The Oilers wrap up what's been a lacklustre homestand with a visit from the Ottawa Senators tonight. I find the Senators to be an interesting team, in that they're the one Canadian club that I just don't care about. I really have no strong feelings about them at all, they're the Canadian equivalent of the Columbus Blue Jackets for me. And so in a way the Oilers' 7-2 win over the Sens earlier this month was a bit of a waste because I didn't get to shove it in anyone's face. Being an Oilers fan you so rarely get a chance to do that, it's a shame to miss out on the opportunity.
Things haven't gone particularly well for the Oilers since that game though, with losses in seven of the eight games that they've played since then. And so, for the seventy-third year in a row fans find themselves thinking more about how the draft lottery works than the next game on the schedule. For Ottawa that lose to the Oilers served as a bit of a wakeup call. They have five wins in the eight games since, including three straight. Unfortunately that still leaves them eight points out of third in the division and six back in the wild card. So like the fans in Edmonton, the thoughts of Ottawa fans have already turned to next season.
When the season is effectively over, like the Oilers and Sens are, teams usually start to take a look at players that have spent the season to date in the minors, an audition of sorts. A few games in the NHL isn't nearly enough to give a team sufficient informations to make informed decisions with, but it can point you towards an answer and can give the player a better understanding of what they need to work on to make it to the next level. In the role of the auditioning player this evening is Jordan Oesterle. Oesterle made his NHL debut last season, appearing in six games for the Oilers and recording one assist along the way. This year he's score 2-20-22 in 39 games to go along wiht 8 penalty minutes and a -1 rating.
In his second pro season, Oesterle appears to have built off a solid rookie campaign. When we last saw him in Edmonton he surprised a lot of fans with his play. With little else to watch for tonight a lot of eyes will be on the Oilers' third pair of him and Brandon Davidson. Any signs of improvement would be nice, if for no other reason that it'd serve as a bright spot in what is quickly becoming another very long season.