Oh the Edmonton Oilers. What a horrible, horrible hockey franchise you are. Despite having the first pick three years in a row, the Oilers are sitting in last place in the Western Conference. Why? Because they don't have defense and they don't have goaltending. Apparently Steve Tambellini believed that scoring wins everything and that is why Steve Tambellini is no longer the GM of the Oilers. The 2012 NHL Entry Draft, where the Oilers took Nail Yakapov first overall, had eight defensemen taken in the top ten.
From my good friends at Jobberdy.
Instead their answer was to sign aging, pylon-esque defensemen like Andrew Ference. As a person, Andrew Ference is as fantastic as they come. He was a great guy in the Boston community and from everything I've heard he was top notch as a locker room presence, but as a defenseman Ference was beginning to show some wear.
Think about this, Edmonton is 9th in the NHL in goals scored with 87, ahead of playoff caliber teams like Boston, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver but 29th in goals against with 108. For those who don't want to do any math right now, that's a goal differential of -21.
You can't even really say that the injury bug has bitten the Oilers defense either. While the Oilers as a whole have 149 man games lost due to injury, most of them are forwards. The longest stint an Oilers defenseman has been out was Cory Potter, who was out 11 games with a back injury. Currently the Oilers are only missing Jeff Petry, who is out with a head injury.
This is the first time we will see Andrew Ference in a non-Bruins jersey since he was traded to Boston from Calgary. It will be strange, for sure, but I'm not going to wax poetic on missing him in our defensive group. I don't really miss the guy at all.
Feel free to go to town on me for that last sentence but given what the Bruins have in their defensive group both at the NHL level and the AHL level, Ference was an easy odd man out.
Bottom line, Edmonton sucks and it doesn't what kind of lineup the Bruins put on the ice today – they should wipe the floor with these guys.
Okay so now Dan Paille has flown back to Boston with an upper body injury. The Bruins roster is becoming thinner and thinner as we speak. I would also give Chad Johnson the nod against the Oilers. With Rask getting the flu yesterday, I would rest him up for a showdown in Vancouver on Saturday.
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Jarome Iginla
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Reilly Smith
Carl Soderberg – Ryan Spooner – Matt Fraser
Jordan Caron – Greg Campbell – Nick Johnson
Zdeno Chara – Kevan Miller
Dennis Seidenberg – Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski – Johnny Boychuk
Puck Drop: 9:30pm EST
Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Kevan Miller with the puck from his first NHL goal in Toronto