The Zebra Giveth, And The Zebra Taketh Away

The Oilers had several opportunities to put the Coyotes away last night, but an anemic powerplay and an unfortunate diving call got the better of them.

L-R: O'Marra, Vande Velde, Giroux, Hartikainen. A gold star to you if you got them all without looking them up. Photo courtesy Oilers.nhl.com

Oh, the Oilers had every opportunity to put this one away.  Even with nine regulars out of the lineup, this one could’ve been theirs. Oh, you really should’ve seen it.  You should have seen the 19-2 shot differential (in favour of the Oilers!) in the third period.   You should’ve seen the nine powerplays the Oilers had last night, and you should’ve seen the goal that Magnus Paajarvi scored on one of those powerplays in the third period.

You should’ve seen this goal that Ray Whitney scored in the second period that somehow slunk under Khabibulin’s left pad.  Somehow is made it over the goal line, somehow, no one saw it until the ref was pointing at the net.  Sometimes, sometimes…

But out of everything that you could’ve seen last night, you should’ve seen Linus Omark getting called for diving with eleven minutes gone in the third period. It was easily the worst call I’ve seen in an Oilers game all season.  And believe me, if you’ve watched as many games this season as this soul has, you’ve seen some, uh, “questionable” things.  Omark legitimately got tripped up, and Stripes called a diving penalty.  This diving penalty gave Phoenix a powerplay, and fortunately for Phoenix, it doesn’t take nine opportunities to score a powerplay goal.  Less than 30 seconds later, Radim Vrbata buried a powerplay marker, and the Coyotes strolled off with a 3-1 victory.

  • New guys didn’t kill anything.  Here you, go play in the big league.  The Oilers outshot the Coyotes by a margin of 36-17, and Corsi numbers were reflective of such.  While the Oilers lost, they didn’t get killed, which is good when you’re dealing with kids.  From what I’m seeing, the rest of the team would like to stop getting shellacked on most nights also.  We’ll have a look at that next season.  Maybe.
  • Three goals on 17 shots looks like another disaster for Khabibulin, but the second goal he allowed was a strange variety of goal at best.  Allowing a powerplay goal after such a crap call in the third period didn’t get me any more angrier than the penalty.  I’m letting him off on this one.

Am I angry about anything else?  No, I don’t believe so.  1-9 is a checkered powerplay, but the lambs didn’t get slaughtered.

That’s a victory in itself, and for that, I am thankful.

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Topics: Alexandre Giroux, Chris Vande Velde, Nikolai Khabibulin, Ryan O'Marra, Teemu Hartikainen

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