GDB 48.0: The End of the Road

The Oilers’ season will once again end at the same time as the NHL playoffs begin. Edmonton plays its final game tonight against the “Vancouver Canucks” – with third place locked up, the Northwest Division champs will rest a bunch of players against the Oilers, underlining the fact that this game is almost entirely meaningless.

The Opposition

There will be no need to worry about the Sedin twins putting on a passing clinic tonight.

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Also taking the night off are one or two players of note.

So: the Canucks will be without their three ice-time leaders on the blue line, and of their three ice-time leaders at forward two will be scratched and one will be playing on the fourth line. Frank Corrado (nine games of professional experience) led the team in even-strength ice-time one game ago and is likely to repeat the feat against the Oilers.

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The Oilers

Presumably the Oilers use more or less the same forward combinations they played against Minnesota, but the defence is where things might get interesting. Mark Fistric left the game against the Wild early, Ryan Whitney has a leg injury, and Theo Peckham has mono, meaning the Oilers only have five healthy defencemen.

Yesterday’s lines:

  • Taylor Hall – Shawn Horcoff – Nail Yakupov
  • Magnus Paajarvi – Sam Gagner – Jordan Eberle
  • Ryan Jones – Eric Belanger – Anton Lander
  • Ryan Smyth – Jerred Smithson – Mike Brown
  • Ladislav Smid – Jeff Petry
  • Nick Schultz – Corey Potter
  • Mark Fistric – Justin Schultz

Devan Dubnyk will start for Edmonton.


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Game day prediction: Yesterday I predicted a dull, soul-crushing affair for the Oilers. They won 6-1. Since that worked out so well, this game’s going to be even more lopsided – a 4-0 Vancouver victory, with Frank Corrado scoring his first NHL goal.

Obvious game day prediction: In keeping with the above, by the end of May Oilers Nation will be flooded with complaints that the 4-0 score on the website’s “last game” marker is depressing.

Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Cam Barker will have a strong night on Vancouver’s third pairing. Jay Feaster, watching the game because Calgary’s season is already over, will be struck by Barker’s draft pedigree (mentioned on the broadcast), puck-moving ability, and size, then click over to NHL Numbers to see that he’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. The Flames will sign him to a two-year deal on the first day of free agency and Barker’s agent will just be one team away from filling out his Northwest Division clubs bingo card.

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  • wiseguy

    Jonathan, Thanks, for your creative and ambitious efforts this Oiler season.I think you are one of the best Oiler bloggers around. Keep up the good work.Its always fresh and interesting!

    Its is unfortunate, at least from my point of view, that people like DSF and NAS, continually attenuate your efforts with their detached screed.

    • DSF

      Please try not to lump DSF and I into the same Nugget there pal.

      Oh, I know I know, I am having a chuckle just like you are this is cyber-space,but please shut the hell up and dont pick fights with people you dont know,its just not polite.

      Just be a nice oxygen thief and go suck air from someone elses Happy Place,ya little suck-hole.

  • In the Mact. interview after game he was making reference to some personnel in the core that did not go the extra to help team play better . This was a shortened season , and too many were mailing it in to frequently . To many not playing a supportive or all around game with much frequency physically and otherwise . It did not sound as though he was excusing our youth either .

    So whom of our roster was Mact. disappointed with and looking to replace for next season ? Remember this was a shortened season and we appear to have same problem refestering in room again that led to first gutting debauckle . Some on the squad have been noticed to losing their “competitive edge” .

    • Hockey Smart – a man who is well versed in the acumen required to be a professional hockey player in the NHL and who uses this cerebral package to enhance his overall workability.

      Hockey-wise – a man who is very experienced in the nuances of the game and understands how and where to pace himself to execute system duties with the least possible effort and enegry expenditure,,this type of man refuses to consider himself to be disposable and he is so well versed in the game that he can hide between the lines . He understands his role but refuses to accept it,his self-valuation is not in harmony with the systems valuation of his level of effort required nightly.

      Below the top 6 EVERYONE is a nitro bottle,to be used up as the system sees fit, not as the player sees fit.Ralphs foot that must be on every mans pedal,every night for 60 mins.The coach PLANS to burn certain guys out to tailor his bench and system impact as games evolve, that is his ammunition and he can spend it how he sees fit,just screwing with this dynamic seizes up the entire system.

      We micro-manage the top 6,we macro-manage the bottom six.

      We do surgery with the top 6 and we smash bones with the bottom 6.

      .Clarify system structure,clarify roles,then make changes,but first do the mangerial job properly as it hasnt been executed fully yet.

      There is going to be a traditional Oilers style witch-hunt to defend the Oilers historiclly inferior system.When the same system should be burned in front of the entire roster to rebuild the teams self-image.Someone needs to take the fall here and its either the system or the players as usual.

  • Who in the core was capable of giving more during ending losing streak and not giving the extra energy to help lead team to better results ? Lackadaisicle play on some at certain ends of rink displeased MacT.. May not be a major overhall some of us were expecting or hoping for , but definite changes are coming to weed out a few .

  • Gerald R. Ford

    Last year, the Oil won 39.02% of their games. This year, it was 39.58%. Is that even a baby step in the right direction? Glaciers move faster. BTW, last 4 nightmare seasons combined?

    103W-191L, 35.03%.


  • Yak with 3. JS +4.Hall with 50 points for the season only second behind Kane in Western Conference scoring. Lots of positives.Yak lead the team in scoring with 17 goals. The future is bright for these young Oilers.

    MacT will add depth to this team. The kind of depth that will see the team compete.He won’t tolerate the slackers. He won’t give away 3 year contracts to fringe players. To players past their prime. To players who want a paycheque and entitlement and not give effort in return. The message was sent last night by MacT was clear. Say goodbye to at least 10 contracts this spring in the system. Make room for guys who will move this franchise forward.

    I have said it before. We need to get our ugly on.We have our princesses. Now we need our ugly step sisters to give this franchise some balance.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Replacing Shawn Horcoff this summer with Kyle Wellwood would be a step in the right direction i’d have to think. That has to be a near 4 million cap hit savings per season right there. Wellwood had 16 pts this season compared to Horcs 12 pts. That savings would be a good start towards a top pairing blueliner if it happens this summer.

    Didn’t mean to blow your mind there DSF, with Gagner and Wellwood possibly being on the same team and all…