The Edmonton Oilers have played their last game of 2011 in Rexall Place to make way for the IIHF World Juniors tournament. At least the team went out with a bang and delivered fans an early Christmas present. At least it was the one gift that all Oilers' fans had been asking for; a big win.
Remember the 2010 World Juniors when the rest of the nation fell in love with Oilers' prospect Jordan Eberle? Fans were calling him Jesus Eberle and at this point, we knew that the Oilers were truly starting to collect some very special players. Eberle of course had that amazing goal his first NHL game, but overall had a great if not somewhat quiet first year in the NHL. This year however, Eberle is making a case for himself as sophomore of the year. Eberle has 15 goals on the season; two multi-goal games and 11 multi points games. Most of the multi-point games of course are two points but Eberle has had a three and a four point night as well. I think it's safe to say that Eberle is a keeper, and a player than all fans can agree on. You may not be a fan of Whitney, Jones, Gagner or Peckham, but everyone loves Eberle.
The Oilers came up short in a Saturday night game against the San Jose Sharks, losing 3-2 to make it five losses out of their last six games. Monday night, the Oilers lost a close game, 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday night, the Oilers beat the Minnesota Wild quite convincingly 4-1 in their last Rexall game of 2011.
In Thursday's game, Finnish winger Lennart Petrell laid a hit on Marek Zidlicky of the Minnesota Wild that caused Petrell to be ejected from the game. Friday, in a simple tweet from Brendan Shanahan, we learned that there would be no further suspension for Petrell.
Ales Hemsky got an early start to his short Christmas holiday, but not in a good way. The crafty winger is suffering from the flu and was separated from the rest of the team to try to prevent the spread of germs. Hopefully the extra time off will Hemsky shake off the illness and tenderness that he is said to still be experiencing.
The Edmonton Oilers made their annual Christmas hospital visit tour and although the team doesn't make visits like this just once a year, the videos of these visits are not very common. This one may melt even a grinch's heart, if even just a little bit.
Because Travis Ewanyk has been rehhabbing a surgically repaired shoulder all season, Oilers fans haven't been able to watch the newly drafted prospect let alone see any updates. This short video shows a little more of the personality of both Ewanyk and Keegan Lowe.
And a very upbeat Christmas video from the veteran Oil Kings. If you would like to see the rookie video you are going to have to visit the Oil Kings' website as there is no embedded code.
And of course, the Edmotnon Oilers also wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Team Canada a successful week of preliminary games. They beat Team Finland Monday night in Calgary, Team Swtizerland in Red Deer Thursday night, but lost to Team Sweden in Edmonton on Friday night. The tournament kicks off Boxing Day in Edmonton and Calgary.
If you are a Barons fan in Oklahoma City, the Barons will participate in an outdoor practice on December 29th. The Barons are red hot and may melt the ice, if the temperature outside will be cold enough to make ice! Of course I kid my Oklahoma friends. I just remember how cold the weather was for the first/original Heritage Classic (outdoor game) was.
The Barons also play a New Years' eve game. While the Oilers will play a 11am MST game against the Oilers, the Barons will play in the evening. Again, if you are in Oklahoma City, the Barons are aiming to make the game a New Years' Eve experience.