The Oilers are in Winnipeg tonight looking
to lose their eleventh straight game for a rare win. Heading into tonight's game versus the mighty Oil, the Thrashers find themselves holding down the eighth spot in the NHL's Western Conference despite a sub .500 record on home ice. Because I'm sure you've forgotten this by now, eighth place would be good enough for Winnipeg to make the playoffs - those other games that get played after game 82 - if the season were to end today. Oh how I wish the season were ending today.
How To Tune In
Sportsnet One (or is it Sportsnet1, maybe Sportsnet 1) at 7PM for those in the Mountain timezone. When you stop watching is entirely up to you.
What To Watch For From The Oilers
Tyler Pitlick is on the top line tonight. After ten straight losses, why not? Eakins had this to say about Pitlick earlier today (thank you Mr. Willis for the transcribing this):
Tyler on our second goal was textbook. He went in, he was physical, he helped them win a puck. The puck went back to the point, he went to the net front immediately, he counter-hit a guy and bang the puck is in the net, and that’s what we need and we need it from everyone. We think he’ll give us that on that line.
At this point Dallas Eakins is really just trying to find a way to spark his team. Swapping Jordan Eberle for Pitlick on the top line is attempt number one at doing just that. Attempt number two is likely going to be getting his best forwards more ice time. The fourth line of Luke Gazdic/Mark Arcobello/Steve Pinizzotto isn't going to see the ice much so the Oilers are going to be playing tonight with nine forwards, maybe ten depending how Arcobello gets rotated. It can't possibly be any worse.
What To Watch For From The Jets
Although being a hockey team, in the last day I've learned that Evander Kane's Instagram account is the biggest happening with this team right now, certainly bigger than anything happening on the ice. Arctic Ice Hockey explains:
The picture simply tells his fans and followers a little bit more about who Evander Kane is and the kind of life he lives. Learning these things is presumably why people follow him. It is also worth noting, Kane hurt no one!!
The post isn't representative of any wrongdoing and it teaches us nothing we didn't know already. It really is not news, nor is it newsworthy. Publishing it for personal gain is no more than gossip fodder trash. Before I go too far down that road I do want to say, there are places for that and this blog may not always be above reproach in this regard, but some of the claims out there are silly.
Evander Kane was not throwing money in the faces of random people. He was simply showing something that he thought was entertaining to people he thought would be entertained. The people that removed the context of Instagram from the photo are the ones throwing it in people's faces.
Maybe this wasn't a big deal after all.
Oilers Projected Line Combinations
Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Tyler Pitlick
Nail Yakupov - Leon Draisaitl - Jordan Eberle
David Perron - Boyd Gordon - Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic - Mark Arcobello - Steve Pinizzotto
Andrew Ference - Justin Schultz
Nikita Nikitin - Mark Fayne
Oscar Klefbom - Jeff Petry
Is this guy serious? I can't tell any more.