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Oilers @ Red Wings Game 68 Preview

Still weird seeing this.
Still weird seeing this.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports



23-36-8, .806 p/g Ranks 29-23-13, 1.086 p/g
Western Conference: 14th Eastern Conference: 9th
29th P/G 17th
26th ST 14th
29th ES 14th
29th Goal 15th
5:30 PM MDT - Sportsnet West
Joe Louis Arena
The opposing view: Winging It In Motown

No Surprises

The Oilers hung around for two periods last night until the Blues busted the hinges off the doors with a four goal third period (three of those goals coming in just over seven minutes).  The Blues looked like the Blues (especially during the third), and the Oilers...well, you know what they look like by now.  And before I...wait just a second, did you see Mark Fraser's goal?

Good on Mark Fraser for not giving up on the play, but that goal looked like straining watery mashed potatoes through a pantyliner.  That's Fraser's first goal in four years.  Can't wait for that guy to get an extension.

The Oilers are saying

"I don't care how good they are.  We were able to play with them for two periods.  We should certainly be able to do it for another 20 minutes"
That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on allowing four goals in the third period of yesterday's 6-2 loss.

I'm not even angry anymore.  You hung around for two periods, but you got your clock cleaned in the third.  I expected it to happen earlier in the game, but alas, it did not.  The Mark Fraser goal in the second period really showed me that you were ready to compete with the best teams in the game.  Watching this team take the ice against a team like St. Louis or Anaheim feels like buying a lottery ticket (no pun intended) in that you always hope for the best, but you know you're just throwing your money in a toilet.

Maybe things will be different in year five of the rebuild. next year.  Seems reasonable to think so.

The Opponent is saying

"What are you going to do?  No sense worrying about it"
That's Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his team's injury situation, and how it could play a part in the Red Wing's postseason picture.

Detroit ranks second overall in man games lost to injury in 2013-2014, but they remain only two points behind Philadelphia for a wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.  They'll face an Oilers team that they decimated by a 5-0 score back in November.  You know, the one where Petr Mrazek faced fourteen shots en route to his first career shutout.  Jimmy Howard will be between the pipes for Detroit tonight, and the Oilers will likely have to invest in more than fourteen shots to keep this one close.

Have some of this.
  • FASTH TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH - Okay, the Fasth puns are more fun than I originally thought they'd be.  Viktor Fasth is expected to get the start tonight for the Oilers.  Fasth's first game was a shootout victory on Sunday as the Oilers came from behind to defeat the Wild.
  • NOT THE RED WINGS YOU MAY REMEMBER - Injuries have certainly taken their toll on the Red Wings, but there aren't any of Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov and Brendan Shanahan and Terry Sawchuk and Yves Racine and Mike Ramsey on this team anymore.  Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan are top six players.  Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi are in the bottom six, but so is Corey Emmerton and Luke Glendening.  Does any of this make the Red Wings any more beatable than they are now?  If the Oilers muster up 14 shots like they did in November, then probably not.
  • NUMBER OF THE DAY:  14.  There are fourteen more games to go until the playoffs begin.  Then we can get our calendars out and plan when the draft lottery is, and when the draft is, and then there's the free agency period, and then there's that time where the club signs Jesse Joensuu to a two year deal and he has a great preseason and makes the club and then Ryan Smyth ends up playing centre and Luke Gazdic has a job and Mark Fraser gets traded for and then the club signs Steve MacIntyre for the third time because "hey, toughness" or some such nonsense and then "hey, let's start Taylor Hall at centre because Mark Messier did it and look how he turned out".

The Edmonton Oilers

Nail YakupovRyan Nugent-HopkinsJordan Eberle

Taylor HallSam Gagner Anton LanderDavid Perron

Matt HendricksBoyd GordonJesse Joensuu

Luke GazdicRyan SmythRyan Jones

Mark Fraser Phillip Larsen - Justin Schultz

Martin MarincinJeff Petry

Oscar KlefbomAndrew Ference

Viktor Fasth


The Detroit Red Wings

Justin Abdelkader - David Legwand - Johan Franzen

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Teemu Pulkkinen - Corey Emmerton - Daniel Alfredsson

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Todd Bertuzzi

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey - Dan DeKeyser

Brendan Smith - Brian Lashoff

Jimmy Howard