Red Wings 6, Oilers 2 - Bring Back To Me Shawn Horcoff

The Red Wings did what the Red Wings do on Thursday night.

We’ll try to cheer the place up after the jump.

Make your own caption. Photo courtesy oilers.nhl.com

What to say?  Detroit played their game, and Edmonton played theirs.  I’d love to go into a long list of reasons why the Oilers let this one slip away (and you’re in luck!), but if you’ve watched the last fourteen games, you already know all the reasons.  Khabibulin hasn’t played nearly well enough (although he’s not the only one to point at – we finally should see Devan Dubnyk tonight in New Jersey), the penalty kill is…something, and the team isn’t doing any scoring until they’re blown out of the water.

  • This team needs Shawn Horcoff back at centre, pronto. The team doesn’t have a number one centre without him, and although almost anyone on the line with Dustin Penner has been a ray of hope in two otherwise deplorable games, it’s quite obvious that the team suffers when Horcoff isn’t manning the one line.  The team has a hard enough time icing a full squad when he’s in the lineup let alone when he’s out.  Horcoff skated with the team for about ten minutes yesterday, but wasn’t able to play last night.  Maybe we’ll get lucky tonight.
  • Fortunately for Edmonton, the team only took one minor penalty last night.  Unfortunately for Edmonton, a powerplay goal was yielded on that minor penalty.
  • Theo Peckham got his first career goal late in the third period once the score was 6-1.  You’d like to get your first goal under better circumstances, but hey, it’s a goal.  And it was against Detroit.
  • It’s getting beat hard here, but Dustin Penner is by far the best forward on this team in Horcoff’s absence.  Two straight games with a goal for Dustin Penner, last night’s was a powerplay.  Normally I’m a little more upbeat for that sort of thing, but the Oilers were down by five when it occurred.  First period, guys.  Earlier is better.
  • Red Wings everywhere – Tomas Holmstrom had a pair of goals for the Winged Wheel, and former Oiler Dan Cleary also had a couple of goals against his former club.  I’m pretty sure that’s four goals for Cleary against the Oilers this year.
  • Goaltending – I understand that Nikolai Khabibulin isn’t “the problem” for the Oilers so far this year, but with the amount of games he’s appeared in so far, you’d think he’d be The Answer.  To put it lightly, his play isn’t where it needs to be.  You’ve got at the very worst a capable backup in Devan Dubnyk, and it’s time that Dubnyk got some looks between the pipes.  In limited action so far this season, Dubnyk’s played at least “good enough” (see the forty save performance against Columbus earlier in the season) to warrant another start.  It goes without saying that I’d like to see Devan Dubnyk start tonight in New Jersey.

Cheer up, kid.  The Oilers are in New Jersey tonight to take on the Devils, where someone will be forced to take two points home with them.

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Tags: Dustin Penner Nikolai Khabibulin Shawn Horcoff

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