Who’s having fun? You’re having fun. We’re all having fun. I’m going to go off on a hunch and say the team is having a lot of fun. Nikolai Khabibulin is probably wheezing he’s laughing so hard right now.
The Oilers are on a five game winning streak. Since I began writing about the Oilers in 2006, I can remember specifically one occasion where I’ve been able to say that (2009). The goaltending is still white hot, the forwards are scoring, and the defence must’ve read the game preview because they came together to allow a handful of fewer shots than their recent victories.
Tonight’s game was more of a complete game than any I’ve seen on this streak. Follow the jump to learn more.
Five game winning streak. Don’t get too comfortable saying it, but enjoy it for tonight.
The Edmonton Oilers are on a Five Game Winning Streak. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
Let’s talk about Ryan Smyth. He had a pair of goals this game, and he’s awesome.
- Credit Tom Gilbert for getting this one to the net, and Ryan Smyth is there to put it behind Jaroslav Halak for his second of the game. Turns out, it’s his second powerplay goal of the game. Can’t argue with science. You know who tallied a point on this goal? Alex Plante. Plante was a callup earlier in the day from OKC. He made it to Edmonton in time for the game, and was inserted into the lineup in favour of Cam Barker who was sitting out with a sore shoulder. At least now I know why Plante was recalled today. Speaking of the defence…
- NOTHING CATASTROPHICALLY AWFUL HAPPENED ON DEFENCE. It’s true, and I’m a little worried as to how it’s happening. Andy Sutton and Cam Barker were out tonight, Peckham and Plante were in. You know what happened? The Oilers allowed eight fewer shots tonight than the average of the previous three games. You can draw your own “Cam Barker sat and the team got better” conclusions, but I can’t beak on Barker too awfully bad, because he did have a pretty goal last game. The team has points in nine of eleven contests, how angry can you get?
- The Khabibulin train is still chugging along. Yielding two whole goals on 30 shots tonight, Khabibulin’s GAA is going to balloon up to something ungodly like 1.15. Khabibulin has taken points for the Oilers in each of his seven appearances so far this year (5-0-2), he continues to impress with his resurgent play since the start of the season.
- If you thought you were going to get out of here without mention of the top line, you are sorely mistaken. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins nailed two assists tonight, while Jordan Eberle had the third Oiler goal. Taylor Hall finished with an assist. Four points for the top line tonight. I’ve run out of superlatives. They were just great. Shawn Horcoff had the first Oiler goal, he was great too. Did I mention the defence was great? They were.
Not enough praise for the defence tonight. Gilbert played nearly 25 minutes and had an assist. Petry was around 23 minutes, he had an assist too. Ladislav Smid is a champ. No points, but the guy played brilliantly, chewing up 23+ minutes on the ice. The Nuge has 11 points (5-6-11) in 11 games. Alex Plante is really playing on the team, that wasn’t a joke earlier. The Oilers currently lead the Western Conference with 16 points. They hold a tiebreaker over Dallas. I’m not kidding about that either. A big thanks to the crew at BlueNoteZone who sought Ryan Batty of Copper and Blue and myself out for a scouting report before this game.
The Oilers are 7-2-2. Things are about to get tougher as Edmonton heads out to Los Angeles for a Thursday night game. The trip to LA begins a six game stint away from Rexall. We’ll preview the Kings in due time, but go on take a few minutes to savour the feeling of leading the conference. It’s good to be here.
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