The Oilers are 19-8-5 (actual ties) in home openers including a perfect 3-0 v. the San Jose Sharks. They beat the Sharks 3-2 in a shootout in 2008, 3-2 in 1993 and 5-2 in 2003, so with it being 2013 it only seems fitting they open their home schedule v. San Jose.

I know technically this is the 2012/2013 season, but their home opener is in 2013 so just go with it.

Both teams won their season openers on the road, Edmonton in Vancouver and San Jose in Calgary, and both will try to become the 9th NHL team to start the season 2-0.

Shawn Horcoff, Sam Gagner, Taylor Hall and Ben Eager weren’t on the ice for the optional morning skate. Eager’s eye is swollen from his fight against Zack Kassian on Sunday and he won’t play tonight. The other three were just resting.



N.Schultz- J.Schultz
Whitney – Potter


"We’d like to incorporate him into the PK tonight," Krueger said about Paajarvi. When I asked Krueger about having more forwards involved killing penalties he said he plans on using more, but felt they weren’t ready for the season opener. He wants to ensure his young guys are well-versed and completely understand the system.

In Vancouver, Krueger and Steve Smith didn’t want to disrupt the ryhthm of their defence and they didn’t try to hard to match lines. When I asked Krueger his strategy for home games," I look at each game as a different story. A lot of it will depend on how the game is unfolding."

Ladislav Smid liked the strategy in Vancouver because it allowed the defenders to stay in a consistent flow. He also joked that it was nice not having to defend the Sedins every shift. Smid and Jeff Petry both relish the opportunity to try and shut down the opposition’s best line, and tonight they expect to see a lot of the Joe Thornton/Patrick Marleau/Joe Pavelski line.

Krueger was very complimentary of Corey Potter today and explained why he has him ahead of Fistric. He likes his body positioning and how he moves the puck. I’m curious to see when Fistric will draw in. The Sharks have a big team, but they aren’t overly physical which is why Krueger replaced Eager with Paajarvi. Paajarvi was amped up to play and he is hoping to make a good impression early in the game.



Murray- Braun


Joe Pavelski is the only right-handed shot in the Sharks top-six, and he’s enjoying playing the wing with Thornton and Marleau. "Joe demands the puck a lot, so I’ve had to alter my game a bit and learn to dish it off, but it is easy because I know Joe will get it back to me in a better position."

The Sharks are without Brent Burns and Jason Demers, and Matt Irwin looked very good in his first NHL game in Calgary. "We put him with Boyle from the first day of camp to make him feel comfortable," said Sharks’ head coach Todd Mclellan. "We wanted to instill some confidence in him early by putting him with Boyle and on the PP with Thornton. I saw his confidence grow all week and he looked good in game one."

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers are a perfect 4-0 in home openers/season openers v. the Sharks. They’ve won all three home openers in Edmonton and they also beat the Sharks in San Jose to open a season. The Oilers speed will be an issue for the Sharks and they win 4-2.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: It will feel like a playoff game for fans. The building will be loud, the Octane will unveil a few new routines and with an 8 p.m. start many fans will be a tad "louder" when the game starts. Nail Yakupov scores his first NHL goal and follows it up with a triple fist pump.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: When they Oilers start announcing winners of the signed Oiler Jerseys, at least three diehard Oilersnation readers will win. They will instantly brag about it, rightfully so, in the comments section. And knowing Nation readers they will pick guys a jersey like Kurt Brackenbury #15, Stan Weir #21, Dave Brown #32, Jim Dowd #34 or Marty Reasoner’s #19. The Nation readers set trends, they don’t follow them.


You have five days left to win a $5,000 shopping spree at United Cycle or any of the 99 other prizes in the Nation’s First Annual hockey draft. It is only $20 bucks with a portion of the funds going to charity. Bragging rights are on the line boys and girls, so enter today. We are almost sold out.


I`m doing my show live at the Pint off Whyte today and at 2:10 Jessie strolled in and handed me a pair of tickets to tonight`s home opener. He wanted to give to a diehard fan. What a guy.

I will be giving them away at 6:30 p.m. You have to be here to win. Good luck.

  • Bonvie

    On a positive note the Oilers have 2 goals on the PP. Gagner is still a point a game center. MP looks really good tonight. He is skating miles. Too bad he is playing with belanger. I would move him up with Horcoff and Smyth.Hartsy has been ineffective down low. almost invisible.he needs to makes his body bigger in the front of the net. Better period. Oilers need a couple of more goals 5 vs 5 to gain some confidence going into next game.

    • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

      The score is 2-1 and Ralph sends Gagner’s line over the boards shortly after Nail scored on the power-play…. guess what happens next? SJ nets another and the Oilers are in panic mode.

      Micheal so what if Sam is a point-a-night if he’s gonna end up -2 for the night!! It’s like starting 1-zip before the puck is dropped..

    • Bonvie

      The probelm with Paajarvi he gains the zone outside then throws the puck away with a shot from the outside with nobody near the net yet. He does this over and over. Sure they are shots on net but they basically are turn overs as the other team grabs the puck and turns the play back ip the ice, He needs to watch Taylor Hall he can gain the blueline with possession of the puck wait for his team mates to drive the net and then shoot or pass to players coming in, take it behind the net or throw on the breaks and wait for the D to enter the zone, or last is the best one drive it to the net either wide or cut into the middle. MPS need to take less 40 foot shots from the outside and more attempts to shoot within 20 feet of the net.

    • DSF

      Hey they don’t need to finish last to pick first overall, remember all 14 non playoff teams get a shot. But yeah Edmonton will probably get a better chance %wise than other teams.

      Just terrible coverage and by guys that should know how to play defensive zone coverages in Gagner, N. Schultz, Smid, Petry, etc.

  • Harti needs to be with more offensive minded players to make him useful.

    Potter out, Fistric in. Gagner needs to learn some responsibility and not be so disconnected from his surroundings.

    Giving Horcoff and Smyth ice-time they don’t deserve will do way more harm than good.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Full credit to SJ for a dominant 1st period. It’s only 1 game early in the season and young players have always been plagued by inconsistancy. The oil , to their credit, kept plugging and didn’t give up. DD will rebound next game. All that being said, Potter is not a NHL defenceman. Whitney is no longer a NHL calibre player. We are handicapped on the back end and a high draft choice will not impact that fact for the next 5 years. Time to trade for real NHL D-men.

      • Last time Whitney through a hit the rink was called Northlands . . . weakest game as an Oiler – I hope he does not go back to pouting for a week again. That ankle looks bad he has no jam or cut on any move he makes.

        Can someone trade Belanger to Montreal for their Butane Girl

        Can’t fault Dubie in this one

        Kreuger next time you play a team with size Fistric better be in the line-up so someone can keep them honest in our zone.

        nough said . . .move on.

    • Bonvie

      Yeah if they sat Fistric and Peckham because they were not game ready, or did not know the system,and Whitney is deemed game ready with that ECHL skating. One has to ask how badly out of shape is Peckham? How hard can it be to learn the Oilers system? Is sending two D behind their net leaving two San Jose forwards alone in front of our net part of that system? How about chasing behind the net on a 5-3 PK? How about getting a routine 2-2 and both D go after the puck carrier leaving the second forward to go to the net all alone?

      The Defenseman that made the worst mistakes tonight though were our top D. Smid,Petry, and N.Shultz all had brutal gaffes.

      But Whitney in general looks slow and doesn’t hold the line on the PP.

  • Brutal first.

    I think Hartikainen should be on the forth and Paajarvi on the Horcoff line.

    I wouldn’t panic yet but, Gagner and Whitney have got to get there own zone coverage corrected most ricky-ticky.

    Still calling Oilers a borderline lottery team in need of another big 1-B center, SJS leaned on the Oilers forwards in the first then took the foot off the pedal for the rest of the game.

    Size does matter.

    Good for Yakupov and Schultz had good opportunity to score a few.

  • Clyde Frog–You are my new hero and I think Big Mouth is intimidated by you and your awesome/hilarious stories. He’s been quiet tonight. Keep up the great work and I think The Nation will have to nominate you for a Pulitizer Prize.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Not to diminish Clyde Frog’s responses, but DSF did not need to say much tonight. It was pretty clear that as much upside as there is with this team, there are going to be periods like this. As much as I enjoy disagreeing and sparring with DSF, this is a case of “when you lose say little, when you win say less”.

      Now his minion, jefff on the other hand …….. Why do I picture Dr. Evil and Mini me?????

      • Rob...

        Though funny and very creative, I can’t support Clyde Frog. DSF irritates the hell out of me, but he does it by cherry picking his facts and ignoring the flaws in his arguments that others point out. I can’t say I’ve ever seen him purposefully go after an individual here in a persistent unending attack meant to drive his target off the site.

        • Clyde Frog

          There is no meaning to drive an individual off the site; I am just attempting to add context to the discussion in a way that makes me smile.

          Because honestly it was getting stale, Story X about the Oilers is posted; DSF chooses Team Y and points out the Oilers lack characteristic/player Z, therefore they are not good at all.

          Every single time.

          Discussion starts, DSF just keeps switching Team Y and player Z to ensure no matter what is said the Oilers are terrible in comparison.

          I like coming to the site, I like the articles, I like the discussion. But if I have to read 1-2 pages of DSF fighting the Oilernation on EVERY SINGLE blog posting, I might as well smile while doing it.

          In sum, its not personal, its not meant to “drive someone away” (Hard to character assassinate a online persona lacking vowels with an online persona named Clyde Frog), its simply meant to add humor to the page after page of DSF fighting the universe.

  • The Soup Fascist

    An absolutely terrible 1st period but since we all know that (4 pages of comments and counting..) I will quickly move on:

    – Taylor Hall was flying again but seemed to force a lot of passes just over the blueline, especially to Eberle. Perhaps it was just an off night as sometimes just nothing works in a game.

    – Hartakainen showed a really nice glimpse of what we need from him down low for about 25 secs in the 3rd. He had the puck low and behind the net for quite awhile and could not be bumped off. Unfortunately he ended up giving the puck away with errant passes but I was happy to see that type of work and hopefully he can build on that.

    – Paajarvi was flying but still ineffective on the outside. Seemed to be more comfortable in the game though. I think that means more time in the AHL would be exponentially better for him.

    – Last but not least, sometimes when things are not working you need a physical element to break the cycle or stir things up a bit. Not saying Eager/Fistric would have been the difference, but I think the Oil need to have a different dynamic available when their core game is not working.

    Sorry about the long post. Happy to watch the 2nd and 3rd periods though.

  • SteelStewart

    We need Fistric, Eager and Jonesy in the line up ASAP! Hopefully Eager and Jones eye’s are healthy to start playing some games again. I love the edge Eager plays with. The guy can move and throw his weight around.

    Our Defensive play was Horrendous!! Worst period they’ve played in close to 3 years. I can’t blame everything on Dubby but he was “half-ass” as well. If any team leave Marleau or Couture alone in the slot they are going to score 8-10 times. Just can’t give those guys breathing room.

    Hopefully we come back strong against the struggling Kings tomorrow. And hopefully Dubby can find his game again (although Danis played solid and I was quite nervous he wasn’t going to be).

  • SteelStewart

    Anybody here think the reffing sucked, not there fault the oil loss as the calls were terribly inconsistent on both sides. Stupid refs will just make a long season even longer.

  • K-UGER Industrial Smoothing

    Small fast team with lots of potential . Deja Vu all over again.

    Maybe this is the year they get rid of Lowe and Tambo which would be a good thing.

    Build a team not an All Star team. They have built a team that can’t perform in the playoffs.

    When are they going to wake up.

  • K-UGER Industrial Smoothing

    Blame it on the Tarty anthem singer, she set the tone for the first period.

    Man for man there are many teams with worse personnel on defense than the Oilers. If you think back this is how they have played for the past several years, not much has changed or improved. Yes Petry has gotten better, and N.Shcultz added defense to the defense, and young Schutlz is a great addition [ still early],but that only reiterates the point…
    coching and the system SUCK. I think Smith is not the answer as defense coach, only because we keep seeing the same type of play for these guys.
    It would help if guys like ” flyby Hemsky, and Gagner learned how play defensive hockey over 200 ft of ice. Something has to change, and you can’t turn over the entire roster. Hopefully it can be done, its only two games though.