Well, we meet again. The Wild are in town tonight after chasing Bobby Lou from the net on Tuesday with a 6-2 beatdown of the Canucks. Aside from some line juggling, the thing to watch tonight will be the faceoff dot. The Oilers have struggled greatly so far in this young season and currently sit 29th. The Oilers were also lit up in Minnesota by the Wild’s powerplay and they did the same to Vancouver so one of tonight’s big keys will to be stay out of the box.
Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
Paajarvi – Horcoff – Eberle
Hall – Cogliano – Brule
Jones – Fraser – Stortini
LIVE GAME CHAT
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Well, tough loss tonight. Tough because the Oilers deserved to win this one. But the wise MacT mentioned something about the life cycle of a team is that you win games you have no business winning and lose games you should win. Tonight they lost one they should have won. I think this was a game that showed the team that they have it in them to win games against good teams. I think the Oilers will turn it around, at least for the next bit here.
Anyways, best Oiler on the ice tonight is a bit of a tough call. Theo Peckham was a dominant force out there and threw 3 or 4 big hits. For the forwards, Taylor Hall.. wow… he really came alive. TOm Renney had a good post game interview. He basically quietly chastised reporters for thinking he hasn’t played well enough. He said that internally, they haven’t doubted him at all and he hasn’t had a bad game.. but tonight was certainly his best game so far (Renney’s words). Hall looked a lot better than we’ve seen him yet, making great passes (set up Horcoff with a BEAUTY, but Horcoff drilled it over the net), speeding all over the ice, and being strong on the puck. He blew past defenders at least a couple of times tonight. To me he showed a lot of promise and made me think that if he can keep up this level of play, he’ll be a great player in a few years.
All three scoring lines were fantastic tonight, after the brain fart of a first period. For the first two goals against, our 4th line was on the ice and dominated by Brodziak’s line. Stortini must’ve been so bad to the scorekeepers, because as of right now, he’s not even listed on the game sheet. I suspect that he saw somewhere around 2 minutes of ice time (Jones too) and yet they had 2 goals against. Not good. They HAVE to be better than that. But some nights some lines have problems. So it’s not something to worry about yet.
Khabibulin had a good game tonight. He was in it the whole way, and I don’t think he let in any bad goals (although the 3rd goal was a bad goal, it wasn’t his fault.. it was redirected in off Vandermeer’s stick).
Anyways, next game is Saturday vs. the Sharks. I’ll be at the game. I think it will be a good one. The Oilers have momentum going their way, despite the loss.