The Oilers last win in Boston was almost 18 years ago to the day. On November 7th, 1996, the Oilers spanked the Bruins 6-0. Curtis Joseph made 25 saves for the shutout. The Polish Prince, Mariusz Czerkawski, scored a hat trick, all at even strength. Kelly Buchberger had three assists and a fight.
It was a rare victory for the Oilers in Boston. The Oilers are 7-23-4 during their 35-year existence on visits to Boston, so a win tonight would be the ultimate surprise.
Even when the Oilers were great, they couldn’t win in Boston. In the five years when they won the Stanley Cup the Oilers were 1-5-1. If tonight was a playoff game it would be a completely different story. The Oilers are 4-0 in playoff games in Beantown outscoring the home team 20-8.
Maybe Eakins should show them film of Petr Klima’s historic OT goal in game one of the 1990 Cup Finals to get his team in a positive frame of mind. They will need the help from the ghosts of playoffs past if the Oilers hope to get a win tonight.
The Oilers call up Iiro Pakarinen and put him on a line with Arcobello and Perron. You couldn’t put him with Draisailt and Yakupov or you would have had three players with 135 combined NHL games on one line. Purcell moves to down to give them some experience on that line.
I’m sure benching Martin Marincin for Keith Aulie won’t impress some, but Marincin has not played nearly as well this year as he did last season. No one can blame that on his partners, as he’s played with Mark Fayne and Jeff Petry.
I don’t have an issue with sitting him. Many have wondered why the Flames are winning. They are getting excellent goaltending and unsustainable offensive production from the blueline, but they play hard. Bob Hartley isn’t afraid to sit players.
He sat rookie sensations Johnny Gaudreau after he went pointless in his first five games. Gaudreau responded by scoring eight points in his next seven games. Hartley also sat veteran Dennis Wideman in the second game of the season. Since then, Wideman has scored 5-4-9 in 12 games and is playing over 22:30/game.
Both players responded rather than pouting.
They weren’t playing well and the coach got their attention. Earlier this year Eakins sat Jeff Petry for a game. I didn’t agree with it at the time, mainly because it was against LA, and I would have sat him the next game against Phoenix, but Petry has played very well since that time. Turns out I was wrong. I don’t have an issue with sitting Marincin, especially when he has been playing worse than he did last season.
I realize you can’t sit every player, but if you aren’t producing or playing well, I think it is a good thing. I hope Marincin responds exactly like Wideman, Gaudreau and Petry did, rather than pout or feel sorry for himself. He has shown he is capable of playing better.
Scrivens bounced back after a poor performance in Arizona earlier this year, so we’ll see how he responds after his third-period puckhandling gaffe vs. the Canucks. Scrivens has a .928sv% in his last seven starts. His first two starts, and coming off the bench vs. LA, saw him allow 14 goals on 70 shots (.800 sv%.) Those first 165 minutes have skewed his numbers somewhat, as he sits at .897sv%.
His has been pretty good since the Arizona game at stopping the puck. As long as he doesn’t mishandle it tonight, he should give the Oilers a chance to be competitive.
The Bruins have been ravaged by injuries. Zdeno Chara and David Krejci have missed five games. Krejci will take the warmup tonight and is a game time decision. Torey Krug and Kevan Miller are also hurt, leaving the Bruins with three rookie D-men dressed for tonight.
Tonight will be Warsofsky’s 10th NHL game, Trotman’s 8th and Morrow’s 4th, however the Bruins are 3-0 with all three of them in the lineup. They defeated Buffalo 3-2, Ottawa 4-2 and Florida 2-1. They’ve only allowed 63 shots in those three games, so don’t expect the Oilers to dominate their young D corps.
- Marincin’s reassignment to OKC was a paper shuffle. The Oilers waived Wil Acton yesterday at 10 a.m, but he wouldn’t clear until 10 a.m MDT, and with the Oilers in Boston that would have meant that Iiro Pakarinen wouldn’t have been able to be recalled in time to replace Acton. So the Oilers sent Marincin down — he doesn’t require waivers — and recalled Pakarinen. He will be recalled this afternoon most likely.
- I’d like to see the NHL alter their timetable on waivers, etc. Once you put a player on waivers, you should be able to recall another one and not wait for the 24 hour window. It would allow teams, especially those in the west who have AHL teams in the east, a better opportunity to get players in for practices or morning skates. I don’t see any reason to wait until Acton clears waivers. The Oilers either lose him to another team or send him to the minors. Why punish a team by not allowing them to get a replacement to the team in a timely manner?
- Pakarinen had five goals and eight points in seven AHL games with the OKC Barons. He had three PP goals and a total of 23 shots. He isn’t afraid to shoot the puck, which is something the Oilers could use. The NHL is a massive jump from the AHL, so I don’t expect him to maintain those stats, but at least he should enter the game with a lot of confidence. He might get a look on the 2nd PP unit.
- I find it funny how many claim Eakins coaching Aulie for 64 games in the AHL is the reason he gets recalled. Did Guy Boucher and Jon Cooper coach Aulie in the minors as well? Aulie played more NHL games for those two coaches than he did for the Maple Leafs and for Eakins in the minors.
The same people ripping Eakins for playing favourites also give Todd Nelson a glowing review. Which is fine, because his OKC team is playing well, but do they realize that Nelson is the one Eakins calls and asks who is playing the best and should be recalled? Nelson recommended Aulie over other AHL guys currently. I understand why people are frustrated with the Oilers, it is completely reasonable, but at least get your facts correct when coming up with some “theory” regarding recalls.
- Both the Bruins and Oilers have been shorthanded only four times in their last three games combined. The Oilers are the 2nd most disciplined team in the league, penalty wise, with only 32 PK opportunities. Minnesota is first at 31, but the Oilers have had the least PK TOI in the NHL.
Their PP has to wake up and take advantage during this run. The Oilers have the 3rd best PPtime/PKtime ratio with 14:31 more of PP time, but their PP sits 25th at 13.2%. They’ve only scored two goals in their last 32 PP opportunities.
Eberle and Purcell are the only forwards in the lineup tonight with a PP goal. Eberle has 1 on 7 shots, Purcell has 1 on 4 shots. RNH only has 2 PP shots, Draisaitl has 3, Yakupov has 4 and Perron has 6. The forwards need to shoot more, and they need more traffic in front of the net when a point shot does get through. They need to get more greasy on the PP.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The obvious choice is to call an Oilers loss, and while it would be nice to predict the upset, I just don’t see it happening. Oilers lose 2-1.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers kill off both Bruins powerplays.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Schultz directed nine shots towards the goal last game, but three were blocked and he missed the net on the other six. Wow. This season, Schultz has 18 shots on goal, 16 blocked and 16 missed. He hits the net on his first three shots.
***I’m sure many are wondering what the other D-men stats are regarding shots…**
Here the are:
Player GP S… A/B… Missed
Fayne 12 12 12 7
Schultz 12 18 16 16
Petry 11 19 20 11
Ference 11 8 9 10
Nikitin 9 17 10 5
Marincin 8 4 7 3
Hunt 6 7 8 7
Nurse 2 2 2 0
Klefbom 1 1 1 0
Recently by Jason Gregor:
- A large Hall to climb
- Injuries, suspension and waivers: Ference out three games
- Hall out 2-4 weeks
- Ben’s Netminders
- GDB 10.0: The West is Best
- The Oilers are a .500 team
- GDB 9.0: Keep on rolling