GDB 30.0: Blue

The Edmonton Oilers play the Colorado Avalanche tonight sans two of their top-four defencemen. Jeff Petry is a healthy scratch; Anton Belov has been demoted to Oklahoma City.

The Remainder

Edmonton will ice the following not remotely NHL-caliber blue line against the Avs:

  • Justin Schultz
  • Andrew Ference
  • Nick Schultz
  • Philip Larsen
  • Corey Potter
  • Martin Marincin

Some of that’s poor roster construction, but some of it is decisions by the coaching staff.

Either way, the Oilers go into tonight’s game against Colorado (tied with Pittsburgh as the sixth highest-scoring team in the NHL) with almost nothing on the back end.

The Lines

We don’t know the lines; all we know for sure is that they’re going to be different, both because of the changes in personnel and possibly owing to other factors:

Update: As expected, the lines change:

Predictions

Game day prediction: Let’s say 5-1 Colorado.

Obvious game day prediction: Nathan MacKinnon moves ahead of Mark Arcobello for the rookie assists lead when he picks up two tonight. 

No-so-obvious game day prediction: Luke Gazdic will score the Oilers’ only goal, crashing hard to the net and redirecting Anton Lander’s shot past Colorado’s goaltender. 

  • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

    Good to see the Oilers beat a better team, but I think we should temper the optimism a bit. Some folks here are planning the parade, but it’s gonna take a whole lot more than one win to make me believe they’ve turned any kind of corner.

    • Mo Playoffs Mo Problems

      Agreed.

      I don’t want to speak blasphemy, but the Oilers 28.6% shooting percentage from last night might not be something that happens every game…

    • Would 7-3 in the last 10 games cause you to think they’ve turned the corner? Cause thats what the “last 10 games” line will show after we beat the Shames tomorrow. 7-3 is a good stretch for any team.

      I fully get the scepticism. We’ve been burned SOOOO many times by this team. But I think people are being overly negative now. We had a terrible start. But since then its been about as per expected. A middling, not quite playoff team. Not great, but surely not as bad as the first 20 games.

  • PlayDirty

    Yeah – but just wait and see what happens when we play the good western conference teams!!!!

    Oh wait, Colorado is a western team in the playoffs??? …and the Oilers beat them????

    …that’s unpossible!!!!!

  • PlayDirty

    If nothing else, it should instill much needed confidence for this youngish team… well done.
    Lets hope they can take care of the Flames on Saturday.!

    Great game by Hall and others.. Smyth played his best game since comeing back from LA.Dubby should play like that more often.