The Oilers come into tonights match below Columbus in the standings and tied for 13th in the West. Wait. Did I say BELOW Columbus in the Standings?
The Oilers have the 2nd fewest wins in the West with only 12. If the NHL made the sensible decision of going with a straight W/L record to determine its Standings then the Oilers would be 14th in the West and 28th in the NHL. The Oilers should be absolutely embarrassed as an Organization that Columbus is ahead of them on the season.
The Blue Jackets fired their inept management, replaced it with a proven competent alternative and the team started playing better. Coincidence? Maybe. The fact is that a good leader will get more from his employees than a poor one. The Oilers management has been responsible for keeping the Oilers at the bottom of the League for the better part of a Decade. Why are they still around?
Why Is Iginla’s Face on an Oiler Blog?
Last night Jarome Iginla was traded
to the Boston Bruins to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Bartkowski, Khokhlachev, and a Conditional 1st two no name NCAA Prospects and a Guaranteed 1st round pick.
Twitter was a hot mess yesterday evening in no small part to Aaron Ward’s adamant statement that Iginla to Boston was done. While the rest of the TSN higher ups stressed that it wasnt done yet the relative newcomer Ward made the Bold statement that the deal was Final.
He was Wrong.
The Deal with Boston fell through as Pittsburgh added an unconditional Draft pick to their offer. Feaster might be an idiot, but two nobodies and MAYBE a 1st is still worse than two nobodies and DEFINITELY a 1st. Still. This morning Oiler fans wake satisfied knowing they have about 5 years worth of “I Told You So” ammunition.
But what does that move have to do with the Oilers?
Well just prior to the Iginla to Boston chatter went SuperNova the talk was Whitney+ going to Boston for something in return. The names being thrown out were maybe Pajaarvi or possibly Hemsky going Boston’s way as well.
Having now missed out on the Iginla sweepstakes the Bruins will be forced to look elsewhere and they need only look 3 hours North on the QEII to the Edmonton Oilers.
The trade Rumours for Oiler Players will skyrocket between now and the Deadline or until something happens. The Bruins can ill afford to wait, the Oilers do not feel the same pressure. This favours the Oilers. They dont have to be true sellers, but there are players who ought to be moved for assets now. Whitney, Hemsky, Paajarvi, Khabibulin: who will still be an Oilers on the 4th?
Oilers Keys to the Game
1) Stay Focussed
The Oilers play at home, which means media attention. The place should be a zoo for the bext week. Names being thrown out, bags being packed in anticipation, tension mounting. Some players will have their lives uprooted in the coming week. If the Oil want to win they need a complete effort from everyone. Sam Gagner or Ales Hemsky cant be worried about being traded, but its human nature. They will need to overcome that.
2) Home Cooking
Even though the Canadian Media will make being at home right now harder than being on the Road in some respects, they still cannot afford to squander more Home games. Their chances at making the Playoffs are already very little, Home Ice Advantage against a direct rival MUST translate into a Win. The Oilers’ Home Record is 5-5-4, which translated into reality is 5 wins and 9 losses. This is unacceptable. They ought to be ashamed. Teams that cant win at home have no place in the Playoffs.
3) Young Guns
Sometimes its the Secondary Scoring that gets a team through games, but more often than not the team’s best players have to be its best players. The Offensive players have to produce. Last game, ilimited minutes, the Oilers Ultra Trio of Hall-RNH-Eberle carried the load. Nuge looked all world with his passing, Eberle showed the 2012 finish, and Hall picked up the trash. The fact is the Oilers can keep all the secondary scoring they want, without their Primary Scorers going they will be shot. The Oil need more, specifically from RNH and Eberle. Blame the busted finger on Jordan’s hand or a wonky Shoulder on the Nuge, but if they arent going neither will the Oil.
Puck drops at 7:38 Mountain Time on Sportsnet. Game On!