I’ve never liked stuffing. I didn’t eat it as a child, and as a grown up I always politely, and quickly, pass the bowl of stuffing to the person beside me at the table. It is easy to bypass stuffing at the dinner table, but tonight it will be difficult for the Oilers to avoid another
thrashing stuffing at the hands of the Nashville Predators.
The Oilers have lost seven straight games, and they must be ready from the opening puck drop or the game will be over after 20 minutes.
They’ve led for a grand total of ZERO seconds during this losing streak, and they’ve been outscored 12-1 in the first period. Their lone goal was Boyd Gordon’s shorthanded tally vs. Dallas.
These are tough times for the Oilers and their fans, but if you strangely find yourself not that surprised or upset by this losing streak here’s why.
This losing streak is tied for the 7th longest in franchise history. So out of the eight worst losing streaks, you have witnessed five of them during the past nine seasons.
- Lost 13 consecutive games between December 31st, 2009 to January 30th, 2010. They had lost seven in a row, then beat Toronto 3-1 on December 30th, before losing 13 straight. That was a pretty tough month for Nation readers, but at that time the thought of getting the 1st overall pick made sense. One bad year was worth it most said back then. ***One bad year…if only it was that easy…**
- Lost 12 in row from February 25th to March 21st, 2007. They won the next game 4-3 in a shootout over Colorado before losing six more. Oilers finished 25th in the league and drafted Sam Gagner.
- Lost 11 straight from October 16th to November 07th, 1993. They went 1-18-3 at one point that season and finished with 64 points.
- Lost 11 from March 8th to March 31st, 2011. They also had one 7-game losing streak and two 6-game losing streaks that year. The fans reward that year was drafting Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
- Lost 9 straight from March 23rd to April 9th, 1995. That was during the lockout shortened season and George Burnett got fired after the 7th consecutive loss. His record was 12-20-3.
- Lost 9 straight between October 21st and November 10th, 1990. The Oilers started 2-11-2 that year, after WINNING the Stanley Cup five months earlier. They recovered, going 35-26-4 the rest of the way and went to the Campbell Conference Final. That team was still competitive and knew how to win.
- Lost 7 straight from Oct 11th to October 25th, 2005. The Oilers ended up going to the Cup finals that year.
All of these losing streaks had no shoot out losses. Edmonton lost every game in regulation or overtime. The Predators have yet to lose two games in a row this season, going 14-5-2, and they’ve won their last two in shootouts, but they out shot their opponents 83-51.
The Predators are playing great, and they will get a boost tonight as Mike Fisher plays his first game of the season after tearing his Achilles in the summer.
Joensuu is back in and Gazdic comes out, but the second and third lines continue to shuffle. When no one is scoring you need to try something.
Eakins and Ramsay elect to sit Justin Schultz and Martin Marincin. Both were bad vs. Dallas and with Klefbom and Aulie available it makes sense. You can’t keep hoping players will play their way out of bad play. Marincin needs to be more assertive, while Schultz simply needs to play smarter and with more intensity.
Sitting out a game can be a good thing. It allows him to relax for a game and hopefully regain his barrings. You’d hope it will fire him up as well, so when he returns to the lineup he’ll be motivated.
Schultz said the right thing when he was asked why he is sitting, “I think everything, not just one thing. I just need to be better out
there when I get my next chance,” said Schultz. That it good, but his actions when he gets back in the lineup will illustrate if he truly recognizes why he is scratched.
Fasth starts. He was actually pretty solid vs. Dallas, except for the knuckle shot.
As I mentioned, Fisher will play his first game with the Predators. You can see the rest of their lineup via Dailyfaceoff.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
What are Predators blogs saying about the Oilers? Well, at On the Forecheck they said:
This team is in all sorts of disarray. They have lost seven games in a row now, and have no signs of turning the corner anytime soon. Now I am not saying that this will be an easy game for the Preds, because in hockey, you just never know. The Oilers have had some success against the Preds last year, but this season, it has been a different story. They have lost their first two games against Nashville, and have been struggling as of late.
There is a bright spot on this team though. Taylor Hall recently scored his 100th goal of his career. Hall, along with Jordan Eberle have played well for Edmonton. But in hockey, you need more than just a couple of players to be successful. It is a full team effort, and the Oilers are just not getting it as of late.
Edmonton will have to do quite a bit to get a win tonight. They are going to have to get a great effort, top to bottom, from their entire roster. And now that Nashville has emerged as a threat in the Western conference, I expect them to get the other team’s best shot every night.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The streak continues. Oilers play well for most of the game, make two major mistakes and lose 3-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Fisher scores in his first game of the season.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: An Oiler fans sneaks a half turkey into the building. When the Predators go up 2-0 he tosses it on the ice. The Predators clean up crew doesn’t want to touch it. The giblets are all over the ice and it takes over three minutes to clean it up. Meanwhile the camera crew pans to Carrie “Fisher” and we see a 30-second still shot of her.
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