Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oilers beat Canucks

I went to the game last night, only my 3rd of the season and it was definitely a good one to go to. 3 for 3 on wins BTW and I wore my tacky xmas sweater, hopefully that doesn’t become a good luck charm.

Last night was possibly the Oilers most complete game of the year! This is also one of the first times I'm posting before reading over all the insightful comments at Lowetide. Here is how I saw it:

- First and foremost I noticed Penner favouring his knee between shifts. I don’t know if this was apparent on TV but it’s concerning given how well the first line is playing. Penner played great and won battles all night which IMO is the most important factor for Dustin being effective.
- It was a good call putting Strudwick and Stortini on the 4th line. Vancouver wanted to play nasty and when they spend the penalty minutes on those 2 guys it’s a bonus for the rest of the team. Stortini also makes the Canucks defenders be more aware of who is on the ice.
- The entire defence played well. Gilbert is starting to get it done against opponents #1 line. That is very encouraging for the Oilers prospect this season. Visnovsky played well again. He is fun to watch, the way he cheats to where the puck is going without getting caught is awesome. Smid also was effective, made good pinches and was physical all night.
- The guy who gave Hemsky the #1 star was watching a different game. He fought the puck all night especially on the PP early. However, he scored the most important goal of the game. His is improving each game this year and is still a beauty to watch even on an off night.
- Robert Nilsson looked like Pavel Bure cheating that far up on the 3rd goal. He was lucky to get the puck cause if the Canuck defender keeps the puck in, Nilsson goes in MacT`s doghouse. Good instincts when you make the right play, lazy hockey when it goes bad. So... good instincts!
- Roli made several saves on quality chances in the 3rd. He would have been my #1 star.
- Cole is actually a bit of a prick. I hadn’t noticed that much but it’s an element the Oilers lack in - especially playing a team like the Canucks.
- Sam Gagner is struggling badly right now. He is fighting the puck and not making any plays. The Oilers as a team are playing their best hockey right now and I don’t think you should change it. But if he doesn’t bounce-back soon the Oilers are going to have to quit giving him minutes. He is the future and forcing him to play like a 4th liner seems counter-productive to his development. Patience is the key but being patient is only easy if the team is winning.

The only real difference between Thursday night vs Florida and last night is execution on offense. Their game is at a high level and I`m hoping they can convert that into a good run at home. With Chicago and a pissed off Canucks team coming up, it’s not gonna be easy. Go Oilers!


Hands McDangles said...

I agree with most of the are a few things I picked up on...

1) Brodziak jumping in when cole got hammered (for the 10th time that night). He took a few shots in the fight but good for him for stepping up.
2) Cole getting hammered 10 times
3) Is Stortini becoming a better fighter? He took on Hordichuk and actually threw punches...this is what he has to do on a regular basis to get the team and the fans pumped up.
4) The game against Florida was awful (this is where I disagree with you). It is the worst Oilers game I have ever seen live and the Oilers were lacking a lot more than offensive finish.
5) Merry Christmas!