February 23 2013 12:44PM
The Oilers play the Coyotes today in your classic garden variety matinee. This is great news for the Oilers who are a mind shattering 0-2346 in franchise history in afternoon matches.
Fortunately the NHL schedule makers in their infinite wisdom have decided that the Oil need to get over this en route to their eventual domination of the NHL and have put a good many afternoon games on their lockout shortened 2013 schedule.
GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS GOOD NEWS
The good news: Ryan Michael Stewart Jones (actual name) is back in the lineup for the Oilers after missing the first 16 games of the season with an injury sustained when a stick? skate? meteor? smashed him near his eye hole. The Return of the Flow can only be considered good news for an Oilers lineup that needs a bit of sand paper these days. The fact Jones potted 17 tucks last year is also good news for the team too which is inexplainably lacking offense in the past couple of weeks.
The bad news: Taylor Hall is serving the first game of a two game suspension for his hit on Cal Clutterbuck. Apparently "what goes around comes around" wasn't a sufficient defense strategy for the Oilers in defending #4 so he will be sitting somewhere in the building wearing a snazzy suit and will get the obligatory camera time where he looks remorseful whilst watching his team compete.
Eager - L'il Nuge - Eberle
Hartikainen - Gagner - Hemsky
Eager - Belanger - Jones
Yakupov - Vande Velde-Paajarvi (not confirmed)
It's unclear who the fourth line will be as of the time this article went to press and has not been released by the Oilers for this early game. Petrell is slated as good to go on the Oilers website but a tweet from the official Oilers account said that he has been placed on the injured reserve list. Confusing times these!
We can't find any mention of the D-pairings being released either yet either but you can probably count on:
Fistric - Potter
Khabibulin gets the start between the pipes
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Despite the fact that logic and experience states this will be a snoozer we will go out on a limb and say that the youthful Oilers catch the flat lining Coyotes napping and win 5-2. Goals by Eberle (clearly) Smyth, Nuge and J. Schultz. Ryan Jones will also pot a marker in his first game back.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Gene Principe will have some hilarious insight into the return of Ryan Jones. This could involve a wig of some variety or a pun involving "keeping up with the Jones." In either case half the Oilers fans watching will groan with pain and the other half will cheer with delight.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: In the post game interviews Ryan Jones will let it slip that his eye injury was self inflicted and his time out of the lineup was unnecessary. "I heard about the Hair Massacre and wanted nothing to do with chopping of my signature flow. So I faked it. So what? There was a lockout and I wasn't going to play that many games anyways." In an adjoining room, Steve Tambellini asks for a chair so that he can sit down and properly assess the situation.
NATION 5th BIRTHDAY PARTY UPDATE
See this here beauty? That's UFC Ring Girl and Maxim Model Arianny Celeste. She is in Edmonton for an event on March 1st and the kind folks at the Rack are going to bring her by Pint on Whyte to pose for pictures and say hello at some point during the birthday party.
"We can't imagine too many girls are going to the party Wanye," we were told by text "so we thought we would bring in an all world hottie to say hello. Maybe it will inspire you to talk to a girl yourself later in the night."
Tickets can be bought for only $20 and come with a limited edition 5th Birthday T-Shirt, a $25 Oodle Noodle GC, a $20 Pint GC, and Labatt swag. And all the proceeds go to the Inner City Children's Fund. You should come - there is going to be at least one mega babe in attendance!