If you’re a fan of the Edmonton Oilers hockey club, you had to feel glad all over after last night’s dominating performance over a pretty good hockey club in the Nashville Predators.
Every Oilers fan is no doubt happy to see the team skate to a four goal victory. While that’s great, it’s the manner in which they played this game that is a considerable difference from Oiler teams of the recent past. The team skated to a lifeless 4-1 defeat in Dallas on Monday night. Yesterday, they came back and played a completely different game. They had moxie. They went to the net, shot the puck – it was a completely different squad.
This is a *huge* difference from say…2009. Come along, a review follows the jump.
SPORTS CLICHE: The Oilers played a full sixty minutes in Nashville on Tuesday night. Star goaltender Pekka Rinne was chased from the Predator crease after allowing three first period goals. The Oilers were scoring on the power play. SHAWN HORCOFF AND JEFF PETRY WERE SCORING. You know it’s serious.
You want to see a goal? I do.
- Shawn Horcoff netted a pair of goals in Edmonton’s victory last night. Think Horcoff’s cap hit is out of range? This is what you get from Horcoff every night. Guy is very good at faceoffs, he’s not afraid to hit, he’s responsible with the puck, and here he scores a goal that requires a significant amount of elbow grease. This is not a pretty goal by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a goal that I’m glad to see Horcoff get rewarded with. Even the ugly ones count. If I’ve got my Captain making moves like this to get to the front of the net, I’ve got eleven other forwards who are getting a good lesson in what you have to do to get in position to score that ugly goal. Absolute full marks for the Oilers Captain in tonight’s game.
- Don’t let Jordan Eberle’s two-goal performance go unnoticed. Eberle’s second goal came as a result of being chased all around the Predators’ zone. He unloaded a wrist shot early in the third period that was a twine-seeking missle; heavier than a sack full of doorknobs in front of Nashville’s replacement netminder Anders Lindback. Lindback didn’t stand a chance, and the Oilers had put the game out of reach. Eberle finished with three points (2G-1A) on the night.
- Edmonton amassed 32 shots in last night’s victory. Seems like an obvious statistic, but you’re going to win more games if you take more shots. The 18 shot effort in Dallas on Monday night looks on with hungry eyes.
- Devan Dubnyk picked up a solid victory turning aside 30 shots. While Dubnyk’s numbers haven’t been as sparkly as Khabibulin’s so far this season, a thirty save performance is more than serviceable.
- Jeff Petry scored a power play goal on a 25 foot laser. If the defence would like to score, I for one, welcome our new scoring overloards.
OTHER THINGS WE’VE GOTTEN USED TO SEEING
Ales Hemsky had a pretty tally in the first when Nashville decided it was best not to cover a guy who’s averaging near a point per game played. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Smyth each had two point nights, both now have 22 points on the season in 21 games. The only guy I feel horrific for right now? Magnus Paajarvi. Paajarvi worked his way back into the lineup after sitting out Monday night in Dallas, and he pulled only eight minutes and change, with another zero point night. Someone get the guy a banana split, the guy needs a pair of goals yesterday.
You’re happy after seeing this game. I’m happy. The Oilers ought to be happy. They’re 1-1 on their current road trip, and they’re headed into Minnesota after the American Thanksgiving Holiday.
Meaningful hockey in November! What have we done to deserve such a treat?
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