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.

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.

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.

Predictions

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.

Recently around the Nation Network

    • Quicksilver ballet

      He was given/agreed to a 1 yr severance package when/after he was fired, hush money. He has to co-operate with this debacle if he hopes to collect these funds. They sure take care of their own well, in those circles.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        What is he going to say? And really I am way past giving a sheet what he thinks,says or does not say. 30 GM jobs in the Nhl and he pissed one away by dithering IMO. Lets not waste anymore type on a guy who was never part of the Oilers in circle.

        Is Yakupov now in the conversation for the Calder. What if he wins the rookie scoring race? You could argue he did it with less TOI than JH. I am hoping for a Yak trick to put a stamp of finality on this season. Go out with a 8-2 pasting of the depleted Nucks.

        Portland vs Edmonton in the WHL final? We’ll get to see Seth Jones on Oiler ice. Never know where he’ll end up.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        After Buchberger is hired as head coach, Tambo will be introduced as the new Assistant Coach in charge of Situation Assessment. May the circle be unbroken.

  • DSF

    Well it looks like we’ll be out of the Barkov pick unless he falls or we win the lottery. So depending on Carolina, we’ll either be picking 6th or seventh it looks like. As such, I hope we lose tonight and I hope Carolina wins so as to get the 6th pick. Lets see, Jones, Mckinnon, Druoin, Barkov, Nishkenen, and maybe Lazar? So that means we’ll likely get a Nurse, or Monahan. I say they will either take Monahan if he’s available, or drop a few spots on the rankings and draft for need by picking up Gauthier. The kid is a huge centre, that hopefully can get better skill wise.

    Still fingers crossed for the lottery win, trade our first + something to Tampa for their first and Bishop, then just pray Colorado would rather have Druoin or Mckinnon over Barkov.

  • I wonder if Mac-T starts trading as soon as the playoffs start?

    Give a real sign of things to come.

    I would be right in there with TB trying to pry that pick out of Yzermans death grip!

    Bring on the lottery let’s see where we finish this Sh!t show!

    I’m with Quicksilver on this one, Weber will be a nice addition to the defesive corps next year.

    To bad Gagner had to go though.

    +/- so overrated.

    • Wax Man Riley

      @Quicksilver

      I know you guys love Weber, and I know that anything is possible, but please stop.

      Weber is not coming here because #1 defensemen are so rarely traded.

      There is nothing we can give up short of Taylor Hall that would get Weber.

      You would not give up Weber unless a stupid amount was coming back.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      ASAP, or being really patient are both possibilities. I can also see Craig doing very little till after free agency and keep his options open as long as possible. There will be unprecedented opportunities to upgrade when teams are well over the projected 64.3 cap a month before the season starts. Teams will need to shed dollars/talent for probably very little salary coming back their way. I can see Mact with only 2 or 3 draft choices going into that 2014 draft if he’s successful this summer.

      Trade up if it’s worth it and get that much needed 2nd LC. That BS win over the Wild yesterday is going to probably cost the Oilers a roster player to move up now. A roster player and flip of picks when they should’ve sand bagged it owned that pick themselves. One meaningless victory pushes us to 7th, instead of possibly 3rd.

  • DSF

    Not sure what happened to Fistric…….if anyone knows please let me know. I’m a little perplexed as to why RK does not like Fistric. Yes he is a little slower than some of the others, but he has other skills that compensate……I know that he made a glaring mistake on one shift for which he was benched seven games.

    I think that every player in the entire NHL has made glaring mistakes but RK’s heavy handedness in my mind is uncalled for. In my mind JS has made more mistakes than Fistric and Whitney combined, but never gets punished.

    This type of punishment ( without merit) is why coaches lose a room. In my mind RK has lost the team and should suffer some of his own punishment ……..banish yourself RK and all your useless motivational speeches.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    +/- is more of a reflection of the team, than it is said player. How many times have we seen guys like Nicklas Lidstrom turn guys like Ian White into near allstars. Look what Shea Weber did for Ryan Suter, without Weber pimping Suters ride all those years, no way Ryan gets that contract he received last summer.

    Put Justin Schultz on the blueline next to a Weber type, and he goes from -20 to +20 in one year. +/- on a cellar dwelling team is nothing but a B/S statistic. You win as a group, and lose as a group. +/- pffft! Flush all those 5v5,pp,pk,+- down the toilet since losing became managements chosen option. Micro-managing statistics is laughable when failure became the Oilers chosen option.

  • DSF

    Calgary’s AHL team handled us easily. Vancouver’s may give us some trouble as well. Let’s go Oilers and may Colorado crush the Wild of Minnesota in their next meeting.

  • Wax Man Riley

    I hope the oil win. I can’t handle another 7-2 or 4-1 loss staring at me all summer in the “last game” column againg for the 47th summer in a row…

  • Wax Man Riley

    The thing I cannot understand about Schultz’s +/- is he’s only -3 on the rd. He is actually worse when Krueger gets last change. It blows my mind if your trying to win you don’t sacrifice the kid to the wolves… oh yeah right it was never about winning

  • judgedrude

    “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.”

    So….this isn’t just me then.