So last night’s game was a loss, but I think there were a lot of positives in it, one of them being that the Oilers still got a point out of it. The other was that Dubnyk played a very rock solid game. The Oilers special teams were also better than that of Columbus, scoring 1 PP goal and not allowing any against. Dubnyk was peppered with shots though, and that is a concern, but if the Oilers can keep the shots to the outside, it’s fine to allow some extra shots… but Dubnyk was BUSY last night.
I’m not sure yet who the Oilers are going to go with tonight, but you can predict that they will also be very busy against a Hawks team that has been known to dominate us at our own game. They’ve got guys that can get in behind our defense and exploit holes all night, so I predict a fair number of 2-on-1 situations, and partial breaks. The Oilers are going to have to play a very tight defense. Aside from Whitney’s inability to pass the puck properly yesterday, I didn’t see too many big problems on defense last night, and the team looked better without Foster. Sorry to pick on a player, but they looked better having an 2/3s of the blue focused on defense. They’re going to need a very heavily defensive mindset tonight against the Hawks.
I’m hoping we see another good game. My heart says this will be a win for Edmonton, but the brain says 5-2 Chicago.
(A bit of guesswork here.. nothing official just yet…)
Whitney – Gilbert
Peckham – Foster
Smid – Strudwick
(Lineup’s snaked from HFBoards… credit to oilersnyc for the research)
Superb. The Oilers came out on the better end of a 7-4 game in Chicago. What is there to complain about? The Blackhawks pressured hard, but the Oilers stood their ground and battled to pad the lead when the Blackhawks would look to try and sneak back in. It wasn’t a perfect game, but the Oilers played their best game of the season, hands down, since the home opener (not that this is saying a lot).
The kids were great tonight. Each of them had two point nights. Hall’s goal was much nicer than the first. On the shift, he backchecked hard to break up a 2-on-1. The play went the other way shortly after. Eberle laid a short pass up for Hall who snapped a hard shot past Turco from the faceoff circle. Eberle’s goal was, as has become customary, another beautiful one as he took a fantastic feed from Horcoff, streaked in, and went around wide on Turco and backhanded it in. I’m starting to expect all of his goals to look good. Paajarvi had two assists. On one of them, Hemsky took a rebound while Turco was down and out and absolutely hammered it into the yawning cage.
For those of you that missed it, this was the game to watch… sorry you missed it. I admittedly had my usual rosey “we’re going to win” goggles on, but was still having the logical side in me say “no we’re not dummy”. I didn’t expect this kind of game at all. Great stuff. Goaltending was not a strong point for the Hawks (Khabi was reliable, however), but the Oilers still won this one on their own merit. Next up, the Canucks at home, on Tuesday.