Saturday’s deadline looms, and there isn’t much hope on the horizon. The Edmonton Oilers are split down the middle; guys who can’t afford to miss a year’s salary because they are in the final half of their careers, and guys who just starting their career and who can’t get rusty. And so none of the players look forward to any kind of work stoppage.
Currently, only Nail Yakupov has come out and said that he will play in Europe, the KHL more specifically should the NHL season be cancelled. The rest, many are preparing to receive an assignment to the AHL and the Oklahoma City Barons.
After being blanked by the Toronto Marlies in game 1 of the AHL Western conference finals Thursday night, the Oklahoma City Barons have battled back to take game two 5-1 evening up the series.
With the Oilers’ season long gone, EdmontonOilers.com staff have journeyed to Oklahoma City and Ryan Dittrick reports on the game:
The Oklahoma City Barons needed a quicker start than they had in Game 1. They got it.
They needed their power-play to answer the Marlies’ AHL-best PK, which went 6-for-6 Thursday night in a 5-0 win. They got that, too.
They needed to battle, compete and show up at puck drop. No complaints here, either, as goals by Mark Arcobello and Teemu Hartikainen in the opening 20 spurred the home side to a dominant 5-1 win over the Toronto Marlies in Game 2 of the AHL’s Western Conference Final at the Cox Convention Center in OKC.
It’s been two back to back overtime victories, but with those victories the Barons have now taken a 2-1 series lead over the San Antonio Rampage. After dropping the first game 6-4 the Barons regrouped and settled into the knowledge that this would be a hard fought best of 7 series.
There may not have been any dancing by Rampage goaltender Jacob Markstom yet, but maybe he’s just waiting for his song.
Oilers shutout Flyers 2-0
It was a rare visit by the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night in Edmonton, so rare in fact that the last time the Flyers won in Rexall Place was March 19, 2001. It’s not as though the Flyers play in Edmonton every year, although that would be a good change, but rather the teams only face each other in Edmonton every two to three years. Still, this victory is sweet for the Oilers; they need all of the wins they can get if only for their own sense of pride.
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 lose 4-3 to Leafs in OT
The Oilers came to play Wednesday night and while players like Ryan Jones, Ales Hemsky and Magnus Paajarvi would get oh so close, but not find the back of the net, goals by Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle would make the game. As it looked all but certain that the Oilers would drop another decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jordan Eberle charged into the offensive zone and blasted a shot past James Reimer. Jordan Eberle is a pressure player at its best.
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.
The AHL Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Barons are coming back to Calgary to play the AHL battle of Alberta because the Abbotsford Heat, the AHL farm team of the Calgary Flames will play a home game in the Saddledome this Thursday night. While once again both corresponding NHL teams are on the outside looking in for the NHL playoff race, their AHL teams currently playoff bound. And so, for fans of both the Flames and the Oilers, the Heat and Barons may be as close to playoffs as they will get for the second year in a row.
While the Edmonton Oilers have been struggling as of late to find wins, their AHL and WHL affiliates have found themselves in the exact opposite situation. The Oilers have still played some exciting hockey, and of course the future looks bright but while the Oilers are falling towards the bottom of the NHL, the Barons are sitting on top of the AHL, and the Oil Kings’ strung together 11 wins before their Christmas break.
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.
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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