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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Game Day "Flames"

As the Oilers take to the ice at the Saddledome in Calgary tonight, I can not but help remember back to those vicious battles that took place between these two teams in the 80's. As a fan of hockey back then, we never really realized until it was too late, how we should have soaked up that bitter rivalry with every ounce of hockey passion we could muster.

I wonder who today's Glen Anderson is on the Oilers? Is it possible maybe a player like Hartikanen will turn into that player? Nope, not likely he has the scoring touch or the speed. Maybe we will never see a player who closely resembles Glen Anderson. All I do know, is our current team that we call our 'Oilers' is as Bi-Polar as they come. Granted, last night's game was against a struggling club. But the previous few games to that one, were against struggling clubs. Sometimes this team has its 'wheels flying' and is 'hell bent' but other times this team has a 'flat' and their play becomes 'childlike' on the ice.

At this moment, the Oilers are trying their best to resemble a playoff competitive team and good on them. To change the mind of the critics though will require a winning percentage of 60% or better. Their has been some struggles with our defence but in whole, if they are to play a simpler game (like last night) and limit the mistakes, they have a chance each night to win a hockey game.

Yes,  Teubert last night made a bad line change and was out of position on a couple shifts that almost cost him but at least he is a rookie making mistakes. No raw rookie will come in to a NHL club and be flawless, even the best defencemen will make mistakes. What I do like about Colten, is his rugged play and how he takes his man out of the play. He is strong on the wall and covers his man well. On one shift last night, he must have made 3 big hits then eventually caused the puck to be turned back over to the Oilers, and all because of his strong body work on the boards. Maybe this is not his year were we see Teubert become a full-time NHL player, but we are getting closer, and that means another player of his sort will become expendable next year or the next. Who do you think it could be, who should be looking over his shoulder? Or do you think Teubert is bound to be a 7th defencemen in this organization?

Khabby continues to play well and showed some early season form last night. Here is hoping he can keep this up and help this team gain some respectability once again. Dubynk has started to fade some and looked shaky in his last few starts, but confidence is a big factor in success. If it were me (and I am sure many of you are glad it is not me), I would run the goalie rotation based on stellar and hot goaltending. If Khabby has a hot hand, run with him. If Dubynk excels, let him play the next game. There is pros and cons to this, but it does have some merit.

time to do battle with the hated Flames of Cowville!

Go Oilers!!!

My predictions for today's game
Gametime 8:00pm CHED630am/CBC

REV'S Edmonton Oiler
Gameday Predictions Dec 10th/11
1. Now that we have the Nuge playing more time on the PP and Belanger finding his rightful place off the PP, I see the PP putting up another goal or two tonight.
2. How can I not pick the Oilers to win this game? Exactly, as a Oilers fan, it would be against my better judgement even if I thought Calgary was the better team. Oilers win!
3. Gagner has been flying as of late and while he is, I am still banking on him putting up more points as well. Gagner will collect a point or better on the PP tonight.
4. Belanger has not been his usual high facoff % self as of late. However he has been putting points up. Last nights game he fared ok and against a better FO% team he will be in tough but should still finish 52% or better in the dot tonight.

5. Nuge continues to prove he belongs in the NHL. 30 Games and 33 points or more? Bank on it!
(EV'S PREDICTIONS TO DATE: 65 for 119=54.6%)

Was shocked Teubert was given so many mins in last nights game, but good on Renney who used this opportunity to rest some vets and give ice time to some rookies. What's up with Smyth's lack of scoring prowess? Thought he was a lock every game to score? As a famous actor once said "I'll be back!"
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 Oiler and Baron news and 2012/13 NHL draft watch

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