The "Canes" are in town! The "Canes" are in town?
Why is that such exciting news? Mostly because unlike some of the other teams we have been losing to with winning records the Hurricanes are struggling much like the Edmonton Oilers. Finally tonight we have a chance to pick up a win and turn this thing back around.
It's amazing how fast a season can turn around for you, but even more amazing how fast a team can fall back to reality after such a sizzling start. That is our beloved team , the Edmonton Oilers. Before training camp, I picked Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to make this team for the year, and score 50 points or more. I predicted Smyth to chip in 25 goals for the Oilers in a exciting return to Oil Country. I even picked Hall and Eberle to put up between 60-70 points. But in the end, I picked the Oilers to place somewhere between 20th best at seasons end to 27th worst. When the Oilers stormed out of the gate, I was taken by surprise at our goaltending and the stellar defensive play the defence core had bought into. But like many of you, I bought the kool-aid! I started raving how there is no way we finish worse then 20th and could even compete for a playoff spot.
At this stage of the progress I am going to say the playoffs are a distant possibility still but bottom 5 is out of the question. In fact I am going to go on a limb (one I feel comfortable doing) and say should the Oilers not grab more then 2 points out of the next possible 6, this team will be falling out of the playoff run. Why you ask? (or maybe you don't) This team is not learning to be consistent enough soon enough in the season. We are 27% of the way into the season and as Ken Holland has stated in a interview, that is a good indicator as to your team placement for year end. Yes, we have a developing young team, yes we will correct some mistakes and learn as the season goes on. But in all honesty, if we continue to lose to NorthWestern teams in our division and come up short against teams we should beat? I say it's a sign this will not be the season we were hoping it might be after our team shot out of the gate so well.
After such a awful loss as was experienced against the Flames, this team can not afford another poor loss like that at home. It was embarrassing as a fan. (however I do know what that kind of game feels like as a player in my own recreation hockey league) Should we lose tonight to the Hurricanes (after rest and no back to back games) that would be a poor sign that this team is figuring it out.
Time to sharpen the sticks Oilers! Time to play the music, cause it's Hockey Tonight!
My predictions for today's game at Rexall Place
Gametime 7:30pm CHED630am/TSN
REV'S Edmonton Oiler
Gameday Predictions Dec 7th/11
1. PP goal tonight for the Oilers. Can't see them going 3 games with no goal.
2. Oilers need this win badly and don't want to be embarrassed again on home ice. Big win for the Oil!
3. Whitney is struggling still to get out of that pre-season mode but expect to see his game change somewhat tonight. Expect 19+ mins out of him and a factor tonight.
4. Big night for RNH as he is rested and will be flying tonight. (my guess) Multi-point game for RNH
5. Belanger has been failing as of late in the FO dot. That needs to change and I think he see's the urgency as well. 55% or better tonight for Eric in the dot.
(EV'S PREDICTIONS TO DATE: 62 for 109=56.8%)
No fights in BOA? Weird. Belanger 2nd game in a row below 50% in the dot? Weird. Was a weird and whacky game, lets hope for my predictions things start looking up.
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)
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