SO tonight we take on Minnesota...one of the most well understood teams in the league.
They play the same style every single time, we know exactly what is coming, and yet we seem to have a lot of trouble with them.
The solution is rather simple in my eyes; skate through the trap. That's how you beat it. Rather than being forced into stupid passes you rely on your skill and power guys to skate right through.
Hopefully we get a flow going. Against Minnesota by the second period we often look like a team of zombies staggering through the neutral zone and back; avoiding such things would be key.
A little story for you about the ROLOSON GUYS.
This is one of me and #2's favorite stories. We had a friend who would get us seats really low in the Oilers attack twice zone some games. One year when Dwayne was still playing for Minnesota we sat in these seats and watched a preseason game where Roloson was in net.
Normally preseason games are excessively boring due to the odd mix of players and the crowd often not knowing what to think.
2 guys in that section we were sitting in however were determined to make this game more interesting. Starting at the beginning of the third period, these two (who were likely inebriated) started yelling out the "hey, Roloson..." etc lines NON-STOP. I mean that, they didn't stop the whole period except for when we scored goals. They were coming up with some of the funniest and harshest stuff I've ever heard. I swear that on one of Roloson's corner skates it looked like he was crying from some of this stuff. Utter craziness from a spectator in a preseason game and SO very funny. I won't forget that game or the ROLOSON GUYS. That's for sure.
Now of course he's our goalie and the subject of much debate. I really hope he pulls himself out of the funk he's been in the last while; because he suddenly has no competition. He got a free pass from last game due to the fact that the team got blown out rather than losing a close one after his joke of an effort on the first 8 shots. He has not looked anywhere near as focused or positionally disciplined in the net over the last few games. He needs to regain form if we have any hope at all this year.
Hemsky should rebound, he didn't get a point last game and that doesn't seem to occur much anymore.
We need to get this game into the 5+ goals total range. We're much more comfortable playing Minny in that type of a game. Hopefully we score a few of those goals too of course.
Big game, need a big divisional effort. I'm wondering about the lines a little bit though; it will be intriguing to see who's in and who's out and where/if Potulny plays and can keep up a good start. Best of luck to us!
One last thing - the D will step up big tonight I'm betting. They're a good unit and will not take last game's insult lightly. Especially Souray.