Game Day Blog 31/82: It’s Tony Time, Oilers @ Blue Jackets

Back at this shit again tonight. The Oilers are coming off what was without question one of their best if not their best losses of the year. We flat out abolished Toronto in the final 50ish minutes of Sunday’s game but ran into about a million posts and the hottest career backup goalie of all time. Lot of good takeaways from that no point performance. However, we desperately need wins now. We’ve dug ourselves an early season grave that we’re somehow trying to surface from at nearly the halfway point of the year. Such is life when you suffer from an early season case of the “playing like goddamn idiots.”

Tonight’s Opponent: Columbus Blue Jackets

Their Record: 19-10-1, 39 points. Oh and they’ve won 10 of their last 13 and have jumped by Hall’s Devils and Eberle’s Islanders and Crosby’s Penguins and Ovie’s Capitals and are now leading the best division in hockey. All I see is they’re due for a loss.

Our Record: 12-16-2, 26 points but we’re 5-5 in our last 10 .500 HOCKEY BABY YA SHRED IT BRO!!!

If we play .500 hockey for the rest of the year we’ll finish with 38 wins. In order to finish with the same amount of wins as last season (47) we need to win 35 (!!!) of our last 52 (!!!!!!!!).

If you don’t believe, just remember, in 2015 we had an 88.5% chance of not getting Connor McDavid. I, somehow, believe.

What Do The Jackets Have? Listen, I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I care about the Blue Jackets. I’m not going to lie and say I have any personal emotional vendetta against this hockey club like I do for almost and/or all of the other 29 hockey clubs in the league, 30 if you include the Edmonton Oilers, which you absolutely fucking should. Because in all honesty, I don’t. I don’t care about this team. They’re a fugazi they’re a fugazzi they’re a wazzy they’re a woozy they’re fairy dust. This is a team that has as many playoff round wins as the Cleveland Browns 2.0, stuffed in a state that only becomes relevant when it’s time to elect a president. They do not matter to me, and they certainly do not intimidate me. They can go 74-8 and they’d still lose to the Penguins in the first round.

That said, bah gawd do they ever own us. We’re just 2-6 against Columbus since they moved to the East, and we’ve lost three straight to the Jackets since Connor humiliated them on a play where he sent Joonas Korpisalo and Justin Falk to the fucking moon and back. Watch #44:

SEND IT BABY!! That was Daddy’s first game back after what felt like a decade of darkness and he made minced meat of the entire Blue Jackets organization.

On their 2017-18 ice, Artemi Panarin has 10 points in his last four games (JESUS), and the guy they drafted over Pool Party for has eight points in his last five. That’s not to say that all these players have been stellar. Other than Panarin, no Jacket has over 20 points. But the line of Panarin, Dubois and Anderson has been lights since the beginning of December. There’s really nothing else to say. It’s all Bobrovsky.

What Do We Have? It’s Tony Time, baby:

Well it’ll be Tony Time for about eight fourth line minutes tonight but dammit, it’s a start. Drake Caggiula is another three or four weeks of uselessnicity away from being strapped to a cannon ball and fired directly into the AHL. Nathan “g’day” Walker didn’t do anything in a game where everybody did something so he’s still out of the lineup. I actually don’t mind this roster tonight. If Cam was playing I’d argue it’s the best one we’ve witnessed all year.

Still, I can’t fathom why we haven’t tried Nuge on McDavid’s left wing. I get that he’s having a terrific year and everything like that but Leon had been averaging about 16 minutes of ice in his last nine games prior to Sunday, where he eclipsed the 20 minute mark for the first time since November 12th against Washington. We’re not spending $8.5 million a year for him to lay waste on the third line. That’s what we pay Ryan Strome to do. Then again, whatever. The team is actually starting to play decent hockey agains so I won’t complain about this that much.

I WILL, however, complain about a severe lack of Jesse Puljujarvi on the power play. That’s absolutely mind numbing. Makes no sense. Replace Letestu with him and do it right now.

How refreshing has Brandon Davidson been? Send Eric Gryba into the wilderness to hunt some boars.

LB made some saves against Toronto, minus the first one, of course. We’re going to need something similar to that again tonight. Columbus does not allow goals.

Did you know? The Jackets have their own super fan:

But he’s no match for my boy Blue:

Prediction: 4-2 Oilers with an empty net. Connor and Jesse both score. Nuge had torched Columbus in his career so he gets two points. I even have a feeling that maniac Kassian gets a goal tonight. Let’s go.