This is a 4 point conference game. Detroit has a game in hand and are 6 points ahead of the 'Oil. To date, this is the most important game of the season, in terms of being a playoff contender. A lose means this team can't compete and wholesale changes need to be made. Starting from the top and moving down the entire franchise. Another lose will signify just applying a bandage coaching solutions is not enough.
The injury, flu, weird sickness excuse does not apply because all good organizations can weather such adversity and still contend. Only bad organizations collapse under pressure. Please don't cite the man games lost or whine about the Hemsky injury. This organizations inability to effectively deals with these setbacks are but the real symptoms of a bad organizational culture. The Oilers sit in the last place in the Western Conference not just because they currently have a stable of ineffective players but because the stable that houses the players personnel has had for a very long time - very unstable foundations.
I would like to think the Oilers could and will win tonight in Detroit. I don't think they have enough collective will unless the hockey gods are being contary. Of course, if the NHL referees have (nod nod wink wink) their corrective visine vision in place, the Copper & Blue will just be assessed infractions in contrast given the relative franchise "gate" health of both organizations.