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Flames @ Oilers Game 31 Preview

Oilers looking to build off Thursday night's eight goal explosion

Smid and Shaw
Smid and Shaw
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports



10-14-4, .858 p/g Ranks 10-18-2, .734 p/g
Western Conf: 13th Western Conf: 14th
26th P/G 27th
27th ST 23rd
27th ES 29th
30th Goal 28th

Rexall Place

The opposing view: Matchsticks and Gasoline

Top Story:

  • Oilers exploded for eight goals in a delightful 8-2 romp over the Avalanche on Thursday.  It's always fun to win, but the Oilers ought not to get too comfortable in expecting to score eight goals on 28 shots. Taylor Hall had a hat trick,  Ryan Smyth had three assists, Marc Arcobello, Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle and the red hot David Perron had two points each. Heck, even Sam Gagner stopped getting yelled at long enough to score a goal. This in spite of having both Jeff Petry and Anton Belov on the bench.  If the Oilers can score eight goals in every game from now until the end of the season, things are going to be sweet.  It can happen, right?

The Oilers are saying:

"You don't have to chase the game, you've got the lead...once you get a couple, or three goal lead, then the team comes back a little bit, you still have the lead.  It's so important in the game"

That's Oilers Coach Dallas Eakins on why having the lead is an important part of winning hockey games.

Last pregame I was irritated with Coach Eakins' line jumbles.  Today, we at least agree on this point.  Having the lead is an important part of the game.  I hope the Oilers will get a lead and run with it tonight.  Maybe they'll have it at the end of the game, too.

The Opponent is saying:

"We have...certain rules in our system where pucks should be an everything, and that's one thing with Kari (Ramo) and Reto (Berra), we're working on puckhandling around the net, and like tonight, it's too bad for Kari, he's given us some big games...we opened the door, and they took advantage of it"

That's Flames coach Bob Hartley on giving up two quick goals to the Avalanche in a 3-2 loss toon Friday night.  The Flames allowed two goals in 54 seconds late in the second period, giving Colorado a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Hartley's on to something here.  Bad goals at bad times can be a killer.

Of note:

  • Anton Belov was scratched prior to Thursday's game, was demoted, and was recalled on Friday.  Not sure if they're predicting that Gordon is ready to go, but I'm thinking Belov finds his way back into the lineup tonight.
  • Petry too, holy cow.  It's bad if Belov isn't in, it's borderline criminal if Petry isn't in the lineup.
  • Tyler Pitlick was rumoured to be ready by this weekend.  I feel confident I could find a spot for him on the fourth line (especially with Sweet Lou Gazdic in the lineup), but I'm not sure how many moves Eakins makes on a team that just won an 8-2 game.  It's not really his style, man.
  • This is a game preview that makes no mention of the goaltending, so there's no one yelling about that right now.  Kind of a good thing, because after Dubnyk comes LaBarbera, and fans adore him.
  • SMID RETURNS TO REXALL: Tonight is Ladislav Smid's first game in Edmonton as a member of another club.  Let us fondly remember the moment when the penalty boxes at Rexall Place finally got those shiny new toilets, and Smid was the first to try them out.

Projected Lines & Pairings:

The Edmonton Oilers

David Perron - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Nail Yakupov

Ryan Smyth - Mark Arcobello - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Jones - Anton Lander - Luke Gazdic

Philip Larsen - Andrew Ference

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Devan Dubnyk


The Calgary Flames

Mike Cammalleri - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Jiri Hudler - Mikael Backlund - David Jones

Sven Baertschi - Paul Byron - Blair Jones

Lane MacDermid - Lance Bouma - Derek Smith

Chris Butler - Mark Giordano

Kris Russell - T.J. Brodie

Ladislav Smid - Shane O'Brien

Reto Berra