Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hemsky not necessarily the second line right winger

The day after signing Ales Hemsky to 2 year/$10 million extension, many are wondering why the Edmonton Oilers decided to give that sort of money to a player that will be playing on the clubs second line. While there is little doubt that Ales Hemsky has been passed by Jordan Eberle on the Oilers right wing depth chart, he is not necessarily going to be this clubs second line right winger. The thought of playing the three kids together on the Oilers first line is something most fans would love to see but the more likely scnerio would be for Edmonton to split up the trio of Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins over the top two lines. With that being the case, I wouldn't exactly say that having Hemsky play alongside Hall would make Ales a second line player.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oil Notes: Hemsky Staying Put, Nugent-Hopkins Ready To Go

Late Friday afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers and pending unrestricted free agent Ales Hemsky agreed to a two year contract extension, that will pay the talented winger $5 million a season. The deal makes Hemsky the latest player to be taken off the trading block, after re-signing with their current clubs. The signing makes perfect sense for the Oilers and leaves them plenty of flexibility moving forward to sign the likes of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to their first post entry level contracts.

Game 60: Edmonton 2 Philadelphia 0

The Edmonton Oilers have given Devan Dubnyk  many opportunities over the last two seasons to prove his worth. While at times he has looked very good, more often then not, his play has been uneven and less then spectacular. With Nikolai Khabibulin currently sidelined with a groin injury, Devan has been given yet another chance to show that he is a legitimate starting goaltender. If last night's performance, is any indication of what the Oilers can expect from the twenty-five year old netminder, then there is still hope for the man known as "The Big Easy". Dubnyk was sensational stopping all thirty-five shots fired his way, in leading Edmonton to a 2-0 victory over the high scoring Philadelphia Flyers. Sophomore standouts Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle scored for the Oilers, who continue to play their best hockey against the leagues top teams.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oil Notes: Barker and Peckham Could Be Moved Out of Edmonton

As much as Cam Barker has struggled since returning from an ankle injury, I would be extremely surprised if the Edmonton Oilers don't have teams inquiring about the former third overall selection. When one looks at Barker's stat line this season, nothing stands out and of late, the only one that jumps out is the ugly -8 over his last five games.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Game 59: Edmonton 6 Calgary 1

Well, that was long overdue! After seemingly finding ways to lose game after game to their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers finally found a way to not only defeat the Calgary Flames but absolutely lay a beating on them. If not for netminder Miikka Kiprusoff, last night's 6-1 drubbing would have been a whole lot worse. Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner led the way with three points a piece in a game that featured at least one goal from Edmonton's top three lines. Associate coach Ralph Krueger, finally earned his first NHL victory after losing his previous five attempts while filling in for head coach Tom Renney. The victory was the Oilers first in last their last ten games against Calgary. Their last "W" against the Flames came during last year's season opener.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Schenn for Gagner...good for Leafs and Oilers

With the Toronto Maple Leafs in a dog fight for a playoff spot and looking to add a little something upfront, rumour is they may be willing to part with defenceman Luke Schenn. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the Edmonton Oilers cemented in twenty-ninth spot in league standings and are in dire need of acquiring help on the blueline. While Sam Gagner is not being openly shopped around the league,  Edmonton would seriously consider offers for the talented centre, if it would land them the help they desperately need on the backend. Sure sounds like potential trading partners to me but there is definitely risk...for both sides.

Oil Notes: Khabibulin Out and Nugent-Hopkins Improves

Word around the rink was Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin left Sunday night's game because of an apparent groin injury and that was confirmed on Monday when the club announced the veteran goaltender will be out of action for the next seven to ten days.While it was in no way a certainty that the Russian netminder would be moved at the deadline, his latest injury setback makes it very unlikely that any team comes calling.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Game 58: Vancouver 5 Edmonton 2

The Vancouver Canucks came into last night's game at Rexall Place on the heels of a 6-2 thrashing of the Toronto Maple Leafs and showed no signs of slowing down, in dismantling an over-matched Oilers side by a score of 5-2. The line of Alex Burrows, Henrik and Daniel Sedin led the way with two points a piece and netminder Cory Schneider made twenty-six saves, to earn his thirteenth victory of the season. Edmonton winger Magnus Paajarvi, picked up his second goal in his last four games after going goalless in his first thirty-four contests.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Which Ryan Will It Be? Jones or Smyth

For the most part, fans in Oil Country were ecstatic when the club decided to bring back fan favourite Ryan Smyth for the 2011-2012 season. While Ryan has been given far too big of a role with the club this season, he has managed to give the Oilers some secondary scoring. He has been far from consistent but still has found a way to produce numbers, while playing more then nearly every forward on the team. That being said, Smyth is set to become a UFA this summer and  that puts this organization to a very interesting crossroad.

Does Linus Omark Fit Into The Oilers Future Plans?

Ever since he made his debut with the Edmonton Oilers, Linus Omark has held a soft spot in the hearts of many Oiler fans. The diminutive winger has a very special skill set and is arguably the most talented of all the youngsters currently in the Oilers stable. Having just recently turned twenty-five years old, Omark is older then the core group but still fits the mold of what has now become the prototype for Edmonton Oiler forwards.