It has been four years since the Oilers were in the playoff hunt in the middle of March. On March 15th, 2009 the Oilers had 73 points and were tied for 8th place with Nashville, but they went 6-8 in their final 14 games and missed the playoffs by six points.

Here’s a quick look at what happened four years ago.

Standings on March 15th.

6th place… Columbus with 78 points.
7th place… Minnesota with 74 points.
8th-9th place… Edmonton and Nashville with 73 points.
10th-11th place… Anaheim and St. Louis with 70 points.

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Final standings on April 12th, 2009

6th place… St. Louis with 92 points. Went 10-2-2 from March 15th.
7th place… Columbus with 92 points. Went 5-4-4.
8th place… Anaheim with 91points. Went 10-3-1.
9th place… Minnesota with 89 points. Went 7-5-1.
10th place…Nashville with 88 points. Went 6-4-3
11th place…Edmonton with 85 points. Went 6-8.

The Ducks and Blues went on a tear in the final 28 days, while the Predators, Wild and Oilers stumbled down the stretch and fell out of the playoffs. The Oilers need to mirror the Blues and Ducks and make a strong push down the stretch. They have to take advantage of this four-game homestand.

Just for fun here is the lineup the Oilers in 2009.

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Nilsson, Pouliot and MacIntrye also came in and out of the lineup.’


Roloson and Deslauriers.

In five of their six wins the Oilers scored 5+ goals, but they only mustered 12 goals in their eight loses and lost six of the eight games by one goal. Their goaltending and defence wasn’t bad, but they couldn’t produce when it counted. This year, they have much more offensive skill throughout their lineup and starting tonight those players need to lead this team.



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The Oilers have the potential to have three scoring lines, and during this four-game homestand Ralph Krueger should take advantage of that.

The Triple H line can attack on the rush with Hall and Hemsky while Horcoff won’t get crushed defensively against lines like Datsyuk, Wilson, Thornton and Backes. These are the top centres coming in over the next 9 days, and look for Krueger to use the 4/10/83 line against them, especially out of TV timeouts.

Krueger did say he is more concerned about D pairing matchups than forwards, and he wants to focus on getting everyone involved early. He won’t go crazy trying to match lines, but also said his strategy will vary from game to game.

That should allow better matchups for the 2nd and 3rd lines.

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I’d match Gagner’s line against the other teams weakest defensive line and let him continue his offensive tear. Nugent-Hopkin’s goal in Colorado looked eerily similar to many that he scored last  year; a quick release that beat the goalie just inside the post. If he gets some offensive confidence in these final 22 games, the Oilers could have three scoring lines.


  • Many were getting on Nugent-Hopkins for not scoring, but the sophomore’s goal scoring woes aren’t as bad as Detroit’s top-two gunners. Pavel Datsyuk hasn’t scored a goal in 11 games, while Henrik Zetterberg only has 1 goal in his last 20 games.
  • The Red Wings have really struggled on the road at 3-6-2. They are 30th on the road in PP efficiency with a dreadful 2.6% and only one goal, which came in Calgary on Wednesday, in 36 attempts. Their road PK is also horrendous sitting 29th at 69.8%.
  • The Oilers haven’t been great at home though going 4-4-2. They’ve given up 30 goals in 10 games. Their PP has been great, however, with 13 goals on 46 chances, while their PK is a solid 10th at home at 85.7%. The Oilers need to capitalize on special teams.
  • On March 7th in Detroit the Oilers didn’t have one PP. They need to use their speed and put the Wings in bad positions and force them to take some penalties. The Oilers can’t get sucked into playing a passive, defensive game against the Wings. If it becomes a game of patience, the Oilers will likely lose.
  • Ryan Jones was fighting the flu bug vs. Colorado and he "crashed" the last two days in Edmonton. Teemu Hartikainen will draw back in alongside 93 and 14. 
  • Nikolai Khabibulin will backup Devan Dubnyk. Yann Danis went back to OKC after the Colorado game.


GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers have only won back-to-back games twice this year, but tonight they pick up their first three-game winning streak of the season with a 4-1victory. No team in the history of the NHL has made the playoffs without at least one three-game winning streak in a season, and they Oilers keep their playoff aspirations alive with a win tonight.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The crowd wil be tipsy, loaded, jazzed up for their first home game since February 23rd, and when the Oilers honour Stompin’ Tom Connors and play The Hockey Song everyone in the crowd joins in and sings. The building will be rocking as fans take in a playoff race for the first time in four years. And Jordin Tootoo will want a rematch v. Mike Brown after Brown pumped him in Detroit last week.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: All day and even during the broadcast you might hear people reference that historically the Oilers have struggled in their first game back after a long road trip. Turns out that isn’t the accurate.

In the first game back after a road trip of 4 games or more, the Oilers have been pretty good in fact. They are 59-37-14.

1980-1989: 28-8-8
1990-1999: 11-12-2 (they were 1-4 in 1999 which made them below .500)
2000-2010 (No 2005 season so added 2010 to make it ten years): 20-11-3
2011-2012: 0-6-1

The Oilers were brutal the past two years, but they struggled in every facet of their game during those two years so that isn’t a surprise, but historically the statement, "The Oilers always struggle in first game off a long road trip," is misleading.


The 2nd annual Gregor Charity Classic sold out in less than 20 hours, so we have added a second day. (If you signed up for day one, you won’t be able to sign up for day two for a week. This allows more people to enter.)

WHEN: Sunday April 14th. Registration at 11:30, tourney at 1 p.m.
WHERE: Century Casino,13103 Fort Road
WHO: 100 Texas Hold Em Players
WHY: To help End MS and win a seat at the WSOP main event this July in Vegas.

COST: $185 per person (15% goes to MS Society) 

Please be advised of the following stipulations for the tournament: 

·       All participants must be 21 years of age.
·       The grand prize is based on a minimum occupancy of 80 participants, with only 100 spots available. If all spots are not filled, the grand prize will be adjusted to the pre-determined cash prizing.
·       The grand prize awarded is a seat in the World Series of Poker Tournament Main Event, valued at $10,000 USD, in Las Vegas July 7th – 16th, 2013. The last 9 players of the tournament will return to Las Vegas in November 2013 for the final table. All events will be held at the Rio Hotel.
The grand prize includes airfare, courtesy of Darci Huhn with Travel Only and accommodation for one.
·         The grand prize is non-transferable. The 1st place grand prize winner of the tournament  will accept the prize as awarded and be expected to participate and represent Century Casino and The Jason Gregor Show in the World Series of Poker Tournament.

·         The remainder of the cash prizing for the tournament will be broken down as follows, based on full occupancy:
1st place- $10,000 entry fee into WSOP main event.
nd place – $2,000.00 cash  and $500 donation in name to MS Society.

3rd place – $800.00 cash and $200 donation in name to MS Society
4th place – $640.00 cash and $160 donation in name to MS Society.
5th place – $560.00 cash and $140 donation in name to MS Society.
6th place – $480.00 cash and $120 donation in name to MS Society.
7th place – $400.00 cash and $100 donation in name to MS Society
8th place – $320.00 cash and $80 donation in name to MS Society
9th place – $240.00 cash and $60 donation in name to MS Society.
10th place – $210.00 cash and $62.50 donation in name to MS Society.

** 1st place prize is not redeemable for cash. If you can’t go then the 2nd place winner can go in your place and you receive their prize.**

Thanks again for your interest and for supporting MS. You can enter by calling 780.643.4060! Good luck.


  • Alsker

    4 on 4 PRV came off the boards and had 2 red wings cut off his path to the net and the other to were in the the crease area incase PRV made it there…only took couple attempts to get Detroits attention

  • Alsker

    Nice….2 minutes for hitting the glass with your stick and the 2nd powerplay goal of the year on the road for the deadthings….ok..we need a ifs ands or WTFs about it!!!!

  • outdoorzguy

    The ice looks like crap. Big chunk must have been replaced in the Red Wings end. Too bad Northlands got rid of or forced out all the people who knew how to make ice!!

  • outdoorzguy

    One period sinks this team. Coaching difference was huge. Amazing what Renney can do (with some help from Babcock) with a team and management that cares about the product. FIRE LOWE AND TAMBELLINI!! Results show the Oilers are destined to be a lower echelon team for a long time to come. This was men against boys, we’re not even close to competitive.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Seriously?!? What game were you watching? Were you out in the woods (outdoorzguy) with bad reception or something….we weren’t outplayed…we played hard and lost in OT on a spectacular play by Pavel Datsyuk.

  • Eddie Shore

    I’d love to hear the logic of not playing Yak with 8 mins to go and a 2-1 lead but then playing him in the last two mins while tied. Also, why is Smyth playing in OT and Yak isnt? Some head scratching decisions tonight by Krueger. Very tough loss tonight.

  • 2004Z06

    Another overtime goal scored with Gagner dragging his ass back mouthguard hanging out. Someone look up how many overtime goals against he has been on the ice for this year alone. I am pretty sure it is all of them. Say what you want about his offense, but he is AWFUL defensively!!!!

    Eberle dogging it again too.

  • The Soup Fascist

    By playing Smyth and Horcoff in OT Krueger is saying we are playing for. Shootout. What a load of crap. Only forwards who shoild see the ice are 4 83 14 93 64 89 and 91. I’d rather lose with guns a blazing than trapping in OT. This is Renney 2.0 and I am sick of it . It’s like driving the LaBaron wagon with a Lamborghini in the garage. Pure garbage.

  • Lofty

    Good thing the oil sat back in the 3rd and played defensive… Because that’s their strength. For a system that preaches gap control the implementation is severely lacking. I would love to watch the Oil play a team that lets them gain the blue line as easily as they do.

  • Rocket

    Really disappointing loss tonight. Again.

    Thought The Oilers played well tonight though. The line matching in OT was a bit curious as well. I thought Hall should have played a lot more in the last 10 min. of regulation & OT.

    Oh well, Nnneexxxttt…

  • Rocket

    We lost that game because of Petry’s boneheaded tap into his own net. Had that not happened, this game most likely would have had a much different outcome. Something like that is pretty deflating for a team.

  • Eddie Shore

    Sadly, Petry’s boneheaded tap into his own net cost us this game. Something like that is pretty deflating for a team. Had that not happened, I suspect we may have had a different outcome.

  • 2004Z06

    The Petry goal was bad, but not the reason the Oilers lost tonight. They took their foot off the gas and let Detroit own them in the third much like they did against Chicago. Was only a matter of time. A very poor officiating job tonight as well. The phantom high stick, Oilers players were hauled down all night and no calls. Harti’s hit was not a penalty either.

  • Oilers4ever

    Sorry.. but Dubynk gives up a bad one to Datsyuk… you have to stop that if you want to be s starter.. fricking ball hockey goalie could have stopped that. Feel bad for Petry cuz he played well but his screw up cost us 2 points…

    Until this team gets a bonafide number one goalie.. playoffs will stay a pipe dream. Dubbie just isn’t good enough.

    • PlayDirty

      Once Datsyuk decided to take the game over -much easier with the power plays they were handed in the third – our guys looked awe-struck. It was laser-beam by one of the best. I’d give any goalie in the league a 50/50 chance on stopping that.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Again….Seriously??? Dubnyk played a GREAT game….Petry pots one in his own net and PAVEL DATSYUK scores on a amazing play in overtime……and your raggin on Dubbie…..give your head a shake!

  • 15w40

    This team is unmatched at finding ways to lose – brutal. They played hard but man they have a long way to go. Wings show up for 20 minutes and leave with 2 points when the should have had none. That’s a 3 point swing with a team you are trying to catch and you had all but tied up in a bow.

  • Stack Pad Save

    refs were brutal in the third. sucked the life right out of the game. Kruger has me wondering if he is an NHL calibre coach.

    I swear Datsyuk and Zeterberg were on the ice for 18 minutes in the third.

  • Stack Pad Save

    really if we fall at any time further than where we are from 8th now, theres no way we get back in the race for a spot. 21 games left, if we get 6 to 7 points back within the next two weeks its probably over, might as well fall hard……again…
    We got an awful lot of games left with ANA CAL VAN, STL and NAS. 13 of 21. Race will be intense….