It happened without fanfare, it happened without a big public address, but it happened just the same. The NHL season is cancelled for the foreseeable future and the players are locked out. For some, that means nothing but more uncertainty. Do they pack up their families, pull kinds out of school and chase a paycheck in Europe, do they spend a year away from their families if they can find a team to play for? Not every player will be able to find a team, and certainly not every player will feel comfortable with the risks of taking less pay and the risk of getting injured and forfeiting their NHL salary if the season can be salvaged.
For the Oilers, several players on entry level contracts (ELC) have been assigned to play in the AHL with the Oklahoma City Barons, some have accepted that they will not be playing hockey unless the NHL starts up again, and of course a few are making their way to various leagues in Europe.
Oilers lose 3-1 to Stars
Some things never change. For the Oilers it seems the Dallas Stars will always be a tough to beat, or even play team. Missing Taylor Hall from the line-up, the Oilers played a snoozer of a game in Rexall Place Wednesday night. But with results like this do you cheer or dread the upcoming end of the season?
Oilers beat Blue Jackets 6-3 in rare afternoon victory
It is official, the last place team has been determined and for the first time in three years, it’s not the Edmonton Oilers. Of course speaking to some Columbus fans in the stands, they believe that they will not be lucky enough to actually draft first overall. To that I say, you just never know.
This Oilers win also means that the Oilers are no longer the worst Canadian team, at least for now, and because they are now tied for 71 points with the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders.
Oilers beat Predators 6-3
It doesn’t matter that the Nashville Predators are playoff bound, and that the Oilers are only playing out the end of the season, the Oilers seem to have the Predators’ number lately, every visit to Nashville makes the Preds’ fans cringe. For the Oilers, this may be a meaningless win, but it’s still a win and something that fans have been anxious to cheer for. During fall for Hall and arson for Larsson, it seemed wrong to cheer for wins; there was a high profile draft pick on the line. Even though the team is still cheering for draft picks, three first overall picks in a row seems wrong and a higher pick will certainly do.
Oilers lose 3-2 to Coyotes
It was close, so close. The Oilers nearly had their first victory over the Phoenix Coyotes of the season, even if it was during their last meeting of the season. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. After taking a two goal second period lead, the Oilers finally succumbed to the Yotes in the third period and lost in the shootout.
Oilers lose 3-2 to Avalanche in SO
Oh to be an NHL on ice official. You’re never right by everyone’s eye. You have to make split second decisions in the game setting that directly affect the outcome of the game, and you cannot let personal feelings about a player influence your calls or it will mean you job. How easy it is a fan, a broadcaster, or a player to say that it was the right or wrong call from their bird’s eye view, but the fact of the matter is that officials are still only human and can only do their best. Saturday afternoon in Denver, Ales Hemsky’s waived off goal will be what will be most remembered by those who watched the game, and most appreciated by the Avalanche, a team still fighting to make the playoffs.
In an interesting turn of events, winger Ales Hemsky has re-signed with the Edmonton Oilers on a short term deal. Hemsky elected not to take his chances with free agency and possibly big money at a 5 to 6 year deal. Possibly this is because he truly does believe in what is happening in Edmonton, or possibly because he wasn’t completely convinced that he would end up with the deal that he wanted with a team that he wanted to be on.
The Edmonton Oilers certainly had a hot streak to start the 2011-12 season, but of course the team isn’t ready to keep up that kind of pace. With injuries and the numbers achieved by the goaltending duo coming back down to Earth, few Oilers maintained their offensive streaks. For example Sam Gagner went ICE cold and Ales Hemsky didn’t actually get going until the second half of the season.
When looking at the past month for both players they have proven that they are difference makers and contributors. But the problem is, can they sustain that?
Oilers beat the Flames 6-1
It has been a very long time coming. It was October 17th, 2008 the last time the Oilers left the Calgary Saddledome with a win in their pocket. Since that game, the Oilers have been 0-9-1 in Calgary.
Oilers beat Senators 4-3 in Overtime
Finally. That has to be what was on Magnus Pääjärvi’s mind as he looked to the sky, his shoulders finally relaxed. It took 35 NHL games, but Paajarvi has scored his first NHL goal of the season and hopefully now, more will follow. You never know what will spark offensive offence or strings of goals, just ask Edmonton Oiler Sam Gagner.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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