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.
It was close, but neither Ryan Nugent-Hopkins or Jordan Eberle walked away from the annual NHL awards show in Las Vegas with an award. Both players placed second in voting for their respective awards; the Calder Trophy and the Lady Byng.What might be considered shocking is that 2 voters placed Nugent-Hopkins as 5th best, and 12 as 4th rookie of the year (as per Dan Tencer). Of course both players are happy just to be nominated, but surely it won’t be too long before players like Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins are awarded something.
The Edmonton Oilers have two first overall players and a third one this summer but it is Jordan Eberle making headlines in the post season. Eblere was surely an easy pick for Team Canada and the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in Sweden and Finland and now that pick is paying off.
The Edmonton Oilers’ season did not go the way that many had expected, but somehow things have worked out. The team starred the season off with rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game and then also the game winning shootout goal in the team’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nugent-Hopkins would go on to win the rookie of the month title for the month of October while netminders Nikolai Khabibulin and Devan Dubnyk would put up unreal numbers of their own and Khabibulin would be named the NHL third star of the same month. Things may have gone downhill from there, but this was a far more exciting season than years previous.
The Calder Trophy finalists have been announced and of course Oiler rookie Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was on the list along with Gabriel Landeskog and Adam Henrique. But that may be as far as it goes. While the Nuge was arguably the most prolific scorer of the three, those who vote argue that the games Nugent-Hopkins missed were his downfall. It’s not as though Nugent-Hopkins is frail or wouldn’t have played out the entire season if it hadn’t been for an unpredictable and completely fluke injury that was the result of skating all alone into the boards after getting caught up on a bad patch of ice.But it doesn’t matter now, Nugent-Hopkins had a much higher per game scoring rate than the other two rookies but played the fewest number of games of the three.
Oilers lose 3-2 to Ducks in OT
It was only Jeff Deslaurier’s 3rd start with the Anaheim Ducks, but this game may be his most memorable. Playing against his former team, and against the netminder with whom he had competed against and with for the majority of his professional career in Devan Dubnyk, Deslaurier was the goaltender to walk away with the win.
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?
There are currently many sites devoted to the Edmonton Oilers, all of varying degrees of seriousness and coverage. JSBM (Jean Shorts and Bagged Milk) is one of the sites that tries not to take things too seriously and can be a source of a few chuckles. Usually the posts are not suitable for work, but once in a while there is something that everyone can enjoy. This week, the contributors there have put together a great, short video for Nugent-Hopkins that I could watch all day. While the media is suggesting that Gabriel Landeskog may be the front runner for the Calder race Oil Country still believes.
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 shut-out Blue Jackets 3-0
After Tom Renney’s very public address discussing the attitude and effort shown by some members of the Edmonton Oilers, the team managed to win the battle for the basement. Renney has and will be criticised for airing the team’s dirty laundry in a very Pat Quinn like post came press conference Monday night following the loss to the San Jose Sharks. To many, Renney should have kept his anger in the room talking to the players and not the media about it. But with what looks to be a third consecutive bottom of the league finish, disappointment and frustrations must reach all new levels.
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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