The Oilers have a legitimate shot at achieving an attainable goal this week, and all they have to do is keep losing.
Now some of you guys might be sick of losing by now. Some of you are ready to pack it in and quit tanking. Well to you who dont have the stomach for this I say this team might not be the best for you. We got our jollies in, held down 8th place for almost 24 hours then went right back to the task at hand: Tanking. And if the Oilers can do anything well, its tanking.
Now, like all good teams you have to try and fail before you can learn to do it right. The Oilers tried for years to compete and did it fairly well, but in 2007 they had a legit shot at the bottom 5 in the NHL and on the last day they won a game against the Flames to put them in 6th. Now, it all worked out in the end. Gagner is better than all but 1 of the picks that came before him, but that was just dumb luck. Now they have the formula down and the Oilers are eyeing up 4th Overall like a fat kid eyes up the last TimBit.
The job is simple. Tank it one game at a time. Tonight the Oil tank on the Blackhawks, who are trying to nail down the Presidents trophy. The Penguins are 3 points back with only two games left in their schedule so a win here by Chicago will do the trick.
Its a perfect match: Team that wants to lose meets team that wants to win. Except those are the games in which crazy shit generally happens.
Oilers Keys to the Game…For Tanking
1) Goaltending Shouldnt Matter
Listen, Dubnyk as a whole has been relatively strong in net and his future seems bright. Ad yet he’s good for some shitty goals from bad angles at inexcusable times. He has been all over the map in his last 5 games. Khabi has had a sub .900 sv% in his last 4 straight. Even though the Oilers should be playing Khabi for this Tank job we should be ok to let Dubnyk bumble it up too.
2) Sit Hall for a while, preferably in the 1st
The kid is on fire. He has a motor that never quits and he scores a lot of his goals in the 1st period. Cant be having that. This kid is 17th in NHL scoring and thats after serving a suspension. He is way too fun to watch out there. He draws penalties, drives the play, and can be noticed in every shift. He isnt taking this Tank thing very well. And people want this guy to be the Captain???
3) Somebody Leave Kane Open
Dont make it too obvious out there, but maybe play Whitney against the top line of the Blackhawks for a period and just see what happens. Kane has 5 points in 4 games heading into tonight. He’s 5th in NHL scoring and is coming off a 6 shot night against the Canucks where he didnt score. He’s gonna be hungry, and not just because Gagner cant really afford to buy dinner tonight.
Puck drops at 7:45 PM Mountain Time on TSN. Tank On!