As has been said by several already, this team was probably not as good as they looked when sitting in 1st or 2nd place in the Western Conference. However, they are probably not as bad as they have looked during this 4 game losing streak either.
We can pick away at what we see as faults or use excuses for why the Oilers are struggling along, but what we can't do? We can't MAKE them win games! Some decisions are still puzzling to me. I am still hearing the right words being said...(ie: This is more about development, more about process, the larger body of work) but not seeing that action being applied in practical terms on ice.
Khabby gets the start tonight in goal. That is fine by me, but what about Dubynk? What happened to getting him more playing time this year in a very important development year for him? I can see it, when Khabby is standing on his head winning these games by himself. Has Renney seen Khabby the last 3 starts? Excuse the one bad game against the sens and the last 2 before were not all that outstanding either. Sure Dubynk in relief let in 1 soft goal of the two but c'mon! He has gotten very little ice time and it's not like Khabby plays so well against Chicago that he will give you that much of a chance at this time. If you ask me, they believe they need to end the losing streak now and feel Khabby gives them the better chance. Granted, may make sense, but it's a bloody development year. I don't mind losing if it is a part of the development. At least give Dubynk the chance to fail.
And what's it say to sit Petrell and leave Eager in? Who now plays Petrell's spot on the PK? Eager? I don't think so. This whole thing is really messed up. On the other hand, it's not like Tambo has tied Renney's hands when it comes to a fully stacked line up. Or has he?
A big question on defence is if Tambo will find a way to make a trade and bring some veteran experience in to help on the blueline. Maybe not a 1-2 top pairing but even one 3-4 top defenceman would be good. I know many MSM have continuously said trades are difficult to make this early on but I would like to challenge that. Trades for the Oilers are usually really hard to make at any time, including the trade deadline. Countless times, I hear how something can not be done and then it happens. If other GM's can do it, so can the Oilers. It takes risk and creativity. Doing the same thing will bring the same result...yup...further loses.
Maybe that is the plan after all? Fail for Nail? (Nope, Columbus will be one up on us for that one.) Finally a second top Centerman in Grigorenko who has speed, size and world class talent in the likes of Malkin? Want a defenceman? How about the highly touted Ryan Murray who is a world class mobile puck mover and could possibly fill that top 2 defenceman role one day? Or even better yet, what about Dumba, former team mate of RNH? The Riverboat Gambler would be the second coming of Paul Coffey with a mean edge?
Obviously no draft pick will help us feel good about losing and doing nothing but should the Oilers make no moves on the blueline this season other then development and call ups, one would have to start really thinking that management could use the loss of their d-corps as a reason for tanking once again this year.
All that said, I just want to start seeing some goals getting scored in bunches. I miss the constant barrage of shots we see in patches from these young oilers and the subsequent goals that can go with those shots. I want exciting hockey! I want to see intensity, a never say never spirit out there on the ice. Oh yeah, were playing the Chicago Blackhawks, chances are good we will see that happen, but most likely not from the Oilers but from the Blackhawks.
In the end, I hope the Oilers come out strong and prove me wrong. In the mean time, I am looking forward to seeing the boys take another crack at this elite team who the Flamers just burnt last night. If Calgary can do it, I say so can the Oilers. C'mon Edmonton, let's throw some Oil on the Fire!
My predictions for tonight's game at Rexall Place
Gametime 8:00pm CHED630am/CBC
REV'S Edmonton Oiler
Gameday Predictions Nov 19th/11
1. Oil fans are gonna hate on me, but I can't see the Blackhawks being limited to less then 3 goals tonight by the Oilers. Chicago with min 3 goals against the Oil.
2. The Oilers will be in tough to stop a 4 game losing streak. The streak continues, but am praying I am wrong.
3. RNH was getting the early opportunities last game, being on home ice with line matches Renney likes, should see him back on the scoresheet once again.
4. RNH also continues to grow in the FO dot with another night where he has 40% or better success.
5. Teubert will be aiming to show the coaches that the 2 game stint on his last call up was not just a one time thing. I expect a decent game again, keeping the play fairly simple but will be limited to within 12 minutes max ice time this game.
(EV'S PREDICTIONS TO DATE: 37 for 70 52.8%)
My predictions sound like a Oiler fan who seems deflated. Maybe just too many times believing the best and seeing the worst of a team makes you hard and skeptical. Unfortunately, until I see otherwise, I don't see the Oilers faring well against the top teams in the NHL. Now go ahead Oil! Prove me wrong!
As the great Ed Whalen used to say "In the meantime and in between time, that's it, for another edition of...REV'S PREDICTION" (bolded words are not Whalen's words)
For continued information on Oiler and Baron news and 2012/13 NHL draft watch, you can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/revingev