Friday, January 06, 2012

Game 40: St.Louis 4 Edmonton 3

In what was a tale of three separate hockey games, the Edmonton Oilers played one great period and two god awful ones. Not surprisingly, the result was a 4-3 loss to the St.Louis Blues and drops the Oilers to 1-5 on their current seven game road trip. Thankfully, the marathon like voyage will come to an end on Saturday afternoon, when Edmonton takes on the Dallas Stars in an afternoon affair.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins out three to four weeks

In a move that surprised no one, the Edmonton Oilers announced that rookie centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would be lost to the team for next three to four weeks. Nugent-Hopkins was injured during the first period of Edmonton's Monday night game against the Chicago Blackhawks. The youngster appeared to catch a rut when he tumbled awkwardly into the side boards, with no other player within fifteen feet of him. While he quickly jumped back to his feet and made his way to the Oilers bench, the NHL's Rookie Scoring Leader would not return and did not play in Edmonton's next game on Tuesday night.

With last year's first overall selection out of the mix, it will now mean Sam Gagner will be given the opportunity to centre the clubs top line between Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky. The trio were together against the Sabres on Tuesday night and they were easily the best line on the night. The injury also means, that this years leading candidate for the Calder Trophy, will likely will miss this year's All-Star weekend in Ottawa. Nugent-Hopkins what have certainly been the focal point of the Young Stars game and had a chance of possibly being named as a reserve for the game itself, on the 29th of January.

Jordan Eberle and life without Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

With Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on sidelines with an injured shoulder, all indications are pointing to the rookie centre being out of the Oilers lineup for the foreseeable future. While it doesn't appear to be as serious is it could have been, I would be stunned to see him back on the ice until just before or right after the NHL All-Star Game. If he is healthy, I am sure the league, the Oilers and RNH himself would love for the youngster to be at the game but we shall see. Having said all that, what is of much greater concern to fans of the Edmonton Oilers, is what happens now? How does this club replace what the rookie centre brought to the table? Those are tough questions for any team that is lacking depth to answer but there is one thing this coaching staff must make sure doesn't happen...and that is to forget about Jordan Eberle.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Game 39: Buffalo 4 Edmonton 3

An undermanned Edmonton Oilers squad fought hard against an equally hurting Buffalo Sabre side but fell just short, losing for the fourth time on their current road trip, this time by a score of 4-3. Call-up Josh Green had a tough night first time out, going -4 but he was not alone as linemates Shawn Horcoff and fellow call-up Teemu Hatikainen, were both -3 on the night. Nikolai Khabibulin returned to the Oilers net and made 25 saves but has now lost three consecutive starts. Edmonton was missing both rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and defenceman Tom Gilbert from their lineup after being injured Monday night in Chicago.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Game 38: Edmonton 4 Chicago 3

The Edmonton Oilers finally won a game on their current seven game road trip with a gritty performance against the best team in the league. While last night’s 4-3 victory could possibly be a huge step towards trying to relocate their game, it came at a hefty price. Rookie sensation Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was lost to the club early in the first period to an apparent shoulder injury and to make matters worse, Tom Gilbert left the game in the second courtesy of another cheap play from Blackhawks forward Dan Carcillo.

December Report Card - Goaltenders and Defencemen

With the month of December now in the books, it's time to look back at the month that was and dish out my monthly report card. Each players rating will be based on their performance from opening night up to and including the teams last game on December 31st. Yesterday I took a look at the forwards and coaches so today the focus turns to the blueline and goaltenders.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Oil Notes: Hartikianen recalled and Petrell sent to Oklahoma City

According to Gene Principe, the Oilers have recalled Teemu Hartikainen and sent down Lennart Petrell to Oklahoma City. Nice too see Teemu get the call up but if the plan is to play him on the fourth line for five minutes a night, I am not sure what this move is going to accomplish.

 Gene Principe 

For you early risers first move of the New Year for Edmonton. Lennart Petrell has been sent down and Teemu Hartikainen called up.

December Report Card - Forwards and Coaches

With the month of December now in the books, it's time to look back at the month that was and dish out my monthly report card. Each players rating will be based on their performance from opening night up to and including the teams last game on December 31st. Today the spotlight will be on the Oilers forwards and coaching staff. While Tuesday's focus will be on the defence and goaltenders.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Game 37: New York 4 Edmonton 1

In a game that featured the last three players selected first overall at the NHL Entry Draft, it was New York's John Tavares who stole the show. The 2009 top pick was all over the ice, in leading the Islanders to a 4-1 victory over the slumping  Edmonton Oilers. The loss was Edmonton's third straight on their current seven game road trip and seventh defeat in their past eight contests. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk made twenty-five saves in defeat but saw his record fall to 4-9 on the season and is currently on a four game losing streak.