The Good Guys: Let two valuable points slip away into the Nashville night on Thursday, losing to a good Predators team 4-2. The Avalanche had stretches of play where they controlled the puck against the Preds and never seemed overwhelmed by the superior team, which is encouraging; the loss of two points was not encouraging.
Bunch Of Dicks: Edmonton is hurtling toward a third straight lottery pick, at which time they'll undoubtedly take the most talented forward available. Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is currently constructing a roster that would absolutely dominate Nintendo Ice Hockey. There are a few fast skinny guys (Ryan Hyphen, Linus Omark, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson-Stockholm-Borkborkbork), medium-sized guys that really don't do anything particularly well (Ryan Jones, Shawn Horcoff), fat guys that suck (Andy Sutton), and one of the unlockable NES Ice Hockey characters: tall guy trying to skate on one leg that can barely move and is also a turnover machine (Ryan Whitney).
We Like: Saturday Afternoon Games. Seriously, get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, run a few errands, grab some grub, and come home and watch the game. Game's over by dinnertime, and you have all night to do whatever: watch some other games, have a few drinks, go play pickup, chase potential sexual partners, whatever floats your boat.
We Don't Like: Saturday Afternoon Games. If the team loses, Saturday night is ruined, and no number of Will Ferrell movies on TBS will change that.
Randomly: Stefan Elliott hasn't played badly, but he hasn't exactly stood out recently either. Does Tyson Barrie get another look soon? If not, why not?
Potential Hero: Against a team like the Oilers, if you can exploit their weakness (defense, derp) you can rumble them. Look for the "ORLANDO" Line to possess the puck and pick apart the Cam Barkers of the world.
Potential Goat: Conversely, if the game turns into a run-and-gun affair with the teams exchanging chances, Semyon Varlamov is going to be expected to make big saves without much help from his sketchy defense. Not that he hasn't demonstrated (especially lately) that he can do that, but if Varlamov has an off game, we could be looking at 7-6.
Final Thought: Must win. Must win. MUST WIN. MUST WIN. Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.
Oilers 7, Avs 6