The Oilers came out of the Christmas break with a game against the Vancouver Canucks on Boxing Day. They had zero jump in the game. I was very disappointed with the lack of effort put forth by the visiting Oil.
The Oilers also lost another defenseman in the game, Alex Plante was injured when he was hit into the boards on what I thought was a clean check. They since have re-called ColtonTeubert to replace Plante. The news this week has been the defense with news that Ryan Whitney will be out of commission for more time with complications to his weak ankle.
The defensive woes aside, The Oilers could not sustain any amount of decent pressure against the Canucks at any point in the game. Tom Renney came under more fire from the fans in Edmonton on Wednesday. Partly due to playing Shawn Horcoff and Sam Gagner on the PP over and over while they are not producing.
Today, it sounds like Ales Hemsky might play against the Wild. Hemsky took to the media yesterday yo say that he was struggling with his sinus infection and his recovery from shoulder surgery, and maybe came back to the line-up too soon this year. Hmmmm…sounds a little like a re-curing theme to me.
As of right now Darcy Hordichuk is listed as playing on the 4th line. If Hemsky returns it is likely either Eager or Hordichuk will sit tonight. Personally I would like to see Hordichuk play over Eager. In my opinion we need a guy willing to throw a few hits and Hordichuk seems more willing to engage consistently then Eager is.
In any event, this is the 6th meeting of these two teams and will put to bed the rivalry for another season. I am glad we finally broke the curse that was plaguing the Oil in Minnesota and maybe we can pull a win out of the struggling Wild tonight.
GO Oilers GO!