EDMONTON OILERS 2
DETROIT RED WINGS 3
Are we really going to blow our top over that game? Really?
For quite a time it looked like a Detroit playoff series game from '06 to me quite frankly. A bunch of shot-generating rebounds through the first two periods made it look pretty ugly on the shot clock; but our D was also clearing pucks like madmen as opposed to Detroit's constant blocking of shots. We couldn't get a clear lane to save our souls tonight and that was the downfall of our offence.
It turned into a loss quite similar to those we used to suffer against Dallas in the playoffs. Painful, excruciating, not necessarily like we deserved it. Our goalie played well but couldn't shut the other team out. Our forwards played alright but blew too many chances. I'm really torn about what to say regarding our D. I actually thought they were quite good a lot of the night because Detroit's scoring chances were not.
We're not in this game with mere minutes to go without Roloson being really focused and playing a positionally sound game that kept us in the lead. Even though he was giving up massive rebounds he was recovering wonderfully. How exactly he then let in a long point shot the Hossa shot I really have no idea. Chalk the 3rd goal up to a momentary lapse in team focus and a bad bounce, really too bad that had to be the backbreaker. Things just sort of conspired to end this game in the Oilers not having a point.
The first Oilers goal was a great effort by Penner behind the net, good pass to Hemsky, meanwhile Penner's peeling towards to the front, Hemsky passes to Grebeshkov, Penner in position, Grebeshkov roofs it. A thing of PP beauty. They finally got their 1 shot and it was all that mattered. That's how you do is SHOOOOOOT clowns. Did you not notice how many shots Detroit blocked tonight? It's hard to get through that without patience.
I thought Penner was one of our best tonight. His effort was consistent and he played really well in the corners. His linemates had uncharacteristically weak nights in the offensive zone and that kept him from generating anything 5-on-5.
I'd forgotten how much of a punk Henrik Z is and that we get under his skin so much. He got 2 penalties and should have had 5. What a tool.
The first line is still having an issue with the puck ending up on Horcoff's stick when it is shooting time rather than Hemsky or O'Sullivan. They need to find a way to move the puck between each other rather than through Horcoff. He was good until the opposition circles tonight, but that was about it. He was also asked to lug the puck up the ice way too much tonight, which he cannot do well against a team like Detroit. Shawn is much better when he takes a pass near the blue line while moving and can re-distribute.
I thought Hemsky answered the bell quite well. You were absolutely not getting that puck off his stick tonight. He only got a point its true, but he was excellent; all over the ice including in his own end breaking up plays (along with Nilsson who put in a superlative effort in this regard). What he did to Franzen should have been enough to cross-up the play that led to Hossa's goal, but his D were cheating back too far and gave the DET forwards room to work in. This and the shot going through Roloson resulted in the goal. I don't think anyone expects Hemsky to take down Franzen, but did you see him drag Datsyuk (or was it #40?) all over the ice near the end of the game? That was an amazing display of effort and will. It's really too bad he didn't get one more scoring chance, or that the beauty move he made in the slot was fractions of a second from working.
We had our chances, poor Sam really should have potted one tonight. I think we can all recall a couple very good chances he had in the third along with Patrick O'Sullivan's chance. I really thought that he could have made that backhand into a forehand instead and scored, but we'll never know. Kotalik scoring was nice and I still like him in that role a lot. He uses his size quite well with those two.
The Pouliot-Cogliano-Pisani line was nothing to write home about; you could tell Fernando likes playing Detroit but he missed the net a couple times and wasn't able to generate anything else. I really wonder how good he'd be right now if not for the injuries and illness...poor guy. Pouliot made a lot of good little things happen.
As I mentioned, I'm really too conflicted on our D to make any profound statements here. Grebeshkov was completely unflappable in terms of positioning and playing the man 1-on-1 for so much of the night; that was the main thing I noticed. Smid had a quietly very effective game. Strudwick of all people made a really effective second period pinch that impressed the hell out of me.
Detroit goal #1
-Has anyone seen a good replay of this? I still don't understand how it went in and why Roloson makes a funny flinch move at the puck after being so excellent in terms of focus and control all night.
Detroit goal #2
- Like I said, the D were backed off when they had 2 forwards in the vicinity of the Red Wings and should have made a play. Souray especially, who needs to be within stick-lift range, is useless there. A rotten shame. Overhead replay looked like it went right through Roloson too. Again; what happened?
Detroit goal #3
- Well doesn't that suck...
In the end, I have to be positive, we really threw a lot of effort into this one. That team looked like it was playing playoff hockey for a lot of the game even if the execution needed to be better. We checked hard and we fought for pucks very well. I still see hope.
It stinks not to get something out of that game. I thought we'd win 1-0. My dad thought we'd go to a shoot-out and win. Others I spoke to thought the same type of thing. Just not to be I guess.
Too optimistic? I don't know. I thought a lot of guys answered the bell pretty well for us tonight. We'll find it in the final 9.