Thursday, March 26, 2009

Денис Гребешков

Denis Grebeshkov and the Oilers are in Phoenix for another big game tonight. After shitting the bed against Detroit in the third period, they should rebound tonight in the desert. The Oilers played a fairly solid game against Detroit but once again, they got outshot terribly and tried to defend a 1-0 lead for the whole game. They upped their forecheck and put pressure on the Wings at times, but they will need more of that in the next two weeks.

Anaheim is one point up on the Oilers and they play tomorrow night. The next four games are crucial for the Oilers: Phoenix, Anaheim, Minnesota, and Anaheim. Ideally, win all four and then you don't need to run the table against teams like SJ, Calgary or Vancouver to finish the season. Win at least 3 of those games, then you only need a few points to finish the season. Make it easy on yourselves boys!!

One of the most important Oilers right now is Grebeshkov. He has been the best defenseman during the past few weeks (along with Souray). His mobility on the blue line is impressive, moving the puck quickly and cleanly. I really hope he is resigned next year and remains an Oiler. I think one of Souray, Visnovsky, Gilbert or Grebs gets moved this summer....of course that depends on Grebeshkov's contract. If they can bring him in a bit cheaper, they could all stay. If not, it's either Grebs or Gilbert that is gone. I'd prefer Grebeshkov over Gilbert simply for his puck movement and mobility.

Oilers vs Phoenix tonight.....must win and by many goals. I expect a blowout. Deliver boys!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wing It

Wings are in Edmonton tonight, a potential first round playoff match-up. With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Oilers are quite firmly in 7th place, 3 pts behind 6th place and a possible Battle of Alberta playoff series. So from here on out, I am cheering for Calgary to keep winning and stay ahead of Vancouver, and for Columbus to lose. We want 6th place so get the hell out of the way! Assholes!

The race is still tight and if the Oilers falter, there is still a decent chance they will miss the playoffs. However, they seem to be getting their game together lately, not withstanding the Minnesota game, and tonight will be a good test for the team. A bonus, most of the teams behind Edmonton are stumbling down the stretch so that is helping.

Roli will get the start again, his 29th consecutive start, and will need to be sharper than his last few games. Roli will be rode more than a lady of the night is during this stretch, at least until a playoff spot is locked up. Only at that point will he get a night off.

I'm calling for an Oilers win tonight. I have a good feeling about the Oilers rebounding from the Minnesota game. Oilers win 3-1.

Update: Interesting story about Hemsky and how he feels he's being under-utilized. Coach wants him to play more defensively, which is fine, but Hemsky feels this at the expense of his offensive play. He also wants more ice-time, wants to carry the load down the stretch and play a more important role. I like that Hemsky is speaking out and he wants more responsibility. Not all players must play defensively. Hemsky is giving up lots of turnovers recently. Is that because the coach is harping on him, making him self-conscious and affecting his play? Let Hemsky be Hemsky....you can't turn every player into a defensive-first player. Give him the freedom to dangle!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Oilers vs Avalanche

Oilers are in Colorado tonight, a 7th place team against the 15th. This should be a slam dunk for our Oilers but after blowing the game on Saturday against this very team, this game will be closer than it should. The Oilers lost three straight games in overtime and gave everyone some nervous moments in Tuesday's game vs St. Louis. They almost blew it in overtime again but held on and made it to the shootout. Beauty of a goal by Kotalik....more players should go high back hand!

Roli starts his 26th game in a row. He kept the boys in the game during the overtime session vs St. Louis so he'll need to be sharp again. Oilers played pretty good against St. Louis, a team on a 7-3 run. So I'm hoping this means they are finally turning it around. I think JDD gets the Chicago game, or it makes sense to give him a start. Roli, while sharp in the St. Louis game, has given up many questionable goals during the past few games. I think at least one stinker a game. He needs a night off, truly!!

I predict Hemsky will break out soon. He's due for a big game and I just feel he's getting close again. He has been flying all over the ice the past few games and with newbie O'Sullivan on his line finally, the first line will break out tonight!!

GO OILERS!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Deadline Madness

Deadline madness begins now with 24 hours of craziness!! But what do our beloved Oilers do in the next 24 hours??

Who is traded? Cole is my bet and I'd be shocked if he was not gone. Why? He's an unrestricted at the end of the year, he is not resigning here and has been a bust. Sure he's played somewhat better over the past month but it's not enough. I say get rid of him for someone who can win faceoffs, kill penalties or a shut-down defenseman. He won't get you that winger for Hemsky.

Several big name players were put on waivers today including one Miroslav Satan, a former Oiler from the mid-1990s. He has 17 goals for the Pens so he might be a nice temporary fix for our top line. He's unrestricted after this year and his salary is $3.5 million so that might be about a $1.3 million hit for the Oilers. Doable especially if they unload Cole (or even not). According to nhlnumbers.com, Oilers have $2.1 million in cap space. Soooooo, maybe this works or is at least an option if you can't get anything else going?

I don't see the Oilers making a big splash at the deadline. They're not mortgaging the future in order to make the playoffs. If they can get a couple small deals, they're probably okay. They need some help in killing penalties. They're getting slaughtered out there. Satan would probably help the powerplay too, and they need help with that too!!

Who else might be leaving in smaller deals? Pouliot or Nilsson are two players that come to mind, but I'm not sure if they're going to cut them loose after all the time they're put into them. But it's possible.

A busy 24 hours are coming up. But how busy?

Big game for the Oilers tonight as they are in Nashville, trying to distance themselves from the pack which includes the Preds, who are only one point behind. This is a hard game to judge since the Preds are coming off an 8-0 victory over Detroit. They have also only won once in the last 11 games against the Preds so another mountain to climb!

Good news for captain Ethan Moreau as he won't require surgery to repair the damage to his eye. Even better news, Moreau is out for at least a week so we can be free of his awesome penalties for at least a few games. Glad you're okay dude, but also extremely elated that you are out of the lineup for a few games.

GO OILERS!!

Update: Apparently, the Oilers are not interesting in Miroslav. That's too bad; at the very least, his name would fit in nicely with this team and their Ladislav and Lubomir!!!
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