Monday, February 28, 2011

Oilers trade Penner to LA...Shawn Belle for Montgomery.

Just under an hour ago, Dustin Penner was traded to the LA Kings for Colten Teubert, a first round pick for 2011, and a conditional third rounder for 2012.
"The conditional third-round pick could become a second-round selection should the Kings make the playoffs." according to TSN Website.)

Penner leaves the club after serving 4 years in Edmonton and was third in scoring with 39 points.
In return the Oilers acquire, Colten Teubert who was selected in the 2008 Entry Draft and went 13th overall to the LA Kings.  He is a native of White Rock BC, and is a  6'4" 194 pound defenceman.
Earlier in the day the Oilers also made a minor trade. Defenceman, Shawn Belle has been sent to Colorado in exchange for another defenceman in Kevin Montgomery.
Montgomery is 22, he is 6'2" 190 and hails from Rochester NY.  He was picked in the 2006 Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche in the 4th round.
The Edmonton Oilers have been looking to add some more depth on the back-end and may have found the much need help with todays acquisitions.
Both, Teubert and Montgomery, have yet to see some NHL playing time and it is speculated that the newest Oilers will report to the Oklahoma Barons in the coming days.
Ales Hemsky, Andrew Cogliao and Ladislav Smid were all thought to be traded, but according TSN the Oilers have finished making moves on D-Day.

Bruin Ruin

At least Rexall Place didn't reek of a septic tank when the Bruins walked away with a 3-2 win last night versus the Oilers. In fact, there was a sense of redemption amongst the young Oilers, after yielding a stinker several nights ago.  On Sunday, the Oilers flashed their claws, competed hard and provided that much need jam against the so aptly nick-named, Big Bad Bruins.  

"We competed, and we didn’t let numbers bother us, in terms of shots on goal or chances against,” said head coach Tom Renney. "We just kept playing, wouldn’t go away, which I thought was important. They’re another heavy team, we did everything we could to play through it and play with them.”
Despite the loss, the fans enjoyed some entertaining “fist o’ cuffs”, though two of the Oilers suffered injuries during their melees. Peckham was struck hard and did not return when he squared off with Nathan Horton. Late in the third,  Andrew Cogliano dropped the mitts and danced with Brad Marchand and whacked his head on the ice, though he did return to finish the game.

“I liked the character,” said Renney. “I liked Andrew stepping up for himself and Jimmy against another strong player who’s recognized as being a tough kid.”

Liam Reddox and Colin Fraser were nixed to make way for Steve MacIntyre and Gilbert Brule. Brule, who has been injured for nearly 2 months, potted his first goal in nearly 3.

“I felt great,” said Brule. “I haven’t played a game in two months so I gotta have some energy, right?”  Brule didn’t only contribute on the score sheet but also provided physical prowess and didn’t look out of sync throughout the game.

“They are big ... I mean, Chara brings their average up. But I thought we stuck with it,” said Brule.

Aside from the physical play of both teams, Devan Dubnyk, again, was the difference of the contest.  The sophomore goaltender, allowed only 3 goals on 41 shots to the Oilers measly 17, to keep his team within reach of a win. 

The Oilers will now face the Predators on tues.

Breaking news Penner to LA for First Rounder.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Big Bad Bruins

Within the walls of Rexall,  emanates a stench in the atmosphere to akin to that of dead, rotting skunks after the Oilers were blanked 5-0 to the Blues 48 hours ago. Tonight the Oilers will face a bigger task with the Boston Bruins; a bona-fide cup contender  who currently sits 7th overall in the league.  In fact, last night, the Bruins beat league leading Vancouver Canucks with a 3-1 road victory.

Let the fumigation begin.

Head Coach Tom Renney spoke about his teams performance two nights ago and feels that his club needs to revive themselves as they face the Bruins tonight.

"There needed to be more passion and emotion and contact and we needed to drag ourselves into the game, and we had a little bit of a hard time doing that," he said. "It was a puzzling game. They scored on their opportunities -- and we let them walk in and do that -- and we couldn't capitalize on ours."

Renney has yet to announce his line-up, though some changes may be made.  Last game, the Oilers lacked the physical presence to compete against the Blues.  With that being said, it is expected that the Oilers will dress Steve MacIntyre and will also welcome the return of Gilbert Brule who has been out of the line-up with injuries. Despite his diminutive frame, Brule brings to the Oilers some heart and physical presence.  To some, Brule is the modern day Mike Peca and there is no question that the Oilers could use his help.

"I've been so eager to get back at it and I have been waiting patiently, just very excited to back into the lineup every's been almost two months and it's been awhile." said Brule.

While it was the Taylor vs Tyler sweepstakes last year, tonight  the 1st and 2nd round picks will go ahead-to-head for the first time since their days in junior.

Between the two picks, Taylor was clearly the correct decision for the Oilers who now boasts 41 points and is second behind Jeff Skinner in rookie scoring.  Tyler Sequin on the other hand, has collected a modest 21 pts so far in his rookie season.

Oilers vs Bruins 5pm Pacific Time.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zip, Zilch, Zero

There was no question that last night's game would be tough and physical.  The Blues went into Rexall Place with the plan to destroy their opposition with: speed strength and scoring in order to claw their way back into the play-off hunt.  The Blues did just exactly that as they spanked the young Oilers' asses 5 times without conceding a goal.

5-0 Blues.

"It was vanilla where there needed to be passion and emotion and contact,” said head coach Tom Renney,  "We need to be more physically engaged, that’s a challenge with this group at times. “We have to get to the front of the net with some snot in our nose. We needed to push or way into that game. We’re capable of doing that... we have quickness and speed and strength.
"When you struggle with puck battles in the corners and gave up valuable real estate in the front of both nets, it’s awfully hard to win."
While score was lob sided so was the shot clock.  The Oilers somehow managed to win in that category with the score of 39-22.  
"I don’t think it was as bad as a 5-0 score would suggest, I thought we did a lot of good things,” said Sam Gagner and then echoed his coaches sentiments . “But that being said I thought we could have brought some more physicality, especially early on, to let them know it wasn’t going to be an easy night.”
However, one must give credit to Ben Bishop for his monstrous performance.  The 6'8" (yes...that's right 6'8") goaltender  not  only looked big in net, but came out big to put the Blues 5 points back from the final play-off spot currently held by Chicago with 70 points.
Looking down the list of players on the Oilers roster, there is no question that the club lacks some size; though should that matter?
“You don’t have to be 6-foot-4 to be strong, there’s mental strength that goes along with it. We have to check into that and conjure up what’s required to play that way. It’s mind over matter as much as anything.” 
Mind over matter.  Indeed!  Use what you have and create something out of nothing and be positive, yet maintain that mental desire to win. 
Next the Oilers will face another big and tough team with the Boston Bruins.  The two squads will face-off tomorrow at 5:00pm Pacific

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oilers vs Blues 6:00 pacific time

The Edmonton Oilers will play host to the St. Louis Blues tonight at Rexall Place.  The Oilers are coming off an impressive yet rare win in Colorado, which saw the team post 5 goals at the Pepsi Centre. 

The latest news coming from the Oilers camp is Nikolai Khabibulin who will sit out tonight's game with an eye injury.  According to Tom Renney, the Oilers have called up Martin Gerber to play the back-up role behind Dubnyk.

"Nik had some type of an ice chip or something hit his eye," head coach Tom Renney explained. "He felt fine with it and played, obviously, and then having it looked at by an opthamologist, suggested that we should have it looked at again when we got home just to make sure everything was kosher.  They found that maybe he should rest for a few days because there was a little bit of bleeding in the eye."

Dubnyk will look for his 3rd straight win after making 38 saves vs. the Avs a couple nights ago.  It is speculated now that the 24 year-old will see more starts in the near future now that Khabibulin is on the shelf; and deservingly  so. To put things into a broader perspective, the netminder has played a total of 28 games with 8 wins 7 losses and has save percentage of .914; on a team who sits in 30th spot.

While tonight's line up remains to be a mystery, Gilbert Brule could make his return to the line up.  Though, Renney realizes that he has a lot of options at his disposal as to who he will dress.

"He's [Brule] got a great attitude. He's good, he works hard, he's kept his spirits about him which is not easy when you're not playing. We just can't wait much longer in fairness to him and us. We've got to get the kid going and we see this as the opportunity, so we'll make a game-time decision as to whether he goes tonight."

Last night the Blues lost to the Vancouver Canucks, which put them further back from play-off contention.  They are currently 21st overall and sit 7 points back from the final play-off berth.  In their last 10 games the club has earn 4 wins and 4 losses.  Their current record clearly does not describe a team, who is hungry enough to make the post season.   Centre, Andy MacDonald realizes the teams lack of effort, and hopes that the Blues can pick-it-up-a-notch or two down the stretch.   

"We haven't been able to get that life, get that emotion and get that fire. Obviously that's not going to be acceptable if you want to get in the post-season."

*Hall been hot in his last 16 games.  Currently the Rookie has 41 points and is now back in the Calder hunt with Canes' Jeff Skinner.  Skinner is only 6 points ahead of Hall. 

Oilers vs Blues 6:00 pacific time

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Doobie Mile High Win!

24 hours after laying an egg in Minnesota, the Oilers rolled into Colorado, and absolutely destroyed their competition with  5-1 victory over the Avalanche.

With the mindset to rebound, the youth movement managed to find the twine (more than twice), but goaltender Devan Dubnyk was clearly the unsung hero of the match.  

"Our guys came into the game kind of demoralized, and it was really important for Devan to be real good, and he was,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “We got our sea legs and started to feel good about our game as it went on.”

Renney, was commenting on the 13 shots Dubnyk set aside in the first period.  In total, the sophomore goaltender made 38 saves for the boys in blue.

"That’s awesome, when you can get a goalie that really keeps you in the game and gives you some stability back there,” said Taylor Hall. “It’s good to know that if we do give up some chances early, they’re probably not going to be going in and we can play a little more loose and a little more confident. He probably won us the game in the first period.”

Late in the first, Avs' Kevin Porter was sent off for high-sticking; and on the ensuing power-play Dustin Penner completed the tic-tac-toe from Horcoff and Hemsky to earn his 21st goal of year. 

Moving on to the second.  Magnus Paajarvi peeled off from the half boards to find Sam Gagner alone in the slot who then made it 2-Donut Oilers.

More from the Oilers. On the power-play, Taylor Hall cashed in on Jordan Eberle's rebound to earn his 21st goal of the season to triple the lead.  

Late in the third, Jordan Eberle decided to score another beauty; this time akin to Mark Messier. While flying down the right wing, Eberle found Brian Elliot deep in his crease and wired a snap shot to make it 4-1.

Finally, Oilers' D., Kurtis Foster, lofted a wrister which inadvertently ricocheted off of Elliot's bean and into the back of the net.  

5-1 Oilers.

Throughout the contest, Hall and Eberle had multiple chances to score. Combined, the rookies each finished the game with 1 goal on 5 shots.  In fact, Hall could've completed a hat trick had he scored on a deke in the second period; and when he whiffed on a break-away attempt which started from the Oilers blue-line.

"Seemed like every second shift I was coming back to the bench, ­saying ‘Sorry’ to my linemates,” said Hall 

Milan Hedjuk had the lone goal for the Av's which was one that Dubnyk should have been able to stop.  "It [ the puck] went under my hand and off my hip. I don’t know what number hole that is,” said Dubnyk. "No excuses. It didn’t bother me.”

Tonight's victory gives the Oilers their 20th win of the season and they now sit with one point back from 29th spot which belongs to the Senators (49 pts).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Oilers Look to Rebound in Mile High City

After a dismal performance last night in Minnesota, the Oilers find themselves in the Colorado to face the falling Avalanche.

Against the Wild, the Oilers struggled to find the back of the net during multiple power-play opportunities (10 actually).  Their efforts were so poor that the club could only muster 5 shots on goal.  What most disappointing, is the that Oil, couldn't capitalize on a on a 5-3 opportunity which nipped them in the bud immediately afterwards, when Bouchard put the game out of reach with his spin-o'-rama.

"When you have a five-on-three, you have to get traffic in front of the net so at least it makes you feel as though it’s a good idea to shoot,” said Oilers head coach Tom Renney. “Having said that, we kind of disintegrated in the third period and I didn’t like the looks of that.”

After arriving late in Colorado, it is not known yet if the Oilers took a pass on the morning skate.  With that being said, there is no information as to who Tom Renney will dress at this time.  It is speculated that Khabibulin will find the blue paint to look for redemption after the 4-1 loss. 

After coming out strong at the beginning of the season, the Avs find themselves 1 game over .500 with a record of 26-27-1.  In their last 10 games, the club has 1 win and 8 losses; however, this season the Avalanche have shut out the Oilers twice at the Pepsi Centre.  Moreover, the squad will come in with some momentum after snapping a 10 game losing drought by defeating the Blues 4-3.
The Oilers will conclude their 2 game road trip and will head back to Edmonton to face the St Louis Blues on Friday.

Oilers vs Avs  6:30 pacific time live on TSN

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Minnesota Wild Continue Streak

The Edmonton Oilers came into tonights game looking to collect their 4 straight win and try to snap a 14game  losing streak at the Excel Energy Centre; which dates back to Jan 2007.

No Dice

Special teams proved to be the difference as the Oilers fell to the Wild 4-1 in Minnesota. 

With no goals in the first, Martin Havlat opened the scoring at the 9th minute mark after receiving Zanon's stretch pass and went in on a partial break away to beat Khabibulin. 

Ryan Jones came close to tying the game but was denied by the glove of Backstrom to keep the Oilers off of the board.  Jones had enough time for a smoke before firing the puck into the gaping net. 

Minutes later.

On the transition from deep in the Oilers zone; Sam Gagner corralled the puck who then fed it to Linus Omark for a two-on-two rush.  As the Swede crossed the Wild blue line, he found Kurtis Foster trailing behind Gagner and made no mistake with his top shelf wrister.  Foster's goal was his first even strength goal of the year, and his first goal against his former club.

A buck twenty eight into the third, Kyle Broadziak scored his 20th of the season.  The former Oiler made a great move to freeze Khabibulin with backhand to make it 2-1

On the power play for the Wild, Jared Spurgeon, scored his first NHL goal when fired a slap-shot from the point using Brodziak as screen to double the lead.

Jones negated a Wild Power Play when he was and hauled down partial break away.  Seconds later Dustin Penner drew a penalty for the Oilers to earn themselves a 5-on 3 power-play, but squandered the opportunity score.

After killing off the 5-on-3, the Wild stormed right back to make it 4-1.  Pierre-Marc Bouchard collected a 2 line pass and went in all alone on the break away and beat Khabibulin with a spin o' rama back-hand; to drive the final nail into the Oilers coffin.

The Oilers had 4 shot on 12 power play and could only manage 6 shots in the final period.

Those young Oilers will now head to the Mile High city to face the Avalanche which will be aired on tomorrow night, on TSN.


Wild vs Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers will square off against the Minnesota Wild tonight at the Excel Energy Centre.

It is no secret that Tom Renney will be icing the same lines, which has produced 3 straight wins for the Oilers; and it was also announced that Nikolai Khabibulin will find himself between the pipes.

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Gagner - Paajarvi
Jacques - Reddox - Jones

The Oilers come into tonight's contest with a feeble 19-32-8 record, yet the club has shown some improvement in the last 3 games led by the top line. Hemsky, Horcoff and Penner have combined for 13 points in over the course of 3 games and look to continue with their hot streak. 

Hemsky, has been particularly exceptional in the points department.  The veteran has collected 7 points in three games with 4 goals and 3 assists.  Moreover, on 2 power play opportunities, A Hemsky helped Taylor Hall produce his first hat trick of the year; which has some fans wondering if Renney will keep the tandem together.  When asked, Renney could only say that he will "look into it". 

"If you look at the three wins, there's been something in each game that's really put us over the top," Hall said. "Last game it was our power-play, the game before our goal-tending was awesome. Those are certain things that good teams have every night. They bring certain things to the table and they usually use that to win."

On the other side, the Minnesota Wild look poised to make some noise in there home building.  The club is sitting with a respectable 31-22-6 and are 12th overall in the league with 68 points.  The Wild will finish up their three game homestand tonight and then fly into LA to face, the Kings and the Ducks.

*Injuries.  Whitney and Brule are still on the shelf in the IR.  Brule, appears to be ready to return, yet the medical staff felt that it would be necessary for #67 to take some more time off.

*Wild are expected to wear an alternate jersey which will feature a, "camo motiff"

Oilers vs Wild 5 pm start. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hall Trick

The Edmonton Oilers completed the impossible this afternoon at Rexall Place, punctuated by the heroics of #4.  Rookie Taylor Hall, tallied his first natural NHL hat-trick as the Oilers came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Thrashers 5-3.  

"It's pretty special" said Taylor Hall after being asked about his Hat Trick "Anyone can tell you when they get a hat trick no matter what the score or the situation of the game, it's a lot of fun." he continued. 

"When you are on a bit of a cold streak, when you get one you start to feel good and I think anyone can tell that there is a change in my play a bit...the next three goals were great for our team, but like I said, it's even better that we get the win."

In the early stages of the game, both teams struggled to get their feet moving during the matinée, but in the middle of the first, it was Dustin Byfuglien who opened the scoring with a slap shot from the point.

Next, it was Andrew Ladd who put the Birds up by 2, just one minute into the second period.  The Thrashers' captain swatted a bouncing, loose puck to find the twine behind Dubnyk.  Still in the second, fellow countrymen, Linus Omark fed speedy Magnus Paajarvi who wristed a five-hole to put the Oilers up on the board.

In the final frame, Evander Kane sniped early to make it 3-1 Thrashers to take the wind out of the Oilers' sails.

But not for long. 30 seconds later...actually.

The Oilers reciprocated with two quick goals of their own, lead by Taylor Hall.  On the power-play Taylor Hall found his first of the night when he beat Mason with a quick wrist shot. 39 seconds later the rookie converted on a give-n-go with Ales Hemsky to level the game at 3.

With less than 7 minutes to go in the game, Nik Antropov was sent to the sin bin to serve a high-sticking infraction, which paved the way for Hall's historic night.  During a mad scramble on the goal crease, Hall slipped the biscuit beneath Mason's pads to put the Oilers ahead for the first time of the game.

3 consecutive power-play goals scored by one player.  An NHL record?

With the clock winding down, Mason was pulled for the extra attacker which proved fruitless.  Ales Hemsky scored on the empty netter, and earned his 3rd point of the night. 

Three stars.


The Oilers will now head to Minnesota to face the Wild on Tues, followed by a visit to Colorado before heading home to play the Blues.

Antony S Scandale 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thrashers vs Oilers

Tomorrow afternoon the Oilers will face-off against the struggling, Atlanta Thrashers at Rexall Place.  The Oilers are coming off a decisive 4-1 victory over the Canadiens and look to extend their 2 game win streak to 3. 

During the morning practice, Gilbert Brule was seen practicing with the club, though the medical staff hasn't given him the green light to return to the line-up. 

"I think he's ready to go, but I do have the luxury of the situation being what it is, and I want to make sure that the guys that are getting it done right now get an opportunity to keep that going," said Renney.

"I can't keep him out -- I can't keep any of these guys out too long. It has diminishing returns when they do come in. And he's worked awfully hard to get himself ready and I respect that," Renney added.

With Brule on the bubble, their is speculation that Liam Reddox could be sent back to the farm team, and/or a trade could be in the midst in the few days.  Regardless of what happens between now and the trade dead-line, it is obvious that the Oilers are carrying one too many forwards with: Colin Fraser, Steve MacIntyre and JF Jacques.   

Due to the clubs recent success, Head Coach, Tom Renney has decided to keep his current line combination's intact and will probably go with Khabibulin between the pipes.  

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Gagner - Paajarvi
Jacques - Reddox - Jones

The Thrashers are just one point above .500 (25-24-10) and are struggling to find a way to claw back into the race.  In the last 10 games The Birds have a dismal 2-6-2 record. 

Oilers vs Thrashers 12:30 Pacific Time.

Oilers beat Habs

“It was probably one of the best atmospheres in the building all year with all the Montreal fans,” said Nikolai Khabibulin. “It was comparable to a soccer game in Europe where you have fans on both sides. It was very loud and gave us extra energy."

It's almost easy to say that half of the fans at Rexall were pulling for the Habs.  No matter where the camera panned, those famous red, blue and white jerseys were spotted in just about every second seat.

Nevertheless, the Oilers had one goal to achieve last night, and that was to post their second straight win on home ice.

Ales Hemsky pulled his team in front late in the first period.  The semi-superstar fooled Carey Price with a roof-daddy of a snipe at the 8th minute mark.

In the second the Habs gave their loud supporting fans something to cheer about; when Jeff Halpern scored the tying goal during a mad scramble in front of Khabibulin.  

Minutes after the tying goal, Alexandre Picard's on-timer met with, Khabibulin's   leg pad to keep the game even heading into the 3 third.

In the final frame it was all Oilers led by, Eberle.

Hall provided Eberle who then converted with his 13th goal of the year which was also a thing of beauty.  Eberle, waited for Carey Price to drop his shoulder before roofing the puck short side.

Exactly 15 seconds later, JF Jacques found Ryan Jones at the top of the slot who then wristed a 5-hole goal to make it 3-1.

With the net empty for the Habs, Hemsky potted his second of the night to help the Oilers cruise to 4-1 victory.

“What I’m most proud of is we lagged a bit in the second period, they pushed hard,” said Horcoff. “But we pushed back and took the game over. That’s a good sign for us against a good team.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Habs vs Oilers

There are two good reasons that Nikolai Khabibulin could find himself back into the crease tonight vs the Habs.

Reason 1) Two nights ago, Khabibulin shattered his woeful 14 game winless skid to help his club win against the Dallas Stars.

Reason 2) Arizona Lawyer, Eleanor Miller may have found a way to overturn Khabibulin's 3 convictions and order a re-trail.  Khabibulin was "not directly asked in court whether he waived his right to a jury trial, something that is required under Arizona’s Rules of Criminal Procedure."  More details to follow in the coming days.


With two monstrous, monkey's off of his back, Khabibulin, will now have the opportunity to concentrate on being a back-stopper as the season winds down.  And why not play the veteran?  This is now a chance for the Russian net-minder to prove his worth all over again, and try to at least pull his team out of the dank basement; and perhaps try to string a winning streak before the end of the month.

"The biggest challenge for us now is trying to throw some consistency together and tonight's going to be the first step in that direction," said the Oilers Captain. "We need to be a team that's better at home, harder to play against at home. I think we're really starting to figure out the type of game we need to play to be successful.

The Canadiens (31-20-7) are nothing to snuff about though they have a lot on their plate.  Immediately after tonight's game, the club will head to Calgary for the franchises' second out-door game.  While the jitters and excitement may be be swirling around the Habs, Tom Renney advised his team to equal the Habs' at the very start. 

"This team always starts well -- it doesn't matter where they are, at home or on the road,so we have to make sure that we take our start to them and don't allow them to feel real good about what it is they're up to," Renney explained. "With that being said, we have to make sure that we manage our shifts well, push the pace, try to play as much hockey as we can in their own end so that, again, they can't feel good about their game."

It is speculated that, Renney will use the same line combinations as he did for the Dallas game.

Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Gagner - Paajarvi
Jacques - Reddox - Jones

Oilers vs Habs on CBC 6:08 start!  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oilers Shoot Stars

Nikolai Khabibulin can finally breathe a sigh of relief after posting his first win in 14 starts.  The net-minder was in fine form tonight, who looked poised to break his ugly streak. In the first, the Russian made a pad save on Brendan Morrow and then added two more stops on Vincour and Eriksson to keep the game even. 

“I knew the win would come eventually," said the winning net-minder after the game.  

Despite his remarkable play, the Bulin-Wall commented on how his troops was able to post the W. 

"There was more desperation, it was embarrassing the way we played last time,” he said. “And the biggest thing is we didn’t panic when we had the lead.  We were up by two after two periods and we didn’t sit back. We went after them. I think that was the biggest difference.

Centre Sam Gagner could only echo Khabibulin's sentiments.  All the Oilers had to do was come out swinging, create scoring chances and never give up.

That last game [vs the Ducks] was a real eye opener for us. We were doing a lot of things that we said we can’t do if we’re going to win. We changed it tonight. We supported each other, we were all over pucks, we were in battles, winning races and Khabby made some big saves for us early to keep us alive." said Gagner.

Jordan Eberle opened the scoring on a pseudo power play opportunity.  The rookie fired his12th goal of the season after receiving a brilliant pass from Gagner.  

In the second frame the Oilers were given a power play opportunity and did not fail on their attempt.  Recent call-up, Taylor Chorney slapped home his first ever NHL goal to put the Oilers up 2 zip.  The Rookie was left all alone on the half boards, with a clear lane to fire the one-timer.  

Soon after Dallas responded with their only goal of the evening, Shawn Horcoff redirected Hemsky's pass to grant the Oilers their second PP goal of the game.  Taylor Chorney also added an assist on the play.

23 seconds into the third, Hemsky went in all alone on a partial break-away and tucked a backhander past Lehtonen to give the Oilers a rare win against the Stars with win

4-1 Oilers

The Oilers will now face the Montreal Canadiens this Thurs.

 *Did you know that the Oilers have now played a combined 236 games with rookies in this season alone?

Dallas vs Oilers

The easiest thing to do right now is pick on the on the little guys.  Those young Oilers who have given their fans a lot to talk about (both on a negative and positive level) will head into tonights match-up against the Dallas Stars.  Before any pre-game information is laid out, it is important to inform the readers that, GM Steve Tambellini spoke to his club to try to neutralize and/or ground the troops with a heart to heart meeting.

He talked about about the big picture coming from the top. Obviously, he’s not happy. There’s no secret about the situation we’re in here and how it’s not looking good for us. He talked about how hard our coaches are working and how they’re giving us good game plans every night and how he wants to see the effort and intensity every night.It’s been frustrating. There are not a lot of positives. When you are lacking in effort and intensity, that’s never excusable. It’s about jobs and pride. Fans pay good money." said Shawn Horcoff.
“Obviously there’s excitement about the future. The skill level here is about twofold what it was last year. A big part of this is giving young guys a chance to see what they have."

Still the message was loud and clear and, Steve Tambellini reiterated what is most important for this club and it's not about lottery picks.  

Sorry fans.  Though Larsson would be a great pick up.

"He told the players it’s not about getting that top pick,” continued Horcoff. He said we have plenty of young guys and to ignore the media talking about picking first in the draft again, that he wants this team to be thinking about winning and winning now.”
Dallas comes into the match-up decimated with injuries which includes some noticeable players.  Barch, Burrish, Richards are Benn (to name a few) are out; all of whom gave the Oilers all sorts of trouble a month ago.
Due to the absence of some of the Stars' toughness, Steve MacIntyre will sit out again for this match up.  Tom Renney has formulated a high octane, offensive formation he hopes will give the Oilers their 1st win in their last 8 games at home.
Penner - Horcoff - Hemsky
Hall - Cogliano - Eberle
Omark - Gagner - Paajarvi
Jacques - Reddox - Jones
Fraser and Gilbert (flu) are the two noticeable players who are out for tonight's game.
Khabibulin will try and break his 14th straight losing streak.


Monday, February 14, 2011

4-0 Ducks

The Oilers sunk to a new low last night at Rexall Place when they hosted the Anaheim Ducks.  The latest game was to be the Oilers “rebound game” to make up for their dismal display on Saturday.  It was a game that every player on that squad felt that a win would provide that much needed morale boost which has been lost in recent weeks.  However, for the Oilers, the game was over before it really started.

Just 35 seconds into the match the Ducks tipped the first goal past Dubnyk to set the tone for rest of the game.  Unfortunately, for the rather sparse crowd at the Pill Box, it was all down-hill from there.  By the 4th goal, Dubnyk was sent to ride the pine which didn’t make matters any better; as the team just continued on with their Sunday skate, as though to drift to the beat of the “Lady of Spain”.

“It’s a never-ending cycle and the guys in here have to change it or it just gets worse and worse,” Sam Gagner said. “The coaches have the right to be upset, the fans have the right to be upset. It’s just not good enough.
“No matter what the expectations were for the season, on what this team was supposed to do, right now it’s embarrassing. We need to challenge ourselves to be better in here. Till we start doing the little things right, getting open for each other, going to bat for our teammates, it’s just going to continue to get worse.
With only 12 shots on goal (Hall had about 4) it is down-right disgraceful.
Having earned 40 points is somewhat of a miracle for a team who has dressed about 8 rookies throughout the year.  With this many grasshoppers it is no wonder that this team can only muster that many points.
Yet, regardless of the amount of newbies, hockey is still a team game and right now, this club seeing more than just red…they are seeing a nightmare; all because they simply cannot bring 110% to every game.
”At the end of the day we lacked mental toughness to push ourselves into this hockey game,” said head coach Tom Renney,. “What I didn’t like was our push-back after it was 2-0, or 3-0. We just didn’t seem to want to heave our way back into the game and that really bothers me.”
And it bothers the fans.
“We have no choice but to man up and deal with this,” said Renney. “We’ll see what (the meeting) translates into. Is it just BS and varnishing what’s going on, or are they about to really man up.”
The Oilers will take a break as they prepare for the Dallas Stars on Tues
Jeff Petry has been sent back to the AHL for some more seasoning.  He will be replaced by another rookie of Taylor Chorney.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oil Stinker

Probably the hardest thing for an NHL player to do, is to prepare themselves for those rare high noon matches.  It must be difficult to wake up at the crack of dawn, shower, eat a heavy "early" lunch and then waltz into the rink.

Yesterday afternoon, the young Oilers received a 5-3 "ass kicking" wake-up call from their opponents who looked just a "little more" prepared for the Matinée.

Just when the Oilers thought that they could take advantage of the, Senators' 11 game losing streak, the Oil somehow forgot to set their alarm clocks.

"Its frustrating when you lose against any team, it's not fun," said Oilers rookie Jordan Eberle. "It's crappy when you have to come to the rink when everyone is frustrated and beating down on each other.

"But we have to try and remain positive here. The best part about hockey is that we get to play tomorrow and we get a chance to redeem ourselves. We have a chance to turn things around."

During the last couple of weeks, Dustin Penner has been in the mix of trade talks.  Despite the rumors, The D Train proved his worth when he rang two loud posts to earn his 19th and 20th goals of the year.

"I think some games hurt more than others," said Oilers winger Dustin Penner. "I think this game hurts more than the Chicago game."

What was most disappointing for the Oilers was their lack of intensity, and  their unwillingness to create scoring chances.

Perhaps the Oilers have hit rock bottom.

"There's no question there's just real disappointment in the room right now, real frustration," said associate coach Ralph Krueger.  "Happiness is far away from us. All we can do is react on Sunday. If we've got character, we're going to play a hell of a game Sunday."

Cogliano had the other goal while Khabibulin, struggled once again between the pipes.  The netminder allowed 2 goals on 2 shots en-route to a 14th straight losing streak, which is quite possibly the longest he's ever had.

There will be no rest  for the Oilers who host the Ducks tonight at 5pm.

Details to follow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Oilers vs Sens

The Battle of the Basement will commence tomorrow morning at 11am, during the nation wide event, Hockey Day In Canada.

The Brass of the Ottawa Senators announced earlier this week that the team will shed some contracts, and become the newest club looking to re-build.  Most notably was the release of Mike Fisher, who was traded to the Nashville Predators for picks and perhaps a bag o' pucks. Needless to say the club in recent weeks has lost 11 of their last 18 games, coupled with a large array of injuries, including the absence of Daniel Alfredsson.

The Senators have plummeted to 29th spot in the league and have an embarrassing 17-30-8 record while our valiant Oilers are not much better with just 16 wins and 30 losses.

The Oilers are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the struggling Blackhawks and will be looking to take advantage of the Senators' slide.  Tomorrow, the Oilers may take to the ice without their Captain who is struggling with an ailment.  Horcoff, did not part-take in the morning practice since after coming down bronchitis and a stomach-flu.  Acting Head Coach Ralph Krueger, is hopeful to pencil in the veteran.

"He's definitely a question mark. Being out again today with a little bit of a flu and bronchitis, we'll see how it goes,"  said Krueger. "It's the kind of thing where he's very questionable for tomorrow.

With the possible absence of Horcoff, net-minder (brace yourselves), Nikolai Khabibulin will be present to take the crease.

The Rusty Russian hasn't produced a win since Dec 16th 2010 December (13 straight losses and counting actually).

"Maybe overreacting a little bit or not letting the game come to me but I just have to battle through and hopefully tomorrow will be the day," said the Bulin Wall Friday

"You want to help the team do anything you can to win the game. It's no different with any goalie, myself included. Tomorrow I'm going to start and I'm going to try and do that."

The stage is set for tomorrow. 11am start on CBC.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blackhawks down Oil

Patrick Kane scored twice for the Blackhawks to move past the Oilers with a 4-1 victory at, Rexall Place during a penalty filled match. Last night, the lowly Edmonton Oilers collected 8 consecutive penalties including 2 game misconducts for Peckham and Cogliano for chirping at the zebras, early in the 3rd.

The pair sat side-by-side in the bin after, Kane picked up his first goal of the night on the power play to make it 3 nothing.

"I don't usually get after the refs but when you're going against the No.1 power play in the league (six times) you get a little bit frustrated..."I've never seen two guys get 10 minutes on one player, but that's what we saw tonight". said Cogliano.

Peckham also chimed on the situation, yet noted that it was act of pure frustration, which hit their threshold.

"I've been given a lot of 10s and I don't think I deserved there. Six straight calls on you in a row and you're going to get pretty frustrated.  I guess he (referee) felt I crossed the line and gave us both 10's.

The plus side for Oilers was their penalty killing.  The squad managed to keep the dangerous Hawks to outside and only allowed for one goal to bleed through Dubnyk.  Without the help of Dubnyk's stellar play, the game could've been much worse for a team who didn't show up for their 1st of 6 home games; and one can hardly blame the referees for their lack of effort.

"The penalties loomed large, but from my perspective it had a little to do with the game we were playing,”  said acting Head Coach Ralph Krueger, "We were deserving of most of that. When they came with their A game very high speed, very high tempo, we took some unnecessary penalties. It puts us on our heels the whole time. We can’t be pleased with that.”

With under 4 minutes remaining in the 3rd, Jordan Eberle broke Corey Crawford's goose-egg by wiring a loose rebound from the slot. With momentum on their side,  Krueger, pulled Dubnyk for the 6th attacker, however  Kane scooped the puck at center and casually potted his second of the night to make it a 4-1 victory 

The Oilers will now host their basement dwelling counterparts, the Ottawa Senators this Saturday, which can be seen on HNIC

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oilers vs Hawks Feb 9th 2011

Hawks vs Oilers and Sean Grove

The Edmonton Oilers will play host to 2010 Stanley Cup Champions the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at Rexall.

Tonight will mark the 4th meeting of the year between the two clubs and Edmonton has won two of the three matches. The last time the two clubs met was Nov 17 when Chicago blanked the Oilers 5-0.

Chicago comes into tonights game 3 points out of 8th spot behind the Calgary Flames. Two nights ago, Calgary handed the Champs a 3-1 loss at, Pengrowth to send the squad to 11th spot in the west with a record of 27-22-4.

The Oilers remain in the league's basement with a not so brilliant 40 points. To their credit, the young Oilers have not lost more than 4 games in row yet the team hasn't been able to string a win streak past 2 games.


Ralph Kreuger will take the helm as Head Coach while Tom Renney is away for his father's funeral in BC. It is expected that Renney will also miss the next game against Ottawa on Saturday. Kreuger is no stranger to the Head Coach position; in fact last year, Kruegar was behind the bench for the Swiss National team at the 2010 Olympics 

"The responsibility filling in here for Tom is large but we're doing it together..."I'll be running the bench today, but otherwise my personal message and the way I communicate with the players has remained exactly the same here in the last day." 

Shawn Horcoff could be sitting out tonight's after enduring some cold like symptoms. Kreuger, is somewhat certain that Horcoff will play, though there is nothing wrong with taking precaution.

"I would say 97% sure he will play. It's just a precautionary measure. There's a little bit of a cold going around on the team right now but he'll be fine," he said.

Since coming back from an ankle injury, Jordan Eberle, along with veteran Andrew Cogliano have combined for 8 points in just 3 games. It is expected that Kreuger will keep the trio of Hall, Cogliano and Eberle together against the Hawks.

Live from Edmoton

Fellow Oilers Die Hard and Victoria Oilers Fans Correspondent, Sean Grove will be at Rexall to cheer on the Oil. Be sure to watch for his updates during the game.

Oilers vs Blackhawks tonight 6:30