EDMONTON OILERS 3
ATLANTA THRASHERS 4
Well, that was stupid. I really think that sums up the game. Stupid. It was stupid that Atlanta was still in the game. It was stupid that their backup goalie was able to stop some great chances of ours. It was stupid that Tom Gilbert played one of his worst games in a LONG time. It was stupid to sit Penner after he stood up for our best player. It was stupid O’Sullivan didn’t get more icetime and didn’t really get to play with Hemsky. I think that about covers it.
It’s kind of sad when the first line has a really bad game like that. They just weren’t very useful. Take away the PP goal (which isn’t the same line anyway) and they were pretty ineffective. The rest of the lines worked fairly well.
The only positive I take out of this game really is that Marty beat us. He deserves it. Good on him even though it was a bad shot choice that shouldn’t have gone in.
I think I figured out what about or offensive system doesn’t work in terms of stopping the other team from exiting the zone. A bunch of the time, our high man does not engage the new puck-carrier as a normal hockey system would when the puck moves side to side. For some reason he’s instructed to back out, while the men hopelessly too far on the other side chase the man out. This is a horrible way to try to keep the other team hemmed in. It kills so many of our offensive possessions. This is something that is clearly not on the players and is causing us problems. It also goes against the most basic hockey logic.
Even though Horcoff scored from his spot on the PP, O’Sullivan needs a chance to play there. He’ll put more in.
Fix this team already. We had enough quality forwards in the lineup FINALLY tonight and they were utilized totally ineffectively.
Cogliano goes 1-for-7 on a line with another centre and a guy who tried to play centre this year and keeps getting thrown in there??? Insanity!
They just weren’t good tonight. Hemsky started out the game pretty well, even on his first shift generating a good chance. After the start though he wasn’t that great. He made a good choice to try to score, then a good recovery and a good pass to Grebeshkov before he passed to Horcoff. Now, for the record, there were not 3 times Hemsky failed to shoot with great chances. There was won. You cannot put a puck through a human being, and that’s what he would have had to do twice. With that said, I think something’s wrong because he just isn’t the same right now. Horcoff was pretty invisible in the offensive zone and didn’t win enough faceoffs tonight. He kept getting kicked out though too which was really odd. He was being cheated against. Kotalik got a couple good chances and took a couple really good shots but wasn’t really very effective. Not a great game by these guys at all. They didn’t lose it for us by any stretch, but they could and should have won it.
Poor Fernando was invisible. He also doesn’t look to O’Sullivan near as much as he should because O’Sullivan glides into open areas where he can get the puck and Pisani doesn’t get to him. He needs to look to O’Sullivan first because he’s more dangerous and in better position to take passes. Watching O’Sullivan play his first game here was an educational experience. I could appreciate his skill on TV, but you don’t get the full picture until you watch him specifically. He’s great positionally, takes on everyone when he has the puck, plays the game smart and is a plain threat to score when he gets the puck. I haven’t seen an Oiler score a goal like he did all year. He completely sold everyone on the pass to Cogliano, out-waited Hedberg and then finished very simply. That was how a goal is supposed to be scored! Play him with Hemsky. Kotalik’s had his chance. I liked that Andy smashed his stick after the loss. At least he cares. He didn’t play great in terms of creating offence tonight. The offence needs to flow through O’Sullivan and Cogliano with Pisani supporting, unfortunately right now it seems that it’s O’Sullivan having to support doesn’t work.
They were better than I thought they were and I was quite happy to see them score that goal. We really needed it and it capitalized on a few good shifts in a row. I suppose we needed one more of those goals as it turned out. Nilsson played a really solid game and even laid a big hit on Boulton that looked like it hurt him. That was excellent. Not that he has to do it every game, but once in a while is great. Pouliot was okay and did what he needed to do I suppose. Gagner I enjoyed a fair bit tonight. He was good on the PP and 5-on-5 as well.
Penner stood up for his teammate and got rewarded with a stupid set of penalties and a seat. So crappy. I’m not sure of the value of having Moreau in the lineup with that visor as he’s not intimidating anybody and lost his offensive stride long ago. Brodziak was severely undershifted.
These two have been holding their own but cost us the game tonight. Atlanta’s first two goals were directly Strudwick’s fault and partially Smid’s as well. You can’t prevent your goalie from going cross-crease. You can’t stand two feet from your partner in an odd man rush. You can’t get tied up with a useless man. You can’t fall into the corner because you’re a crummy skater and cost your team. Smid really turned it around and finished well, but it couldn’t save the team.
They did well enough, though Souray was taking a really long time getting his shot going tonight and wasn’t able to generate anything from it. That’s too bad. Staios played fairly well.
Denis had a solid game and made several elite-level plays to protect the puck in the face of tough pressure. Tom had a horrid game. He couldn’t make a pass, kept blowing his coverage and made one of the stupidest plays at the end of the game I’ve seen in a long time. What possessed him not to put his hand up (as Sam did to create a lovely goal earlier) and instead wave his stick, missing and putting himself out of position, I have no idea. He’ll rebound because he’s an excellent young defenceman, but what a crummy way to close it out.
He’s tired. No doubt. Should have stopped Reasoner’s shot, should have stopped the point shot, should have stopped the backhand. I’ll give him the cross-ice because Strudwick screwed that up for him but he didn’t make any big saves tonight. He got out played by Hedberg. That’s kinda sad.
The reffing stunk too. A perfect example of why the NHL is currently in a bad spot was the obvious two-armed hold on Smid being not called and the “hook” of Pisani late getting called. This is a league that thinks one hand on a stick being held by your opponent’s arm is a penalty but slowing you down using a bearhug isn’t.