Welcome, fair citizens, to yet another GDB as we get ourselves prepped for today’s highly anticipated matinee between the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators.
With everything that’s happened this week, doesn’t it seem fitting for the Oilers to be playing against the Ottawa Senators today? We all know that the Sens are the heavyweight champs in terms of weird crap going on around the franchise, just this week Eugene Melnyk claimed that anyone critical of the Senators can’t be real fans, but the Oilers’ brass seem to be doing a full court press to try and catch up. Whether it’s blaming the water, Tobias Rieder, or admitting that there were no job interviews were held before hiring Peter Chiarelli, this week’s season ticket holder meetings seem to have brought up more questions than answers. Now, all we can do is wait and see if we get any answers.
As for the actual hockey match, the Oilers remain five points out of the second wild card spot with only eight games to go, so if they actually want to make things interesting, they’ll basically have to win out the stretch and hope that the five teams ahead of them find new and creative ways to soil themselves. Even then, this is a massive hill to climb for our beloved Oilers and I just don’t believe there’s enough time to make it happen. It’s times like these when those horrible losses to teams like New Jersey really hurt, ya know? That said, I’m always down to drink the Kool-Aid and still hope that the Oilers can keep themselves in the mix in spite of the way the math looks. To put it another way, I feel like a lot of us fans are like the captain in Titanic, fully prepared to go down with the ship even though this mess could have been entirely avoided.
In their first and only meeting of the season, the Oilers started the game very slowly and actually looked destined for disaster, but they managed to get themselves going and grind their way into a 4-2 win. Can they repeat the result? We shall see.
|LAST 10 GAMES||6-4-0||3-6-1|
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (fancies at 5×5)
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Lucic – Nuge – Chiasson
Gambardella – Brodziak – Currie
Rieder – Cave – Gagner
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
After putting up five points between them in the game against Columbus, McDavid and Draisaitl became the first two Oilers with 90+ points in the same season since Messier and Kurri did it back in 1989-90. Combined with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins setting a new career-high in goals and points and you’ve got the makings of a trio down the middle that any club would be lucky to have. Now, we wait to see how the new management team can build around them, or if they’ll screw things up again.
Tkachuk – Pageau – Verronneau
Balcers – Tierney – Paajarvi
Smith – Lindberg – Ryan
Duclair – Gibbons – Boedker
Wolanin – Jaros
Brannstrom – Demelo
Harpur – Borowiecki
How about Eugene Melnyk blasting his own fanbase for being critical of the team? Saying that voice a critical opinion means that you’re not a real fan is absolutely embarrassing. As an Oilers fan, it feels weird to say this, but Sens fans deserve a whole lot better.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
Doing more than just playing out the string
It’s never easy being on a losing team, even as a professional athlete getting paid hefty sums of money to play what is ultimately just a game. Unless you’re one of the true stars, your future is always uncertain. On a team like the Ottawa Senators, a lot of the players aren’t just playing each game against the opposition; they’re also playing for their next contract. Oscar Lindberg, Brian Gibbons, Anthony Duclair (RFA), Magnus Paajarvi, and Anders Nilsson are all free agents at the end of this year and each might or might not be part of the team’s plans for next season.
If you want the living embodiment of what it means to be a fringe player in the NHL on a team like Ottawa, look no further than Paajarvi. He threw himself in front of a one-timer at the end of the second period last night against Calgary. He was slow to rise and it looked like he was in an awful lot of pain. It was a game that meant almost nothing in the grand scheme of things, the Sens were already down 3-1 against one of the best teams in the league, and I doubt anyone would have noticed if he had just closed out on the shooter without putting himself in harm’s way. But that’s the type of play guys like Magnus need to make if they want to secure one more contract. Don’t tell them they’re just playing out the string because they’re playing for their livelihood.
Game Day Prediction: Seeing as this is such a highly anticipated matchup between two of the top teams in the league, I expect nothing less than both sides to hit the ice guns blazing. Fortunately, our beloved Oilers come out on top with a 4-2 victory.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Either Bob Nicholson or Eugene Melnyk will say something weird today.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: After being bummed out that I have no more Cheladas left in my fridge, I open the beer crisper to find one single, beautiful beer staring back at me. These are magic finds, friends.
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 3/23/2019 – 9:00 am MT