The CBC broadcast team often used the word ‘smothered’, so I’m going to grab it and use it myself.
The Oilers were smothered for a significant portion of the game by the Coyotes.
Grab some digestives. Join us for the review after the jump.
What happened out there?
- For starters, the Coyotes scored more goals than Edmonton did tonight. The Coyotes got out to a two goal lead until halfway through the third period when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was able to sneak in front of Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith and pick one up. Tonight was the first time Edmonton had trailed by two or more in a game. Only took more than twelve and a half games for it to happen. Things aren’t so bad yet.
- Until RNH was able to get in front of Mike Smith with ten minutes left in the third, the kid line was essentially non-existent. Phoenix’s defence was better than able to keep the first scoring line of Edmonton in check. Anytime Hall, Nugent-Hopkins or Eberle were able to get the puck over the Phoenix blue, they looked hurried. Eberle didn’t register a shot on Coyote goaltender Mike Smith until well into the third period.
- Devan Dubnyk did allow three goals on thirty Coyote shots. None of the goals allowed were of the soft shelled, beach ball variety. Alright, maybe he’d like that first one by Daymond Langkow back.
- Only two chances for Edmonton on the powerplay tonight, but the Oilers were unable to capitalize on either one. Phoenix was 1 for 2.
- Oiler fans are getting comfortable seeing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ name on the scoresheet, but how about Theo Peckham‘s? Peckham tipped a shot from Colten Teubert and the Oiler fans at Jobing.com Arena jumped up. Assists go to Teubert (first career assist) and Paajarvi (first point of the year)
In other news, there were a bunch of Oiler fans at Jobing.com Arena tonight.
Good God, does Theo Peckham know anything about playing left wing? Oilers could’ve used that goal about 40 minutes earlier.
Mike Smith had a solid game between the pipes for Phoenix, stopping 24 of 26 Edmonton shots. Smith has been
RYAN WHITNEY UPDATE
While Theo Peckham is scoring goals, the Oilers are still missing the services of their best defenceman in Ryan Whitney. Whitney suffered a sprained knee towards the end of October and was slated to be out of the lineup for a couple of weeks. According to an article by Joanne Ireland, Whitney is looking to resume skating very soon. He’s got a doctor’s appointment on Monday where he’ll look to get the go-ahead. While the Oilers have been putting up some nice wins, they can’t afford to have their best defenceman watching from the crowd.
One thing I’d like to point out is that while it was frustrating to watch this team consistently get pushed off the puck for a significant part of the game, they didn’t roll over and die. Phoenix was by two goals on two occasions in the third period, and the Oilers were able to score a goal to make it interesting. Too often I can remember seeing the Oilers go down by a couple of goals in the last couple of seasons only to send up a white flag. At least these Oilers played hard. I wasn’t disappointed in the effort at the end.
And while effort alone isn’t necessarily worth two points, two points are worth the effort.
Edmonton looks to start up another streak on Tuesday in Montréal against the Habs. Stay tuned.
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