Sabres @ Oilers Game 71 Preview

Make It Three

Injuries to Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov force Oilers to shuffle their deck


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Oilers3
19-42-8, .666 p/g Ranks 25-36-9, .842 p/g
Eastern Conference: 16th Western Conference: 14th
30th P/G 29th
30th ST 26th
30th ES 27th
25th Goal 28th
7:30 PM MDT - TSN
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Die By The Blade


Hockey Is More Fun When You Win

A pair of goals for Jordan Eberle, and a goal for each of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner helped propel the Oilers to a resounding 5-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. With Tuesday's victory, the Oilers have defeated Nashville three times in three tries this year. Edmonton outscored the Predators by 13-2 over those three games. In other words, I'd like to start the season over and play the Nashville Predators about 50 more times.

The Oilers are saying

"You're never sure how many chances you're going to get and you have to make the most of the chance when it comes. I hope (Tyler Pitlick's) ready for his chance.

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on Tyler Pitlick's call up. Enough hard work Tyler, and you could be the next Ryan Jones, Jiri Dopita or Steve MacIntyre. Reach for the stars, kid.

THINGS ARE TOUGH ALL OVER

Tyler PItlick gets a call up because Nail Yakupov (ankle), Jordan Eberle (knee) and Matt Hendricks (leg) could all miss Thursday's game, although Hendricks is listed as "questionable". Pitlick has 22 points (8-14-22) in 38 games with OKC this year, he's also got a goal in three games with the Oilers. Fortunately for the Oilers, they've got plenty of depth on the wings because they kept Ales Hemsky instead of trading him for a third and fifth round picks.

The Opponent is saying

"It's all about the evaluation period going forward here. Hackett has come in with good credentials from the beginning so we'll put him in and see what he has"
That's Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan on Sabres goaltender Matt Hackett, who will be making his first start with the Buffalo Sabres since being traded to the team at the trade deadline last year.

The Oilers have used six goaltenders this year (Scrivens, Fasth, Bryzgalov, Dubnyk, LaBarbera and Bachman). Matt Hackett is Buffalo's fifth (Ryan Miller, Jhonas Enroth, Michael Neuvirth, Nathan Lieuwen). Both Enroth and Neuvirth are out with lower body injuries, and the Sabres will begin to "evaluate" what they have between the pipes.

You know who used to (poorly) evaluate things around here? I wouldn't wish that upon you, Buffalo, but it's the first thing I thought of when Nolan said "evaluate".

Have some of this
  • The Oilers have recalled Steve MacIntyre. This briefly set the Twitterverse ablaze, because you know that something epic predictable is going to happen when both MacIntyre's and John Scott's eyes lock for that half a second and decide to start throwing punches for six seconds
  • I have several feelings about the MacIntyre call-up. If the Oilers had more than ten games remaining in an eighth consecutive year without the playoffs, I'd probably be livid. They don't, and I just kind of smirked when I heard it. The other thing is this:
  • Argue all you like about how the Oilers can't call up Mark Arcobello because the Barons are in a playoff chase, MacIntyre getting the call-up over Arcobello is pretty much the stamp on the envelope. It was fun while it lasted, Mark. Best of luck wherever you land next year.
  • Somewhat related: both Pitlick and MacIntyre are emergency call-ups. Looking at you, MacT. *wink*
  • Whoever plays on that 4C is going to wish they were in the press box. Or at home. Or anywhere else.Will the fourth line have more than five minutes between the three of them?
  • YOU THINK YOU KNOW BAD A BAD CONTRACT? Meet Ville Leino. Ville Leino signed a six year 27 million dollar contact (plus a nine million dollar signing bonus) with the Sabres in the beginning of July, 2011. This is after he scored 51 points with Philadelphia in 2010-11. Since then, Ville Leino has scored thirty three points total, and he's scored zero goals in 2013-14. This makes me feel a little bit better about Matt Hendricks' deal, A little. A slight difference between Leino and Hendricks is that the Oilers likely won't use Hendricks' deal to reach the salary floor like the Sabres would use Leino's in 2014-15.
The Buffalo Sabres

Cory Conacher - Tyler Ennis - Drew Stafford

Cody Hodgson - Brian Flynn - Marcus Foligno

Torrey Mitchell - Ville Leino - Matt D'Agostini

Nicolas Deslauriers - Matt Ellis - John Scott

Rasmus Ristolainen - Christian Ehrhoff

Chad Ruhwedel - Henrik Tallinder

Jamie McBain - Mike Weber

Matt Hackett

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The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Ryan Smyth - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Anton Lander

Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Ryan Jones

Luke Gazdic - Tyler Pitlick - Steve MacIntyre

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Oscar Klefbom - Mark Fraser

Ben Scrivens

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