(4-6-0 in last 10 games)
SINCE WE LAST SAW THESE GUYS ON NOVEMBER 19:
No snark this afternoon…I learned my lesson last time around when the Oilers shellacked the Columbus Blue Jackets, 7-0 in the Great White North.
The Oilers are 2-1-0 since we last saw them. That includes a home win against Florida (4-1), a home loss against defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago (5-1) and a road win last night against Nashville (3-0). It’s a little like what we’ve seen with the ‘feast or famine’ approach to hockey, but I don’t think anyone would begrudge the Oilers a loss to the Blackhawks.
In addition, last night was Ilya Bryzgalov’s first start in goal. He stopped all 33 Predators shots and backstopped the Oilers to their shutout win. Defense and goal has been achilles heel of this team, so an effective Bryzgalov would be humannngous beeg for Edmonton as they look to escape the NHL’s sub-basement.
In light of what we’re seeing out of Edmonton over the last week plus, the question is fairly raised: Are the Oilers finally turning the corner?
THE REAL IMPORTANT STUFF TO KNOW
If you follow the general trend that the team has tracked on over the month of November, the Blue Jackets should win tonight. If you look at the way the score differentials have been going, I think it fair to expect a 10-0 Blue Jackets shutout.
Of course that won’t happen, but the ‘win one-lose one’ cycle has been going for a while now (even before the ten-day Canadian road trip). The more alarming side of it is that those score differentials have moved from close games that end in overtime to blowout shutouts, both for and against. It’s getting very strange.
Considering how high the highs have been, and how low the lows have been, I think the Blue Jackets have to come out blazing, get that first goal and make the young Oilers team play desperate. If the Jackets fall behind early, hold on tight.
WHAT I’LL BE WATCHING
The Blue Jackets gave former Buffalo Sabres (and Michigan State Spartans) forward Corey Tropp an unexpected Thanksgiving surprise in claiming him off waivers when the Sabres tried to shuffle him off to the minors. He’s surely going to be in the bottom six for Blue Jackets forwards, but it will be interesting to see how the presence of a new face – one with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, having just survived being banished to the AHL – impacts the team.
In a less extreme way, the elevation of Jack Skille from Springfield three games ago also has been interesting. He’s already netted a goal in limited play, something you don’t expect from your AHL-NHL tweeners. Still, these guys like Tropp and Skille are people who live on the bubble and are hungry to make their mark while in The Show…so perhaps that attitude will help the team’s psyche right now.
YOUR FOX SPORTS OHIO BROADCAST INFORMATION
- “Blue Jackets Live” with Brian Giesenschlag and Dan Kamal started at 6:30PM
- The puck drops at 7:00PM with Jeff Rimer and Bill Davidge on the call.
- “Blue Jackets Live Postgame” with Brian and Dan starts immediately following.
A little Black Friday hockey for you! Have fun tonight!