The snow and tears continue to fall in Oil Country this week but some of us are trying out new strategies. From here on in, losses by 3 or less goals shall be considered victories. Ok, ok, it's not all bad. The rebuild continues, the kids get ice time, and the fans have lots to talk about. With another blowout loss to the Rangers on Sunday that included a MSG brawl that will still involve debate around the Smid and Avery fight. The worst part about this fight is the fact that Ladislav Smid has now been sidelined due to a concussion well when we really don't need to have Smid unhealthy. Wednesday night was a shutout loss to the Blackhawks but Friday the Oilers came oh so close to making you smile didn't they? In fact you might actually have broke out in an ear to ear grin. That's right the Oilers had a 3 goal lead that they let go, but managed to hold out for a shootout. True, they didn't win the shootout, but isn't this season about baby steps?
Movember is a little more than halfway done, so you do still have plenty of time to get your donations in for your friends, family members or your favourite Oilers organization member. The Oilers continue to set aside their razors for the cause, updates can be found here. The Barons are also involved with this movement, their website is here and the Oil Kings' site is here.
Other Oilers news this week was around goaltending. The Oilers placed Nikolai Khabibulin on the injured reserve list after the netminder was pulled at the second period of the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night. At first the goalie swap was believed to be a mercy pull, so many of us were shocked to find that Khabi is out with a groan injury. Yup, the good times don't stop here in Oil Country. Some are very excited to see Khabi off the ice for a while, giving Devan Dubnyk a chance to shine. By calling up Martin Gerber, the Oilers allow Devan Dubnyk to play in the NHL and Jeff Deslauiers playing time in the AHL, and thus both prospects will be able to develop and hopefully shine.
With the Smid injury, Shawn Belle has been called up from the Oklahoma City Barons as well as JF Jacques. Both players will hopefully add some much needed muscle and physical play to the Oilers game. Now, however, it's all about wait and see.
In NHL news, on Wednesday Calgary Flames GM Daryl Sutter traded his own son Brett Sutter to the Carolina Hurricanes along with defenceman Ian White for forward Tom Kostopoulos. The interesting part is that the Hurricanes have since placed Brett Sutter on waivers. There was some speculation on what this will do to the Sutter family and if this is related to the Brett Sutter vs. cab driver in Phoenix. All involved with the situation have said that this is not the case and that the trade was in the works before the unfortunate incident.
Of course there was also the Colin Campbell email news. Colin will likely not be fired over the news that he is indeead biased, and especially against Boston Bruins' Marc Savard. Our favourite NHL commissioner stands behind Colin and defends all decissions. What a shock right?
The Oil Kings have had a very long time off lately, their first game in a week will take place tonight against the Red Deer Rebels. On Thursday the Oil Kings announced "The Edmonton Oil Kings are proud to announce right-winger Kristians Pelss has been selected by the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation to compete at the 2011 IIHF World Under 20 Championship in Bobruisk, Belarus." Tuesday the Oil Kings announced that three Oil Kings have been ranked by NHL central scouting. Both are great stories for our boys, who collectively are still looking for some consistent wins.
Here are some blogs you may have missed this week:
Warning! Oilers' faceoff woes are even greateer than they appear - Cult of Hockey McCurdy
Uncle - Black Dog Hates Skunks
Is a Handjob Out of the Question When I Come Home? - Black Dog Hates Skunks
The Diamond Penalty Kill - Strategies And Tactics With Coach Bob Nielsen - Copper & Blue Zona
Jason Strudwick And Tom Gilbert - Never The Twain Should Meet - Copper & Blue Zona
Will Losin Ruin Development? - Oilers Nation Gregor
Lost in the Transition: Strudwick and Vendermeer - Oilers Nation Brownlee
Is Help Coming - Oilers Nation Gregor
Linus Omark Interview, Cleaner Transition - Oilers Jambalaya Rodgers
Goalie Zemlak Anchors the Thunder - Oilers Jambalaya Mae
Crooked Colin Cambell? - Houses of the Hoockey Willis
Video: Colin Campbell denies bias, will speak to Savard - Puck Daddy Leahy
Are these the best seats in the arena to watch an NHL game? - Puck Daddy Wyshynski
In Flames/Hurricanes trade, family bonds tested by hockey business - Puck Daddy Wyshynski
Chris Pronger's puck-stealing plans foiled by Hab's Brian Gionta - Puck Daddy Leahy