Let's not kid ourselves here, folks: there's not many teams we can morally poke fun at these days. But with the latest roster moves by the Edmonton Oilers, we find ourselves once again shaking our heads in disbelief at just how fortunate we are to not have a management team, as incompetent as they can be, like the one that runs the Oilers.
Forget the fact that they had another high 1st round pick become a bust and get traded away, this time for quite literally nothing, as the Blues took Nail Yakupov for an ECHL'er with 1 AHL game under his belt. No, it was trying to convince their beleaguered fan base that they've upgraded their woeful backline by adding Kris Russell. And as you might expect, they're selling hard by touting how good a shot blocker he is. You don't have to be an advanced stats junkie to know that anytime you have someone blocking shots at that volume, it's because they are terrible when it comes to puck possession. When you consider that the rumours had Chicago sending Brent Seabrook over for Yakipov, this feels like getting socks for Christmas. If your birthday was on Dec 25th. And they were hand-me-downs.
So here's what we can expect from the Oilers tonight:
Looks pretty much like the opening night crew, no? As far as the Canucks, there's still some questions left to be answered in terms of 4th line and defensive slots. One thing we do know is that Jacob Markstrom will get the start tonight after the 35 save shutout for Ryan Miller against Calgary. Two players we won't see are Erik Gudbrandson (maintenance day) and Chris Tanev. Anton Rodin will also take a maintenance day, something we'll likely see in the first bit of the season as he continues the healing process for his knee. This is what we should see from the Canucks tonight:
Remember that the game goes at 6 from Edmonton, as this is not a normal Saturday. Adjust your turkey consumption (for those of you who can't wait for Monday) accordingly.
Speaking of finalized lineups, a lot of eyebrows raised on the West Coast after the Flames announced that Hunter Shinkaruk will start the season with the AHL's Bakersfield Flames. A pretty good lesson for everyone, that sometimes trades need to truly determine whether or not they were a good decision. While we may not yet know just how good Markus Granlund will be, his play this season is a pretty positive sign what the Canucks saw that caused them to ship Shinkaruk to Calgary for Granlund was justified. Speaking of former Canucks, it's looking like Brandon Prust will be in the lineup for the Leafs on opening night, surviving their latest round of cuts. Go figure.
GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN
Been really digging these guys lately, and while Poland is well known for producing death metal bands like Vader, Decapitated and Behemoth, Terrordome are straight up old school thrash metal. This is the kind of stuff that gets me missing the mosh pit, man!