EDMONTON OILERS 2
VANCOUVER CANUCKS 4
I apologize in advance for the fact that tonight’s report will likely be more of a rant than a report.
I must admit I’m not aware of the supposed Reddox/Brule thing. That throws a bit of a wrench into my thoughts but even IF that was true, there was ZERO reason to play the guy on the first line. That was freaking NUTS considering he hasn’t played well at all lately. You can say whatever you want but Brule has in no way been better than Schremp when he’s been up here. NONE. Not even defensively! If you’re gonna come in here and claim otherwise…well I think you’re borderline crazy.
What he did with those lines to start the game was sabotage at its finest. We had just about nothing out there and especially offensively. We were hanging around in the game somehow but not getting anything done at all. There was only one line having a half-decent game - Nilsson-Gagner-Cole.
So what does super-genius behind the bench do????
BREAKS THEM UP. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!
I was terrified when I saw that, and sure enough we were down 3-1 not long after. All offensive pressure we’d had (however limited) was gone and the Canucks had free reign to drive at us all night. We let up on the high zone pressure and BAM, game over.
Our goals tonight were both lucky, the Canucks goals were quite solid.
Yet, they weren’t even playing very well. We gave them this game on a silver platter. Even the vaunted Jason L in net wasn’t the greatest and certainly didn’t commit any highway robbery on us. We were just that bad.
And don’t dog Souray for the EN goal; that happens to the best of us. We didn’t deserve it tonight.
I was sitting at a different vantage point than usual tonight; on the end as opposed to along the side of the ice. It was hard for me to pick up the game for a while after being so used to one angle for so long. By the second my eyes had settled and I was following along a lot better.
In the third something really struck me that I cannot see as well from the side; our offensive setup when other teams have the puck is ATROCIOUS. There’s at least 1 completely useless man on the ice at all times. One chases the puck (in vain) and the other two stand there. Only one has a hope in hell of doing anything but he’s standing still. Those guys should be pacing their men or forechecking. End of story. Why don’t we push teams into certain situations as they break out? It makes no sense at all!
A few things of note tonight:
In the first period we saw what I’d officially term as the worst 3-on-1 ever. Strudwick let it in and was given a shooting lane but dropped to Stortini who wasn’t close to ready and the puck never got to the only qualified person on the ice. We didn’t even get a shot! The wingers on our fourth line tonight were absolutely terrible. Strudwick had at least 3 opportunities in open ice with the puck and blew them all. He also wasn’t effective physically. Stortini was running around like an idiot taking penalties and getting way too into the goalies face on plays where it made no sense. He was no better than those punk Canuck idiots tonight and that’s saying a lot. Brodziak was okay at least; but what else is new.
THANK YOU Sheldon Souray for finally getting a good clean lick on Ohlund. Someone had to punch some sense into that puke. You didn’t see much of him after that fight. I wonder how Sheldon got him to actually drop the gloves considering he’s such a pansy normally when he runs around taking liberties with skill players.
For those of you keeping track I believe just before the 7 minute mark was when MacTavish broke any chance we had in this game by dismantling his only decent line. Cole was and did play a great game. He nearly carried Horcoff (who had a bad first and second but got going a bit in the third) and Penner (who I didn’t think was very good tonight at all) but there’s only so much a guy can do. He deserved a goal and drove the net hard all night. He’s carrying and skating with much more confidence now and he is an excellent PK’er. He was using his stick and quick acceleration effective in the capacity all night including a key block in the second that could’ve really helped us out. He’s gone from scary-not-confident to a leader in a hurry. Maybe he was just finding his way. I thought Gagner did a lot to create and was finally trying some of the moves we’re used to seeing from him. Now he needs to start popping goals more regularly; I think that’s the next step. Good to see Robert rewarded for going to the net. He took some more shots tonight and was decently effective.
I’m not going to dignify Mr. Brule’s performance with more than comments of; all you do is skate around the ice doing nothing at all, and you’re not ready for the show pal, sorry. He hasn’t had anything close to a decent chance.
Tom Gilbert made a really nice stop on a 2-on-1 that could have saved the game had we managed a goal with the EN. Stopping a 2-on-1 like that in a high pressure situation after a giveaway is not easy at all. Credit to him for swinging aggressively (albeit a little late) towards the puck carrier and getting himself in that passing lane. Great job Tom. I thought he played a pretty good game.
I also really liked Smid’s instinct on his pinch when we were down 3-1 even though we almost got scored on afterwards. It was the right decision and he came close. He was kind of all over the place this game. Good carrying the puck; out of position; back in position; physical and ornery then a little lazy, I dunno what to say really.
Grebeshkov had a nice game and demonstrated that talented at the corner top of the offensive zone I was mentioning earlier.
Staios was an interesting case. I’m glad he got an assist and he distinctly prevented a close-to-sure goal with good positioning as a defender and outmuscling a Canuck in the third, but he wasn’t great out there. He was a little ornery which I’m sure helped. Souray made a good play on that puck trickling through the crease to use body position to hold his man at bay despite a precarious spot. A few of our defencemen now, and guys in the past like Jason Smith, would’ve allowed a goal there and not even put up much of a fight. Smid needs to learn that move.
Oilers goal 1 - Souray shot, rebound, good positioning by Nilsson, goal. Gagner did a good job on the entry after a solid pass from Gilbert. Whole line played a part.
Oilers goal 2 - Pretty lucky. Decent puck movement behind the net, solid pass by Horcoff, good shot by Staios moving to the middle, Cole in the right place. He also created the rush and did the work behind the net.
Vancouver goal 1 - Horcoff, Penner and Visnovsky were all doing absolutely nothing on this play. Penner has no concept of where his guy is and is doing about the stupidest thing he could be. Horcoff does some sort of weird behind the net fake and obviously isn’t talking to Lubo because he freezes and suddenly the puck’s in the net. That was sad. BUT WAIT, IT’s GOING TO HAPPEN AGAIN!
Vancouver goal 2 - Strudwick with a brutal turnover and then a horridly lazy skate back into his own zone. The forwards are now out of position and useless after what should have been a good break. No one picks up the open high Vancouver player and Gilbert isn’t as aggressive on the puck carrier as he should have been.
Vancouver goal 3 - Grebeshkov loses it and is way out of position and then overreacts the wrong direction to a pass…YUCK. Why was Brule out after that last goal? He wasn’t taking anyone on this play either.
Vancouver goal 4 - MEMO to Shawn Horcoff - watch this for how a real player scores on another player when the net is empty.
I’m really glad we shut down Sundin and the Sedins at least. It was a bad night for Sweden.
Roloson was alright; I mean he’s not going to stop many of those 3 shots most nights, too bang-bang. His team hung him out to dry there.
I almost hope there’s conflict between the coaches and management right now, maybe something will finally change and we won’t keep repeating this sick story over again.
All we can hope for right now is that Ales is back in this lineup soon.
Not seeing an announcement of either Reddox or Brule headed to the minors yet makes me sad again.
UGH…that is all.