Where to start -
Everything was great. It was everything I had hoped for and more.
The Oilers played a solid game. They outshot the Kings, they got goals from unexpected places, and while Khabibulin wasn’t called on nearly as much as he has been this season, he was flawless yet again.
Take the plunge after the jump.
- Ryan Smyth had Edmonton’s first goal, and it was ugly. Fortunately, the league hasn’t started awarding bonus points for pretty goals, so Smyth is okay for now. Smyth’s goal went off of Alec Martinez’s stick over the right shoulder of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
- You know who had a goal? Lennart Petrell had his first career National Hockey League goal. Let’s watch with amusement.
Big credit to Ben Eager for working that puck around the net and getting the shot off. Petrell hits it with a backhander, and for once someone not named Ryan (or anyone else on the first two lines) gets a goal. Scoring by committee. It’s a beautiful thing.
- Either the defence is playing out of their minds right now, or I was flat wrong when the season began. Corey Potter netted his second goal of the season tonight, and Potter played quite well on the defensive side of things as well. I’ll heap praise for the defence in a few more bullets, but right now, things are looking good.
- Nikolai Khabibulin didn’t need to make 40 saves tonight. He only needed to make a little less than half of that, and he was perfect once again. Khabibulin now sits at 6-0-2 (!) on the season, 0.98 GAA and a .963 SV%. Pinch yourself.
- The Oilers kept Los Angeles to 19 total shots, including three in the first period.
- TOI for the Oiler defence: Gilbert – 25:26 (one assist, +1), Petry 21:24 (+2), Smid- 21:18 (shotblocking machine), Potter- 21:05 (one goal, +2), Peckham – 14:29, and Teubert – 12:53. The defence was better than pretty good. Not flawless. But good. Very good.
- Now’s usually a time where I like to point out how well someone did at the dot. but no one really blew anyone away in the faceoff department tonight. Shawn Horcoff finished with 10/23 (43%) while Eric Belanger was 6/13 (43%). RNH was 3/8 (38%)
- The Edmonton Oilers had twenty two (22) blocked shots tonight. Twenty-two is typically the number that comes after twenty-one, yet before twenty-three. That’s a huge amount of blocked shots. Compare it to LA’s nine (9) blocked shots. Ladislav Smid had five blocked shots, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had four.
- The Oilers currently sit at 8-2-2. In the 2011-12 NHL season, the Oilers won their eighth game on the third of November. It took the Oilers until the first of December last year to win their eighth game (8-14-4). If you’re not at least a bit excited, check your pulse.
The Oilers are back in action Saturday versus Phoenix at 8:00 on CBC.
Enjoy the ride.
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