Avalance at Oilers, G12, 09-10

The Edmonton Oilers may have some warts, some injuries and the entire cast of ‘One Flu over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ on their roster but they also have some very nice things.

Dustin Penner is having a breakout season, the goaltending appears to be as good or better than a year ago (and more settled), Ales Hemsky is posting up points and there are at least 6 forwards who look like they’ll have average or better seasons.

PLUS, there’s Lubo. He’s more than a puck mover, outlet passer, offensive defender. Lubomir Visnovsky is almost a puppeteer with the puck and his linemates, with each sweeping move or pass obvious only upon completion. Being a Lubo fan is like a wonderful ride at the carnival, scary and breathless but also secure and confident.

He’s just about the most wonderful hockey player I’ve ever seen.

The Oilers are having a nice start to the season, but Colorado is all world. Their offseason included acquiring a goalie and their bet has delivered in spades so far this season. The kids are playing at ridiculous levels and the club doesn’t have a lot to worry about at this time. Craig Anderson has them playing at an 8-1-2 clip and while that isn’t sustainable, it’s also uncertain the Oilers are the club to send them into a funk.

As of this writing, I’m not certain who is flu ridden and who is healthy. We know Nikolai Khabibulin is slated to start and that the Oilers were poor on the weekend. And Colorado has been as good as anyone so far this year.

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