“Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I am thankful for family and so much more including being back in the lineup tomorrow and pretzel M&M’s.” That was a tweet that Oiler fans and media alike were happy to read yesterday afternoon from Ryan Whitey.
Whitney was out of the game since December 28th, 2010 due to an ankle injury and then didn’t play another game until October 18th this season. Unfortunately for Whitney, he suffered a knee injury his fourth game in on October 25th. A month later, Whitney is said to return to the Oilers lineup.
This could be the second year in a row that an Edmonton Oiler goaltender prospect may be in net for Team Canada at the World Juniors tournament. Last year, Roy played the opening game for Team Canada and two other important preliminary games but struggled with consistency. Mark Visentin was Team Canada’s second goaltender who would start 4 games, and was the goaltender the team relied on through the final game. This year, it is Medicine Hat Tiger’s netminder Tyler Bunz who is on the radar for Team Canada.
The Edmonton Oilers are off to their best start in years it would seem, but just how good? The last two seasons were of course 30th place, and this team looks as though it just might make the playoffs. Ultimately, it’s interesting to see just where improvements have come from.
Oilers beat the Predators 6-2
The fun Oilers team came out to play against the Nashville Predators, but this about face only keeps fans and likely coaching staff guessing on a daily basis. After the Oilers were outmuscled by the Dallas Stars, Taylor Chorney was re-assigned to Oklahoma City and Alex Plante was recalled. At the same time, Magnus Paajarvi and Ben Eager drew back into the lineup while Darcy Hordichuk and Lennart Petrell were healthy scratches. And of course, Devan Dubnyk got his seventh start of the season.
Oilers lose 4-1 to Stars
Why the Oilers seem to have so many arenas, as of the last few years, where the team just cannot seem to find a win I can’t say. The last time the Oilers had a win in Dallas was Saturday December 5th, a 3-2 shootout win. The last regulation win was a 2-0 victory… December 8th, 2006. According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet “Oilers powerplay desperately needs a D-man who can shoot/run it. Another loss in Dallas runs record here to 5-26-2-2 lifetime.”
According to a couple of Swedish newspapers, ex-Oiler Jason Strudwick has signed with Södertälje SK (SSK) of the Swedish 2nd League, Hockey Allsvenskan.
Strudwick is a new father and when there were not any offers that were a good fit for him and his family through the off season it looked as though Strudwick would take this season off. However, with as far as I can tell, a season ending injury to veteran Stefan Bemström, Strudwick’s presence is needed on the team’s blue line.
Edmonton Oilers’ captain Shawn Horcoff was the guest on after hours with Scott Oakes and Kevin Weekes Saturday night. Horcoff discusses that talent on his team, answers tweeted questions from fans and discusses his team’s chances to make the playoffs this season.
Oilers beat Blackhawks 9-2
The last time Rexall Place was filled with a “we want 10 chant” was January 29th, 2009 in a game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres would go on to win 10-2 and Oiler fans would cheer for the visiting team. Prior to that game, there was another we want ten incident and it was the same season but against the Chicago Blackhawks. What is extremely interesting is at the final score on that December 16th was also 9-2, but that time the win was Chicago’s.
When your team is not considered a contender, most likely anyone on your roster is moveable. Of course some players may require the sun and moon to move, but most likely your GM is willing to listen to offers.
The Edmonton Oilers are certainly not a contender, not this year. This is of course despite the hopes, dreams and wishes of the Oiler faithful, but a recent string of losses can help bring a person back to reality.
Oilers lose 5-2 to Senators
So how about that Nail kid? He sounds like he could be great, and “fail for nail” has a certain je ne sais quoi to it.
The Edmonton Oilers drop their fourth in a row, and lose even more defencemen while trade speculation for every healthy player reaches all new highs. It seems that things have returned to the “normal” of the past two seasons.
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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