Leafs vs Oilers – To Be Played in Quebec Next Year

Last week it was the 54 best teams in the East who suited up against the Leafs. This week it’ll be the 2 worst teams in the West before a HNIC showdown with Vancouver on Saturday. In what is being called the West Coast Waffle week (WCW for you wrasslin’ fans), the Leafs take a tour of lovely Western Canada with stops in Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Previous meetings with the Oilers and Canucks ended in blowout losses to both with scores of 5-0 and 5-3 respectfully. The Leafs-Flames game on Thursday will be their first meeting this season and captain Dion Phaneuf’s first game in the Saddledome since getting traded last season. But the Leafs can’t afford to look ahead to that as tonight they face the young Oilers who already have a taste for Leafs blood and are eagerly looking to get out of the draft lottery.

After an incredibly slow start, the Oilers are 6-3-1 over their last 10 games and definitely playing better hockey than their record would suggest. The injury sustained by Captain Shawn Horcoff led to Youtube star Linus Omark getting called up and he dazzle in his first game with a shootout goal that Dan Ellis didn’t find humorous at all.

Also with his callup, Omarks becomes the 4th player on the Oilers’ lineup to have been drafted by the team over the last 4 years. A great example of why drafting is so important to team development. If it wasn’t for their atrocious goaltending and defense, this would be a team to watch out for in the next 2 to 3 years as being a Cup contender.

Thankfully Tambellini is a moron and has no idea how to run a team. Maybe when the Oilers change their locale and move to Quebec City they’ll change their GM as well and finally stop being a perennial bottom feeder.

The Leafs are like the bizarro version of the Oilers. A young team build around a solid defense core but lacking a respectable offense. With Phaneuf’s return, the team has gone 1 and 1 with an embarrassing loss to a better Philly team and a hard fought win against the Habs.

Mike Komisarek and Brown remain out with injuries though it’s Brown that the Leafs miss most right now as his work ethic and self sacrifice provide great examples for the young players to learn from. Phil Kessel ended his goal scoring drought on Saturday but would need to score a hattrick tonight to get back onto a 40 goal pace for the season; which is what he needs to do to justify his much maligned trade in 2009.

In net tonight it’s a battle of the old bones as J.S. Giguere takes on Nikolai Khabibulin. Both are shells of their former selves though and likely in their last year(s) of playing in the NHL.  Giguere’s decline has been fully exposed this season in Toronto and has been ongoing since his Stanley Cup win with the Ducks in 2007.

As shown below, since then he’s career save percentage has falling by .010 % from .922 to .912. Which is a whole lot over 3 years when it factors in 500+ career games.

Yeah, not good. Hopefully Giguere can stop his decline and just play "average" for the rest of the season. If he continues playing as a .900 goalie and gets a fair amount of starts, then the Leafs will finish in the draft lottery. He needs to be better; hopefully he can be.

Tonight I’m expecting pucks to go into the net with ease and ending up 5-4. Who will the winner be? No idea, but a Leafs win would be nice.

  • How is this even an arguement?? Saying the Oilers have no defence and no goaltending after getting blanked by them two weeks back speaks volumes on how inept the Leafs are. Leaf fans shouldnt be the ones throwing stones here considering the only folks that can remember an impending cup in Leafs Nation are pushing 70.

    Is there any rhyme or reason to the Leafs development? Burke says he wants to win now but has spent way too much on the backend. How can you expect to win paying your 5th defenceman $4MM per? Especially when you look at the roster and you can tell they will have trouble scoring.

    Say what you want about the Oiler management and their past failures, but their plan makes total sense. The Oilers are no where near the cap even though money is not an issue. They are letting their players develop and avoiding the temptation spending big money on free agents who would block said development. I would say they have way too many kids on the roster to be a winner right now but winning right now isnt the be all end all, improvement of the kids is.

  • SkinnyFish

    Operation Piss Off Oilers Fans is a rousing success.

    Seriously though, how dense are you guys? I praise the Oilers’ young forwards and the fact that they were drafted by the organization, but follow that up by stating the obvious fact that they have zero defense (30th in the league with 34.7 shots against per game), and horrible goaltending (team average of 0.903) and that this is a direct result of incompetent management.

    Nothing I’ve said here or above is out of line or incorrect, you’ve obviously got your Oilers blinders on which prevent you from seeing that fact.

    • ehcg

      Can you not tell the difference between our replies to PPP’s comments that we have no defensive or goaltending PROSPECTS and your evaluation of our current NHL talent? I would agree, our NHL level defense is embarrassing (although our prospect goaltender is doing much better out of the two)

  • Wax Man Riley

    Surprising number of oilers fans trolling your site. I’m an oilers fan, but I am not intending to troll

    In response to Pension Plan Puppets:

    (1) I agree that our defence is terrible, but I disagree that we have 0 goaltending prospects and 0 defence prospects. Dubnyk is coming along very nicely as a goaltending prospect and, over the past couple of years, decent UFA goalies have been easy to come by (though both the oil and leafs did poorly with their UFA selections). So … I think we have a decent tender in the wings, but we can buy one in the future anyway. Defence is of greater concern. Whitney’s arguably a top 2, Gilbert’s a 3-4, and hopefully peckham and belle will develop. We’ll have to do something through trades or FA to shore this up, but I acknowledge that will be tough.

    (2) Tambo and Lowe are both retarded, but so is Burke. No point arguing over who has the worse GM. Tambo will be gone by the time the oil are good in a year or 2.

  • ehcg

    Belle is doing amazing in the AHL along with Petry. Martin Maricin is doing very well in the WHL. Three solid prospects. And Peckham is a nice surprise.

    Toronto fail.

    And hey, if we suck, at least well get a great pick this year. Too bad you can’t say the same. Why don’t you start winning some games so we can draft a bit higher? Stop helping Boston.