HOCKEY: In the Box with Brent Oliver
hockey: in the box with brent oliver

HOCKEY: In the Box with Brent Oliver

Wow. That was sure something. Edmonton’s slipping back down the standings thanks to a couple less than stellar goaltending outings and what are we to do? Well – a goalie would be nice. Let’s see if Brent has any other ideas in this week’s edition of In The Box, presented by Home & Away YEG, opening March 10, 2022 in the old Mercer building!

I’ll echo what every Oiler fan has been saying for the past 5 days, and maybe this past week – Mike Smith is done. Maybe it’s the age, or the injuries, or maybe it’s mental, but after allowing 5 goals on 29 shots over the past two games, the Oilers need to cut bait with their beleaguered goaltender. While Mike Smith seems like a great dude, and a good interview, it’s time to move on. He’s been given chance after chance this year and these past two losses to Tampa (a good team) and Mineesota (a pretty good team) he not only didn’t make a save when it counted, he let down the team by not making a single important save in the first period of either game. Thanks for the memories Mike. Don’t let the dressing room door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Now, where does this leave us in regards to our permanent back-up Mikko Koskinen? Is he ready for the number one job moving forward? Fuck. No. He’s on the last year of a 3 year deal (Thanks Chiarelli…) – make him someone else’s problem. I think the only way this team moves forward is with a brand new goalie and Skinner being brought up from Bakersfield as back up.

With three weeks until the trade deadline, I’m pretty sure we’re all in agreement that the Oilers can’t afford to wait another 10 games to replace their beleaguered goaltending situation. So, the question is – who can we get, and what do we give up? The safe money for me is on a good backup from a playoff team, or a number one goalie from a rebuilding or faltering team. A goalie like Carter Hart from Philly – a decent goalie having a bad year on a bad team is a great pick, but it will ultimately come down to what we’re willing to give up. Enter the rosterbation portion of the column.

The best players we have as bait are likely Pool Party (no! Not the Bison King!) and Barrie so one or both may need to be packaged for a decent number one. Koskinen could be included in a deal, but most NHL GMs have eyes and ears and know that he’s most constructed out of dogshit and can’t stop the first shot of a game. We’re gonna have to get used to the idea of giving to get in a trade – we all just hope the price isn’t too high.That being said, wasting more prime years of the two best offensive players in the league is getting super fucking old.

Despite the Woodcroft 5 game winning streak, the Oilers have slipped into a tie for the 2nd Wild Card spot with the godless Mighty Ducks, and only one point up on the Stars. There’s plenty of games on the horizon against very good teams, so if the Oilers are going to stay in the race, the aforementioned trade or changes have to happen sooner rather than later. With only two months left in the season to be played, the time to pick up the pace is now.

Let’s hear it for the little guys. Kailer Yamamoto stepped up with important goals and points and was rewarded by playing some minutes on the top line. We like to see that kind of hustle here at In the Box. Keep it up.

Feb 26 vs Florida – 10:30 am start? Fuck this! Oilers win 4-2.

Feb 27 vs Hurricanes- Back to Back afternoon games? Fuck this! Carolina wins 5-1.

Mar 1 vs Flyers – Carter Hart switches dressing rooms and posts a shutout against his old team. Heel turn! ECW! ECW! 3-0 Oilers.

Mar 3 vs Chicago – Koskinnen returns after playing backup and plays well against the Toews-less Hawks. Oilers 3-1.


The US sojourn continues in the south, then East and Central. Can the Oilers save the season on this trip, and maybe do some goalie shopping along the way? GOD WE HOPE SO.

See you next week – In The Box.



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