Likely due to the fact that we have been down this road before, fans are already divided on whether or not they should cheer for losses. For some, there is still that competitive edge, and for others we can't look at ourselves in the mirror if we go another season counting up potential losses rather than wins. What makes things worse is the fact that Jordan Eberle can only be seen on a regular basis in the ATB commercials he has recorded for the season.
You can also rejoice that the Oilers' injured list did not increase this month. And actually, Ryan O`Marra returned to the line-up after suffering the flu. There were even rumours that Whitney may have played in Friday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks, but alas, that was not to be. Sam Gagner even got into a fight in Friday night's game and you know what? He skated away just fine on his own two feet. All kinds of positives this week!
Unfortunately for the Oilers, when the team called up Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan O'Marra and Gilbert Brule Monday, Brule did not pass through re-entry waivers and was picked up by the Phoenix Coyotes. And when O'Marra got to Edmonton he was too sick with the flu to play Wednesday night's game. Due to commercial flight restrictions, no player from the Barons would make it to Edmonton in time to play the Wednesday night game against the Devils.
Defenseman Corey Potter didn't have an easy or fast route to the NHL, but it seems he has made it, if even with the 2011-12 Edmonton Oilers. On Tuesday, Potter signed a two year extension with the team.
So, the focus turned to Milan Kytnar currently playing for the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. Kytnar had been up before dawn to travel with the Thunder to Alaska for their next game, when the centreman was re-routed from Seattle. Kytnar arrived in Edmonton at 5:30pm, the rink at 6:30pm and was dressed and on the ice with six minutes left in warmup.
In Kytnar's first NHL game and likely last time in an Oilers uniform (his 3 year ELC expires this May) Kytnar didn't look out of place and held his own. It is not to say that Kytnar will never have a chance at making the NHL, he will just need more time. Post game, Renney spoke highly of Kytnar's hockey sense and his belief that Kytnar can have a long hockey career in front of him.
The Oilers lost their game, 2-1 in OT Wednesday night against the Devils, a game that did not feature future HHOFer Marty Brodeur. Friday night the Oilers lost once again, this time 5-0 to the struggling Anaheim Ducks; the Pacific Division has not been kind to the Oilers this season.
Saturday afternoon is the annual Skills Competition at Rexall Place:
On Thursday, it became even more clear that teams like the Los Angeles Kings may be interested in Ales Hemsky. In an interview with Mark Spector, Dean Lombardi apologized to not only Edmonton, but the entire NHL for what happened following the Ryan Smyth trade last summer. People are still just people and perhaps laughing about pennercakes made Lombardi realize that ridiculous things can happen to anyone.
The Barons have caught up with Tyler Pitlick on camera on some of the challenges facing the Barons this season:
For the Edmonton Oil Kings, it has been business as usual this week; lots of winning. At the same time, 5 Oil Kings have been named to the Central Scouting Mid Term Rankings. Thursday, the Oil Kings beat Tyler Bunz and the Medicine Hat Tigers 6-2. On Saturday night, shortly after the Oilers' Skills Competition, the Oil Kings will host a night with the Hanson brothers. The main event will be Oilers' prospect and Kootenay Ice captain Drew Czerwonka taking on the Oil Kings. The main storyline to this game will be the 3 Reinhart brothers on the ice at the same time. Max and Sam Reinhart with the Kootenay Ice and Griffin with the Oil Kings. Either the Reinhart forwards or the defenceman can win, not both, but this is still a family affair of sorts.
The Barons' Wins In The West (And All The Rest) - Copper & Blue Livingston
Keys to 2011/12 - At the Mid-Season Mark - Copper & Blue Batty
IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL - Oilers Nation Strudwick
ARMCHAIR GM XIV: LET'S TALK HEMSKY - Oilers Nation Brownlee
FATHER KNOWS BEST - Oilers Nation Gregor
Groundhog Day - Black Dog Hates Skunks
"It’s one of those uncontrollables that will take its own place" – 2012 draft prospect Mathew Dumba interviews with Cult of Hockey - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
There’s nothing like minor hockey, the great Canadian childhood experience - Cult of Hockey Staples
NHL Central Scouting 2012 Mid-Term Rankings - Coming Down the Pipe Flaming
Omark: Returning to Sweden? No chance at all - Swedish Oil
Winners and losers at the NHL's midseason mark - Down Goes Brown