The Edmonton Oilers won’t play tonight with a full deck, but they need this road win to salvage a very difficult early portion of the season. A 2-3-1 road trip represents a major victory when you consider this team flew into Ottawa winless in 4 games. No sir. Tonight’s a big game.
It’s an open question as to what the lines will look like tonight, I’m just going to list the forwards and blue in order of importance (and with the assumption that Jordan Eberle is playing).
- R Jordan Eberle
- R Ales Hemsky
- C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
- L David Perron
- C Boyd Gordon
- L Nail Yakupov
- C Mark Arcobello
- C Will Acton
- R Ryan Jones
- L Ben Eager
- R Tyler Pitlick
- L Luke Gazdic
I think that’s right. Oilers don’t have enough forwards with Hall, Smyth and Gagner unavailable and Brown out of town. If Eberle doesn’t play, Grebeshkov might be a forward.
- Jeff Petry
- Justin Schultz
- Andrew Ference
- Anton Belov
- Ladislav Smid
- Denis Grebeshkov
- Nick Schultz
- Taylor Fedun
So, there’s that. The Oilers have 4 pairs of defensemen but can’t ice four lines. Unusual. Fedun’s callup was listed in AHL transactions but I haven’t seen it elsewhere.
The Oilers traded Mike Brown last night, it was a good trade in two ways. First, they got a draft pick in return–a 4th–and that has value. I’ve spoken to a few draft people in the last few weeks, and it seems as though this year is not a strong one for the draft. It doesn’t matter. Mike Brown’s CORSI ON was 372nd out of 419 NHL forwards this season. Ryan Jones, Tyler Pitlick and anyone else who is thrown in there is extremely likely to be better.
And it’s a positive in that the organization’s management picked the right player to offload. Adding Ben Eager to the roster gives them a more capable veteran, someone who can do more things and has more experience with things like goal scoring and playing with skill (should it be required). This is a positive all around.
I could choose 100 painful pictures from my youth involving the Habs, but Frank Mahovlich wearing that uniform is pretty damn difficult. Mahovlich won 4 Stanley’s with the Leafs and was a big part of the 1971 and 1973 Montreal Stanley’s. The Big M was a tall drink of water who was a tough out when he got up to speed and he could shoot the puck well enough to score anywhere inside the blueline (this would be the old blueline).
Habs gave up Mickey Redmond (an outstanding young scorer, he would suffer a career ending back injury just a few short years later), Bill Collins (a competent to good checking C who could penalty kill and score when given the icetime) and Guy Charron (a long forgotten but talented offensive player). It was a good deal for Detroit, would have been a great one with health for Redmond, but it was a perfectly timed ‘perfect fit’ trade by Sam Pollock: his young offensive wingers (Redmond, Marc Tardif) were taking their own sweet time getting up to speed, and this was a veteran team, a Beliveau team, an Henri Richard team, and they simply didn’t have time to wait for greatness.
So they traded for it, won the Stanley and broke my heart. I’ll forgive them about 50 years after I die.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
This morning at 10, TSN1260. Scheduled to appear:
- Ryan Batty from Copper and Blue. Mike Brown trade, 11 forwards for tonight, Hall injury, lighting candles.
- Andrew Berkshire from Eyes on the Prize. Habs are injury riddled but have a winning record. I’ll find out how.
- Rob Soria from Oil Drop. Acquiring a top pairing D, making sense of the lineup and Dubnyk’s recovery
- Kirk Luedeke from Redline Report and NEHJ. We’ll talk BoSox-Cardinals WS, strength of draft 2014, Yale’s Arcobello and goalies in the NCAA.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. This is a spirited bunch of guests, hope you can tune in. 10am, TSN1260 or you can go to the website and ‘listen live’ beginning at 10am EDM time.