In case you missed last night’s festivities, the Oilers succumbed to the Hurricanes in Raleigh by a dreadful score of 7-1. The more I thought of it, the more I was trying to make sense of it.
It was bad. How bad was it?
Pretty bad. Four goals in just over seven minutes to start the game is, well…bad.
You’ve got questions, I’ve got questions.
What in God’s name is happening out on the PK? And what was going through the heads of any of the officials when Cogliano got bashed in the mouth? Is this what happens when Shawn Horcoff doesn’t suit up for the team?
And do the Oilers dare suit up Khabibulin on Thursday night after his shellacking?
Who’s ready for a long winded rant?
Here’s the itinerary –
- Andrew Cogliano
- A quick rant about the PK
- Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall getting sat down in the third.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
Let’s talk about Andrew Cogliano for a minute or two.
Andrew Cogliano has had the word “potential” thrown around a lot. When you hear the word “potential” and you’ve got a few complete seasons in the National Hockey League, it’s usually not a good thing as far as you’re concerned. Andrew Cogliano has played the wing, he’s played centre, he’d probably play the guitar if management asked him to.
All of this “good guy” stuff is nice, but it means little if it transfers to nothing on the ice. Last night, Andrew Cogliano didn’t score three goals, or release a dove into the air.
Andrew Cogliano centred the Oilers only successful line last night, and I hope management took notice that he along with Jordan Eberle (when he wasn”t sitting) and Dustin Penner were the only members of any line that was worth looking at during last night’s game in Raleigh. Cogliano finished at a +1, and he came back after getting smashed in the face, chipping some teeth, and getting a handful of stitches.
According to Bruce McCurdy over at the Edmonton Journal, Cogliano even led the team in ice time. Not bad for a guy who had to go get his face shut up from bleeding every which way. So while everyone tends to get on Cogliano for leaking at the dot, it’s nice to see him have a good game on top of coming back from a pretty garish high stick.
Everyone on that line played well as can be expected in a game where you lose by six goals. I’d be very much interested in seeing that line next game versus Detroit.
Where the hell were the referees when Cogs got busted in the face?
THE PENALTY KILL AND A SHORT VIDEO
A couple of things:
- There’s way too much chasing of the puck going on here. You’re on the penalty kill. If you try to move up on a puck carrier, 99 times of a hundred the puck carrier is going to dish the puck to the opposite end. Now you’re out of position, and it becomes a virtual five-on-three. Now you’ve got to scramble back to your position, and if a shot isn’t going to be taken, then it never will be.
- Erik Cole could’ve gotten up out of a hammock at the end of all this and used a putter to score. He had all day plus half of the next day to get that shot off. No one was even close.
I know that the PK is a work in progress, but there’s got to be a better way.
The Oilers tweeted today that Khabibulin wasn’t at practise, and that Devan Dubnyk was the main guy today. There’s been no report of any sort of possible injury to Khabibulin, and that it just so happened that Dubnyk was the workhorse today.
While I’m likely to believe that there’s nothing wrong with Khabibulin, I think it’s time to give him a night off. I’d be surprised to see Khabibulin as the go-to guy tomorrow night, as his performance against the Hurricanes simply wasn’t up to snuff. Khabibulin has played in all but one game this year, and I was under the impression that whoever the number two guy was this year would be getting in some more reps by this point in the season.
I don’t expect Khabibulin to carry the team on his shoulders, but if he goes down due to an injury, exhaustion, or can’t play for whatever reason, I can’t imagine seeing what the buffet has to offer in February.
WHY WERE JORDAN EBERLE AND TAYLOR HALL SITTING THE THIRD PERIOD?
Can anyone answer me this? Taylor Hall obviously had a bad game, but on the other hand Eberle did pretty good on the Penner-Cogliano line. Did the whole stick-swinging on the glass thing by Taylor Hall really bristle Renney? What about Eberle?
A lot of things went wrong yesterday. Khabibulin had a forgettable day, the PK was atrocious again, the refs missed an obvious infraction against Cogliano that helped to swing momentum… but it seems obvious to me at least that Hall or Eberle really had little to nothing to do with any of those. I’m especially prickly about Eberle getting the pine treatment.
What gives? Eberle’s been one of the more exciting pieces on this team, and it seems ridiculous to let him ride the pine. As for Hall, I can at least understand if Coach got angry at him wielding his stick into the glass, but in a game where the opposition has taken all of your team’s marbles, it seems silly to keep anyone who isn’t a pugilist by trade on the bench.
Is that it? I think so for now. Detroit is on tap next for the Oilers tomorrow at the Joe Louis Arena.
The next story will be a fun piece about bouncing back from a horrible loss. Right?
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