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3/17/11

LMHF Report - Game #36

EDMONTON 1

VS.

PHOENIX 1

VS.

Team Kimmerly/Meier 3
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Truly amazing. I don't know if I've ever seen a game where the referees make a 3-goal difference. Maybe one of those playoff games versus Dallas long ago where we got 14 straight penalties or whatever it was, but this one takes the cake. Trying to make up for it with a phantom "closing hand on the puck" penalty just made it look even worse. How exactly he called Whitney's in, I have no idea. They showed an angle at the game that clearly showed it outside the net and not moving...though from what I recall when hearing about the rules on overturning a refs decision, I believed it was mentioned that there must be more than 1 angle to verify? Stupid process. It's also a stupid process when, if the video proves the puck couldn't physically have been in the net, but we can't see it not in the net, it's a goal (based on the on-ice call). What silly rules this league has. Legal hits on stupid players who like to stare at their own skates will get you 5 games but a swinging chop with a stick will get you the equivalent of a minor. Omark was tripped. The guy takes more beatings than just about anyone along the boards and now he has to deal with this garbage? Unbelievable. Obviously the chance late was not covered...but that was not the reason they gave at the game...they announced that it was called off due to interference on the goaltender...a) where's the penalty then? b) Jones was clearly shoved it. That was a completely legit goal.

What a stupid series of events to decide a hockey game...

There were other chances and things that could have changed of course, but rarely do you see a spectacle as sad as that so I thought it deserved a lot of commentary. Tonight's game was actually a fair bit more entertaining than a lot of the game this year. I say that because the young guys and callups really played like they were after jobs. There were strong and enthusiastic efforts all over the ice. There was a fair bit more hitting that usual and most of it was done well as part of the play and with strong positioning (unlike Jacques-style hitting). This was really nice to see. Obviously we weren't equipped to take on a team that may be playoff bound, but we made due.

Anyone else find it incredibly sad and amusing that the OKC guys on the PP had a better system and more success generating chances than the full time Oilers? Wow...

Phoenix isn't going to make the playoffs if they put forth too many efforts like this. We outworked them pretty badly with our AHL affiliate playing. I was betting on these guys coming in here and being motivated...but it appears they were looking past us. They got by with some help from the stripey people.

PLAYER REPORTS
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Hartikainen
- I quite liked his game from the beginning of the second onward. You could tell it took him some time to settle in. In the first, he got a great chance on the PP for his first NHL goal and instead tried to pass through multiple defenders to GIroux...he was obviously a tad nervous. Once he settled in, he was more forceful. I really like the way he lines up and hits people. It's a very proper hockey hit and it sounds HEAVY. The sound of the first hit really impressed those in attendance. His assist wasn't flashy, but he also contributed to that goal by going to the net and providing a bit of a screen. After this he started to skate with some real force to the net and nearly scored on a quick play down low. He was a decent part of driving the Oilers' momentum in the third and got rewarded with a couple extra shifts. I can see why this guy might be a player. If I had to say something about his game that needs to improve, it's that he sets up to drive the net but doesn't seem to want to follow through. No reason he can't.

Giroux
- He's such an odd player to watch. I really liked the way he hit a number of people tonight. If he did this more often he'd probably be an NHLer taking a couple shifts 5-on-5 and then as a powerplay specialist with a team. He couldn't convert on a couple chances that he got for shots, but his best chance came off a tip play that he and Omark were successful as setting up. You can tell they've run it before. What I don't get about Giroux is why his positioning is so atrocious. If you're a bad skater, you really need to be good positionally. He is not. He will literally stop in the area he thinks in the scoring area and leave everything else to his teammates. Unless you're scoring 40, that's not acceptable. To be 100% honest, it's hard for me not to be mad at Giroux...physical gifts, clearly talented, just clearly hasn't ever given enough of a damn to capitalize on his talents. That's a special kind of brutal.

VandeVelde
- To be honest, he was pretty invisible to my eyes. I didn't see him do anything exceptional, especially in the offensive zone. I don't think any of us were expecting miracles, but you never know what will stand out. I'd like to watch him play again, but on initial impression I don't think he'll be good enough unless it's a long road.

O'Marra
- He did what he's done in his appearances in that he's not an amazing skater but works hard, hits and takes care of himself. I thought he might have a better performance on the line he was playing with, but the lines didn't stay together for very long so that went out the window. I still like him better than Colin Fraser...

Omark
- He played a really solid game in the offensive zone; dominated the corners, got the assist on Magnus' goal, found him for another great chance in front and generated some shooting chances off the boards on the PP. He made some iffy passes (though the whole squad seemed obsessed with the drop pass tonight). For a guy who has so many non-calls when he is abused, held, sticked, crosschecked and other things in the corners to be given a diving penalty while driving the Oilers offensive bus to what probably would have been a 2-2 score was really aggravating. Should have had multiple points tonight.

Paajarvi
- Probably spent more time playing the defensive position than playing forward tonight. His goal was really nice because he was in position and took a really smart shot on goal. Also had a couple other chances but couldn't seem to find any sort of dynamic deking. As always, he used his speed pretty well.

MacIntyre
- Actually made a couple passes and tried to play his position tonight. Very weird. No fight without Mr. TwitterFamous from PHX in the lineup, but he should have beaten up Boedker without asking after that hit on Hartikainen. Watching him stand there and do nothing proved just how useless he really is. I could put a 20-goal scorer there who could do nothing for cheap.

Cogliano
- I stood up and yelled that Cogliano was a bum tonight. Seriously, this guy has lost all of his scoring ability. Gets a breakaway...skates past the goalie and takes a weak backhand. Gets a penalty shot...skates straight at the goalie and shoots straight at him. Gets the puck in front of the net on a great feed from Eberle...takes time to wind watch...contemplates existence...shudders a little bit...remembers he's playing hockey...remembers there's a black thing on his stick...calmly returns black thing to the nice man in the large pads. What did he think he was doing??? He was brutal in the defensive zone and disrupted offensive rushes as well. UGH...

Eberle
- He played a really nice offensive game despite not getting any real support. He drove the net and nearly scored off his knees generating a PP, and made a few really nice passes into dangerous areas. He's the best forward on the ice right now and that should only be true this season if he was leading the OKC team to the playoffs. He ain't.

Jones
- He started off quicker than most of the rest of the squad, including drawing a penalty with some nice work behind the net, but he was one of the few guys who seemed to tail off as the game stretched on. Kind of a strange effort from him. Not at home on the PP.

Reddox
- Same ol same ol. Solid effort, never quits, hit some people and made a couple diving/extra-effort type plays that some people love him for. Pisani 2.0 finally?

Fraser
- Took a couple really weak shots on net and that was about it I guess...but at least he showed some toughness. Sad when he can't even stand out among this crowd.

Gilbert
- He was okay but couldn't seem to contribute anything whatever to the PP. The PP breakout, which used to be a strong suit of his, is now a mess. He used to make a strong pass from the D zone or skate all the way into the opposition zone and give to a forward. Now he skates to the red line, stops awkwardly and forces a play. Not exactly a finesse defenceman at his finest. He's being asked to do too much of course and is okay defensively, but his offence just isn't coming back, which is really unfortunate because that is what initially made him special.

Petry
- Chased the puck a little too much tonight. He looked nervous and a little twitchy as opposed to smooth and flowing like he had before. The major mistakes that had crept into his game weren't really present and he recovered well from the minor ones he made, but nothing special sadly.

Foster
- He'd be better as a forward getting in on the forecheck and hitting people (as he did once tonight). Did absolutely nothing with a boatload of PP time. How could he have fallen so far so fast??

Vandermeer
- Did a pretty solid job tonight. I really liked the couple times he took advantage of positioning and made a safely executed play towards the net. He could've scored on a couple of occasions tonight. Solid defence as well.

Smid
- Wore the 'A' tonight and did a pretty good job. Nothing flashy really, but solid.

Strudwick
- There was a point tonight where he took a puck in the ankle and was severely hobbled...if you hadn't seen it you wouldn't have noticed much difference in his play. The usual.

Khabibulin
- Two of the goals never should have happened so it's hard to blame him for those. He kind of moved out of the way awkwardly on the other though...wasn't pretty. He did make some nice stops.
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I will unfortunately be missing Saturday's game, so no report then. I really hope we don't resort to pulling goalies and intentionally missing the net in a knock-down-drag-out battle for 30th....

1 comment:

David S said...

Dude. Look at the team we're icing. We're half a step away from resorting to pulling goalies and intentionally missing the net.