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Canucks @ Oilers Game 82 Preview

Ryan Smyth suits up for the Oilers one final time.

Dale MacMillan



35-34-11, 1.012 p/g Ranks 28-44-9, .802 p/g
Western Conference: 12th Western Conference: 14th
24th P/G 28th
11th ST 26th
20th ES 29th
14th Goal 30th
Rexall Place
The opposing view: Nucks Misconduct
Tickets - TiqIQ

Happy Trails, Ryan Smyth

Here's where I normally put a little blurb about the last game. Due to the nature of today's game, I'll keep it fairly brief. The Oilers lost to the Kings by a score of 3-0. It was one of the more uninspiring games I've seen all year. That's quite a thing to say when your team has lost a combined 53 games on the season, but to say it wasn't very good isn't an understatement. Viktor Fasth had 45 saves, and with only 17 shots on net, it should come as no surprise that the Oilers were unable to score.

Today is Ryan Smyth's last game as a player in the National Hockey League, and as a member of the Edmonton Oilers. I was all but certain he'd be an Oiler for at least another season, as he's easily one of this team's twelve best forwards. Unfortunately for us, it's not going to be that way, and Ryan Smyth will walk away from the game after today.

Ryan Smyth is saying

"No regrets. I tried to leave it out there as much as I could on a daily basis, on a nightly basis, and, I would love to win for sure, a Stanley Cup. Like you say, we were close, but, no."

That's Oilers winger Ryan Smyth when Tom Gazzola asked him if he had any regrets in his playing career.

Smyth says that the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City was the highlight of his career. He also says that he has no regrets, but you've got to think that 2006 burns bright in his mind. Today, he'll play one final game in a season that will do nothing except guarantee the Oilers a top pick in this year's draft. Again.

You deserved so much more.

The Oilers are saying

"He was always around the net being greasy and scoring goals that everyone was like 'How did that go in?' Oh, Ryan Smyth scored again"
That's Oilers forward David Perron on number 94.

Perron should know that 94 is an eight-time 20+ goal scorer on this team. Smyth is in front of the net, looking for a tip. He's looking for for a garbage rebound. He's looking to swat JS Gigeure's goalie stick handle for an advantage.

The guy's got places to be.

Have some of this
  • With a power play goal in tonight's game, Ryan Smyth would become Edmonton's all-time leader in power play goals with 127. It's not a Stanley Cup, but it'd be a small consolation prize to a guy who deserves it.
  • Smyth is ranked fifth in goals scored all time on the Oilers. Those ahead? Guys named Gretzky, Kurri, Anderson, and Messier. It's a fair crowd to have your name mentioned in.
  • Everyone's got a Ryan Smyth moment. For me, it was when he caught a Chris Pronger slap shot against the Sharks in mid-May of 2006. Everyone who was alive and watching the game remembers the moment when the bottom of his face was bloody and missing a fair amount of teeth. A few shifts later, there was 94 out on the ice like it never happened. And then he helped set up the winner. Not bad for a night's work.
  • I wish Ryan Smyth the best in wherever life takes him next year. As much as I bitch and complain at what a dysfunctional mess this team has become, I feel a thousand times worse for a guy who would give his right arm for the team to be competitive. Ryan Smyth has been juggled this year more than a flaming bowling pin. Play wing? Great. Centre? He'll do it. Top six? Yes. Bottom six? Yes. Scratched? If he must.
  • You deserved better, Ryan Smyth.

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Nicklas Jensen

Alex Burrows - Ryan Kesler - Jannik Hansen

Chris Higgins - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian

David Booth - Shawn Matthias - Tom Sestito

Alexander Edler - Kevin Bieksa

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Ryan Stanton - Frank Corrado

Jacob Markstrom


The Edmonton Oilers

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Ryan Smyth - Sam Gagner - David Perron

Matt Hendricks - Will Acton - Steve Pinizzotto

Philip Larsen - Anton Lander - Tyler Pitlick

Martin Marincin - Jeff Petry

Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz

Mark Fraser - Anton Belov

Ben Scrivens