EDMONTON OILERS 2
MINNESOTA WILD 3
I really don't know what's more sad...
That we can look that bad against a team that's no good and has nothing but hobbled players playing at the moment...
The fact that all our coach can do after games like this is throw his hands in the air and "why me" us all to death...
That with the playoffs on the line we can show up and decide not to play until the last five minutes...
That even during that five minutes we're so weak at finishing that we make a goalie look like an absolute all-star even when he's beaten...
I could go on. It's just bloody pathetic. How many games at home this year do we have to waste? Where are our big efforts full of goals in the important games?
I'll say this for us; we're not going to win very many games where both Souray and Grebeshkov are bad. They were both woefully inadequate tonight. Souray had a lot of difficulties in his own zone and was sending weak breakout passes into the middle of nowhere that were getting picked off. Grebeshkov kept skating the puck into the offensive zone and then losing the puck or simply killing the play. These two guys drive the start of the play for us but they did not tonight. Gilbert wasn't really all that good either. It's odd to say that in a 3-2 game our D had a really bad game but I certainly think they did. Strudwick made what I think was his first untelegraphed pass ever, which was something to see at least. Smid was doing fine; then he gets hurt and we lose him. But no Tambellini...we don't need any extra defencemen...IDIOTS! Staios was actually servicable and nearly got us something at the end which was one of the only redeeming things that happened from the back end.
Roloson wasn't any good tonight. Normally I'd bag on the guy for it, but he's given us enough chances to win this year and we clearly weren't going to score enough anyway so its not worth the trouble. I hope everyone realizes that without Owen Nolan going braindead off a post and Steve Staios deflecting a puck away this is a 5-1 game.
Starting from the bottom up, I have no idea what the heck this line was doing out there twice in the last 8 minutes. That's not on them but the coach. Stupidity. He also played them right after a TV timeout. Stortini put in a lot of effort, was generally a pain in the butt for Minnesota and drove the net. Good on him. Brodziak was solid and should have gotten bumped up to take Cogliano's draws. Kyle was 6-1. Cogliano was 2-8. Easy choice for everyone but our coach.
I have to individually talk about Jacques. I don't care that he runs around trying to nail people. For one, Mac hits harder than him. For two, if you need to give the puck away to make hits, it's not worth them. He held the puck for more than 1 second exactly once...and he gave that away too. He kept shooting the puck to no one, or to the Wild, and not into the places where his teammates could get it. This guy has no business in the NHL. Everyone who plays in this league should at least want the puck.
Moreau-Cogliano-Pisani was an okay line. It was very nice to see Pisani actually get one, but the line wasn't really anything special. I thought they were overshifted in the end. It's great that they weren't getting scored on but that doesn't matter a lot when you're behind and time is running out. Cogliano got really frustrated with Koivu's cheating on the draws and generally not being able to score. He was giving an effort but he wasn't being smart about it. He never once got in position to stretch the neutral zone which is exactly what he needs to do against a team like Minnesota.
Penner-Gagner-O'Sullivan got ripped for goals tonight. That's too bad as these guys aren't exactly coaches favorites, or people that can take confidence hits right now. Penner was actually using his size pretty effectively in the offensive zone and it just didn't come through for him. I'm not sure why Gagner got out for the 6-on-5, he's not the guy we need out there at that time. He didn't have a great game for us, I'm not gonna hang the loss on him or anything though. Patrick was just okay, he can be better.
Penner-Horcoff-Hemsky needs to be re-united badly.
Kotalik-Horcoff-Hemsky were also okay, but just okay. You've gotta love Kotalik's shot, we haven't seen something like it for quite a while in the offensive zone, and we're figuring out where to get him the puck which results in goals. I still don't like it when he's asked to do the heavy lifting. Horcoff carried the puck in the offensive zone a lot but couldn't get anything through the middle. Minnesota blocked that from us all night. Hemsky was just okay too; but he also didn't get the puck sent to him enough to take advantage of the fact that he was stretching the Minnesota right side and ahead of the play a bunch. Not having Visnovsky around is killing him.
And now, a word about shots...I know everyone has heard about this from me before as its a pet peeve of mine, but now I don't think the coach gets it either. In the post-gamer he said "we didn't shoot the puck". Ummm, no, you're wrong. We got over 30 shots and outshot the other team by a decent margin.
Our problem is that we take DUMB shots from the outside that have no chance of going in, and don't shoot on quick plays when we have lanes for various reasons. I don't know if our coach knows this. The amount of high-angle shots this team takes from the outside with no chance for a half-decent rebound and a great chance of the puck going out without the other team having to do anything is just stupid.
He doesn't get it either.