The Oilers are coming off a very poor performance in Colorado in which Deslauriers kept the score as close as it was. The previous game was a loss against the Wild after two wins (vs. Philadelphia and Carolina). The Coyotes were blanked 4-0 vs. the Stars on Saturday, but their previous six games were win. The two teams have had opposite looking seasons this year. The Oilers are 2-7-1 in the last 10 games while the Coyotes are 7-3-0. The Oilers are 18-33-6 on the year and the Coyotes are nearly the inverse at 35-19-5. This is another good example of a team that has gone through tough years but is seeing the fruits of their labour. With any luck, the Oilers will see the same turnaround soon.
Anyways, I figure another loss, unfortunately (depending on your point of view, I suppose). Prediction: Coyotes 4, Oilers 3.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
Moreau – Horcoff – Pisani
Phoenix Coyotes Projected Line-Up (subject to change)
- Smid and Staios return to the lineup tonight. Not sure just yet on the lines, but I’ve posted my guess above. Will update the lines when I hear what they are.
- Looks like Gagner will be scratched tonight due to knee soreness. If he requires surgery and its delayed, I suggest that Trogdor gives up his spot in line for knee surgery so that Gagner can have it.
- Last minute change.. Comrie is in, Stortini is out.
- Add to that, Potulny will get top line billing, Pouliot hits the 2nd line, according to Dan Tencer.
|1ST PERIOD SCORING|
|– 9:58 – Jovanovsky from Lang, Lombardi|
|On a delayed penalty to Staios, Jovanovski gets the puck at the point and blasts it through traffic past Deslauriers.|
|– 19:29 – Lombardi from Doan, Lang|
|Lombardi receives a gorgeous, behind-the-back, no-look pass from Doan from behind the goal line (highlight material). Horcoff follows behind Lombardi as he goes across the front of the net. Lombardi just out waits Deslauriers who eventually goes down, and Lombardi backhands it up stairs.|
|2ND PERIOD SCORING|
|– 1:11 – Lombardi from Vandermeer, Doan|
|Vandermeer makes a pass cross-ice through traffic to Lombardi on the entry into the zone. He shoots it up stairs past Deslauriers’ glove hand|
|– 5:48 – Vandermeer from Lombardi, Hanzal|
|Vandermeer shoots it from the point. It redirects in off Strudwick in the high slot and fools Deslauriers.|
|3RD PERIOD SCORING|
|– 4:19 – Vrbata from Lombardi|
|At the end of a penalty to the Coyotes, Vrbata gets the puck and blows past Grebeshkov in alone on Deslauriers. He dekes glove side on Deslauriers and beats him.|
|– 11:40 – Lang from Pyatt|
|Lang skates into the slot and backhands it low past Deslauriers.|
|– 15:32 – Penner from Nilsson|
|Penner beats Jovanovsky, and then loses control of the puck, but Nilsson reels it in. Nilsson throws it back across to Penner and Jovanovski kicks it at Bryzgalov. Bryzy makes the save and it rebounds to Penner who puts it behind the goaltender.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
1ST PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
16:10 – Nilsson is nailed by Prucha just after the whistle. Luckily he half dodged the hit, but could have ended ugly with potential knee contact.
15:15 – The vet line look like a bunch of lost idiots on this shift, unable to perform a basic break out.
14:08 – Bissonnette runs over Deslauriers and tries to sell it as an accident, but the ref isn’t buying.
13:19 – Phoenix is called for a second penalty, giving the oil a 5-on-3 for 1:08.
12:51 – Comrie just misses putting in a power play goal on the side of the net.
11:14 – The Coyotes successfully kill off both penalties of the 5-on-3. The Oilers generated 7 shots over both powerplays, but Bryzgalov stood tall.
7:11 – Good toe drag by Brule to get past Yandle into the middle of the ice in on Bryzgalov. He doesn’t quite have enough room to beat Bryzgalov though and also ends up taking the goal post to the face. He earns a pat on the shoulder from one of the coaches for his efforts.
6:25 – Bryzgalov makes a nice save on Nilsson in tight.
3:00 – About 1 minute into another Oilers powerplay, and it looks horrific. Not sure if this is because of the Oilers bad powerplay ability or Coyotes exceptional penalty killing. I’ll go with a combination of both.
2ND PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
18:03 – Doan gets hurt battling for a puck. He leaves the ice to the dressing room. Looked like it may have been his wrist.
14:44 – Jovanovski throws a good hit on Brule.
13:40 – Doan returns to the Coyotes bench, so looks like he’s OK.
11:40 – Big hit here by Brule on Fiddler who was just laying a hit on Pouliot at the time.
11:00 – Strudwick bowls over Fiddler at the blueline, from behind as he’s catching up to him.
9:56 – Penner accidentally high-sticks Hanzal and draws blood and earns a 4 minute penalty.
6:20 – 3 and a half minutes into this double-minor, and we’re now just finally seeing signs of life from the Coyotes on this powerplay. Good kill by the Oilers.
5:49 – Penner’s penalty expires and he gets an end-to-end pass from Pouliot at the Coyotes blue line. He is in nearly alone on Bryzgalov and fires a shot that Bryzy just gets enough of, as it raises up high and out of play.
4:43 – What a play by Brule as he goes around a sprawling d-man to backhand a pass out to O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan gets a great shot off but Bryzgalov absolutely robs him as he quickly goes post to post.
1:41 – Good defensive play by Strudwick to prevent a Winnik breakaway here.
1:27 – Bissonnette looks like the new agitator/actor of the year trying to sell a Pouliot hit as dirty… with a 4-0 lead.
3RD PERIOD HIGHLIGHTS
19:10 – Potulny tries to pass it across to Penner on the other side of the net. Bryzgalov bites and cheats across, but the puck comes back to Potulny. He tries to jam it in, but Bryzgalov quickly recovers and gets his pad across.
17:48 – Good play by Pouliot to drive to the net with Lang hanging off his back. He rings it off the post and draws a penalty.
12:43 – Big hit by Brule on Perreault… he ends up leaving the game due to the hit.
11:50 – Nice moves by Vrbata here to toe-drag the shiat out of Pisani and Staios.
11:15 – Strudwick starts a fight with Bissonnette. Starts off looking like a mistake here. But midway through, Strudwick battles back. Both of these guys tally a decent punch count. No real big bombs, just several shots.
7:12 – Comrie fights Prucha and earns the KO on the second punch. Wowza. Prucha throws the first punch, and then Comrie lands a glancing blow, then connects on the beak of Prucha, knocking him down.
2:40 – Penner throws a cross-ice pass to Nilsson. Nilsson one times it, but Bryzgalov quickly gets across and takes the shot in the crest. Nilsson gets the rebound and puts it on net again, but Bryzgalov saves it yet again.
The score was pretty brutally ugly, however it may be slightly misleading. The Oilers definitely deserved a loss, but performances by Bryzgalov and Lombardi really made the score what it was. Bryzgalov stood on his head and was only outdone by Lombardi who had a 5 point night. For the Oilers, Nilsson had a pretty good game offensively, showing more signs of being a shooter tonight (although not gaining any rewards from the shooting). Brule also had a great game as he threw his weight around and worked some magic with the puck. Comrie had a brief tussle with Prucha in the 3rd, scoring the KO as he connected with a punch right to the face of Prucha, buckling his knees and sending him to the “frozen canvass”.
Pretty mediocre game played by Deslauriers tonight. He didn’t get much help back there, but he also wasn’t bailing anyone out either. The loss doesn’t rest on his shoulders, however. This game did have too many freeloaders in white tonight, and that resulted in the lopsided score.
Next game, Wednesday night at 8:00 on TSN vs. the Ducks, in Anaheim.