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Blue Jackets @ Oilers Game 23 Preview

Win more than one, and they call it a streak.




7-10-3, .85 p/g Ranks 5-15-2, .545 p/g
Eastern Conf: 13th Western Conf: 13th
25th P/G 29th
13th ST 19th
19th ES 29th
21st Goal 30th
7:30 PM MDT - Sportsnet West

Rexall Place

The opposing view: The Cannon

Top Story:

  • The Oilers were able to increase their win total on the season by 20% with a victory in Calgary, but the story in Edmonton is the physical emergence of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who was called up by the team yesterday. How much stability can Bryzgalov bring to the Oilers' crease?

The Oilers are saying:

"I find Bryz to be a very intelligent man, you know, maybe with different interests than myself, maybe different interests than some of his teammates, this is an intelligent guy, I have absolutely no concern about how he was framed in the TV show"

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins talking about new Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The TV show he makes mention of is most likely the HBO 24/7 series, a clip of which you can view here.

I hope for everyone's sake (fans, the team, Ilya Bryzgalov) that Bryzgalov just plays gangbusters in Edmonton. That's not likely, as he's just a paper-thin statistical improvement over Devan Dubnyk. Every number is going in the wrong direction - Bryzgalov is going to be 34 in a couple of months, he had a dreadful season in Philadelphia (he's being paid 23M over the next fourteen years to NOT play in Philadelphia) and he's being brought in to what I'd assume is to help save the Oilers season. Never mind the fact the season is long beyond saving. What is bringing Bryzgalov in going to accomplish? For Bryzgalov's sake, I hope he's been working on his material, and I don't mean between the pipes.

The Opponent is saying:

"It's taking a long time, but I knew that coming in. It's been tough having to watch. I still have a lot of fun at the rink, but it's always more fun when you're on the ice""

That's Columbus' Nathan Horton, who has been held out of action due to a shoulder injury since game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Horton was a member of the Bruins at the time.

Horton's surgery was in mid-July, and his recovery time was pegged at (wait for it...) six months. While December remains a distinct possibility for Nathan Horton to return, it may be until January before he gets into a game.

Of note:

Justin Schultz might make his way back into the lineup tonight. Schultz has been held out of action with a groin injury as of late. I think he gets in.

With all of the static from Ilya Bryzgalov getting called up from OKC, it's not likely he'll play tonight. Devan Dubnyk has been playing markedly better since the beginning of the season, and Dubnyk will get the go tonight. There's a distinct possibility that Bryzgalov will start Thursday vs. Florida. I mean, there's always the chance we see Bryzgalov if there's a blowout in the first. Let's not go there.

With Bryzgalov coming up, Jason LaBarbera has been waived. Will the Blackhawks or Islanders take a chance on him?

Pojected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth - Boyd Gordon - David Perron
Luke Gazdic - Mark Arcobello - Jesse Joensuu

Andrew Ference - Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz
Anton Belov - Philip Larsen

Devan Dubnyk


The Columbus Blue Jackets

Brandon Dubinsky - Ryan Johansen - Cam Atkinson
R.J. Umberger - Artem Anisimov - Marian Gaborik
Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu - Blake Comeau
Nick Foligno - Michael Chaput - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray - James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin - Tim Erixon

Sergei Bobrovsky