Tonight’s game is a 7:00 start and on PPV. The Oilers are coming off a 4-3 loss in which they were schooled by the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday. The score didn’t tell the story of the game. Thankfully Khabibulin was fairly decent in net or it could have been a lot worse. The Wild are also coming off of a loss, having lost 3-2 to the Ducks on Wednesday.
I’ll be missing this one, so I won’t be able to get in a post game rant (unless I catch the highlights later). It’s too bad, because I predict another good game for the Oilers. I’ll predict a 5-2 win for the Oil.
The lines are likely to change, but here’s where they stand so far, until I hear something else (if anyone hears anything, please feel free to update in the comments).
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (as per TSN’s tasty ice chips)
Nilsson – Horcoff – Jacques
Comrie – Gagner – O’Sullivan
Penner – Brule – Stone
Moreau – Cogliano – Stortini
Visnovsky – Strudwick
Grebeshkov – Gilbert
Smid – Chorney
Minnesota Wild Projected Line-Up (WILD.NHL.COM)
Tonight’s game marks the return of Kyle Brodziak to Edmonton. Brodziak has 1 point (an assist) with the Wild so far in 5 games this season and is a minus 1. Brodziak has been bounced around on the wings so far this year and hasn’t seen any time at center.
Staios and Souray will miss this game as well. It doesn’t sound too good for either of them, as updates from Jason Gregor and Dan Tencer have been less than promising for both. Sounds like neither of them are going to be back soon.
01:49 EDM Mike Comrie (3) Snap Shot – Assists: R. Nilsson (2) & J. Strudwick (3)
11:45 EDM Dustin Penner (4) Snap Shot – Assists: P. O’Sullivan (4)
16:41 MIN Benoit Pouliot (1) Wrist Shot – Assists: E. Belanger (6) & M. Zidlicky (2)
19:17 EDM Gilbert Brule (3) Wrist Shot – Assists: R. Stone (2) & J. Jacques (2)
03:35 MIN PPG – Andrew Brunette (5) Backhand – Assists: M. Koivu (3) & M. Zidlicky (3)
11:58 EDM Dustin Penner (5) Tip-In – Assists: S. Gagner (2) & L. Visnovsky (3)
13:49 EDM Gilbert Brule (4) Backhand – Assists: R. Stone (3) & J. Jacques (3)
POST-GAME SUMMARY (Provided by Hockey Noob of Low On Oil):
We started out pretty dominant from a puck possession standpoint. Despite this, we seem to get out shot right from the start. Nilsson was pretty shaky from the start with a few giveaways on the powerplay. Our powerplay in general looked pretty terrible throughout the game. The JFJ/Brule/Stone line was bad off the start, though the did improve throughout the game and contributed with some goals–pretty ugly hard-fought goals. However, they were hemmed in their own zone quite a bit. It seemed like they were paired with Chorney and Strudwick.
Struckwick’s a huge liability. Like the Chicago game, the Wild figured out that you get a free-pass if you ice the puck on Strudwick’s side since he isn’t beating anyone to the puck. There was a lot of ebb and flow to the game with times where the Oilers looked so superior that the Wild almost seemed pathetic out there. Occasionally, the momentum would shift and we went long stretches without shots and stuck in our zone.
Gagner was pretty quiet most of the game and either didn’t play much or was invisible. Comrie got the opening goal off a slick pass on the give and go from Nilsson. Penner’s second goal showed his smart positioning and an incredible effort from the ever snake-bitten O’Sullivan.
Brule got the second of the game which was a bit of a lucky garbage goal off a lucky rebound, but there was plenty of hard teamwork involved in this effort.
The lone goal against us in the second was from a defensive lapse with Stone’s line and I believe Chorney and Strudwick.
Moving to the third… It started off something awful-we were outplayed and out-shot for much of the beginning of the third. Again, we were having a hard time getting the puck out of our zone. JFJ had a penalty at the beginning of the third in the Wild zone. The announcers never said what it was for, and I wasn’t really sure. I didn’t see anything noticeable happen.
The Wild converted on their second powerplay with Horcoff in the box for a holding penalty. It was a little iffy of a call. Fortunately, we got a huge momentum shift from our big-man, Penner. He had the puck around the Oilers goal line and just lit the fuse. The 18 wheeler was flying down the left wing with the puck. From what I recall, he passed it to Gagner near the blue line who carried it in.
Despite some obstruction, Penner powered his way to the net for a saucer of a pass from ?Gagner that he potted in the backdoor. Brule got the fifth goal on another grinder line type play with a juicy rebound and wide open net.
Overall, our famous puck moving dmen like Visnovsky, Gilbert, and Grebs weren’t bad, but weren’t horribly noticeable either. Smid actually stood out and played a very solid game. Chorney wasn’t too disastrous though his lack of size and strength shows at times. Though Smid played well, it was pretty hilarious to watch Boogard beat him to an iced puck.
Moreau didn’t stand out much or draw any bad penalties. Brule had a very good game even outside of his points. JFJ and Stone looked more like AHLers most of the game, but did put in good efforts. Comrie was back checking like a demon on several plays which was surprising.
The Duff, yeah that’s right, The Duff was in attendance at the game. Damn, she looked hot. Sorry, Comrie!
Penner carried the team on his back this game. He’s the fucking man.
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