GDT: Oilers 2 – Penguins 1 (SO) – Game 1 – 2011-10-09 @ 7:00 PM MST – SNETW

By , October 9, 2011 11:47 am
-={ Puttin’ On The Foil Presents… }=-
Anton Lander makes his NHL debut tonight
logo AT logo
2-0-0 Record 0-0-0
Location: Rexall Place
Date: October 9, 2011 @ 7:00 PM MST


It seems like forever since we’ve last seen a regulation game so, needless to say, I’m excited as hell for this one. The big story about tonight’s game is that we’ll see the NHL debut of two Oilers in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Anton Lander. The Oilers are giving Nugent-Hopkins the best possible start he can get by playing between Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky. These guys have been playing together in practice for quite a while now, so it will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry has been built there. We all know that Hemsky, as amazingly skilled as he is, can be a difficult player to play with at times. But I think Hall and Nugent-Hopkins are very smart players that should have no troubles keeping up.

Lander will center the fourth line tonight, which contains Ryan Jones and Darcy Hordichuk. I don’t expect too much magic from him tonight playing with those two guys. But I do expect to see what he can do in the defensive zone at shutting down opponents and playing an energy game.

The other HUGE deal for me.. Devan Dubnyk gets the start tonight. This is a huge deal for me because it signifies that Tom Renney full recognize who is the better goaltender here. With any luck, that means that we’ll see many starts from him this season (50+ I hope). That is a really good sign for the Oilers if that is the case. At worst, that means that Nikolai Khabibulin will have to play his ass off to start in games.

Tom Renney is apparently undefeated in home openers (7-0?)… however the Oilers will have their hands full in this one. They do like to play against Eastern teams, however.

I predict that Dubnyk will have a good game though… I’ll go with 4-1 Oilers for my prediction as Tom Renney improves to 8-0 in openers.






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27 Responses to “GDT: Oilers 2 – Penguins 1 (SO) – Game 1 – 2011-10-09 @ 7:00 PM MST – SNETW”

  1. Racki says:

    Great Tom Renney quote: “Last year we were playing with house money. This year it’s about winning. We’ve lost enough. We need to win more.”

  2. Alan-NottsUK says:

    time for my sleep patterns to be destroyed again 😀

  3. Grass&sOIL says:

    Really glad to see Dubes get the start!!!!

    If we want to contend for the playoffs this year then games like this are the ones you need to get 2 points out of. Not saying it’s must win or anything but playing a team that has played 3 games in 4 nights already in a jacked up building should mean a win no matter how good the opponent.

  4. John says:

    Strange game, the first 30 min was like watching paint dry but the last 40 was pretty decent hockey if not a little scary! Defence held up better than I expected, Dubbie awesome, & Nuge with a great 1st NHL goal in his first game woohoo!! I didn’t think he looked at all out of place throughout the game either, too bad about the BS major & game misconduct on Smitty though :(

  5. NorwegianOiler says:

    Not very impressed with our ability to break out of our zone (a familiar problem). We’re far too often pressured into making imprecise plays. It’s not a surprise with all the new players, but there seemed to be a lack of cohesion between our forwards and defensemen. It led to some disjointed plays where the outlet passes missed their man or was played to a near motionless or boxed in forward. That has to be worked on. I can’t handle another year of succumbing to the opposition’s forecheck.

    After playing quite tentatively the first period things improved and we enjoyed some fine spells in the offensive zone. Classic opening game in my opinion. We don’t play that well, but win nonetheless. Some nice individual performances, but clearly the opening game for us.

    Best thing was the in-game improvement of our PK. Started off badly, but got better as the game went on.

  6. Alan-NottsUK says:

    I agree a little to much panic in the D zone when the Pens were forchecking, but it seemed to start fading out as the game progressed.

  7. NorwegianOiler says:

    It got better, but it’s a recurring issue for us that needs to be improved immediately or it we’ll sink to the bottom another year. We rarely start games strong either, too many players waiting for the game to develop – using the first shifts to poke softly, miss easy passes and play timidly.

    Our forecheck/change cycle was poor too, I think. We rarely dumped the puck with several players going whole-heartedly in after it.

    Loved some of the plays between Hemsky, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall though. Short smart passes for players moving into space or those marvellous surgical set ups by Hemsky (the one to Hall in the dying seconds of the middle period comes to mind).

    And Dubnyk was great.

  8. Racki says:

    I agree on the problems with the break out. I’m not sure why it was such a big problem, but it was. This might be where the excuse could be used that the Pens were on game 3 and we were on game 1. But I hope that stuff gets solved early.

    So our first game was a long time coming… game 2 is no better. Thursday night! Big 4 night gap for this one. Argh.. damn you, NHL schedule. The rest of the month is a fair bit better though.

  9. Steveo in the uk says:

    Good. Missing 1 game was bad enough. I just paid 9£ for internet to check the score.

  10. Racki says:

    Holy shiz. When are you officially back in Edmonton?

  11. Steveo in the uk says:

    Tomorrow bright and early

  12. Grass&sOIL says:

    Just a few notes from my observations from game 1:

    -After a bad goal against Dubes was a rock. Gonna make it very hard for Khabby to claw his way back to being the starter if he plays like that.
    -RNH looked like he has been an NHLer for a couple of years now. Made a contribution on 12 of 18 Oiler scoring chances according to Staples.
    -PK was top notch. Who else thought the game ways over when Smitty got ejected?
    -Other then RNH this is a team that can win faceoffs.

    I liked our defense too!!!

    Smid- Was a force and put his body between the puck and the net all game long!!!

    Gilbert – It is not totally there yet but he looks like building to add some assertiveness to his game. This would be much welcomed in my books!!! Keep it up!!!

    Peckham – So So game. A few turnovers and might have deflected that first goal against but he played a lot of minutes shorthanded on a good looking Oilers PK.

    Petry – I noticed him offensively involved but didn’t really notice him in our end, but nothing wrong with that.

    Barker – Seemed a bit slow to me, wanna see more out of him.

    Sutton – as already mentioned he was not as physical as advertised but I thought he played a real simple and effective game. To me he looked to be more then a 7th Dman and could be a steady influence on our backend.

  13. LateNightOilFan says:

    Just got home from camping for the Thanksgiving weekend – happy to see the score and very happy to see Devan with the start! Nice way to start the season, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  14. Racki says:

    I only noticed one bad play out of Sutton that really stood out in my mind. Our forwards must have been on a line change or something.. he picked up the puck behind the net with his back turned and didn’t realize how much time he had, but rang it around the boards before anyone else was there, save for a Penguin. This led to a scoring chance for the Pens. But other than that, he seemed alright. I didn’t notice him out there, which is usually good for a defensive d-man.

  15. John says:

    I think we can all agree that the defence looked pretty disjointed & there was a lot of passes & plays that went haywire; “Like a dog fucking a football” as my buddy so eloquently put it lol. The defence & forwards also saved the day sacrificing the body to block shots which is what it’s gonna take to win games. So I guess we will see if the scrambling, Three Stooges style we saw will be an anomaly or status quo once again. I have to think a lot of credit for the Oiler confusion was due to the fact that not only is Pittsburgh likely a SC contender but also that was the 3rd game they had played already this season so they have had a chance to build some chemistry & work on systems. All the courageous shot blocking & sacrificing the body was fantastic but we will see if they still show the same excuberance by game 50 or so!

  16. oilinblood says:

    Just wanted to first say that the oilers seem like they have that dressing room feeling that was absent since pretty much weight left (some reporters have said even the 06 team waasnt all that close and that weights departure was when things started sliding). its not just guys like smyth and horc, and those ol oil vets but guys like smid and dubes, peckham (who in the intro videos said he hopes the oil jersey is the only one he ever wears in the nhl), and the new guys like ebs and hall, magnus and lander and the nuge.

    i noticed dubes has a bit of a swagger this year… it looks good on him. even his commercial breaks he has his game face on. this is his year to shine.
    nuge was in good positions all game.
    petry was impressive… good pinch reads. if johnson had kick saved nuges second try, petry had beaten cooke to that post for any tap in. Lander made that nice ot pass which petry rang off the post. i swore it had gone in and right back out. stupid angles + beer goggles
    sutton was pretty solid, peckham looked a bit overly filled with nervous energy
    belanger had a pretty dominant night, as did the whole pk.
    smyth and horcs look like they have the ol chemistry back…even if only for the pk purposes.

    i expect the pp will come. i agree 100% with what renney said; there was just not enough movement from players without the puck on the pp. it seemed like everyone else stood and watched or made very little effort to change their lanes, draw opposing payers, or screen. Smyth looked good out there but theres not enough legs moving as a whole.
    Dissapointed in barkers game the most. i expect alot out of him and his shot has to be ready to fire on those pp’s.
    smid was a machine
    i liked the lander line and he looked good, as did jones, on the pk and slim 5 on 5 time they got.

    all n all im happy most with the pk and dubs. everyone seemed to have nerves at the start and trying to do too much, making too big of gaps for offense and running around too much on defense.
    also well said by the coach was that with all the attention on the young stars still… it was the vets like smid and belanger and gilbert and horcs that really made some key plays in the dying minutes of regualtion. lots of key veterans in key roles this year.

    Im a horcs backer and i think this is the year people should judge him by. he has belanger and likely lander for the season as help in the pivot position so his workload will now be as a regular centre instead of 3 centres. i look for big things from horcoff.

    good first game, they were obviously playing the first game of the year but showed they could play with a couple of different looks and elements in their game. that pk will be a top 12 without whitney… and better with him. that is important because limiting whitneys need to be on the pk will/should be a priority. the pp will get there in time – barker needs to make his shot a threat and he refused to do that last night.

    smyth – quite a few of my friends agreed with me that trading smyth when we did made sense, and all of them too a man also agreed this summer, when rumors began, that we should pick him back up if the cost was easy to swallow. nice to see him back in front of the opposition net.

    we finally have the gel and role guys. we dont have to rely on “experiments” to cover those needs. i still feel a bid for arnott would not have been unwise nor overkill (in ADDITION to aquiring belanger)… but thats moot.
    pens didnt have malkin or crosby but we didnt have whitney and had to get reacclimated to the pace of the game and reads. good game.

    OKC got killed 7-0. yikes

  17. Racki says:

    Really any time Smyth is on the ice for a PP (and maybe often in ES situations) Barker should be on the ice, and he should be firing that cannon any chance he gets.

  18. LateNightOilFan says:

    Kind of an anti-climatic way to start the season for Oiler fans (as well as Jets & Sharks fans). Only 1 game each in the first week of the schedule. What’s with that?

  19. Racki says:

    Pretty lame. Luckily, starting tomorrow, the rest of this month’s schedule is much less spaced apart.

  20. oilinblood says:

    the strange thing is that OKC’s start to the schedule is nearly identical.

  21. Racki says:

    lots of time to regroup after having their ass handed to them in the opener.

  22. oilinblood says:

    heard omark is injured and out for the minnie game. (might just be in renneys dog house — sounds like he is staying behind with whitney, gags, and eager)
    jones moves up with magnus and horcs, while pett will wing for lander and hordi. the other lines will stay the same.
    i know i plan on keeping a big eye on petry, after his quality game against the pens. thats an important spot the kid is playing, with not alot of fall back options.

  23. oilinblood says:

    Racki: lots of time to regroup after having their ass handed to them in the opener.

    by the stars no less

  24. Racki says:

    heard omark is injured and out for the minnie game. (might just be in renneys dog house — sounds like he is staying behind with whitney, gags, and eager)
    jones moves up with magnus and horcs, while pett will wing for lander and hordi. the other lines will stay the same.
    i know i plan on keeping a big eye on petry, after his quality game against the pens. thats an important spot the kid is playing, with not alot of fall back options.

    Omark made a comment about his ankle being sore… but him being scratched is definitely about being in the dog house. Hopefully it motivates him.

  25. Grass&sOIL says:

    I didn’t think Omarks game was all that bad against the Pens. I even noticed him backchecking a few times.

  26. Racki says:

    Yah I thought it a little strange too that he’d be scratched. However I did think that his line was completely ineffective. I’d like to see if Jones helps stir things up.

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