Honestly I'm not sure there's much to say about tonight's game. 44 seconds in we're down 1-0 on a bad goal and you can see the team collectively say "here we go again".
For those that weren't there and might not have seen, when the Oilers scored, their players didn't even smile. They are so beyond getting excited by now. I suppose Ryan Potulny might've grinned because he knows he's securing a good shot at NHL work next year, but that's about it.
I haven't minded Pouliot's play since he came back one bit. Tonight again he skated well and dug some pucks out of corners. He also didn't give the puck away haphazardly. I suspect it's mainly because his soul hasn't been crushed just yet and here merely looks good by comparison, but it's good to see something.
After the first goal, Deslauriers made some really good stops from in close. Chicago wasn't taking idle shots, but Deslauriers was making the saves we weren't making last year when we got shellacked by this squad. Good for him anyway.
Visnovsky made some plays as usual. If you ever wonder why we should keep him, and why we attained him, take notice of the fact that he could get by Chicago's elite players by himself despite no support from his teammates. He's a special hockey player, we should all know that by now.
Great to see Fernando score a goal; even if it was hideous. The whole sequence was rather awkward.
I don't know at this stage whether it's a function of mentality, lack of talent, general ineptitude or what, but this team skates to the opposition blue line area and dumps it to the opposition more than any team I can recall. They probably give the puck away in a game like this 60 times in that style. They are never counted as giveaways I'm sure, but they should be. They are wastes as puck possession chances and successful teams in the modern game don't do it. Chicago controlled the puck when they entered and made great passes or held it until they were ready to do something. They are the "anti-shoot guy" persona. We are the "no clue" persona. Or the lazy, or the depressed. Maybe all of the above, I'm not sure.
The desperation you saw at the end was natural, but it was nothing special. Penner took too long and that's why Huet was able to rob him for what probably will be the highlight of the night. It never should have happened.
I must admit I hadn't watched Duncan Keith up close before. He is a truly amazing hockey player. He is the type of elite defenceman that seems to do everything well as opposed to having one specific skill. The puck is drawn to him, often because of positioning. In the defensive zone he's impeccable at getting in the proper defensive spot. He skates fluidly and unerraticly. He also passes with a subtlety that keeps the opposition guessing. This is a highly underrated asset. In addition to making him tricky, it makes him appear confident. He jumps into the play with ease as well. The guy is probably the best player on a Chicago team that has two of the best forwards in the league. That's really something.
Chicago also has an interesting line structure that is somewhat of a luxury. They don't have to load up and hope anyone carries more than their weight. They are balanced enough that they can space players throughout and never really be afraid on the ice.
For the record I think they coasted and knew they could. Still, they are an impressive squad. They should add one more forward for the run. And a defenceman in the Spacek mold. That oughta do it.
I'm not sure there's much more to say about the Oilers to be honest. I'm very much looking forward to Brule and Comrie returning to the lineup Thursday. Should improve entertainment quality at least.
And so we soldier on...I'm still open to gooning it up for the rest of the year.