I have no idea what this is all about, but the Oilers need to play with some intensity.
The Oilers need to play hard, play smart and most importantly cut down on the catastrophic mistakes that have led directly to goals.
The Oilers have to play better in front of their own net. First off, they need to be there more often, but when they are in the right position they need to make life much more difficult on the opposition. Protect the “red zone” is the focus for the Oilers and I will be watching closely to see who listened attentively.
The Oilers recalled Martin Marincin from OKC, sent Steve Pinizzotto to OKC and Darnell Nurse to the OHL. Keeping
Nurse here any longer didn’t make much sense. He is not significantly
better than Martin Marincin or Oscar Klefbom at this point, and allowing
him to continue to develop in junior and play for Canada at the World
Championships makes more sense.
Marincin should be extremely
motivated to play well. Getting sent to the minors is a great wakeup
call for any player, and I suspect we will see him play well. Playing
him with the Oilers most consistent defender, Mark Fayne, should allow
him to play even better.
Nugent-Hopkins returns to the lineup, but
he will centre Yakupov and Purcell. The Oilers need more balanced
scoring and Arcobello has enough offensive instincts that he can
complement Hall and Eberle. Perron moves back to the right side, and he
and Pouliot, in theory, should work well together cycling the puck and
creating chances down low.
Petry, Ference and Nikitin all need to play better. Right now the
Oilers blueline and their goaltending have been the biggest weaknesses.
Scrivens needs to make more saves, and while he needs to handle the puck
better behind the net, Eakins said that his defencemen need to make
“Our D have given Ben the wrong call on a few of
those plays behind the net. He wanted the start tonight. He wants to
rebound,” said Eakins. A lack of communication between teammates is
another issue that needs to be rectified.
Canucks haven’t played since defeating the Oilers in a shootout last
Saturday. Ryan Miller gets the start and he will try to remain perfect
against the Oilers. Miller is 8-0 all-time vs. Edmonton.
Oilers have to contain the Sedin line. I’m curious to see which D
pairing will face them the most. Fayne was very good against them last
Saturday, and I’d use him again tonight.
The Canucks were
very physical on the Oilers forward stars on Saturday and their game
plan will be the same tonight. The Oilers have to initiate contact on
their skilled players first, rather than retaliate.
Steven Stamkos will play his first game in Edmonton since 2012 on Monday. Today on my show we are auctioning of the following package:
- The above, signed and framed Stamkos jersey.
- A meet and greet with (two people) with Stamkos on Monday morning. You can watch the morning skate and then meet Stamkos after practice. He will gladly pose for photos.
- A pair of lowerbowl seats to Monday’s Oilers/Tampa Bay game.
The auction will begin at 2 p.m. and wrap up at 5:50. To make a big you can call 780.444.1260 between that time. All the proceeds will go towards the MS Society.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: It is Positive Friday so why not pick an upset. Oilers win 4-3.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Canucks score two goals from the low slot.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The young hockey player who gets to skate around the ice with the Oilers flag prior to the game, whips the crowd into a frenzy, when he blows a wheel circling behind the net and slides into the boards. He is back on his feet in a flash and waving the flag with extra enthusiasm. The crowd loves his passion and gives him a standing ovation. The Oilers think it is for them, and it inspires them to win the game.
Be sure to check out the Canucks Army GDB and ridicule them into the ground.
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