GDB 73.0: HOW WILL THEY RESPOND?

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Be positive — it can’t get any worse than Saturday, can it? If Saturday was the low point of another frustrating, disappointing season, then theoretically tonight should be better. I understand that is setting the bar very low, but when you’re sitting in 29th place you need realistic expectations.

The Sharks might be a bit fatigued. They lost 2-1 in Calgary last night, Logan Couture is doubtful after blocking a few shots and San Jose clinched a playoff berth with the OTL loss. San Jose is 4-1 in the second game of a back-to-back when they win the first game, but they are only 1-1 after they lose the first game.

The Oilers, meanwhile, are 6-3-1 this season when they lost the previous game by four or more goals.

We could focus on the negative — they’ve had eleven losses of 4+ goals — but today is the 65th anniversary of the completion of Joseph Lake Oil Well #1 (that is some obscure New Sarepta trivia for you), so let’s focus on the positive.

The Oilers have shown they have the ability to get blown out, but they’ve also shown they can rebound with a much better effort during the next game. It won’t take much to better Saturday’s pathetic performance, and I’d also be willing to bet Ben Scrivens won’t have to face 59 shots like he did on January 29th vs. the Sharks.

LINEUP 

Hall-Gagner-Perron

Lander-RNH-Eberle

Hendrick-Gordon-Pitlick

Gazdic-Smyth-Jones

Ference-Schultz

Marincin-Petry

Fraser-Klefbom

Scrivens

Viktor Fasth hurt his neck in practice yesterday when Anton Lander collided into him. Fasth is day-to-day and former Oil Kings goalie Laurent Brossoit has been recalled. Expect Scrivens to start every game until Fasth is ready. The OKC Barons are in a must win situation tonight vs. San Antonio and they wanted Richard Bachman to start, if you are wondering why Brossoit got the call ahead of him.

QUICK HITS…

  • I still don’t think the Hall-Eakins water bottle situation is a big deal, but after I spoke with Hall yesterday, something good might come out of it. “Sometimes I get frustrated and that is the worst part of my game. I am working on controlling that,” Hall told me. Hall is an emotional player. He drives the play more than any other Oiler. You can tell when he’s excited and when he’s frustrated. Hall will get better at controlling his frustration, but I’d much rather have to try and tone down a player than beg him to get fired up.
  • Nail Yakupov is still out with a fractured ankle. There is no reason to rush him back. He’ll want to play, but letting players come back before they are healthy enough to contribute rarely works out well.
  • If Brossoit gets into a game he’ll be the 7th goalie to play. He is the 8th goalie to dress for a game. Kurtis Mucha dressed but didn’t play. Scrivens, Fasth, Dubnyk, Bryzgalov, LaBarbera and Bachman have all stood between the pipes this year.
  • I’d like to see more from Tyler Pitlick. He has a glorious opportunity to show Eakins what he can do. I want players who realize the opportunity in front of them and will do anything to keep their spot in the lineup. He needs to do something to get noticed.
  • I’ve liked Klefbom’s game. His biggest asset right now is that he has the strength to battle big forwards. He will only get stronger as he matures, but even now you can see he has the strength and skating ability to contribute. He has played a very simple game, similar to Marincin’s first 10 games, and I wonder if we’ll see him become more comfortable and assertive with the puck the more he plays.

TONIGHT….

6-29-12-inspirational-funny-quotes1

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Dwight Schrute should be a motivational speaker. I am taking his advice and picking the Sharks to win 3-1.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The 50/50 is a season-low $45,000. You know the fans are annoyed when they pot is under $50 grand. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS-GAME DAY PREDICTION: If the Oilers shock us all and win, then Ben Scrivens will add to the shock value even more. When he skates out of the tunnel after being announced as the first star he will take off his jersey and toss it to a young fan in the crowd. In his post-game interview he states, “I don’t want young kids thinking the jersey doesn’t matter. It does. Win or lose we should be proud of it.” He instantly becomes the new fan favourite.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR:

  • Anton CP

    Smitty has been lazy and selfish for years. Always out of shape and taking awful penalties for 20 years. Heart yes, nothing else left. Please don’t let him get that pp goal. He has been in the box for so many that the record shouldn’t even count.

  • Serious Gord

    Tuned in just after the second sj pp goal. Said to self – I bet the penalties were on Ference and Smyth. Sure enough they were.

    How many hooking penalties has Smyth gotten this year?

    I wonder if he leads the league in hooking penalties per minute played this year?

    • The Soup Fascist

      Definitely if you multiple those penalties by the distance from his net. Just lazy hockey. But he did argue the call so maybe this one was the refs fault

  • The Soup Fascist

    Right now Connor McDavid is looking like a definite possibility next year.

    This team aint never gonna turn it around. They should be skating their butts off to wear SJ down since they played last night and the Oilers didn’t but you know, I’ve come to expect that from this group of under achievers that lack any kind of killer instinct.

    -30-

    • The Soup Fascist

      Hopping on the blue jackets bandwagon for the playoffs but also wouldn’t hate it if the bruins won just because of iggy. As a St. Albert man I would love to see that happen.

  • Reg Dunlop

    it would be hard to put together such a sad and useless team if I tried!

    im at the point where im curious too see just how long and how bad they have to get to make changes at the top

  • The Soup Fascist

    If the Oilers end up picking third and lose out on both Ekblad and Drasaitl, they need to go off the board and pick the next best, big player ready to play now if we can’t turn that pick into an NHL veteran. No more Bennets or Reinharts, we need some frigging size down the middle. Without size, we’re never going to compete in the west. Continuously out powered and out muscled.

    Sad thing is, I can definitely see both Ekblad and Drasaitl being chosen with the top 2 picks if Edmonton were to pick third, assuming someone else wins the draft and Buffalo drops to second and us to third. A team winning the draft doesn’t necessarily need to pick the BPA and the Oilers are a prime example of a rebuild failing if you choose skill without size.

  • Anton CP

    More hats!

    I changed the channel after the second goal, and just change it back for final minutes and want to see if anything else will be tossed onto the ice.

  • Reg Dunlop

    Hall is a good player. He is like Mike Gartner. Fast skater, good shot, 1st line wing on a perpetually bad team. Not very physical. Mike never won anything but he scored lots. Hopefully Hall eventually is part of a winner because he will never score 700 goals.

  • Jordan1126

    So Katz needs a new arena in Edmonton so he can fill it with his overpriced, defective product? I’m not an economist but I would think that would cause most businesses to go broke.

  • bazmagoo

    Yes the Oilers are still bad. The stank was only masked by some out of this world goaltending for 10-12 games, unfortunately that isn’t sustainable. Was happy to see Nuge, Hall and Eberle play together in the 3rd, hope Eakins has the sense to keep them together more often. I won’t be holding my breath.

      • bazmagoo

        I’ve been a defender of both Gagner and Petry, but at this stage I would think it would be best for the Oilers to part ways with both players. Hoping they can get something acceptable in return if MacT sees it as well.

        • The Soup Fascist

          I am not a hater of either. Petry is a talent who seems to lose focus at times and does not play as physical game as he could.

          Gagner is miscast here but could be a contributor elsewhere. Never recovered from the kASSian debacle.

          I would roll the dice on Myers and his contract. 24 year old D men who are 6’7″ and can skate are worth the risk.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    Bennett plays a more physical and gritty game you say? Playing physical in junior isn’t the same as being physical in the NHL. Guys are bigger and stronger than you. That’s where the size makes a difference. Honestly, if we just want a player to bounce off bigger guys all the time we can just sign Acrobello again. “Physical” with skill, right? Sure, maybe he fills out. When’s that going to happen, four or five more years? Fantastic, see you then.

    Cripes guys, size matters. Even if they don’t use it as much as you want them to. We spent years complaining that Penner didn’t use his size to play heavier and now that he’s gone we’re practically desperate to have that big body back even if it’s not used as much as we’d like. There’s just no comparison between a bigger guy who can keep puck possession and push guys off over a smaller guy who can be knocked off the puck easy cuz he’s got 6 less inches and 45 pounds less in weight than you. We need players that can be effective right now, not players that might be most effective half a decade away.

    Drafting another 6 foot tall, 170 pound center is the last thing we need right now no matter how gritty he is among boys.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Agree. Matt Dumba was a physical force in junior. He is a flea in the NHL. If he does not adapt his game he will have an unremarkable career I am afraid.

    • Slapshot

      Bennet is 6ft 181 lbs at 17years old. Yes at 17 he cant throw his weight around with the 30 year old NHL’ers. Guess what all those players he’s playing against now will grow just as he will. Chances are he will in 2-3 years fill into 6″1′ 205 lbs. Think Gabriel Landeskog possibly. Has an edge and can score. So yah I’d take him. The idea is to continue to fill the prospect pipeline so if it takes him 2-3 years so be it. But I can guarantee he’s a better player then Sam Gagner right now. Again size isnt everything. Ask Detroit. There’s a lesson to be learned for the era when the Oilers were trying to gain size by drafting coke machines. And i’m not saying Drasaitl is that. I think he is a fine player. I just like the overall package Bennet brings.

  • Slapshot

    “The Oilers, meanwhile, are 6-3-1 this season when they lost the previous game by four or more goals.”

    . . . It’s embarrassing we even have this stat

    AND

    10 games of it!

    Please no more in this sample size! Although Taylor kept it from going to an 11 game sample. There . . . . Positive.