We got our asses kicked on Saturday. But just think, its not so bad. The Blackhawks are going to win the cup this year so at least we lost to a really good team.
I spent the weekend split between one of two states (drunk or hungover) so they had better win and make my head feel better. But its PPV so I won’t be ordering this one, and I’m not sure my brain can handle Mr. Phillips right now.
The oilers need a win, and pronto, or the season is going to reach the point where there is no coming back (of course they will win a bunch at the end and make it look close). Khabibulin is out for his yearly injury break, the coaching staff isn’t pleased with our best player (who is on a career year to date), a group of our veterans had a fantastic meeting with the coaching staff letting them know that they should pull their heads out of their asses (I’m guessing) and …oh crap, I just realized I have a hockey game tonight so I won’t be watching this one.
Now time for Racki Stats:
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
Penner — Gagner — Hemsky
Jacques — Horcoff — Brule
Reddox — O’Sullivan — Stortini
Moreau — Potulny — Cogliano
Souray – Staios
Visnovsky – Smid
Gilbert – Strudwick
Phoenix Coyotes Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
Upshall – Lomardi – Doan
Prucha – Hanzal – Vrbata
Pyatt – Fiddler – Winnik
Mueller – Lang – Bissonnette
Yandle – Aucoin
Schlemko – Lepisto
Vandermeer – Heshka
– Sounds like Nilsson, Stone and Khabibulin are all close to being back in the lineup.
– Lines have been updated with some more changes. Of note, Gagner on the top line and Stortini and Potulny swap lines.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
7:59 – EDM – Moreau from Potulny, Visnovsky
Vintage Moreau here.. he gets a pass from Potulny off the boards and with speed he blows past the D in alone and makes a nice shot to beat Bryzgalov. About time we saw some of the old Moreau.
11:07 – EDM – Souray, unassisted
Souray rushes the puck into the Coyotes zone and throws it out front to the net. Bryzgalov kicks it out a few feet to his left and Lombardi one times it into the net in an attempt to clear. Maybe we should have signed him after drafting him?
11:14 – EDM – Hemsky from Penner
Penner wins the draw at center. Hemsky gives and goes with Penner in the high slot. Hemsky gets the puck, carries it in and dekes around Bryzgalov. Those goals happened so quick that I couldn’t even type an update fast enough. Coyotes panic and call a time out. This is goal number 100 for Hemsky.
– Horcoff prevents a sure goal with some great back checking, poking the puck away from a Coyote staring at an empty cage.
– Stortini and Bisonette go at it. Stortini lands several of jersey punches and connects with a shot that pops Bisonette’s helmet off. However he pulls a Moreau and loses his balance.
– 7 minutes in, and it looks like the Oilers are off to a bad start. The Coyotes have owned most of the play.
– Penner is again taking the draws for the top line, in pace of Gagner.
– Dan Tencer had a spot in which he talks about the Hemsky – Renney talk at practice. Tencer talks about Datsyuk and Zetterberg, how they are never the first guys off and often the last guys off, and how seeing that as a 4th liner would be motivating. Doesn’t really indulge us as to what Renney said, but hints that it was jus a comment how he’s uncommitted to practice and needs to set a better example for others. No arguing that.
– They just showed a prototype of what the new arena could look like. Looks like a clam shell.
– TSN turning point is Moreau’s goal… before that, the Oilers were looking bad. I expect the Coyotes will come out flying in the second.
– Deslauriers makes some spectacular saves with 2 minutes left as the Coyotes try to rally to end the period.
– Penner almost makes it 4-0 on a pass from Gagner but Bryzgalov gets just enough of it, going post to post.
– Doan lays out Potulny with a big hit in the Coyotes zone. He is playing with a bit of edge after losing his bucket in a scuffle with Souray in an earlier play.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
19:59 – EDM – Horcoff from Souray, Visnovsky
With nearly no time on the clock, Souray blasts a shot from the point with Horcoff redirects into the net just as the buzzer sounds. To me, it sounded like it didn’t beat the buzzer, but it goes to review and stands.
– Nice shot block by Strudwick on the Coyotes’ first powerplay.
– Crazy hand-eye coordination by Yandle… an Oiler dumps the puck out of the zone fairly hard and Yandle dives across the ice with one hand on his stick knocking it down. Nothing happened on it, but just an odd play worth noting.
– Strudwick doing a good job on this first powerplay for the Coyotes clearing the puck again for the 2nd or 3rd time.
– Hemsky…. so close. Waltzes through everyone on the team and gets in alone on Bryzgalov… but was slashed at the end and couldn’t shoot. That was a one on 3 and he comes out on top and even draws the penalty.
– JDD gets caught outside his net on the far post and a Doan tries to come around behind the net to wrap it around the other post into the open net, however O’Sullivan gets back just in time to save a goal.
– Hemsky is having a HELL of a night. On this shift alone he’s dominated the Coyotes zone, dancing in on net all alone twice now but was in too close to get a good shot off. Announcers point out the great chemistry being show with him and Penner tonight. The Coyotes earn another penalty trying to contain Penner and Hemsky.
– Hemsky draws another penalty blowing around Vandermeer, but Vandermeer sticks the leg out. 5-on-3 time.
– Penner still taking all the draws when he is out.
– The short 5-on-3 has some good movement, but no real clear shots.
– On the 5-on-4, Souray makes a great play to keep the puck in but the ref blows it down offside drawing evil eyes from 16,000+ referees.
– Renney on Hemsky’s performance tonight: “Playing great. He takes ownership for his own performance and his team. He’s a pro guy as is everybody else.” When asked about “the talk” and the good conversation they had today, he said “We all want the same thing, bottom line. And any good coach deals with something right there and its over with. And you make sure that he knows you’re in his corner and you support him, and we all do.” He sounded very sincere in his comments that Hemsky received the message fine and there were no more concerns from either side.
– Jacques hammers Vandermeer in the Coyotes zone.. fans love it.. great hit. Vandermeer was carrying the puck behind his net and turned around to go the other way and was greeted by Jacques. These two may go later.
– Jacques says his back is completely fine and he’s not worried about it nor does he want to focus on it (aka “Stop asking, reporters”)
– “After the whistle toughness” Smid throws Bisonette around a bit as he was in too tight on Deslauriers and in the blue paint.
– O’Sullivan takes a senseless penalty after the whistle, hooking some Coyote up high in the chest which rides up into the throat area. He throws his arms up after the call as though it was a dive. Not a very smart play.
– Oilers get a powerplay. O’Sullivan gets a cross-crease pass and almost puts it away but Vandermeer gets in his face and gets enough of the shot to deflect it out of trouble. O’Sully shows his frustration here looking to the sky.
– With a second left, Souray blasts a shot from the point that Horcoff tips into the net just as the buzzer goes. They go upstairs on this one…. annnnd… it’s… A GOAL!
– Rob Brown defending Horcoff in the intermission talking about just how much he does. “Take away the contract and there isn’t a guy who does more for this team…. coming back from the injury he’s starting to play better and become the Shawn Horcoff everyone was used to the last few years. He’s playing his best hockey he has all year round.” (not an exact quote)
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
– I’m pretty sure Deslauriers just stopped one with his head.
– Deslauriers gets a bit more luck as Mueller rings one off the post and Pyatt fires the rebound wide.
– Again some more luck as Deslauriers makes a save but it squeaks through and lies in the blue paint. Moreau chips it out in time.
– Bisonette looks to have intentionally bowled Deslauriers over in the crease. Replay proves me correct. He gets a lovetap from someone, gains extra momentum somehow, then skates into Deslauriers knocking him over.
– Deslauriers has been kicking out juicy rebounds all night.. credit to the forwards/defense for beating the Coyotes to the pucks though.
– Notice I’m saying Deslauriers a lot this period? That’s because he’s getting bombarded this period. Not even half way through and he’s faced 14 shots this period. Good thing we have a comfortable lead.
– Kelly Buchberger interview… mentioned something that comes as a bit of a surprise of the make up of the lines. He says they wanted two scoring lines, a checking line (the surprise for me, because I didn’t think this was a Quinn thing) and what sounded like Buchy said was a “filler” line. Filler line.. as in you fill it with the rest of the scrubs on the team? Or filler line because you fill your pants any time they’re on the ice?
– Ryan Potulny just ripped a one-timer off the bar on a pass from Moreau during a great rush by the Oilers.
– Yandle just ducked under a huge hit from Jacques. Someone up there likes him.
– Hmm, looks like O’Sullivan has been benched… seeing Brule centering Reddox and Stortini in his place.
– And Deslauriers does it! First career shut out, and it’s a 36 save shut out.
– 3 stars: 1st: Deslauriers, 2nd: Hemsky, 3rd: Horcoff
– Deslauriers is currently having a marathon interview with Principe. In the background you can see Lowe and Katz looking on. Katz looks like an Oompa Loompa next to Lowe. Katz chats it up with Deslauriers after the interview… I presume he was sending his congratulations, which is a pretty cool thing for an owner to do.
This game was a little misleading at points. 4-0 win, you’d think the Oilers dominated this game, but truth be told, they played very well for about half the game, and Phoenix played very well the other half. One thing to note though is this team was MUCH better in their support on Deslauriers. To credit, Deslauriers made some great saves, but he also had some big problems with rebound control all night. Luckily for him, it seemed that his team was always in the right place at the right time all night.
Horcoff had a pretty good game tonight as did Hemsky. Hemsky dominated the Coyotes for about 2 periods. Their defense had a lot of difficulty trying to contain him and Penner. Jacques also had another very physical game and helped set the tone. One thing you could notice was the size difference between him and Stortini and the Coyotes players. Strudwick and Moreau also looked pretty good out there. Moreau showed a bit more jump and may be finding his legs again, finally.
Overall this was a pretty good response by the Oilers to the meeting with the coaches. I don’t think the score quite tells the story though. They definitely played well enough for the win, but probably not a 4-0 win. At any rate, it’s nice to see a PPV where the Oilers don’t stink the joint up! Next up: Kings, Wednesday @ 7:30 at home.
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