I’d like to encapsulate the feeling of euphoria I have right now, and put a lid on it. That way, if the team is sucking wind come January, I can always go back to this game, open the lid, and remember how great it felt.
We’re going to go over last night’s game, because even some twenty hours later I have trouble believing what I saw. Let’s take the plunge.
Almost everything that could’ve gone wrong last night…didn’t. Geez, it was fun. I don’t know what else to call it. Team was firing on all cylinders to start, ran into a rut in the second, and finished with a pretty powerful third period.
- Nikolai Khabibulin. I’d like to start off with him. Every time he went down, I had a small nightmare that he’d soon be sprawled out on the ice unable to get up. He posted a shutout, while stopping 37 shots. I can’t say enough about his performance. He did appaer to have some jitters in the beginning of the game, but after not playing a regular season game in eleven months, I’ll just have to allow it. Full marks.
- Jordan Eberle was the rookie that won over the crowd at Rexall Place last night. Jim Vandermeer fed a nifty pass to Eberle, who had a real beaut of (shorthanded!) goal. He almost had two save for the fact the second goal went off of Shawn Horcoff on the way in. A torrid way to start his career in an Oilers sweater.
Welcome to Edmonton, young man.
- A healthy Ales Hemsky - I saw guys playing last night that I hadn’t seen since 1952. Sure, there was Khabibulin, but Ales Hemsky! He exists! Just like Santa. Hemsky started off his 2010-11 campaign with a slap shot goal near the right faceoff circle. I preached it over the summer, but Ales Hemsky is a big cog in the wheels of success for the Edmonton Oilers. Well, that and the defence has to be better, and the goaltending…you get the idea. Healthy Hemsky. Got it.
- Faceoffs. Sam Gagner – 7/13. Colin Fraser – 6/12. Cogliano – 5/10. Brule – 5/6 plus the game’s first goal. Good numbers for all four. I’m looking at you, Cogliano. Good stuff.
- While it doesn’t carry any points on the scoresheet, Steve MacIntyre had a pretty nice tussle with Raitis Ivanans. As I said earlier, I’m sorry that Ivanans had to be helped off after this one, but this was a pretty nice win for Mac.
Video courtesy hockeyfights.com
Was it all hearts and flowers last night? Yes. Well, no. The second period was dominated by the Flames, but Khabibulin stopped ‘em all. I can’t pick apart a team that just defeated their rivals by four goals. Was a little thrown off that the scratches were Stortini, Jacques and Strudwick. Thought we’d be seeing two or maybe all three of those guys.
Enjoy the feeling. The next game is Sunday versus the Florida Panthers. What a game!