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2/22/09

LMHF Game Report #28

EDMONTON OILERS 2

VS.

CALGARY FLAMES 3

In a freaking shootout…
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Tonight was a really intense and enjoyable game for a lot of reasons that happened to end the wrong way. I’m quite conflicted about how to describe this one as it all sort of changed on a dime yet the plays of the game before that don’t change.

The story tonight I suppose has to be our lack of ability to execute on the PP. Tonight we had timely opportunities with the man-advantage include an utterly horrible 5-on-3 that likely cost us the game ultimately. There’s no excuse for such a bland effort; I enjoyed that we sort of tried to break into the zone in a different fashion including a dump-around to Hemsky while he was actually skating to chase a few times, but the dedication just is not there as a unit. Calgary was pressuring Hemsky and the high point intensely yet we refused to use our skill guys down low to make a play. I just don’t understand. 5-on-3 we refuse to collapse the box. Souray won’t step into the holes and rip it. 4-on-3 we can’t do anything. It was shameful.

In my Player Reports section I’m going to say that Roloson had a good game. What I’ll cover here is the fact that letting in Calgary’s goal was patently unacceptable. He went down WAY too early again and Lombardi did the blatantly obvious thing. I could also dog him on the Bertuzzi SO goal but I won’t both because I still believe the SO is a stupid way to decide games like this; I would’ve watched that game til 6am if I had to.

The last 10 minutes of the game were pretty sad. We sat back and didn’t pressure in the offensive zone whatsoever. We were hoping for a miracle rush that didn’t come. We almost allowed several clear breaks late and into OT. HOW does that happen? Totally unacceptable.

This team does not have the horses right now. We played the crap out of everyone tonight. Our D cannot hack it. We need a trade immediately for someone; anyone that can eat minutes. If this game didn’t prove that to the management nothing will. They were going to win and simply ran out of gas.

With that said, the men we did have weren’t managed properly. Between Moreau, Cogliano and Brodziak ESPECIALLY who got an absolutely shameful 8 minutes tonight, they could have carried some more of the load for certain. Horcoff, Hemsky, Cole all played incredibly high amounts of time. In a game as intense as that you have to balance the load a tad at some point in the game. Ales was toast at the end...Cole didn’t get played in OT as much as he needed to be…our horses weren’t ready when we needed them because of mismanagement.

Seriously…Brodziak with 8 minutes…unbelievable.

We needed to win tonight very very badly. We played better than them. We lost.

It was frustrating what happened in the SO, but those moves all could just have easily worked as not. Anyone dogging them for trying those is silly enough to dog them for walking in and shooting straight away.

PLAYER REPORTS
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Hemsky

- I thought he had a really strong third period and was good from his defensive zone to the opposition half-circle all night. He wasn’t that great getting in to and making things happen in the offensive zone though. He scored a HUGE goal when we needed in the most on a great shot though, which is certainly what your best players have to do. He’s the only guy on our team who could beat Mikka with a shot like that and he did. He looked really tired at the end of the game though, and a little out of sorts with all the moving around on different lines he did tonight. It didn’t make much sense to me.

Horcoff

- Well, at the very least he put in a monumental icetime effort tonight. Should Brodziak have got some of that though? Absolutely. Going 23-and-9 on the dot is pretty damn impressive. His plays to set up both goals; a great little pass play to Hemsky and excellent work along the boards to get the puck to Cole complemented the little things he did very well tonight. The only things I’ll fault him on are not converting a great cross-ice feed from Hemsky in the second and still standing too far from the net on the PP. We need the coach to let him ease up though; as he can’t take this beating and win us games.

Cole

- Great game from Erik; I hope this is the start of a real bounce-back for him. He was burning by the defencemen on his wing all night and driving for the loose pucks. His goal was a great example of his shooting ability and we need to see that more often which means him in open ice close to the net more often. I’m convinced he would have scored if given more time in OT because that was just the game he was playing tonight. This is why I hope we keep him. He’s capable of this. I really didn’t think his breakaway should have drawn a penalty; and he should have been able to finish.

Penner

- Tougher to judge Dustin. He didn’t take near enough of the high-end ice-time split in a game like this. He made a really excellent and fundamental hockey play on Cole’s goal to create a distraction and screen in front of Mikka. He also got beat to SO many pucks in corners and along the boards that he didn’t earn much out there. He’s REALLY gaining the ire of the fans. He drew a nice penalty by driving the net but look like he gave up on a bunch of other ones. He also made an utterly spectacular fake and pass to Gilbert who JUST missed his slapper and didn’t put it in. Such an enigma this guy.

Gagner

- I thought he really stepped up and handled far too much ice time for his own good tonight. He made smart decisions with the puck and adapted to what was given to him. He really showed his versatility tonight. Well done but not flashy.

Nilsson

- He had his moments in the corners and off the rush; but lagged significantly on the PP. I don’t think he’s a half-boards guy. With that said, I wish we’d ditch the half-boards approach entirely.

Moreau

- He made a huge mistake tonight that needs to be noted. On the Flames first goal, Smid was in the process of handling the 2-on-1 perfectly with Gilbert caught. He was heading to aggressively pressure Sarich and in doing so attempting to stop the 2-on-1 at the weak point. This is how you do it when you’re in a bad spot. That changed when Moreau, instead of going as hard as humanly possible towards Iginla like he needs to, and had time to do in order to get in the way of the pass/stick, he yells at Smid and gestures towards Iginla, distracting him and throwing off the play, allowing a bum d-man to get the puck to Iginla who scores. BIG mistake from Moreau. He also took a stupid penalty. Not a good night. He still should’ve played more minutes though. No choice tonight.

Cogliano

- If it is true that MacTavish is still taking out a penalty in LA on Cogliano and it cost him minutes tonight, it may have cost us the game. He looked pretty good tonight, moving with speed through the neutral zone and getting open for passes, but didn’t play anywhere near enough to make the difference he could against a Calgary D that is ripe for being burned by speed.

Stortini

- Played almost as much time as Brodziak, Reddox, with no benefits to the team and no effective play. He can’t be in this role and us have a successful night.

Brodziak

- Frankly wasted in a game where we needed him. He looked fine in the limited time he had.

MacIntyre

- Liked his limited play. Definitely too bad he didn’t score on his good chance in front of the net.

Reddox

- What amazing play by him in the third. He was out there throwing hits, chasing the puck down and providing speed an effort when we were running incredibly low on gas. He also came really close to scoring a couple different times and would have generated a goal if his linemates were a little more on the ball. Great and appropriate effort from him tonight. One of the few players who was used correctly.

Smid-Gilbert

- They were our best pair and played an excellent game. Smid has stepped up immensely and Gilbert is just that good. Smid’s skating with the puck into the offensive zone is great; but he needs to combine it with his superlative passing skills and make a play every now and then. Gilbert was probably an inch away from connection and a goal on the pass from Penner. He needs to help us out with some creativity on the PP.

Souray-Staios

- They needed to be better. Souray had a ton of chances to step in quickly and fire an amazing shot but he looked oddly timid and slow this evening in the offensive zone. He also was fairly weak defensively. Even with that, he played okay, that’s why he’s an all-star. Staios on the other hand made an absolutely stupid play as he selfishly pinched for a hit with barely any time on the clock and almost cost us the game. This was despite having no chance at the puck. It was boneheaded. He also wasn’t good with the puck and could have been better defensively.

Peckham-Strudwick

- I really like the way Theo’s coming along, but he almost cost us the game with his big giveaway in the third. Thing is, you can tell this pair has been told to fire it up the boards. It was like a freebie to Calgary every single time they tried to get it out. It was STUPID and it was clearly our strategy. The insanity of this method of play boggles my mind.

Roloson

- He played really excellently for 2 and three-quarter periods. Made plenty of high-grade saves and kept us in the game when we made mistakes. We didn’t make a lot of them, but he made some good saves aside from what I’ve identified previously.
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Totally unacceptable loss on home ice tonight and I think you can see in my analysis where I believe the blame lies.

2 comments:

David S said...

Nice job LMH! Agree with your analysis. Our team is trying to compete with teams that are far better stocked and balanced than we are right now. Not having Vis, Grebs and Pisani is really hurting us far more than we know.

It looked like there was water on the ice for the shootout last night. I wonder if they did a wet scrape. In Toronto, they did a dry scrape for their SO and at least pucks weren't being lost on sticks.

LMHF#1 said...

Thanks DS, gotta wonder if the re-scrape and any miscommunication with the zamboni driver wound up costing us the game.

Between the PP chances, lack of execution, outplaying Calgary, and the goal that shouldn't have happened at the end of the game, we shoulda won this. Probably around 4-1.