Ilya Bryzgalov has been cleared to play and should return to the lineup tonight against his first NHL team, the Anaheim Ducks. The Oilers are hoping he injects some life, enthusiasm and even some humour into a downtrodden dressing room.

The Oilers were dominated in Vancouver, and despite a solid 40 minutes against the Bruins on Thursday, the Oilers are 0-2 in their six-game stretch against elite teams. They will need to put forth a much better effort tonight, if they want to avoid being blown out by the red-hot Ducks.

The Ducks have won four straight, and are 7-1-2 in their last ten games and they’ve only allowed 22 goals in their past ten games. The Ducks finished 2nd in the west last season, and some suggested that their underlying statistics suggested that was a lucky 48-game stretch.

If you combine last year’s 48 games with their first 34 this year you see an outstanding 82-game stretch.

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The Ducks are 52-19-11 good for 115 points and they’ve outscored the opposition 248-205. The Ducks are a very good team and despite not having a true dominant #1 D-man, their blueline has been very steady even with Francois Beauchemin missing the last ten games. 

  GP  G  A  P  +/-  PIM  TOI/G
Cam Fowler 34 3 16 19 6 8 24:03:00
Francois Beauchemin 24 0 6 6 15 19 21:54
Ben Lovejoy 32 1 4 5 9 10 20:03
Hampus Lindholm 32 2 8 10 14 12 19:17
Bryan Allen 31 0 6 6 12 34 18:51
Luca Sbisa 9 0 1 1 -5 25 18:00
Sami Vatanen 26 3 4 7 0 12 17:54
Mark Fistric 13 1 1 2 -1 14 15:47
Nolan Yonkman 2 0 1 1 -1 0 14:53
Alex Grant 2 2 0 2 3 2 12:10

Fowler is playing in every situation. He plays 3:15/game on the PP and 2:47/game on the PK. Since Beauchemin went down, he’s started playing even more and he’s only 22 years old.

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Hampus Lindholm played 44 games in the AHL last year as an 18-year old, and at 19 he has stepped into the NHL and performed very well. Ben Lovejoy was acquired for a 5th round pick last February, and he’s turned out to be a steal for the Ducks.

They play a very solid game in their D-zone, and when they get the puck Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry take over. Getzlaf is 4th in NHL scoring with 16-22-38, while Perry is 6th with 21-15-36. Both of them are locks to make the Olympic team again, and their line, with Dustin Penner, is carrying the Ducks offensively.

Whoever matches up against that trio tonight is in for a tough game.

The Oilers are 1-5-1 over the past two seasons vs. the Ducks, and they’ve been outscored 21-8 in those seven games. They’ve struggled handling the Ducks’ size, especially Getzlaf and Perry, and the Oilers will be hard pressed to avoid their 7th loss in 8 games vs. Anaheim.



Ales Hemsky is out with a rib injury, from the Ryan Kesler hit in Vancouver.

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Ryan Smyth will draw in and Eakins will have to change his lines. Gagner will need to earn his way back into the top-nine I suspect, and I won’t be surprised to see Smyth back with Gordon and Perron. The Oilers need Hall, RNH and Eberle to match the intensity and determination of Perron. If they do that, this team will have a much better chance of winning more games.


Looks like I was wrong…Gagner gets promoted to 2nd line…



Eakins could switch his pairs and maybe try to match Petry and Ference vs. Getzlaf’s line, otherwise Larsen or J.Schultz could be in for some long shifts in the D zone.

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I’m assuming he starts. The Ducks are one of his former teams, and the Oilers will need a strong performance in goal to stay in this game.


  • Jason LaBarbera must feel like he won the lottery. He struggled in Edmonton, was demoted to the AHL, got recalled due to an injury and then he was dealt to the first place Chicago Blackhawks. When Corey Crawford returns from his injury, I suspect the Hawks will send Raanta back to the AHL and LaBarbera will stay as the back up. The Hawks don’t need to rush young players, and they will want Raanta to play more games in the AHL I suspect.
  • It was a smart trade by MacTavish. They free up a roster spot, plus it allows them to keep Laurent Brossoit in OKC and share time between the pipes with Richard Bachman. LaBarbera was the wrong choice in the summer, and the Oilers will need to do a better job next year when they go searching for a back up. They can’t sign the wrong guy again.
  • The Ducks special teams aren’t very good. Their PP is 19th and the PK is 21st, but the Ducks dominate teams at ES. They’ve outscored their opponents 78-55 at 5-on-5. They are 2nd in ES goals in the league.
  • The Oilers are almost the exact opposite to the Ducks at ES. The Oilers have given up the most goals 5-on-5, 78, and they’ve only scored 53. If the Oilers are going to win tonight, they likely will need at least two goals from their powerplay. 


GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers struggles against the top teams continue with a 3-1 loss.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dustin Penner scores and the Penner supporters say, "I told you the Oilers should have re-signed him."…The fact he is playing with two Olympians won’t be mentioned. Penner is a very smart player defensively, and the Oilers could desperately use someone with his size, skill and smarts, but there is no way he’d have the same success in Edmonton as he is having in Anaheim. Plus, I doubt he would want to return to Edmonton.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Nick Schultz scores his first goal of the season. Schultz loves playing the Ducks. He has six goals in 43 career games vs. Anaheim, but he only has 21 goals in 800 games against the rest of the league. Schultz scores on a seeing shot from the point.


  • I tried it at home

    I was just checking out 1260’s webpage and their sign on is Eberle teaching cellies at hockey school. My immediate reaction was, “how the hell would he know?”. Just goes to show how much these guys have fallen in public perception. 6 million a year for what, again? Oh, and for MacT signing a better choice as back up goalie this summer, as long as he makes a better choice on the number 1, Ill be happy.

    • **

      Couldn’t agree more. Kevin Lowe’s job will be done after the team moves to Seattle. A few of the kids will demand trades soon. That remains my big fear. Someone has to show Smith & Bucky the door now. That may be the only bold move this year…
      BTW Galchenyuk playing great again in the 1st vs Florida right now on TSN-Habs…

  • YFC Prez

    I gotta throw it out there even though it’s not really all that fair with the season he’s had so far. With the benefit of hindsight would you keep Gags and send Cogs packing like they did or would you still like to see cogliano with the oil and Gags elsewhere.

    Props for Gags. Trash for Cogs.

    Lol. I always wanted to do one of these.

    • reaperfunkss

      I believe cogs needed a new team. gain a different perspective perhaps (or actually be in a good organization that can develop players)

      Gregor has made mention on his show several times that some of the youngins will be traded and I believe this is true.

      Hypothetical: What if Dubnyk ends up in Phoenix next season under Sean Burke as goalie coach. Could he be fixed?

      And if so would there be ramifications here in the coaching staff?

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    all in all, Bryz kept us in this game, making saves that Dubnyk would have let in and we’d have been out of it in the 2nd period. please keep playing him!!

  • Serious Gord

    In other serious news a fan of the football club Manchester United killed himself after Man U lost in 2 consecutive games. In other news half of Edmonton jumped fron the high level bridge on Friday night.

  • D-Unit

    The Oilers really could use someone with the Size, Skill, and Smarts as Penner, but it would need to be someone who could use all three of those at one time. Penner could not do that consistently, just like the players on the Oilers right now, though lacking the size.

    If the Oilers had 2 Olympians to play alongside every guy with consistency issues, it wouldn’t even be a discussion.

  • bazmagoo

    8 years of rebuilding and they still can’t compete. I will give the Public Relations a check mark they have wrapped a horrible team and sold them as a potential playoffs team. The wrapping was beautiful and bells and whistles were excellent.

    Flag Football

  • **

    So Arcobello has one bad game, where everyone else had one bad game, and he gets demoted right away. And then you sit your biggest dman for a game against one of the biggest teams. Eakins is a fu$%#ng joke

  • Chris.

    Game Day Prediction: The Ducks take most of Sunday off and the Jekyll and Hyde Oiler offence returns in a big way for an unlikely 6-5 shoot out win.

    Obvious Game Day Prediction: David Perron scores three goals and the winner in the shoot out. After the game, even Bob Stauffer will have verbalize the growing question: How can a cap casualty player from the Blues walk on to our team and be so much more dominant offensively than all three of our first overall picks? Also, Penner will be a +3 somehow.

    Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: There will be a goaltending controversy in Edmonton after today… What controversy you may ask? The one that starts after Bryzgalov lets in 3 goals on 7 shots in the first period before being pulled. UUgggg. We can all spend Monday critiquing the win!

  • reaperfunkss

    Haha another birdie for snowpants. -1.

    What a great player. 5 goals in the last 40 some games dating back to last year?

    All the while being an absolute disaster defensively. Wow.

    Not a 2C on a team that wants to be better than bottom 5 every season.

  • Serious Gord

    That second goal was all on Ference. Didn’t clear the puck then lost it along the boards to selanne.

    Teemu Selanne – now there is a first ballot hall of famer.

  • bazmagoo

    Definitely need to move on from Dubnyk, if we can off load him for a 2nd-3rd pick at some stage that would be great. I’m betting he’s a deadline move to a playoff team in need of a backup “upgrade”.

    Unfortunately this is going to be another season of what we can get for moving our dead weight. Only 2.5 months or so until the deadline, hurray! Hoping for a top 5 pick this draft so we can keep adding to this elite talent we have (sarcasm). Hoping something happens and we turn it around in 2014/15. Go Oilers!

    • vetinari

      Love to see us go after Scrivens when Quick comes off IR in LA and then turn around and see if we can move Dubnyk for a player or a pick.

      Unfortunately, Dubnyk’s trade value will be low because he is getting paid too much to be a backup somewhere else. At best, we may be able to pull off a “Horcoff” type of deal– take a depth player and a late pick in return.

      Let’s see, our trade bait at this deadline looks like:

      Dubnyk (let’s face it, unless he really bounces back for a consistent 30-40 game stretch, he’s gone)

      Hemsky, R. Smyth, R. Jones, Eager (pending UFAs, mileage varies)

      N. Schultz, Potter, Belov, Grebeshkov (pending UFAs, some easier sells than others)

      Omark (perennially on this list)

      Realistically, I see MacT maybe being able to move 2-3 of these players by the deadline, but most will walk in the off season without anything coming back except cap relief.

      • bazmagoo

        I think Belov, N Schultz, R Smyth, R Jones are all back next season for depth. N Schultz comes back at around $2 million. Belov, Smyth and Jones all come back for under $1.5 million.

        We’ll get picks for Hemsky, Dubnyk, and possibly Omark before the season is done.

        Potter, Eager and Grebeshkov have no value and will walk at season’s end.

        That’s my prediction for that lot.

        • reaperfunkss

          Why are you bringing back Smyth. Not trying to knock him but he is pretty long in the tooth and obviously hasnt helped make the team better. Not that it was his fault or anything but I don’t see him as a potential difference maker anymore.

          • bazmagoo

            I agree, I think Smyth is a mercy signing as a 13/14th forward so he can retire an Oiler when he chooses to retire. Personally I think he’d be capable in that role, and might exceed expectations. Would like to see MacT get him down to $1 million per season though, on a 1 year deal maximum.

          • reaperfunkss

            Makes sense.

            Personally I think he should retire and get away from this stink.

            I love you Smytty you will always be an Oiler great in my eyes. Too bad these last couple seasons have been losing and REEAALLY sorry you missed out on a Cup in LA to be here. You deserve a Ring.

          • Oliveoiler

            As much as I like Ferrance, Smytty should have the “C”. If anyone personifies the definition of an Oiler, then Smytty is the real deal. HE needs his statue in front of the new arena, hell, it should even be named after him.

          • Serious Gord

            I beg to differ. Smyth has been unimpressive since re-signing with the oils and really wasn’t that great during his Odessey away from the team. He certainly takes nights off; really isn’t that chippy; doesn’t seem to be much of a mentor or leader.

            He is far more myth than reality. But then the same can be said for a lot of players in the oilers past Glenn Anderson being #1 in that regard.

          • Jason Gregor

            Glenn Anderson was a myth who is in the Hall of Fame…His teammates said he was the most clutch player they had, but you say he is a myth. Good one.

            Smyth has been a very good player. He isn’t great, but no one ever said he was. It is ridiculous that you suggest he is a myth or not a leader. The guy led by his actions on the ice. Showed up, played hard, and never took a shift off for ten years.

            The need for you to want to tear a guy down late in his career is pointless.

          • reaperfunkss

            THANK YOU!!!! Grew up watching Anderson play in the 80’s Dude was awesome. Who at that time didn’t get chills when he broke in on the wing? It was gonna be a goal or a glorious crash or both. He knew how to pay the price.

            Smytty has been a fantastic Oiler and i just hate that he has to get painted with the stink that this franchise has become.

          • Serious Gord

            Anderson shouldn’t be in the HOF – nor should several others (Clarke Gilles comes to mind) a life-long second liner who got to play against other teams second line with mess as his center man. Only a dozen or so more points than theo fluery who played super-tough first line minutes and isn’t in the HOF.

            As for his teammates pumping his (and by connection, their) tires is hardly surprising and surely you don’t take their word for it.

            As for Smyth – he was an effective player back in the day – never said he wasn’t. But please point to evidence that he was ever a team leader other than by example and while he may have never taken a shift off in his first ten years he certainly has since so what message/leadership does that give his current teammates? And even though he has faded skills wise there remains nil evidence that he has assumed the role of mentor/leader. Thus the commenters claims above are based on myth not fact.

          • vetinari

            Let’s take a quick look at ‘ol Glenn…

            Glenn Anderson,

            Regular season stats- 1129 games, 498 goals, 601 assists for 1,099 pts.

            Playoffs- 225 games, 93 goals, 121 assists for 214 points.

            4 time NHL All-Star

            6 Stanley Cups

            @Serious Gord, buy some eyeglasses my friend because THAT is what a HHOF career looks like…

          • Spydyr

            What those stats fail to show is he was the most fearless forward going to the net I have ever seen.In the time when nets were held in the ice with pipes.

            He took absolutely no crap from anyone.More then a few times oppositions players got hit by a “errant” high stick trying to run him.

            Finally…”weebles wobble but they don’t fall down .”He was the hardest guy in the NHL to knock down.

            Oh the memories.

            Edit : talk about serendipity post 89 a player who is almost a mirror opposite when it comes to playing hard and being hard to play against.

          • reaperfunkss

            makes me weep thinking about the good ole days and having to watch this version.

            edit/ so far so good tonight however…..dare i hope. Someone hold me.

          • Jason Gregor

            I don’t have to take their word for it. Anderson’s stats showed his ability to score big goals when the team needed it. Also was fearless going to net when they were glued on, and made his own space on the ice. Yes, he was a brutal player.

            I guess you are smarter than the Hall of Famer voters, which by the way needed 75% votes to put him in.

          • Serious Gord

            The same clubby group that keeps lindros out? Give me a break – the HOF committee has no credibility.

            Anderson never played a second of first line minutes his entire career.

            He had the great good fortune of being on the greatest team in history in the highest scoring era – that pads his playoff numbers. Take the playoffs out of the equation and he is comparable to and found inferior to theoren fleury and others.
            On a more mortal team he would have been an also ran – which is what he was when he played on those kind of teams.

          • Serious Gord

            Messier was second behind the third best player in hockey history (Orr and Lemieux being one and two) so he got the great benefit of second line minutes to pad his numbers but he was a dominant player on every team he played for.

            Anderson played behind kurri – big difference and he never played first line anywhere.

            As for sundin mentioned above he was the second best swede to ever play for the leafs. But he was also the softest 6’5″ player of his era. Got a lot of easy points when the leafs were often awful.

          • Serious Gord

            Ask bob stauffer if I’m joking. He and I have had this discussion (along with my claim that the worst draft mistake ever was Mtl picking lafleur (stauffers hero) over Dionne) on several occasions over the years.

          • **

            Bob Stauffer is a joke. Oilers apologist and only defends his own views, even when people throw stats at him to prove him wrong. Ha ha you think mentioning Bob Stauffer here will add credibility to your argument. Thanks for the laugh.

            This post is in response to Serious Gord ( I don’t know why the quote didn’t show):

            “Ask bob stauffer if I’m joking. He and I have had this discussion (along with my claim that the worst draft mistake ever was Mtl picking lafleur (stauffers hero) over Dionne) on several occasions over the years.”

          • reaperfunkss

            c’mon this has to be a troll. Anderson was one of the cornerstones of that offense. Wasn’t good fortune it was hard work and drive to succeed.

            hate to say this but the HOF committee also put Sundin in on his first ballot only cause he was a leaf. But that doesnt take away from how great anderson was.

          • Serious Gord

            He was a good – not great – player and every team he played on treated him as such.

            The HOF is a joke and Anderson being in it is proof – much as Clark gillies is in because of his role in the NYI dynasty.

          • Rocket

            dude youre so negative…….didnt your parents hug you as a kid….i havent heard or read anything positive from you on the radio or this website…..lighten up man….

            mind you not much positive to talk about this years version of oilers

          • reaperfunkss

            I was a big fan of Smyth for years, but he is no longer a NHL player. For that matter neither are 1/2 the defence playing for this team. Larson, Belov, Putrid. I would gladly take a one-dimensional d-man like Peckham or Fistric than a zero dimensional player. They are so worried about a number one defenceman that the ignore the 3 through 6 defence they have that suck.

  • bazmagoo

    If the Oilers can somehow parlay Yakupov or Eberle into a #1 d-man then 2014/15 will be fun. But if there was ever a team that needs a #1 d-man it’s this team! Petry, Ference, J Schultz, Belov, N Schultz and Larsen are all being asked to play minutes they are not capable of playing. A #1 d-man eating up 25 minutes a night with skill, size and ability would do wonders for this team.

    Even though the Smid trade looks horrible this season, I think it will look worthwhile in the end, even as a salary dump. Smid at $3.5 million is too much and would hold us back in the long run.

  • bazmagoo

    I got poo pooed on for suggesting this trade previously, but I really think the Oilers should be pursuing Kevin Shattenkirk out of St. Louis. He’d be a great fit as our #1 d-man, has no movement clauses in his contract, St. Louis and Edmonton have a recent history of trading, and St. Louis has a wealth of defensemen with limited skill up front. Maybe Hemmer to the Blues for our 2nd round pick next season returned to us builds some more goodwill? I’d be down for Eberle straight up for Shattenkirk.

    Sounds like a match made in heaven to me.

  • Spydyr

    There seems to be an extra amount of trashes today, is it because both the Leaf’s and the Canuck’s won and we are all grumpy or a bunch of trolling going on? Wayne makes a lot of cash on trashes but it would be nice to be able to see who is trashing and propping like Facebook and then people might not be so quick to trash someone.
    (CWD is going to pay big time on this one)

  • vetinari

    Two things

    A) Gene Principe is a tool and can’t stand him and b) wtf is Gags doing on the second line yet again?

    Well, here we go, practice time for the Ducks!!!

  • Reg Dunlop

    Debrusk: ‘Goaltenders are a lot tougher than people give them credit for’. When, in the history of televised hockey, has any commentator questioned the toughness of a tender who exposes himself to damage by 100mph pucks daily? What a moron.