What a crazy day for hockey. At 9am NHL TV has the 2010 Winter Classic Practice, Finland plays Sweden at the World Juniors at noon, Spengler Cup happens to according to my tv schedule (poor MacT, that can’t look good on a resume), Montreal plays Florida early, Czechs play Russia at 4:30 my time, Colorado at Detroit is on at 5, Canada plays the USA at 6, the Oilers are in Calgary at 7 and they’re replaying the Russia-Habs 1975 game at 10 tonight.
I can’t watch all of it (d-i-v-o-r-c-e) so will flush practice and MacT, but catch MPS/Lander versus Hartikainen/Rajala and the Canada/USA game later on.
The Oilers? Yeah, sure. I’ll be interested to see how the Oilers play against better competition on a back-to-back. At some point the head coach is going to say something like “the games we lose to Calgary represent the main reason we’re always fighting for 8th place. If we can beat Calgary, we can win the division!” and he’ll be right. He’ll also be right when using the same speech when playing Vancouver and Denver but for Oiler fans losing to the Flames (not just losing, but losing consistently without anyone even bothering to get upset) is a tough pill to swallow.
I suppose they’ll start JDD tonight but would hope Dubnyk gets another start soon. Comrie mentioned on PPV last night things are coming along, Pisani sounded eager to get back into game action and Marc Pouliot can’t be more than 6 months away.
I like the Gagner line’s try last night, two or three great chances. O’Sullivan popping two was terrific to watch if you’ve been following his season, and incredibly this team has 6 or 7 guys with a chance at 20 goals this year. Speaking of that, this will mark the halfway mark of the season.
Biggest story of the first half? Hemsky injury and it doesn’t matter what is in second place. What a fun hockey player, I miss him.
UPDATE TO ADD: Over the last couple of days, Darren Dreger has been mentioning that some veteran Oilers are on the block. Among the names mentioned are Moreau, Staios, Nilsson and Pisani. I don’t know the trade value for any of those players, in fact a player like Fernando Pisani would need to come back and play well (and be healthy) for a few weeks before the deadline and we don’t know if that will happen.
Also mentioned were Souray and Cogliano. Those two players could form a solid basis for trade and the return would be significant even wth Souray’s salary and term. The question becomes what is coming back and how much cap room is saved.
This might be a very interesting trade deadline for the Edmonton Oilers, especially if they can’t see 8th place.