Remain Calm! All Is Well!

Oilers finish up their six game road trip at 1-5.  Coach Renney had said he wanted to take eight points from this trip.  This would have required the Oilers to win four games, or combine eight points through some fanciful win and overtime loss scenario, something like 3-1-2. Mercifully, the Oilers are able to visit the somewhat friendlier confines of Rexall Place for the next week.

And now, the Hockey Gods have come for another jewel in the Oiler purse:  Jordan Eberle.  Eberle’s knee was injured in the first period yesterday in a collision with Jamie Benn.  Not happy with sidelining RNH for a month, you had to grab Eberle on the same road trip.  I see how it is.  Daniel Carcillo laid a hit on Tom Gilbert that’s kept Gilbert out of the lineup for a week.  The bricks keep falling.


Edmonton is thirteenth in the Western Conference, currently with thirty-five points.  In a twitter exchange with  Tyler Dellow, I tried to hold off the ‘fail for Nail’ commentary until the conclusion of this road trip.  The road trip has ended, the Oilers took just two points, and that grey sky is turning darker.  The Oilers are going to have to win something like 27 games over the next forty to have a legit shot at making the dance.  I have a hard time selling this to anyone breathing through their mouth or nostrils.

I’m not ready to fold up the tables and chairs yet, but unless the things that we’ve been talking about for the past two or three years are addressed, this team simply isn’t going to put up the wins.  The crime in all of this?  There’s still forty games to play.  Here we sit, halfway through the season.  The Oilers have 35 points, and 20 of those points were due to that really hot start.  Do the Oilers have another ‘hot start’ in them with RNH and Eberle out with injuries?


Hang on just a minute. Photo courtesy Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oilers

I don’t even want to think about what this team is going to do come trade deadline.  I believe it’s going to involve something with Ales Hemsky and acquiring something of little value in return, such as a pick.

It’s no rumour that I’m on the ‘resign Hemsky’ bandwagon.  If you’re going to get rid of Ales Hemsky, please, please, please make it for something that you can put on the blue line and have it work.  I’m not suggesting for a minute that you’re going to swap Hemsky for Shea Weber and a five year deal, but if you’re going to get rid of Hemsky, at least make it for an NHL calibre defenceman.  Make it something dependable, something stable.  Something that was drafted between 2003 and 2007 that runs good, doesn’t have a whole lot of miles on it.  Too much to ask?

And now, something that made me clap courtesy of Lowetide

Jason Gregor said it best a week or two ago, if the Oilers aren’t listening to offers on him then the club isn’t doing due diligence. NK could garner a high draft pick (late first, early second) or perhaps a quality prospect in return. That might seem like a high price, but ask Tbay about the importance of goaltending.

While Khabibulin has played well beyond most everyone’s expectations so far this season, the button has got to be pushed if the Oilers can receive something worthwhile in return.  If the Capitals are sniffing around the playoffs in the next little while, would they be interested in Khabibulin?  Would a return to Phoenix be in the cards?  Management:  whatever you do, can it be something that helps the team today?  I’m thinking of like when the Oilers traded Steve Staios to the Flames for Aaron Johnson, but a little bit *nicer* of a return.  (Side note:  Johnson had 7 points in 19 games with the Oilers that year.  I happen to think that’s a lot for a guy who played on an awful Oiler squad).

Devils are in town on Wednesday.  Here’s hoping we hear a little bit more on Gilbert / Eberle over the next 24 hours. Rather, here’s hoping we hear something good regarding Gilbert and Eberle over the next 24 hours.

So you’re the boss.  Realistically, who gets moved?  For what?  Make this team better.  It’s your call.

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Tags: Jordan Eberle Nikolai Khabibulin Tom Gilbert

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