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Bruins @ Oilers Game 33 Preview

Andrew Ference faces off against his former team.

he's here to save us all.
he's here to save us all.
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports



21-8-2, 1.42 p/g Ranks 11-18-2, .782 p/g
Eastern Conf: 9th Western Conf: 14th
4th P/G 27th
18th ST 23rd
5th ES 29th
16th Goal 29th
7:30 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Rexall Place

The opposing view: Stanley Cup Of Chowder
Tickets - TiqIQ

Top Story:

  • Tonight's game against the Bruins concludes a five game home stand. Should the Oilers elude the jaws of defeat against one of the three good teams from the East, it would give them seven points (3-1-1) in five games, which isn't half bad. Players are getting healthy and things are changing around these parts. Read on to learn more songs of faith and devotion.

The Oilers are saying:

"He's been great, for me he's brought exactly what we needed to our team, we needed a guy that would unite our players, we need a guy with a veteran presence, we need a guy with character, discipline, a guy that's won, he's been an important part of our process here, as we move forward he's going to be a huge part of it moving forward, and I'm sure he'll be fired up to play his old team.

That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on Andrew Ference, who will face off against his old team tonight. Eakins has nothing but praise for Ference since joining the Oilers. He's going to have to be a big part of the future, as he's got a no-movement clause until the end of the 2017.

The Opponent is saying:

Everything he's done from how hard he played, and what he put on the ice to what he did in the community to also what he and his family did players coming in their lives, he was always very good to help out, and those kinds of things don't get forgotten

That's Bruins coach Claude Julien on former Bruin Andrew Ference. How have the Bruins done on defence since Ference has joined the Oilers? They're ninth in shots allowed (28.5), and they're currently first in the Atlantic Division. This isn't to say that the Bruins have gotten better because Ference jumped ship (actually, they have gotten a little better than last year as far as shots allowed), but that the Bruins were able to make a roster adjustment without a catastrophe. There's something to be said for depth.

Of note:

  • Jeff Petry had a full practice on Wednesday, and could be a go for tonight if given clearance. Petry has been out since Saturday after hitting his head. He was paired up with Anton Belov in practice today, so I'd take those odds.
  • Ilya Bryzgalov was on the ice taking extra shots on Wednesday. He'll likely be back in game action soon.
  • Ryan Smyth (neck) will not play against the Bruins.
  • Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask was down with the flu on Wednesday. Chad Johnson (16 career games played) could get the start if Rask is unable to go. Johnson was ill for Boston's game in Calgary on Tuesday. They could do the Oilers a solid and play with six skaters, I'd be OK with that.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Torey Krug leads the Bruins defencemen in scoring. Krug has eighteen points (8-10-18 in 31 GP), he leads all Bruins defencemen in scoring, and is fourth overall on the team. To think, I thought the Oilers almost had him for Ryan Whitney last trade deadline. So close.
  • A team that goes 11-18-3 in their first 32 games hasn't had very many 'easy' games, but the schedule certainly doesn't get any easier in the upcoming days. After today's home game versus Boston, the Oilers have Vancouver, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Colorado before returning home to play the Blues. Piece of cake, right?

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Nail Yakupov

David Perron - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Jesse Joensuu - Mark Arcobello - Ales Hemsky

Luke Gazdic - Anton Lander - Ryan Jones

Anton Belov - Jeff Petry

Andrew Ference - Philip Larsen

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Devan Dubnyk


The Boston Bruins

Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Jarome Iginla

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Reilly Smith

Carl Soderberg - Ryan Spooner - Matt Fraser

Nick Johnson - Gregory Campbell - Jordan Caron

Zdeno Chara - Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg - Torey Krug

Matt Bartkowski - Kevan Miller

Tuukka Rask