LMHF Game Report #27





I should start with the fact that I was having a really horrendous day yesterday. Work was driving me nuts and I had to stay at the office until about 30 minutes before the game. That’s not very normal to me so I went to the game hungry and annoyed.

Very shortly I was experiencing a mood that was on the rebound. The Oilers were experiencing pucks that were on the rebound.

The Oilers were pumped and a little angry from the get-go. Plekanec’s slight tap on Roloson’s pads might have been the spark that set loose the blaze quite frankly. There certainly was atmosphere in that arena last night. I remembered MTL fans as more considerate though; this game featured less of those and more of the jerks who booed the Oilers like it is a Montreal home game, and sing that stupid SOCCER song. Get over yourselves. Pasting the Habs was thoroughly enjoyable because there were so many twerps in the building.

I didn’t realize how Montreal’s so out to prove they’re tough; it was borderline silly. Between Plekanec and Komisarek and Tom K they looked like first class dopes out there. Loved the Carey Price fist pump though when he stopped that long shot when we’d scored 7 goals. He’s human, not a pretend-robot like some of them try to be.

It’s kind of funny; everyone dogs Price for that game and doesn’t give near enough credit to our players. They did two of the most important things when it comes to goal scoring on a bunch of occasions last night, and that netted us 7 in less than 46 minutes.

1 - a combination of timing and positioning that places you in ideal position to get rebounds. The main attribute of this is not getting too deep or too close to the goalie.

2 - actually executing and putting the puck in the net rather than whacking the puck into the goalie. We’re really bad for just hacking away and hoping. Hemsky’s goal was a perfect example of what you should actually do. Cogliano did what I’d describe as “lurking” just long enough before pouncing on his opportunity.

These things are important. And they aren’t about luck. Not one bit.

Brodziak’s goal; now that was a break. But he took advantage and was in the right position.

Oilers goal #1
- We were getting a little frustrated early and not capitalizing. I was fairly alarmed when this goal took 3 or 4 easy chances missed on this shift before we actually scored (yet there are somehow only 2 “scoring chances” on the mc79 blog). Credit to the whole line for working the play down low, sticking with it and eventually to Gagner for not giving up his position and finishing the play. The MTL D looked horrendous on this play; I felt bad for Price here.

Oilers goal #2
- This was a hideous shift. Not in terms of being bad but just in terms of horribly ugly plays going on including bad passes and comical skating. It ended very appropriately, and I called that we’d score on this shift. BAD play up the boards by Higgins, Gilbert does the right thing keeping the puck in and sending it through to traffic but not a block, and we get a bit of a lucky tip that flips up and in. Lucky Stortini!

Oilers goal #3
- I really liked this goal. Moreau takes a good pass with speed after some good skating coming up in the play, then fires it and follows up with Pouliot who jumps in rather than sitting back; Cogliano reads the situation perfectly and uses skating and timing to get to the puck and scores. Say what you will about Price on the play, but where were the checkers? And why were so many MTL defencemen on their butts sitting there after goals tonight. They drop WAY too often as a group.

Oilers goal #4
- Hemsky begins the play with his trademark skate and curl from the half boards, passes to Horcoff who’s now open, Penner drives though the front of the net while the puck heads back to Hemsky on a pass that was just okay…but Hemsky being who he is takes his time, sets, and finds what’s left of the empty net while more MTL defenders hit the ground…idiots…

Montreal goal #1
- Really unfortunate (but at least it didn’t matter). Roloson with at least 3 bonehead decisions on this one; but I guess every goalie gets a freebie in a 7-2 win.

Oilers goal #5
- Great break off the linesman of course; but we actually took advantage and got the bonus goal. That’s what good teams do. Truthfully, Price shoulda stopped him as Brodziak telegraphed the heck out of his move but maybe the rolling puck confused him (???)

Oilers goal #6
- Another goal as a unit from our top line led by the wonderful work of Ales Hemsky in the neutral zone. Horcoff made the play along the boards and got it back to him, then Ales wisely got the puck to the net where Penner had drifted down into a great position and scored. Ugly rebound on an awkward play, but at least Penner put the puck where it had a chance to go in. I’m a little alarmed that Dustin didn’t look the least bit excited.

Oilers goal #7
- It is a good day when the screening duo of Stortini and Reddox nets you two goals. Credit once again to them for being in the right place and Gilbert for getting a nice shot towards the net. At this point MacTavish had started easing up on the Canadiens, which I didn’t particularly like, but understand from an injury perspective.

Montreal goal #2

-Who cares, we had 7 at the time.


Ales Hemsky

- I thought Ales had a productive but not amazing game. He probably wouldn’t have been my first star (Gilbert, 22 minutes and 3 assists) but that’s okay. His dangle on Komisarek was very nice, though I wish he’d have cut in and gone top shelf forehand for the goal. He loves backhand for whatever reason even though he has an amazingly reliable forehand from in close. His goal and assist were just more examples of why he’s an excellent player. If he’d played more minutes I think he gets at least 4 points tonight. The first line was working pretty well offensively but didn’t need to carry any weight. He needed to be a little better on our 5-on-3, though I also blame Horcoff (who was in a totally useless position) and Penner (who wouldn’t move) for that shift. Ales made a couple defensive plays early as well that should be noted. Good game but not great. He scores when we need it though.

Shawn Horcoff

- He had a pretty good night I suppose and certainly got the chemistry on the top line going again. He got about 4 minutes less then he has been lately which I’m sure was appreciated given that he was coming back from an injury. I enjoyed his board work on the Penner goal and his defensive work racing back to the puck after Roloson made a tough save in the first. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back in the coming games and if he can remember how to execute on his scoring chances. He didn’t actually get that many tonight so there’s no need to worry or analyze them at this stage.

Dustin Penner

- I just don’t know…he was positionally effective and figured prominently in the two goals his line scored, but he also looked lazy and disinterested on the ice at many times. We need to find a way to get Dustin having fun out there again. Hopefully a re-invigorated top line will do it as I am still not convinced we’re going to nab an LW soon.

Erik Cole

- Oddly quiet game from him; I barely even remember seeing him aside from some pushing and shoving as well as the PK. I suppose he only played 12 minutes but still you’d think there would have been more from him in a game like this. His line played okay though.

Sam Gagner

- I liked the game Sam had. His positioning was really solid and he was confident with the puck out there. He was also really excited about scoring which was good to see. Sam’s neutral zone play is where I find the best indication of how he’s doing at any time. If he’s carrying the puck and making moves past defenders, you know he’s more confident and sure in his game. If he’s moving the puck and not holding on to it for very long, you know he’s having difficulties. Tonight he was skating with it.
Robert Nilsson

- He moved with speed and confidence with the puck. Both are very key to his game. He walked away with only the one assist on the stats sheet but I think he played a pretty solid game.


- This line back together played a pretty solid game based on their ability to go through the neutral zone making the play to Moreau and then following up on the drive. Have you noticed that 3 out of the 4 Oilers lines seem to head down the left side of the ice an inordinate amount of the time? The only exception is Hemsky and half the time he crosses over anyway. Any idea why this is the case when we’re stronger on the right side? Getting a good effort from these guys makes the first and second line’s jobs a lot easier. I’d really like to add a stong veteran RW to play with them though…that Pisani guy could be handy.


- The Reddox era may have ended with a slight bang in terms of his goal, and he did some good work along the boards, but certainly nothing special. Stortini did a solid job of going to the net and plunking himself there most of the night. Brodziak played a solid game capped by his breakaway goal.


- Really good in the third when he got to pad his save percentage. Not so good on the first MTL goal; and certainly not 3rd star. He played fairly well tonight though and looked motivated from the get-go which is always key with him.


- He was playing fine until that ugly play behind the net. Total BS play. I really hope he didn’t mess himself up good; but it looked like he sure did. We need him or to get on the phone landing defencemen immediately!


- I really thought he’d be better. He focused on tough play in the corners and in front of the net which I liked; but he didn’t get his shot away at opportune times and didn’t jump into the offence despite having a number of chances to do so.


- Not very good…he played okay with the increased time but he’s just not able to cut it back there. Like I said, he actually is a better forward which is very odd…


- Stevey was just okay I thought. He’s usually better in games like this and took that high-sticking penalty. He wasn’t physical, didn’t move the puck all that well and didn’t wind up on the plus side of things…bleh.


- Stepped up pretty well, especially in the physical department. He didn’t need to pinch much tonight and was responsible not to take the extra risk out there. He could really be our saving grace if this injury situation is as bad as it looks like it will be. Good luck to him and I hope the points start coming.


- Solid as a rock defensively, skated well and moved the puck, and got it to the net. Like a young Eric Brewer only at least 5 times better. Great game from Tom.

Only time will tell if this is just another meaningless game or the start of some reliable confidence for this team. Let’s hope it is the latter.

No comments: