In keeping with the “growing pains” motif of this year, I’m alright with this loss. In other words, I’m still looking for things that “didn’t go wrong” as opposed to things that should’ve went right, but didn’t. With Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff still out of the lineup, there might be some difficulty finding some silver in a loss.
Let’s start with some good.
- Although just one goal was scored for Edmonton last night, the Oilers played a complete game from start to finish. They didn’t get outhustled in their own end, the scoring chances were about even. Edmonton amassed 27 shots compared to San Jose’s 30. No one got terribly out-Corsi’d (save for maybe Ryan Jones), and had Edmonton not waited until the beginning of the 59th minute to sore a goal, things might have been different.
- Khabibulin is still looking capable out there. I know it’s kind of scary asking for capability, but given the territory, you sometimes are afraid to ask. Khabibulin turned aside 28 of 30 total Sharks shots, good enough most nights, but (again) you’re not going to win many games scoring one goal. Khabibulin is 4-2-1 since coming back from his groin injury, and his .933 SV% performance tonight will put him over .900 for the season. That being said, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Devan Dubnyk tomorrow night against the LA Kings.
- The defence didn’t get throttled. Boy, am I happy to see that. San Jose had their quality scoring chances, but rookie Logan Couture wasn’t able to light the lamp until well into the second period. This hockey thing is tough, I understand. You’ve got to have the scoring, plus the defence, plus goaltending, or some offshoot combination of the three. Last night, Edmonton had two.
That was fun. There’s two sides to every coin, however.
- As good as the Oiler D played this game, goals didn’t come quite as well. What looked like a goal scored by Ryan Whitney (!) ended up being awarded to Dustin Penner with just two minute left, and unfortunately that wasn’t quite enough.
- Call me greedy, but anytime you have a 5 on 3 powerplay for almost a minute and a half, you’ve got to score at least once. The Oilers did in the second period, and were unable to capitalize. Those are killers right there.
- Your old drinking buddy the Penalty Kill paid a visit, and guess what? He was out to lunch on a goal scored by Dan Boyle. Boyle’s goal came from right over the Edmonton blue line, making it 2-0 Sharks. That’d be all the goals San Jose needed in this one.
As far as losses go, this one’s not bad. A powerplay goal perhaps, maybe not allowing one on the PK, and Linus Omark not turning the puck over to Logan Couture to help set up the first Sharks goal, and we might be swilling champagne after this one.