GDB 57.0: WHAT NOW?

How sweet would it be if Blade showed up and crushed Edward and Jacob ( I honestly just googled their name, because I’ve never watched an entire movie or read the book), who seemingly pop up everywhere. Compared to Blade, or Lost Boys, these new  vampire movies are a bore and way too sappy.

I wonder if  you’ll feel the same when you walk into Rexall Place tonight. Wednesday night Rexall was jumping. Leafs fans and their kool-aid-drinking, Burke-is-the-greatest, Phaneuf-is-the-man and Kessel-was-worth-it attitude are hard to deal with, but their enthusiasm only made Oiler fans louder and the atmosphere electric.

It felt like a playoff game, and the game was very entertaining, but tonight the Avs are in town, and I don’t sense we’ll see the same excitement on the ice or in the stands. You can’t control how the Oilers play, but as fans you can ensure you do your part and make Rexall a more vibrant, loud, and exciteable building.

Wednesday was very loud, and it will be on Sunday when the Canucks invade Rexall, so tonight it will be up to Oiler fans to make it noisy. You should have lots to cheer about since the Avs are the only NW team the Oilers have had any recent success against. Matt Duchene skated today, but he’s unlikely to play. He hasn’t played since December 29th, but the Avs are treading water without him at 8-8-3.

LINEUP

Hall – Gagner – Eberle
Paajarvi – Horcoff – Hemsky
Smyth – Belanger – Jones
Eager – Lander – Petrell

Smid – Petry
Whitney – Gilbert
Barker – Sutton

Dubnyk

Theo Peckham is still officially on the IR, but he’s ready to play. I guess the Oilers are showcasing Cam Barker, if that is even possible, otherwise it makes no sense to have him in the lineup right now. His confidence is shot right now. His gap control against the Leafs was actually pretty good, however, when he had to handle the puck, especially in his own zone, he looked scared to make a play.

Corey Potter skated hard today and he’s hoping to be ready for Sunday or Tuesday at the latest. This is his first groin injury, so they need to be cautious and not rush him back and have him re-aggravate it.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is feeling better, but there is no timeline on his return. Renney said on Monday that he is likely going to hold him back a few days even after he is cleared to play. Nugent-Hopkins is still in the running for the Calder, and if he returns in the next ten days and stays healthy the remainder of the season, I still think he’ll be a finalist.

QUICK HITS

  • I asked Shawn Horcoff about the Ales Hemsky situation. "It concerns me a little bit. I’m a big believer in Hemmer. He’s a type of player that it’s tough to duplicate that type of skill and it (skill) is hard to get. You lose a guy like that and it is hard to replace. Obviously we have young guys that are stepping up and doing the job, but I don’t know if you can ever have enough skill up front. The price has to be right and there is economics that go into it, but if I had it my way I’d have him back." Hard to disagree with him.
     
  • Maybe it is a game of cat and mouse, but if I’m the Oilers, I’d put a three-year deal on the table and see what he says. Offering him a one or two-year pact is only a slap in the face.
     
  • The optics of Renney’s post-concussion symptoms show you how difficult it is to accurately guage a concussion, but it also make you wonder if some players have come back too soon. I’d like to see teams err on the side of caution more often when it comes to bringing players back from injuries, but I’m doubtful it will ever change.
     
  • Would you like to go to the game tonight? I have a pair of club seats, at centre ice, with a parking pass courtesy of The Pint Off Whyte. To be in the draw you need to LIKE The Jason Gregor Show page and comment on the question. I will announce the winner at 3 p.m. The winner will need to pick up their tickets at the Pint Off Whyte before 6 p.m. (104 street and 81 ave) Good luck.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are 6-8-4 v. the NW and they’ll pull within one game of .500 in their division with a 4-1 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Jordan Eberle notches his 26th and 27th goals of the season. He’ll become only the fourth Oiler in the past decade to score 30 goals. Dustin Penner, 32 in 2010, Mike Comrie, 33 in 2002 and Smyth, 31 in 2007 and 36 in 2006. Eberle has an outside shot at becoming the first Oiler to score 40 since Petr Klima  potted 40 way back in 1991.

NOT-SO-OBVIOIUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Since I will be driving to Calgary to get ready to call the Edmonton Rush game on Sportsnet West tomorrow night, I’m sure the game will be outstanding. There will either be a hat-trick, a few bonecrushing hits or a great tilt because I won’t be there to watch. Always seems to happen.