Gee, the Anaheim game was a pleasant surprise, wasn’t it?
The Coyotes started early, scoring just 48 seconds into the first period when Martin Hanzal took a quick shot on a nifty feed from Ray Whitney. Whitney has been a point scoring machine against the Oilers this season. In just two games, Whitney has scored four points (all assists) versus the Oilers.
Zero goals scored for Edmonton, plus some tough outs for Devan Dubnyk equal an outcome that we’ve all gotten pretty used to.
I haven’t done any statistical work into this theory, but I’m pretty sure that the first period of most any game is Edmonton’s soft spot. Team just can’t get it out of first gear. A 16-4 shot margin will usually will set you back a couple of goals, but Dubnyk played well enough to keep it at one. Getting your game handed to you after the first period might set off a spark, no?
It wasn’t going to happen. Coyotes goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 23 Oiler shots recording a shutout, and both Lee Stempniak and Martin Hanzal scored a pair each as it was easy pickings for Phoenix. It’s everything and more that we’ve already seen. Phoenix played a complete game, Edmonton had some moments. The penalty kill is just as good as you remember.
MORE GOOD NEWS FOR PEOPLE WHO LOVE BAD NEWS
As bad as that game was, news comes from the team that Ales Hemsky has injured his leg in practise earlier today. I haven’t heard how long he’ll be out, but if it’s for any length of time, you can already begin seeing shades of 2009-10 creeping into the corners of the picture.
Also: Shawn Belle will be sent to OKC, which leads me to believe that Ladislav Smid is ready to lace ‘em up once more. Belle’s limited tenure with the Oilers certainly wasn’t negative in that he wasn’t leaking numbers everywhere. I’d expect Belle to be the first call up in the event someone goes down with an injury.
Oil On Whyte would like to wish everyone in the United States a happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday tomorrow. The Oilers are taking on the Colorado Avalanche tomorrow night in the only game on the NHL’s docket. Join us around the hearth, where we’re sure to develop some sort of drinking game as the night progresses.