|32-12-1, 1.444 p/g||Ranks||14-27-5 .718 p/g|
|Eastern Conference: 1st||Western Conference: 14th|
- Oilers drop a 5-2 decision to the Blues on Tuesday night. The loss is Edmonton's 27th regulation loss on the year. They are three points behind 28th place Calgary, and .four ahead of last place Buffalo. (Calgary has two games in hand, Buffalo has three). Oilers will take on the Eastern Conference's best team tonight at Rexall Place. The Penguins aren't only good with the puck, they also allow the sixth fewest shots in the league at 27.6 per game.
The Oilers are saying
"It's a sad day. We're choked. There is a grieving process"
That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins
on this sad sack of a season on Taylor Hall not getting selected to the Canadian Olympic team.
I don't know of any Oilers fan who wasn't pulling for the kid from Kingston to get a chance to sport the red Maple Leaf in Sochi. No question it's got to be a let down for Taylor Hall, his family, and to some extent, fans. The 'grieving process' line made me snicker a bit, although it's likely more real than we think. Two weeks away from a club mired in a 14-27-5 season might seem like two weeks on vacation in the Swiss Alps,
The Opponent is saying
"They're still a young team and the fact that all these young guys are playing in important situations at their age, it's only going to help everybody"
- The Oilers are going with Devan Dubnyk between the pipes for tonight's contest, which is an interesting selection. Dubnyk hasn't played since January 2nd against the Sharks, which was a five goal outing. There's fair discussion out there that suggests that the Oilers have already cut the cord with Dubnyk after this year. If this is true, the only reason Dubnyk gets this game against the Penguins is to not give Ilya Bryzgalov the chance to completely lose his mind after another six goal outing.
- Presented without comment: Ilya Bryzgalov - 3-6-2, 3.20 / .905 SV%. Devan Dubnyk - 10-16-2, 3.31 / .895 SV%.
- Looks like the Penguins will go with backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff tonight, which means I don't get to make a crack at Marc-Andre Fleury. Even if he was starting, his SV% on the year is .917. That's not all world, but it's a significant step up from his career average of .910%. Oh, Zatkoff, right. Zatkoff's the guy at .910 this year, which isn't bad for replacement level work.
- Sam Gagner will be on the wing with Hall on left and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins down the middle. No issue with the team trying this for a handful of games at this point.
- Other roster notables - Arcobello between Yakupov and Eberle, Perron at 3LW, and the fourth line should be comically awful with Sweet Lou Gazdic and Ryan Jones on the wing, while the Ryan Smyth experiment at 4C gets another kick. ugh,
- A PLEA - Can the Oilers get out of this game allowing four or less goals? Please?
The Edmonton Oilers
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Sam Gagner
Nail Yakupov - Mark Arcobello - Jordan Eberle
David Perron - Boyd Gordon - Ales Hemsky
Luke Gazdic - Ryan Smyth - Ryan Jones
Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz
Nick Schultz - Anton Belov
Jeff Petry - Martin Marincin
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Brian Gibbons
Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Tanner Glass - Brandon Sutter - Taylor Pyatt
Deryk Engelland - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams
Rob Scuderi - Kris Letang
Simon Despres - Brooks Orpik
Olli Maatta - Matt Niskanen