Blue Jackets at Oilers, G65 ’10-’11

Tonight marks the return of Ethan rifles. Unless he’s hurt himself again, Oiler fans will be able to see “2 minutes for being foolish 90 feet from his net” Moreau. I shouldn’t be mean about it, Ethan served this team well for many years before losing a step and being forced to use his stick to stop the train.

He’s in the “finished up his career by going 28gp, 1-4-5 -7 with Columbus” phase of a long and solid NHL career. He played during a time when the Oilers were outmanned pretty much every night.

So much has changed.

The Jackets have some nice veterans (Nash, Umberger, Vermette, newly acquired Upshall) up front and a plethora of quality youth (Voracek, Brassard, young wunderkind Matt Calvert). Their blue features a nice array of talent, including Fedor Tyutin, Marc Methot, Kris Russell and Jan Hejda. It’s not exactly the 77 Habs but they do get the job done. Goaltending has been the issue this season. I don’t know that they’re going to be a playoff team this year, but they’re a good hockey club. I wonder if they considered dealing for Vokoun at the deadline.

The Oilers are in real danger of  passing Ottawa in the standings. It’s important because the 30th place team gets a better chance of winning the lottery and this year picking first will be important again. Some say it doesn’t matter because Ottawa won’t choose D Adam Larsson, but Bryan Murray is a pretty sharp cookie when it comes to procurement. If the Sens believe Larsson is the BPA don’t be surprised if he’s taken. I remain convinced Couturier is the guy, but Landeskog is 13gp, 8-9-17 +9 since returning from injury. Folks, he might be the BPA.

Winnipeg is in the news again. Bob McKenzie suggests the NHL has some issues in the south and that the Jets could be back as soon as next season. Maybe they’ll trade for Khabibulin.

With the Oilers once again moving back the competition clock, we have to assume anyone over 20 is in play. What does that mean? If the recently acquired Kings pick ends up between 17 and 20 (hat tip to “Steve Smith” for supplying the math) the Oilers may attempt to trade up for a Dougie Hamilton. What would that cost? Maybe the pick and Sam Gagner, possibly a bigger deal involving Hemsky.

Everyone but Hall, Eberle and possibly Pääjärvi are likely in play.

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