The Edmonton Oilers make their first visit to St. Louis tonight. Try not to get too excited. They have one more point than the Blues.
The Oilers are coming off a 3-2 win Wednesday night at Tampa Bay. Zach Stortini scored a Gordie Howe hat trick with his third goal of the season, an assist and not one but two fights. Overachiever. The win gives Edmonton four straight victories on the road coming into tonight. Who do they think they are, the Blues? The Oilers also got goals from Tom Gilbert and Dustin Penner.
Penner is having a renaissance this season, his third after signing a ridiculous free agent offer sheet while in Anaheim. His first season in Alberta, Penner 23 goals and 24 assists, only two points more than he had scored the season before. Last year, his second for the Oilers, his production dropped to 17 goals and 20 assists. This season already Penner has matched his goal total of 17 and has 15 assists. Even if he has turned his career around at age 27 and made his signing not seem like such a freaking joke, Penner will still remain the argument against a franchise gambling by throwing gobs of money at young restricted free agents. I guess that's better than being remembered for marrying one of the actresses on Baywatch and then having his messy divorce go public.
So Sheldon Souray got married to Angelica Bridges who was on Baywatch. They were happy. Had some kids. Decided to get a divorce. She got a Twitter account and started accusing Souray of being violent towards his family. Real, real messy. The big defenseman with a big shot from the point, especially on the power play, Last season for the Oilers Souray netted 23 goals. This year, two. To match his 53 points from last year, he's going to have to turn it up a notch from seven.
Lubomir Visnovsky is having a fine year and enjoying time away from Los Angeles. The defenseman has seven goals and 15 assists and is supplying the offense from the blue line that Souray should be providing. Of course offense has been at a premium for the Oilers since their leading scorer Ales Hemsky went down with a torn left labrum. Season-ending surgery. Too bad for him.
Gilbert Brule was a bust as a first-round draft pick in Columbus. Without the pressure of being the next big thing in Ohio, he can be just another player for the Oilers. He's scored seven goals and 11 assists during this his first season in Edmonton. And he's only 22. So go figure what his real potential ceiling is.
The pressure is still on young Sam Gagner to get better. As an 18-year-old he scored 49 points. It was precious. And then at age 19, his points dropped to 41. Now that he's not a teenager but not old enough to order his own beer, he has 18 points on the season. Good luck, young fella.
I had totally forgotten Nikolai Khabibulin signed in Edmonton. And maybe the Oilers wish they could forget too. The Bulin Wall has a record of 7-9-2 on the season. While sporting a 91 percent save percentage, his GAA is above 3.0. That's a really weird mix. He's been on the shelf with a sore back since Nov. 21. Playing in his place have been Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk. I think they may sell tires in their spare time.
Can the Blues play a good game on home ice? Who's the starter in net? Will Towel Boy actually jump? Let's drop the puck.
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