The Edmonton Oilers remain on top of the NW division and the Western Conference with their win over the St. Louis Blues. This was the last Oilers home game until November 17th due to the Canadian Finals Rodeo which will make use of Rexall Place for the next couple of weeks. The only thing that matters to Oiler fans right now is another notch in the win column making it now five in a row. At this time last season, Oiler fans were wondering if they would get five wins on the season; my how things have changed.
In the least surprising news you will hear all day, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will stay with the Oilers for the remainder of the 2011-12 hockey season. None of his teammates were surprised as Ryan Whitney tweeted “The Nuge is staying in NHL huh? What a shocker. In other news, sky is blue, grass is green and it’s going to be cold in Edmonton in January.” Head coach Tom Renney made the announcement to the team, and was met with some happiness. Renney said “I probably would have given him a standing ovation because he is my meal ticket.”
The Oilers have also called up defenceman Jeff Petry from the Oklahoma City Barons. Coincidently, Petry has been called up due to the approximately 3 weeks Whitney will miss due to his knee injury.
The Oilers are doing much better than just hanging on without Whitney and Ales Hemsky, but players will start to get tired, and injuries will mount. The Oilers have one more home game this month, then play a grand total of 4 games at home in November. That is when the true test will come.
Oilers hand Capitals their first loss of the season 2-1
Exactly what has happened to the Edmonton Oilers, I can’t say. This team was not supposed to have a good year; playoffs, forget about it. For a while it looked like this team would struggle with goaltending, defence and then even offence. Then, something changed. The Oilers lost games by a single goal, some in the shootout, and then they won a couple. But this? The Oilers have now won their third game in a row and most inexplicably, were the team to hand the red hot Washington Capitals their first loss of the season.
Oilers beat Rangers 2-0
After a stern scolding, some confidence building, a long road trip by the Rangers, or any combination of factors, the Oilers played the game fans have been waiting for. Through 60 minutes of play, the Oilers played a strong defencive game, but also scored enough goals to take the win. With outstanding goaltending by Nikolai Khabibulin and successful efforts by the special teams another glimpse of what is to come from the Oilers was the best thing that could have happened to Oilers fans this week.
The Edmonton Oilers have had various struggles this week; many games after playing so few, players come and going through the lineup due to injuries and the dreaded fall flu. Taylor Hall was questionable for Monday night’s game and did miss Tuesday night’s battle of Alberta. Coach Tom Renney has said that there are a few players that are also battling the flu or at least flu like symptoms as well.
Unfortunately, the flu cannot account for the trend that the Oilers have set this week, leading games only to lose in the end.
Oilers beat Predators 3-1 in regulation
In the past, the Edmonton Oilers had trouble beating the Nashville Predators. Last year, the curse was broken; the team found wins, and it was even Linus Omark who scored a game winning goal. This is a whole new year, with all new issues. Several Oilers were looking for their first goals because Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had 4 of the Oilers 5 goals through the first 3 games, and the other goal belonged to Ryan Smyth. This game would be only slightly different, but Oilers fans couldn’t be happier.
It’s a beautiful fall Sunday in Alberta. The sky is blue, the leaves have turned and gently float on the breeze and crunch under your feet. Oh, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored all of the Oilers goals last night. Overall it seems like a great day to be an Oilers fan.
It was very apparent through the entire Vancouver Canucks vs. Edmonton Oilers game on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has impressed more than just Oilers fans. Every time the panel would discuss the young centreman, it seemed as though each member was gushing over Nugent-Hopkins’ talent and what he has shown to this point.
Following the game, Nugent-Hopkins was the guest on After Hours with Scott Oakes and Darryl Reaugh. If you can hear through the crowd outside of the media booth, you can hear the calm responses of Nugent-Hopkins to a variety of twitter and general interest questions. There was even a special video question posed by Ryan from Boston who is apparently a big fan. It’s wonderful to see continued team bonding and the sense of humour that players like Whitney bring to the team.
Oilers fall 4-3 to Canucks
The Edmonton Oilers hosted their division rivals from Vancouver Saturday night in a rare 2011-12 Hockey Night in Canada game on CBC. Headlines going into the game were Devan Dubnyk getting the start in net, and a new kid line of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle. By the end of the game, the story was all about Nugent-Hopkins and his first NHL hat-trick. Now can I say that he’s here to stay?
Oilers Lose 2-1 to Wild in Shootout
January 16th, 2007 was the last time the Oilers won in St. Paul Minnesota. Coincidentally, Ryan Smyth was in the Oilers lineup and perhaps the mullet’s return to St. Paul as an Oiler could have turned things around for the club. Oilers fans will have to wait until next time, but in the meantime a shootout loss is a respectable resolution to this game. Well, unless like me you were fine with ties and don’t care much for this third point business.
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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