The other franchise that Glen Sather screwed up will play their annual game against the Rangers in November, their first visit to New York since November of 2008 - a shootout loss. In that recap I wrote, "Michal Rozsival and Wade Redden are the biggest waste of money since the pet rock. Neither one has been remotely competent in the Rangers zone." Oh how little things change ...
Familiar Foes: Tom Renney is now officially the head coach and he will lead a young team into the Garden. No matter how hard they tried to trade them, Sheldon Souray and Andrew Cogliano are still Oilers. They are just two of the few veterans on the Edmonton roster nowadays. Shawn Horcoff keeps playing out his contract, Sam Gagner was inexplicably extended and Ales Hemsky is coming off injury. Dustin Penner was one of the few bright lights of last season, showing incredible hands of a player with his size. Huggy bear Zack Stortini is the defender of the franchise while our old friend Jason Strudwick is the extra voice in the locker room. Nik Khabibulin is still on their roster but good ole Twitchy is as good as gone after he gets out of jail.
N00bz: Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk have taken over the crease but neither one has really shown the capability to pull away and be a NHL starter - Deslauriers did it last season but most Oiler fans don't see him as the starter to lead the team into the future. That future is bright as the Oilers should start to reap the benefits of failure. Taylor Hall, Magnus Paajarvi and Jordan Eberle are all set to step into the lineup and they are studs. Other youngsters worth watching will be Theo Peckham, Linus Omark, Liam Reddox and Ryan O'Marra. Not surprisingly, Edmonton was quiet in the free agent market. They added Martin Gerber for some goaltending insurance and made a stellar signing in Kurtis Foster.
Last Year: Thursday, November 5th, 4-2 Ranger win.
This Year: Sunday, November 14th at MSG.
What They Mean To Blue: One of just two or three 'easy' games in a busy November. It is a 12:30pm Sunday afternoon game that will surely see the Garden full of kids - on the ice in the Oilers themselves and off it in those children dragged by dad as part of a fun day in the big city. Plus, in Hall, the Rangers can see what they missed out on by making that futile late season surge at the playoffs.