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12/31/08

LMHF Game Report #15

EDMONTON OILERS 2
VS.

OTTAWA SENATORS 3
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We really needed to win this game tonight to get on a positive track. 4 in a row could have really been something and I think if we win this one we win in CGY tomorrow night too. Now I’m not so sure.

There really didn’t seem to be much flow to tonight’s game. Goals were generated on odd misplays and at strange angles. At least 4 of the goals could be accounted for in this fashion. Neither team really did anything special at all out there tonight.

I remember watching Ottawa when they were REALLY good…and I must say I do notice a distinct difference in the style they play now. Relying solely on amazing individual plays to score goals just doesn’t work. They have a great crew of guys, but not mixed together in the right way and they need a couple different types of players thrown in there. I don’t know how you have a night where Heatley’s invisible, but you’re doing something wrong if that’s ever going on. The guy’s a 50-goal man and nothing at all??? Wow.

Ottawa’s game just doesn’t flow at all right now; and Alfredsson must be either injured or out of it because boy was he ever off in the middle of crazy land…including taking a victory lap and bowing at his third star selection…what kinda dick move was that? Really…and the diving with him has gotten rather epic. Sad really.

As for us, well…with Hemsky out expectations are automatically lowered but we also didn’t draw any penalties which was half us and half them. We needed to press more to create those opportunities.

I see from the boards that Rob Schremp has not been recalled yet…or anyone for that matter. This is a serious failing on the coaching staff and/or management. We need at least one more guy up right now and nothing’s in the works??? Not even for tomorrow when you knew about Hemsky and now with Marc? Guys should’ve been getting on the plane in Springfield within an hour of that injury to make sure they’re in Calgary for tomorrow’s game. Playing Reddox on the top line despite the goal he got was unforgiveable. He blew 3 great chances that multiple other players we have in this organization would not have.

In the end tonight’s game was about missed chances…we had tons, especially in the first and second. Gerber was off his game and we could’ve taken advantage early against a team that rattles easily and did not. That and a bad break or two is why we lost, which is really too bad.

And call up Schremp before tomorrow’s game; preferably Brule as well…Christ…trained monkeys…honestly, trained monkeys…
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Reddox-Horcoff-Penner

Shawn did what he could to pick up Hemsky’s slack. Had he popped the puck in on the chance he got right at the end of the game I would’ve said he fully delivered but at least he game close. He carried the puck everywhere with a lot of speed tonight which is always a big key for him. He was good defensively despite being caught in what I’d describe as a couple weird spots out there. Penner was okay but just okay I’d say. There were times where you could really tell that he needs Hemsky to create the angles and time and space for him to get set and he didn’t have that tonight. Watching the line operate trying to get out of their own zone with the first pass going to someone other than Ales was downright sad. You’d think this is the first thing they’d address in practice before the game but that certainly appeared to not be the case. Winging it didn’t work out well and they weren’t smooth at all. Reddox was okay, it was nice to see him get a goal that was really all about a nice play from skate to stick by Horcoff and a smart bank attempt. He had a few chances after that in really close and couldn’t deliver. He also tried to drive wide but never made moves on the D and never beat them. No business being here so you can’t really fault the guy so much, but still, he needs to cash at least one of his other chances.

Nilsson-Gagner-Cole

Well, the line that could’ve saved us this game and got us through the Ales recovery time almost did. I can’t knock Cole for just missing off the bar on what was a rather impressive move when in so deep and moving so slowly. They had other chances though that should have resulted in goals; Cole specifically got a great chance from the slot that he promptly snapped off a stick and Gagner was 1 step too late on a loose puck he looked determined to bury in the second period. Too bad I guess. I noticed Nilsson a little more and liked that he tried to hit some people out there but he could have been a lot more dynamic than he was. Had there not been the current turmoil with he and the coach I suspect he would’ve played on the top unit tonight with someone like Brodziak playing on this line and Reddox going to the fourth. Its personal stuff like that which we knows goes on with this team that really isn’t acceptable to me. I’m not saying that’s for sure this time but I could easily see it.

Moreau-Cogliano-Pouliot

Just freaking great…we get the guy who’s taken forever to find his NHL stride going and he gets mashed on a clean hit with his head down that we can’t even get pissed over. Well that just sucks. He was having a pretty decent game until he got thrashed. Cogliano was carrying the speed we all expect now but not having his way with the puck so much tonight. He at least got a couple of good shots on. Moreau stepped up his game but also made a key error. He could have scored at least twice including on a BEAUTIFUL tip that just missed; but he also got sucked into a position he should not have been in at all on the winner. There’s no reason for him to be that low and it cost us the game. He should have either picked that loose puck or been on his guy. Horcoff and the d-man were over there and he didn’t need to move in but did. That left Lee open who let a ripper go. That stinks. That ruined what was otherwise a really big game from Ethan for me. Really enjoyed the way he finished his goal on the Ottawa screw-up and the nice Horcoff mini-pass.

Stortini-Brodziak-Strudwick

Useless. Stortini ran around some. That’s about it for the wingers. Brodziak looked alone again and played an okay game including better shifts when he got moved up.

NOTE: No one could win a draw when we needed it badly. That stunk.

Gilbert

He got the puck to the net and created chances multiple times tonight with a very accurate and well timed wrist shot. He did great in the offensive zone tonight. Also, he used his body more than usual in the defensive zone which was very effective. Underrated performance from him tonight.

Smid

He’s been having a problem with being on the wrong side of his check lately. For those familiar with defensive jargon, I mean that he’s been on the offensive side of his man when he’s needed to be on the defensive side and they’ve exploited that. It’s much more difficult to control an opponent’s stick and body position from the offensive side. This is what happened on the first OTT goal and what has happened to him numerous times as of late. I think it stems from coaches changing their approach form “take your man” in front of the net, to “don’t get tied up”. This is something my coach, and friends of mine at higher levels of hockey’s coaches have advocated in recent years and it doesn’t make any sense. I blatantly ignored this tactic and my team was better (and less scored upon) for it. This isn’t saying take a penalty, far from it. But positioning is so key in front for a well-timed push or a quick lift and Smid’s been missing that lately. He improved rather drastically in the second and third however and was physical as well as moving the puck well.

Visnovsky

I love watching this guy skate a puck out from behind the net. It is such a simple thing but he does it so flawlessly every time I can’t help but say so. He leaves the opposition flat out in the dust. If I were coaching; he would’ve been carrying as many neutral zone pucks as possible tonight to get us into the offensive zone. He was excellent and I loved his positioning on the pseudo-hipcheck he made in front to prevent the man from getting the puck in the second in front of the net.

Souray

Good offensive night; but screening Garon terribly on that one goal while making himself as small as humanly possible and not blocking the shot is really stupid for a vet like him.

Staios

He was far less impressive for me tonight; just didn’t accomplish much of anything.

Garon

He was okay but looked a little out of it. Not enough shots early to settle him in. He should have stopped at least one of the goals tonight but also wasn’t getting any help from him players. Even though I think Garon should be starting; I’d have been all about getting Jeff 2 games in these last 4 (including starting tomorrow in Calgary).
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Sorry for the lateness tonight; had to go ease the pain with some friends. Just didn’t wanna think about it that much after such a winnable game slipped by.

I guess Ales out and 2 bad breaks = a loss. Shame really.

2 comments:

Charlie98 said...

I see that Brule has been called up rather than Shremp. I happen to think that both should be in the NHL but I do not see existing Oiler's management ever accepting Shremp. reminds me of Jason Chimera who said on a PPV that he was afraid of making just 1 mistake since he would then be benched. I also recall a discussion about Shremp needing to play top 6, well this was the chance. But then the Oilers have a way of destroying goal scorers, just ask Cole.

Charlie98 said...

Blogger Charlie98 said...

Ott has hand problems. You don't beat on someone in his condition.
You're right about shot totals not being relevant. On the other hand quality shots (scoring chances) do matter.