EDMONTON OILERS 4
PHOENIX COYOTES 2
Very nice to get a decent win with some surprising performance, but first:
To the GIANT EFFING LOSER with the green laser pointer; you are a waste of skin. I don’t care whether you’re 5 or 55, that was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen at a game. And you’re not “helping” the team you jerk; you’re an embarrassing force in that rink. If anyone finds this jerk I hope you get him arrested; those green pointers can be dangerous in the hands of people who have nothing better to do (and Greek socialists apparently).
Anyway, now that I’ve got that out, on to the game. Mixed feeling I suppose as I’m very happy we won and at least we won by more than 1 goal. We didn’t exactly put the boots to them after a great start though. We had a bunch of guys who seemed to pack it in for 15 minutes and that was unfortunate. I’m hopeful that some of them used the good breaks and plays they got/made later in the game. We’ll have to see.
I liked the way the team started of course as getting a goal from an unlikely source and then having some secondary scoring strike as well is always a good thing. We kind of hit a lull after that and I must confess I’m not sure why. We had numerous opportunities to get goal three and then fell flat. We need to get better at that as a team.
Usually one of my favorite Coyotes, Carcillo, let it get away from him again tonight and we certainly took advantage of that. It’s a good thing too because we let PHX back into that game and easily could’ve lost without the PP chances we wound up getting. That’s why I’m only sort of okay with this game; PHX had to make some pretty big mistakes to assure our win.
With that said; HOORAY FOR FEWER SHOTS!!! and on to PLAYER REPORTS
- He played a really really patient game tonight. His linemates were not up to snuff for the first half of the game which hampered his offensive play and PHX keyed on him. He was patient enough to keep pushing the puck in the offensive zone without getting frustrated and eventually caused some things to happen including drawing a penalty or two. His work on the PP wasn’t the stuff of legend; but 2 solid assists and controlling the play along the boards is nothing to sneeze at. He also took an obscene amount of difficult passes on the PHX side of the red line in traffic tonight. You can see his skills coming along more every game you watch. He utilized Visnovsky more often to assist him tonight which was a good change, took a few hits out there, and I just LOVED his patience on the late 5-on-3 to salt it away. That play he made wasn’t easy or obvious; with all the non-hockey-clowns telling him to shoot the whole way. He made the right play as he nearly always does from there.
- He wasn’t bad, he wasn’t great. What he did well was set himself in the offensive zone shooting areas and give a target. He was also solid as always in the D-zone and he took a ton of faceoffs out there tonight and came out close to 60 percent. What he did badly was miss every shooting chance he had sadly. I also didn’t see the dynamic neutral zone stuff he’s capable of. He made outlet passes to Hemsky a couple times but that was pretty much it. Like I said; kinda medium game tonight
- Didn’t like what he did for most of the game. He wasn’t keeping his feet moving and kept making these stupid backhand passes that wound up on PHX sticks pretty much all the time. That’s not okay. He had WAY more than the supposed 1 giveaway the stats guys gave him; I counted at least 5. Even his positioning was off tonight, he wasn’t great in the corners and he only held one or two guys off on rushes to the net. Just not a very useful performance at all from Penner which I think is why he was briefly moved off the top line.
- Wow, what an inspired performance from Marc in a good chance with some solid hockey players. He read off Cogliano’s ability to use his speed and push the puck deep impressively well; he looked like a very smart hockey player. Other than his shot being a little slow; the play he made with Cogliano; a beauty pass then drive the slot and take the pass and roof the shot, was all-world, just stupendous. Loved a rush he made in the third where he took the puck on his backhand, got off a great backhand shot (something you don’t see often) then followed up the play with a great pass that nearly resulted in a goal. He made several other fantastic passes from the corners to open men who; if they had been more ready, would’ve scored out there. He made a Hemsky-esque read and pass through sticks on the PP to a wide open guy at the side of the net but the shot was flubbed for one. He even hit people and played pretty good D other than a couple shifts. Excellent capitalization on the chance he received.
- He really made it happen out there tonight. He’s probably the only guy on our team who can drive the middle of a defence and create offence like nothing. He blew by the defence and created a great break-in scoring chance on one play only to be narrowly thwarted. He opened up plenty of ice for his linemates and gave them all the chances in the world to make things happen tonight. How he doesn’t get more than 1 tonight I’m not sure. It’s great to see him pushing the offence so hard out there though. Nice conversion at the side of the net; and don’t underestimate the patience it takes to stay focused and wait for that pass Ales gave him. The way he got the net tonight to tip pucks was just astounding as well. Nothing like a well timed speed-burst. It’s like the guy is jamming the C-button on his SEGA controller playing NHL 94 out there. My 3 stars woulda been Hemsky-Pouliot-Cogliano in any order.
- Was the silent force on an effective line that I didn’t give much of a chance to at the start of things tonight. He’s always responsible, hit when he needed to and really could’ve scored a couple goals out there…too bad he couldn’t pop one tonight. His line could’ve made this a rout. Tough shot block he made as well.
- I actually felt bad for Cole tonight. I don’t know what he’s doing shooting low but boy did he get some good chances; especially in the slot late. You can see it in his face that he just doesn’t know what to do right now. He drove the net pretty well and gave a really good effort; at least that could be said for him tonight. He needs some garbage to go in so he can remember that he’s a goal-scorer again. Get Robbie up here after the freeze is over to feed him some pucks and he’ll get it on track maybe.
- Still frustrated. I like that he isn’t quitting; a guy who was feeling sorry for himself wouldn’t have gone for the rebound in front of the net in the third like he did only to get whacked and jabbed around. He’s got no quit in him. He needs to get his feet moving with the puck though; this is his strength and he was standing still. He certainly at least had flashes out there tonight; such as his hook around to the slot and dish to Cogliano attempt on the PP in the third; it would’ve been PRETTY. Just keep at it Sam; you’ll be okay.
- Um…not suited for this spot, showed some early jump but couldn’t bring it all game. Back to the minors time on Dec 27 Liam. Sorry!
- Surprisingly effective tonight. Strudwick was so excited when Stortini pushed one into the net which is great. Good solid scrap requiring persistence and stamina against Carcillo, though I’m still not sure either landed much in the way of a decent punch. It had to happen though after that hit on Brodziak I believe. Kyle did his job keeping his linemates honest. I understand that he’s carrying the two widebodies but still think he should’ve been the one playing with Cole and Gagner. Stortini had 4 legit scoring chances which was amazing to see. Good that we coaxed something out of these guys.
- He was great in the offensive zone and off the rush making a lot of key plays. He had a couple of giveaways though that were certainly uglier than normal. He’s gotta watch that stuff a little more. Good passing at the opposition blue line. Almost had a couple of assists on superbly tippable point-shots. Being good at that is such an art form.
- He was due for a goal; especially after the post and 11 shots last game. Good of him to stay motivated and keep firing though. He moved into position very well tonight. Not sure what was going on during that shift where he was breaking sticks and slashing people; he’s usually better at being more subtle and more body-contact-oriented out there. Oh well. Nothing to complain about and he wasn’t as bad on the PK. Was he one of the three guys that went to Jovo-crap on the PHX PP goal? I don’t think he was but I don’t recall clearly. That was a stinking play all-around including Horcoff.
- Almost a really nasty blocked shot that resulted in a 3-on-1 and could’ve changed this game irreparably if PHX hadn’t been dumb enough to shoot on it. He needs to make a better decision on that particular play. Other than that I thought he was really good.
- Really liked the physicality from him but he wasn’t that great on the puck tonight. He fired passes up the middle that were not crisp on a couple of occasions and thankfully they didn’t cost us but they certainly could have.
Grebeshkov and Staios
- Simply solid. Loved Stevie givin PHX the business and forcing their player to move 3 positions away on a faceoff. Nice.
- He was really good and I think I know why; he’s staying up. On all the good stops he made which came off PHX rushes, the wingers took quality shots at corners but instead of being down early Dwayne stayed on his feet and made solid saves by forcing the angle and covering a lot of net. Well done on the improvement; keep it up. Key saves; but surely not first star.
A win’s a win’s a win. Good to go into Christmas with this. Merry Christmas EVERYONE. Have a great one; share it with those you love and enjoy it!