Well, the Oilers beat the Wings tonight despite playing a night earlier and teetering on the edge (of the playoffs and mentally I would think). Overall a pretty impressive effort by the Oil in a game where they looked out of it by about the 10 minute mark of the first period. This is the third time the Oilers took it to OT on this road trip and the first they managed to end it in their favour. It makes you wonder what the standings would look like now had the Oilers managed to squeeze an extra point out of the Sens and Sabres.
But that's the thing about the Oilers isn't it folks? About this time of year (every year) they look like they're completely out of the picture, and then they slowly crawl and spit and fight their way back into the picture, and then usually, abruptly drop out again.
So what should Oilfans expect this year in terms of the end result? I still see misfortune this year. Despite the Flames absolute best effort to ensure the Oilers make the playoffs, the Oilers are still 5 points back of the 8th spot, and the Flames have a game in hand. And also, its hard to imagine the Flames playing much worse than they are right now.
But, as I mentioned earlier, the Oilers still have 5 games against Minny, 2 against the Flames and there are still 21 games left so nothing is out of the question.
For now though, Pouliot and Thoresen, the replacement centres for Moreau and Stoll, have been performing admirably. Thoresen set up 2 in the win tonight, while Pouliot had a nifty move around Hasek to set up the tying goal. Pouliot especially is being rewarded by MacTavish in terms of icetime, playing 18:35 tonight, about a shift longer than Hemsky.
Another promising sign for the Oilers was the return of Fernando Pisani and Daniel Tjarnqvist. I forgot how much I missed Tjarnqvist back there-on this defensive group he is a true stabilizing force. Both guys played limited ice time but ended the game a +1, and undoubtably were a key component to the win tonight. Gene Principe interviewed Ethan Moreau during an intermission, and Moreau said he would be back 'next month.' I hope this is implying he will be back sometime next week, in March, rather than he will be back in about 30 days. Given that Moreau accompanied the team on the roadtrip, I am assuming he means the former.
As for Smytty news- there is no news. Is that good news?