Oilers/Avs: Putting Up Shelves
Oh Norman Fell, you magnificent bastard.
I know the Oilers play the Wild 8 times in their last 50 games and that's something that can certainly chap the ass of even the most patient fan.
But we'll deal with that when it comes.
For now the Oilers head to Denver to face the Avalanche for the fourth time in 32 games and I hope the Oilers attitude doesn't emulate mine because I view yet another Edm/Col matchup just like Stanley Roper did when it came to having sex with his wife Helen: it's like putting up shelves and while you don't want to do it, you know it's necessary.
The killer about this series over the past couple of seasons is that Col has at times treated Rexall as it's own personal road woodshed and have layed a couple of really good beatings on the homebound Oilers, ie case in point was the 7-3 pounding late last month. This game's in Denver so that makes the last point less salient but I find it interesting that despite the fact there's been a massive turnover rosterwise the Avs can still bring a certain amount of blowout pain that we'd usually assiociate with teams emboldened by the likes of Forsberg, Drury, Lemieux, Deadmarsh, Blake etc.
There's a look at their last game and that roster shouldn't be blowing out anyone outside of maybe the Yotes and Flyers. These days the Avs are showing more and more reliance on kids like Stastny and Wolski and past life fatsos like Aarnason. Of course, Sakic's still around doing his business and Hejduk is even Hejduk some nights but their D corps can be a dog's breakfas and their netminding is always up in the air.
The Oilers are 2-0 thus far in Denver and played a great game there last time out. The first win was 4-3 early on in the sked but any impartial observer would have to state that the Avs created the vast majority of chances. But the last game was a 2-1 Oilers win where they practically tore the cover off the Avs in the metric of scoring chances for/against. So despite the fact the Oilers have been a shitty road team thus far, though I will throw in the caveat that I've liked their road performance their last seven times out and you can look that up if you wanna fight about it;) they haven't had a whole lot of trouble in Colorado.
The Oilers played a great game last night and showed enough moxie to grab their first win of the season when trailing after 40 min. 83 could be back tonight and if not tonight then most likely come Tues at Rexall against the, you guessed it, Avalanche. 94's on the mend and they're talking about him coming back possibly on the 30th vs Van and if not then on NYE in Cgy. I've said this before but if 94 misses a NYE tilt in Cgy then he might be hurt enough to miss the entire season;)
Edm just has to hang on until the cavalry comes over the hill and they have the sked to be able to weather such a games missed storm, IMO.
In the HTH section the Avs have more than a couple of Oiler killers. Sakic's running at 31-83-70, ie that's my own personal stats for goals, points and games played and if you can't figure out the assist total than that's your loss, Turgeon's 23-58-55, Brisebois may be defensive garbage but he's been killing the Oil for years to the tune of 7-24-29, Hedjuk goes at 17-37-43 and Arnason may be young but he's a quick learner, ie 7-11-14.
The Oilers always lag behind in this catergory, or at least in volume, because their guys are so young and I haven't been listing 94 because he's currently lame. 71's knows the Rocky Mountain Way, 11-25-15, Horc usually gets a little bit done, 4-18-28, and Stoll's learning as well, 5-10-15.
This game's worth checking out just for the fact that the Oilers should be looking to avenge the result of their last meeting but at the same time I'm not expecting any barns to be in jeporady either.
So we look forward to perhaps another altitudinal win and we offer the Oilers the same advice that Stanley did to his ladyfriend: Be gentle with us Helen.