The pic above is just a placeholder for now, as I think Steve-O might put in one of his world-famous art creations in hopes of sparking a win out of the Oilers. So Steve-O, I’ll leave that up to you, if you want to whip up a picture.
The Oilers are going to try and hand the Avalanche their first home loss of the year. The Avalanche are a perfect 6-0 at home. The Oilers have had only 1 win on the road so far this year (against Nashville) in 6 games. The Oilers and Avalanche have met once this year (Oct 27) with the Avalanche blanking the Oilers 3-0, so the Oilers have their work cut out for them this time around, to say the least. The Oilers are even more beaten up now, as Ales Hemsky joins the list of injured players. He should be back soon, but did not fly to Denver with the team.
The Oilers are coming off 3 straight losses and only have one win in their last 7. The Avalanche have won their last two, with a shootout win over the Blackhawks on Friday and a 4-1 win over Phoenix on Wednesday. The story this year for the Oilers has been shots. The Oilers have been outshot in 13 of 16 games so far this year. Most of their woes seem to be on the powerplay as well, as they’re actually near the top of the pile (8th) in even-strength goals. However, the Oilers have also allowed the 4th most number of goals at even-strength as well.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up
Colorado Avalanche Projected Line-Up
– Ales Hemsky joins the list of injured players with a shoulder injury. He should only miss a game or two of action.
– JFJ is still out with back spasms.
– Reddox and Potulny were called up yesterday to replace the newly injured Hemsky, and likely to keep Big Mac out of the line-up (who drew recent ire from Quinn for taking a bad penalty early on in Thursday’s loss).
– Smid is out again due to sickness.
– Pisani collided with another Oiler in practice yesterday and was cut. He took some stitches, but will play today.
1ST PERIOD SUMMARY
4:47 – EDM – PP – Comrie from Gagner, Penner
Gagner attemps a cross-crease pass but it gets partially intercepted by an Avalanche. The puck ends up on the door step for Comrie who back hands it in while Anderson is looking the other way.
8:00 – COL – Svatos from Quincey, Stastny
The Oilers get hemmed in their own zone after an Avalanche powerplay. The Avs apply the pressure. The shot from the point is initially saved by Khabibulin, but Svatos bangs in the rebound.
14:48 – EDM – PP – Gilbert from Nilsson, Potulny
The puck is passed back to the point and Gilbert wires a wrister through traffic with Potulny screening Anderson.
19:02 – EDM – PP – Penner from O’Sullivan, Visnovsky
O’Sullivan gets the puck off Visnovsky’s stick up high and passes it to Penner who’s waiting and snaps it past Anderson quickly.
– The Avalanche get a favorable bounce on a dump in off the glass as it comes out in front of the net with Khabibulin behind the net, but Visnovsky got there in time to save the day.
– Reddox gets drilled from behind by Svatos, which creates a scrum in the corner. Reddox didn’t look so hot after the hit.
– On the Avalanche powerplay, the Avs try a cross-crease one timer and Cumisky is robbed by Khabibulin as he kicks the leg out.
– Chorney goes down to block a shot and takes a shot in the head, possibly in the ear.
– Potulny sees a couple of shifts on the second powerplay of the game, and ends up getting an assist.
2ND PERIOD SUMMARY
4:56 – COL – Hensick from Clark, Wolski
With a bunch of traffic in front, a slapshot from the point is saved by Khabibulin, but it bounces off someone in front and into the net.
– Staios slaps one from the point and it knuckles off another Avalanche player and into Hannan’s beak.
– On the PK, the puck is dumped into the Avs zone and Reddox presses hard on the forecheck and even creates a scoring chance for Gilbert.
– Staios is pretty soft on the puck on a dump in into the Oil zone. He loses it to an Avalanche player, but luckily Khabibulin has his force field up on two great chances by Wolski.
– On the powerplay, a horrible bounce leads to Khabibulin looking the other way and Stastny staring at a yawning cage, but Strudwick spins around and bats the puck off his stick in time to get it out of danger.
3RD PERIOD SUMMARY
4:46 – EDM – PP – Potulny from Grebeshkov, Gilbert
Potulny receives the cross-ice pass from Grebeshkov and he buries it behind Anderson.
7:27 – COL – Jones from McLeod, Stastny
Khabibulin gets caught out of the net and is tackled by an Avalanche player who knocks Chorney over on top of him. The puck bounces over to Jones who is looking at a very empty net and makes no mistake with it.
16:40 – EDM – Cogliano from Reddox, Staios
Reddox picks up the puck, goes to the faceoff dot and fires a back hand on net. The rebound comes to Cogliano and he has a wide open net to put it into.
– Hendricks carries the puck behind the net and is flattened by Grebeshkov.
– On one of the powerplays, Visnovsky passes it cross-crease to Gagner who stickhandles in close to Anderson who is way out to challenge. Looked good, but Anderson barely gets a toe on it to keep it out.
– The Red Ox gets a two-on-one with Cogliano. It seems that the message now is “shoot first”, as that’s what he does. He stickhandles it in close but can’t beat Anderson.
– Kevin Quinn points out that Reddox and Potulny have combined for three points so far on the night.
Well, the Oilers powerplay somehow woke up tonight. Who would have thought it would be with Hemsky out for the powerplay to have an epiphany? The Oil went 4 for 7 on the night. They were also perfect on the penalty kill (4 for 4). Add to that, in the final minute and a half, the Oilers didn’t quit. With Anderson pulled, they won all the right battles to prevent the Avalanche from coming back.
Overall it was a very well played game, although the Oilers did blow the second period (outshot 20 to 7). The Oilers did make their usual defensive mistakes (Chorney had a very bad night in particular, defensively), but they did play a good enough game to win it, outplaying the Avalanche in two of three periods.
Reddox and Potulny both had solid contributions tonight. Potulny had 1 goal and an assist, while Reddox had one helper. Both looked very good out there. Reddox had his usual jump to his game and also played very solid on the penalty kill. Quinn put some trust in Potulny having him out on the top powerplay, and the kid made the most of it.
The defence also came to Khabibulin’s aid on occasion tonight, bailing him out. Strudwick made a pretty highlight reel play to spin around blindly and whack the puck off of Stastny’s stick to keep him from getting a sure goal.
And so the Avalanche home-win streak comes to an end, and the Oilers prevent the Avalanche from making history (their best home record to start a season).
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