Monday, November 10, 2008
Peepin' Foes: Edmonton Oilers
You guys asked for it in the poll so here is the first official game preview at Scotty Hockey. I can't guarantee that I will be able to do it for every game, but will certainly attempt to (my apologies already for missing some, since I am pretty sure it will happen). So without more blathering, here is the first edition of Peepin' Foes:
Where We Are: Coming off of a disappointing result in DC, the Rangers will be back on home ice where they are 7-3-0 this season. Lauri Korpikoski has been recalled so his return to the show should help motivate the boys. Well ... one could hope.
Where They Are: Edmonton is 7-6-1, having only played three games on home ice. The Ranger game is the seventh and final game of a long road trip for the Oilers that saw them go 3-3. They played in Newark last night and beat the Scott Clemmensen-led Devils 2-1 despite being outshot 38-28. Ales Hemsky had a goal and an assist, Sheldon Souray got the game-winner and rookie Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 37 saves. JDD is the third goaltender on the Edmonton roster but don't be shocked if he moves up to the starter by the end of the year with Roloson being trade bait and Garon struggling. Roloson, by the way, will likely start against the Rangers.
Who To Watch For: Hemsky is one of the top talents in the NHL and he is pacing the Oilers in points. Right behind him is a pretty healthy Souray - he of the killer slap shot that you remember from Montreal. Lubomir Visnovsky was a fanastic addition from L.A. and he remains dangerous on the blueline even after seven seasons with the Kings. As you guys know, I like to keep an eye on the lunch-pail players and Edmonton has one of the best, Ethan Moreau. They also have former Ranger Jason Strudwick, who has done well this season and is getting some solid ice time.
What To Watch For: The young Oilers that stunned so many people late last season with a speedy attack that nearly got them into the playoffs are greatly underachieving so far thus season. They are quick though and if the Rangers continue to have so many problems passing, the Oilers will jump all over them. And if the Rangers continue to struggle in the faceoff circle, Souray could hammer Hank for a goal or two.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: The Rangers should rebound nicely from the loss and beat the Copper and Blue. Edmonton's youth often scrambles around their own goal so some hard work in front should earn the Rangers some good garbage goals.
Also Check Out: Oilers Nation, Lowetide and The Battle of Alberta.
As always, I recommend people check out Sam Weinman's Ranger Report for up-to-the-minute updates on our boys. Sam really is the best of the beat guys covering the Blueshirts.