diggler

      Exactly, I didn’t expect the team to make the playoffs this year but I did expect them to improve from last season and so far that doesn’t seem to have happened.

  • ButtermilkBiscuitsAKAoilers2k10

    I want oilers to win cuz I’m an oilers fan..loosing sucks..having hall and rnh is great, but we no longer suck enough to deserve the first overall, I’m perfectly happy with griffin reinhardt this upcoming draft.

  • Spaghetti - Team Facalto


    Fair point, but I doubt that Murray would be ready for the NHL next year, usually takes a couple to three years for D-men to develope. Based on what I have heard though, Reinhart is supposed to be a “stud” and a possible 1/2 guy, where Murray is probably going to be a 3/4 guy. Maybe some of that is due to the fact that one goes to the less competitive areas on the ice, but if Gilbert can learn to throw a hit and go to the hard areas of the ice Reinhart can too.

    Also, do we need another Ryan on this team?….Thinks about it and realizes all our best players are named Ryan. Damn because Griffin Reinhart is such a cool name too.

      • Spaghetti - Team Facalto

        I have heard him described as a Wade Redden type d-man, and he maybe ready to play next year but he wouldn’t be my first choice, or second because first choice would either be Yakupov, Grigorenko or Forsberg in that order whoever is available when the Oil choose.

  • Chris.

    Game Day Prediction: The Oilers play down to their opponents… so expect a poor start; but I gotta predict a win. I just gotta! 4-3 Oil.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: I’m working late but at least one of my buddies will ruin the PVR experience with a text or ill advised phone call.

    Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Taylor Hall, already injured during the pregame skate is the 3rd freak accident to the “holy three”.. proving these things do happen in threes! Expect our luck to turn for the better now that that is out of the way. It has to… right?