For the second time this week, fans at Rexall Place we treated to suffocating hockey at its finest. Not sure if it has something to do with the Pacific Division but the Dallas Stars came into Edmonton and did exactly what the Phoenix Coyotes did last Saturday afternoon. They managed to lull both the Edmonton Oilers and their fans to sleep, before skating away with a crucial but uninspiring 3-1 victory on Friday night. In a game that featured a combined shot total of thirty-four, the Oilers could do little to find a way through a Dallas side that at certain points, lined up all five skaters at their blueline...with the puck behind the Edmonton goal. The game also marked the return of former Oiler Sheldon Souray. While the veteran D man did not register a point in his first trip back to Edmonton, he played over twenty-minutes and was a solid +2 despite hearing the boo-birds, every time he touched the puck.
Saturday, March 03, 2012
Friday, March 02, 2012
Ryan Smyth has proudly worn an Edmonton Oilers jersey for thirteen seasons in what has been a seventeen year NHL career. While not one of the most skilled players to have worn Oiler silks in the past twenty years, he is the player who understood best what it means to have the Edmonton Oilers logo across your chest. This franchise's storied history is something that has been lost on nearly all of the players that have played in Edmonton over the past two decades but Ryan is a guy who gets it. He would love nothing more then to be a part of this clubs return to prominence. Unfortunately for the veteran winger, in order for him to be part of what will hopefully be the next great Oilers era, he must accept a greatly reduced role moving forward.
Thursday, March 01, 2012
In what was a very frustrating night for the fans at Rexall Place, the Edmonton Oilers did their best to simply give one of the top teams in the league two points. Led by a three point night from defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk and a two goal performance from Andy McDonald, the Blues picked up another two points beating the Oilers 5-2 and moved to within one point of the Western Conference leading Vancouver Canucks. Rookie centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored for the second consecutive game and Nick Schultz picked up an assist in his Oilers debut. Netminder Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on seventeen shots before being replaced by backup Yann Denis, midway through the second period.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The Edmonton Oilers always found ways to defeat the Winnipeg Jets, no matter how well or poor they were playing at any given time. At times, it seemed like they were toying with the Jets and their fans, before coming from behind to defeat their Smyth Division rivals. Fast forward to the present day and it was just like the old days. Edmonton stormed back to score four third period goals and continue to play the role of spoiler in defeating Winnipeg 5-3, with a come from behind victory. Taylor Hall led the way with two points, including the winner, and Devan Dubnyk was rock solid in stopping twenty-nine shots. The win was the Oilers third consecutive on the road and moved them within two points of the Montreal Canadiens for twenty-eighth in the overall league standings.
Monday, February 27, 2012
The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild managed to pull off a rarity on Trade Deadline day, an actual hockey trade. On a day that lacked its usual amount of wheeling and dealing, the two clubs decided to exchange veteran defencemen. The Wild acquired a puck mover in Tom Gilbert in exchange for stay at home defenceman Nick Schultz. While Schultz has an ugly -10 rating and all of three points on the season, Edmonton is banking on the twenty-nine year old becoming the calming presence this club's backend desperately needs.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Heading into this season many felt the Maple Leafs were good enough in goal with James Reimer, I was never one of those people. In my mind, he is your typical Toronto netminder that is made out to be far better then he actually is because of the jersey he wears. While Reimer may yet turn into a decent NHL starter, it won't be anytime soon. Toronto has been looking at possibilities to upgrade their roster leading up to today's Trade Deadline but their the most pressing need, is in between the pipes. There are not many options out there but if Brian Burke decides to pick up the phone and make a move to acquire Edmonton Oilers starter Nikolai Khabibulin, the Leafs would find themselves taking part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2003-2004.
To say the Phoenix Coyotes have been one of the league's biggest surprises would be a major understatement. With their less then enthralling 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday afternoon, the Coyotes improved to 10-0-1 for the month of February and now sit a top the Pacific Division, two points clear of the San Jose Sharks. Rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins returned to the Oilers lineup and scored their lone goal, in what was the club's first game since re-signing star winger Ales Hemsky to a two year contract extension.