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Blackhawks @ Oilers Game 21 Preview

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Don't go breakin' my heart

Antti Raanta is in goal for Chicago tonight.
Antti Raanta is in goal for Chicago tonight.
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports


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@

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11-7-1, 23 points, 1.21  p/g Ranks 6-12-2, 14 points, .778 p/g
Western Conference - 7th Western Conference - 14th
15th P/G 28th
1st ST 14th
4th ES 28th
2nd Goal 28th
8 PM MDT - CBC
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Second City Hockey

A Spirited Performance

The Oilers compiled 29 shots in sixty minutes, but it was New Jersey who notched two second period goals en route to shutting out the Oilers last night at Rexall Place.  Devil goals were scored by Adam Henrique and Tuomo Ruutu, while Oiler goals were not to be found.  The power play is in a state of disarray, the defense is being propped up by some airplane glue and balsa wood.  But it's good balsa, you should see this stuff.

The Chicago Blackhawks are in town, man.  Let's go to the tape.

The Oilers are saying

"Something has to change.  When you are making those mistakes, something needs to happen.  They are the same mistakes we were doing last year.  We keep talking about how much better we are this year, but for me it is the same record now that we had last year.  It is not better."
That's Oilers forward David Perron on the 6-12-2 Oilers

THANKS, DAVE!
It's been a long time coming.  As a matter of fact, the last Oiler I can remember who said something full of awesome was Sheldon Souray.  Souray didn't play another game for Edmonton after he complained about management "souring" on him, and how he soured on management.  I'm with you, David.  I'm sick of the losing, the losing culture, the "process", the rebuilding, and the rest of the ball of wax that we've been hearing for the past eleven billion years.

In other words, enjoy wherever destination you're headed for.  It was a pleasure to watch you play.

The Opponent is saying
"I'm excited, but not too excited"
That's Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta on getting the start in Edmonton tonight.

Truth be told, I'm not too excited about tonight either, Antti.  Raanta has just three games under his belt this season. He's got a shutout to go with a crispy .933 SV% in limited action.  Tonight will be Raanta's first start in nearly a month.
Have some of this
  • Did I mention how necessary that David Perron quote was?  If there was any doubt, it's about three seasons overdue.  Go back in time, David, and tell management what a boneheaded decision it was to banish Sheldon Souray to the minors.  Or, tell them they might want to reconsider trading Dustin Penner.  Or how they might want to not spend 9 million dollars on Nikita Nikitin.  Or how...you get the idea.
  • SQUEAKY WHEEL - Somehow, Perron gets first line duty tonight. You think if we bitch any louder that we could've gotten that second line centre?
  • Where in the world does dressing Keith Aulie not look like the worst option in the world?  Why, Edmonton of course.  Nikita Nikitin will be out, as Keith Aulie draws in.
  • Expect Ben Scrivens to get the go tonight for Edmonton, as Viktor Fasth turned last night's half of the back-to-back.  
  • Speaking of Ben Scrivens, he bought a piano.  I've got nothing else here.
  • Benoit Poulliot will be out for at least a month with a broken foot after blocking a shot.  If you thought you'd see Jesse Joensuu on the third line with Mark Arcobello and Nail Yakupov, you're a damned mind reader.  Vodka, please.
  • O-FOR - The Oilers have six wins this season, and they're all against Eastern Conference opponents. Thought there'd be a shot they'd be able to topple New Jersey last night, but scoring zero goals puts a slight damper on things.  Almost amazingly, the Oilers are 0-9-1 against Western Conference opponents.  They'll have a great chance at snapping that streak tonight against Chicago.
  • GOILERS

PROJECTED LINES

The Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Kris Versteeg - Brad Richards - Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell - Phlip Danault - Daniel Carcillo
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Ben Smith

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Johnny Oduya
Adam Clendening - Michal Rozsival

Antti Raanta

The Edmonton Oilers

David Perron - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall - Leon Draisaitl - Teddy Purcell
Jesse Joensuu - Mark Arcobello - Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks - Boyd Gordon - Steve Pinizzotto

Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz
Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry
Keith Aulie - Mark Fayne

Ben Scrivens