Saturday, March 31, 2012

Game 78: Los Angeles 4 Edmonton 1

As the Edmonton Oilers 2011-2012 season nears its final stage, it is clear that the majority of players on this roster have checked out. After collecting points in seven straight games, Edmonton returned home from a four game road trip and have proceeded to put up two stinkers in succession. After last night's uninspired 4-1 loss to the suddenly surging Los Angeles Kings, the Oilers seem to be more then ok with just playing out the string. With seemingly nothing left to play for and their heart and soul, in Taylor Hall, sidelined for the rest of the season, it looks as though they will most definitely find themselves with a lottery pick one more time.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Is Devan Dubnyk part of the Edmonton Oilers future?

Heading into the 2011-2012 season, the Edmonton Oilers seemed all but ready to hand over the starting goaltenders job to Devan Dubnyk. While the intent was never to have Dubnyk play sixty plus games, all signs were pointing towards the organization wanting the twenty-five year old netminder to establish himself as a fifty game guy. Unfortunately for Devan, no one let Nikolai Khabibulin in on the "plan". The veteran puck stopper was arguably the best goalie in the league over the first month of the season and rightly took over the crease for the first third of the year. Fast forward to present day and the tables have been turned. Dubnyk has been, by far and away, the better goalie over the last three months and the time has come for the Edmonton Oilers to decide, if he is their man moving forward.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Game 77: Dallas 3 Edmonton 1

While the Edmonton Oilers have made progress when it comes to beating most of the teams that have given them troubles in recent years, the Dallas Stars still remain a thorn in their side. It seems as though, regardless of where the two teams play, the Stars simply have Edmonton's number. Their domination continued on Wednesday night, as Dallas skated into Rexall Place and walked away with a 3-1 victory to sweep the four game season series. Mike Ribeiro and Michael Ryder lead the charge with three points apiece and netminder Kari Lehtonen made thirty-one stops, in beating the Oilers for the third time this season. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nugent-Hopkins best Oilers rookie since Gretzky

Back in 1979, the Edmonton Oilers broke into the NHL and had a kid by the name of Wayne Gretzky on their roster. While the then eighteen year old rookie dominated the league from day one, he was inexcusably not considered a "rookie" because he had played the previous season in the WHA and was deemed ineligible as the league's top rookie. This despite finishing the season in a tie for the league scoring title with Los Angeles Kings star centre Marcel Dionne, at 137 points. Since then, the only Edmonton Oilers who has come close to winning the Calder Trophy, was Hall of Fame netminder Grant Fuhr. While one could make the argument that Fuhr deserved the Calder in 1981-82, he ultimately lost out to Winnipeg's Dale Hawerchuk. No one has come close since but that is all about to change. It is far from a guarantee that rookie centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will take home the award this season but one thing is certain...the kid has been the best rookie to wear an Oilers jersey since the Great One.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Game 76: Edmonton 6 Columbus 3

As the 2011-2012 regular season nears its end, the Edmonton Oilers continue to collect points and are on the verge of catching teams in the overall league standings. After yesterday afternoon's win, Edmonton now sits in twenty-eighth place, after passing the Montreal Canadiens. The line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Jones combined for seven points and defenceman Ladislav Smid had his first multi-point game since November 2010, in helping the Oilers to a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.