GDB 57.0: LOVE THAT DIRTY WATER

After setting a modern day record for saves in a shutout since expansion, things should get tougher for Ben Scrivens. That’s the life of an Edmonton Oilers goalie. 

OILERS-BRUINS CONNECTIONS

The history of the two teams is connected in so many ways, and of course they’ve met in the grandest games of all, the Stanley Cup Finals.

  • Oiler connections from the Bruins 1972 team: Ted Green (who would coach for the Oilers); Johnny Bucyk (from Edmonton, played for the Edmonton Flyers before going to the NHL); Garnet Bailey (scouted for the Oilers, also served as a minor league coach)
  • Bruins connections from the Oilers 1990 team: Glen Sather (began his NHL playing career as an Bruin); Ted Green (a top defenseman for the Bruins); Garnet Bailey (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin); Lorne Davis (played for the Bruins in the 1950’s); Craig MacTavish (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin); Bill Ranford (began his NHL playing career as a Bruin)

Of course there are many other connections, but the two clubs are tied together by more than those two Stanley Cup finals.

SCRIVENS!

You’ve no doubt heard of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly? The Oilers coverage this season has been a whole lot of ugly, and the defensive side of the puck is job one in the coming off-season. However, Ben Scrivens stole a game the other night, one of a very few performances this season where the Oiler goalie ripped the heart from their opponent (Bachman!).

An NHL team needs that, especially a team like the Oilers. This season has been a lot about poor goaltending and a shameful power play, but the Scrivens acquisition is a good sign for the future.

Sign that man!

LINEUP

 

After that San Jose game, we know the name of the starting goalie. After that, I assume there will be changes, especially in light of the Mark Fraser pickup.

Andrew Ference may draw back in—I can’t imagine wild horses keeping him away—so a ‘best guess’ at the lineup might be this:

Hall-RNH-Eberle
Perron-Gagner-Yakupov
Hendricks-Gordon-Jones
Gazdic-Smyth-Joensuu

Marincin-Petry
Ference-J.Schultz
N Schultz-Fraser

Scrivens

Things I’m looking for today:

  • better coverage. Wow, man, they can’t be that bad.
  • less running around in their own zone. The Oilers style of chasing the puck is much harder than positioning, surely they’ve learned this (over and over again).
  • a sleepy first period. This early game business usually results in a sputtering start.
  • Taylor Hall. That is all.
  • Boyd Gordon doing his usual spectacular work with little or no credit on the game broadcast.
  • That second line surprising with solid play.
  • A big crunching hit from Fraser in which he does not take a penalty and does not lose position.
  • A power-play goal from the Russian.

GAME DAY PREDICTION

  • GAME DAY PREDICTION: Boston, 6-3-1 in their last 10, might have a tough time with the upstart Oilers, 4-5-1 in their last 10. The Bruins have their share of wonky blue, and there aren’t many Taylor Hall’s in the eastern conference. A 3-2 OT win for the home team. 
  • OBVIOUS: Bruins physically dominate the Oilers, Chara scores, Lucic scores, Iginla scores and it’s a 5-0 whitewashing that drives us to the malls shortly after noon local time.
  • NOT SO OBVIOUS: The Oilers skaters, shamed by the San Jose performance, return to the responsible play of the previous two games and win it in overtime, 3-2. Scrivens first-star again!

Do the Oilers leave a defenseman behind in Boston? We wait.  

  • oilerjed

    @ LoweTide

    Is there any real chance that the Oil make a deal on this trip? There have been rumors of talks with Rangers, Philly and media has NJ as a good trade partner, although Im not sure what we would get out of them.

  • Spydyr

    GDP: I drink lots of beer this afternoon. Feel tired after the game. Nap and get yelled at by the wife. Oil win 1-0 behind a new NHL record 64 save performance by the professor.

  • Spydyr

    About to begin my Edmonton Oiler game day ritual.

    Before the game…… Believe there is hope. Crack a beer.

    After the 1st period…… Believe in a comeback. Bring out the rum.

    After the 2nd period…… Just pray for something positive in the 3rd. More liquor.

    After the game……. Recite Dennis Green in his famous “Bears” quote. “they are who we thought they were”, and keep drinking to kill the pain.

    Here’s hoping!!

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    I am just hoping for a fun game to watch either way. Don’t get blown out or embarrassed and make top teams earn whatever they get. Hall is worth the price of admission.

  • Littleconer

    Chara will not score – he’s a giraffe on skates. Easy to predict that Fraser will do his level best to change Don Cherry’s opinion of The Oil. Also a given that the Oiler’s defensive game will improve over the unmitigated disaster we witnessed two days ago. I’m hoping the fourth line earns more ice time, but no predictions on the play of any Oiler aside from Baby Nuge, Hall, Marty Marincin and Ben the Giant. I expect they’ll have good games. The rest? Too damn inconsistent to make any individual predictions. I will go out on a limb and call a 4-3 win for the underdogs.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Looking at the projected line up for Edmonton and aside from the obvious weakness on defence, I am overwhelmed by the black hole that is 2C. This player has one year of experience 7 times, can’t/won’t play effective defensively, can’t win a face off and is a marshmallow on skates. On top of that he plays “cutesy hockey”. A drop pass here, a drop pass there. The problem is that the young players on the Oilers see him doing these things and they start to do the same. MacT – please trade him.

  • Spydyr

    Pairing Fraser with Schultz sr. for his first audition may be difficult for Fraser to play his best before his new coach and GM. Nick Shultz would be an epic fail if he was paired with Orr. I like the recent moves to bring players in who know their own game and play it out each shift.

    Mac is still only nibbling at the efges of the problem. The size, speed and skill of the top six must be dealt with. They are mostly boys playing against men. The question is when is the best time to deal with it. Now or the off-season ? I wonder if Mac actually thinks he can get away with buying a cashmere sweater with a red dot on it and expect no one to notice? There are too many AHLer’s on this team already. Jerking around 6/7th D and the bottom 6 forwards will not build a credible contending team. IMO.

  • TayLordBalls

    We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success.

    We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never won a Stanley Cup.

  • Bi-Curious Gord

    Could be a chippy afternoon affair. Bruins were owned at home last game by the Habs. Lucic might be looking for a rematch with GAZDIC. Oil struggle with afternoon games.
    I’m expecting an ugly one…

  • "Frank the dog"

    I’m asking for commitment today mixed with a healthy amount of discipline – short, crisp passes, good positioning, strong back checking, limited passes to the opposition. All of this by the Oilers.

  • Admiral Ackbar

    The Oil matchup terribly with a team like the Bs. I still wonder why the team is so obviously bad on the boards, in all zones! I think the Bs will eat them alive today. It’ll be a blood bath.

    Who’s the girl??

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    Great, a morning start

    *a shot for each turnover

    I’ll be drunk by Noon.

    * part of the drinking game my buds and I play when we watch this team

  • vetinari

    I really, really don’t which Oiler team is going to show up on this road trip… The scrappy, talented underdogs or the passive, defense-challenged pylons?

    GDP: somewhere between 6-1 Bruins to 4-3 Oilers

    • John Chambers

      All I really hope for is for this team to channel the teams from 96-99 and again in spring ’08 when still outmatched the team could get by on scrappy, dutiful play and occasionally get a boost from spectacular goaltending.