Rest assured a game against the Minnesota Wild will be anything but a wild affair. The team plays a defensive style so boring the Pentagon is looking to develop a way to weaponize it and bring it into battle. "Project: Lethal Boredom" is expected to be a fully functional option in the aresenal of freedom within a decade.
Boring or not the Oil are going to have to figure something out and walk away with some points tonight as this lockout shortened season is already hanging in the balance. The Wild sit comfortably in 10th place in the Western Conference at 10-8-2 and our upstart Oilers are temporarily in 12th place at 8-8-4 and looking to rocket up the charts.
The Oil are going to have to find a way to win without the services of Taylor Hall, who is still feeling the effects from a sore hamstring injury suffered last game agsint the Blues. Says Coach Krueger, "Taylor is still feeling a strain that we want to err to the cautious side. This type of injury, we can give him four days of rest as opposed to forcing him in today. He’s day-to-day but we expect him back very soon."
Which also means we can scratch "watch Hall hammer Clutterbuck to show he ain’t afraid" off the OilersNation Game Bingo Cards for tonight.
According to Jason Gregor who texted me "here are the lines in advance so you don’t screw it all up like you did last game" these are the non-screwed up lines for today.
Starting goalies have not yet been announced.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite the Wilds’ ability to smother teams with a blanket of defence before sending them into a 90 minute coma we have a feeling the Oil will wiggle free and find a way to win 4-2. Two goals by the J Leslie Eberle collection (naturally) a J. Schultz special from the point and a Ryan Jones garbage goal will make up the offense for the good guys.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Cal Clutterbuck comes flying off the bench midway through the first period looking for revenge on Taylor Hall for giving him a charlie horse last time these two teams faced off.
"DERP WHERE TAYLOR HALL AT?" the cro magnonian man will scream whilst awkwardly lumbering around the ice. After being told Hall is already out with an injury Clutterbuck will confusedly cross check himself from behind into the boards. Minnesota fans will quietly applaud before rolling over and going back to sleep in the stands.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Wild fans – who have inexplicably paid to watch Minnesota Wild hockey for years now – will see what exciting hockey looks like for a few brief flashes tonight. "What was that? An end to end rush?" they will whisper to each other in the seats. "Where is the dump and chase? Where is the neutral zone trap? This isn’t hockey!"
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher will be forced to address the fans at the end of the first period on the scoreboard. "We realize that you have seen some tic-tac-toe passing and one time top cheddar goals from the Oilers tonight. As the General Manager of the Wild I can assure you that the Oilers will be gone shortly after the game and we are committed to returning to the 1-0 hockey Minnesota fans deserve."