A 2-0 Oiler lead ends up in disaster after Kevin Bieksa scores with 24 ticks remaining in regulation, as the Oilers drop another heartbreaker.
- Ryan O”Marra scored his first goal tonight off a fat ol’ rebound off of Cory Schneider’s left pad. A big point goes to Linus Omark for getting it on net, while O’Marra was there to collect the cheque. It was O’Marra’s first career goal, a tip of the hat to him. For what it’s worth, O’Marra was the sixth Oiler to score his first career goal this year.
- It’s my pleasure to announce that the penalty kill didn’t suck tonight. As a matter of fact, it hummed along like a 92 Buick Regal, going a perfect 3-3. Way to go out there.
- Although he wasn’t able to earn the W, Nikolai Khabibulin had himself an effective night between the pipes, turning away 30 of 33 Canuck shots. The Oilers were outshot 33-21, and while that’s not spectacular by any means, 21 shots is better than 12.
- Ryan Whitney scored his second goal of the season. I believe that’s his second in three games. You figure after twenty some assists that he’s due for a couple of tallies, and it’s good to see him being rewarded.
- If this squad could close out a third period, they’d be a dangerous bunch. Again, the Oilers lead going into the third, give up the tying goal, and end up closing out with a loss. Kevin Bieksa did the deed with 24 seconds remaining in regulation, and the Oilers end up with a big fat zero in the points column.
- Theo Peckham, you’re one of my favourites. You taking a cross-checking penalty in the third period after the play was over (right in front of the official, to boot) was not one of my favourite Teddy Peckman moments. Fortunately, Vancouver was unable to connect on the ensuing powerplay. Just brutal, Teddy.
- The powerplay is becoming the new penalty kill, and by that I mean that the PP is quickly in need of some window dressing. The Oilers had a two minute powerplay early in the third that began wonderfully with some hard, crisp passes in the Vancouver end. Unfortunately, it ended up yielding a big fat zero shots. The second minute of this powerplay in question was spent fumbling around in the Oiler zone, something reminiscent of me looking for my keys after 14 Guinness. It wasn’t pretty, and it’s got to get better.
BRING IT HOME
Some things went pretty well in this game. Others, simply did not. Khabibulin got himself a workout tonight, I can say with total confidence that if he was less than excellent that the Oilers would likely have lost this game by three or four more goals. I’ll go on and say it again that Edmonton is getting some pretty good mileage out of Khabibulin over his past eight starts, youth is still blossoming, and good things are starting to happen to guys like Ryan Whitney and Ryan O’Marra. Unfortunately, special teams still needs to figure out how to play nice with the other parts of the team, and the young Oilers need a little work on closing out a game. Some guys need a crash course in not decking superstars on the other team in front of an official.
What do you think needs the most work on the Oilers? Powerplay? Penalty Kill? Faceoffs? Maybe the defence?
The Oilers finish their three game road trip going 0-2-1, gaining one point out of a possible six. They’ll go back to Edmonton to take on the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.