Hordichuk, patrolling. Photo courtesy Shaughn Butts / edmontonjournal.com

Avalanche 5, Oilers 2: Tales Of Blown Leads And Possibly Blown Shoulders

What are the chances that's just a stinger? Screencap courtesy Sportsnet

Ryan Wilson hits an off balance Taylor Hall into the boards, injuring Hall’s shoulder in the process.  Hall would come back briefly, but what looked like a ticky-tack cross check would send Hall reeling to the dressing room.  Needless to say, Ryan Wilson just made a few friends in Edmonton.

Oh yeah, the game.  Well, about all that…

If you can take out the fact that the Oilers gave up four goals in the third, plus Devan Dubnyk not having his best night, plus the whole Taylor Hall debacle, it wasn’t that bad of a game.  Can you do all that?

Notes from last night’s get-together:

  • Secondary scoring?  The third line is there.  Ryan Jones had Edmonton’s second goal, and defenceman Ladislav Smid had his first goal since the Cold War ended.  Sam Gagner had a pair of assists, and Eric Belanger was able to get an assist of his own. Both Belanger and Jones finished +2 while Gagner was +1.  If the third line can do this with some regularity, it will help take the pressure off of the top two lines.  Three lines that could score?  We’d need to dress two goons to counter that sort of production.
  • Can you remember the last time both Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Smyth were kept off the score sheet?  I’m sure it’s happened once or twice this season, but both 93 and 94 were banished from the point column last night.  Oh well.  Nashville comes to Edmonton on Monday, maybe the team can squeeze another six pack out of the Preds.
  • Dubnyk has had better days at the races.  Dubnyk turned aside 29 of 33 Avalanche shots.
  • I’m not necessarily ‘anti-goon’, or ‘anti-tough guy’.  I do hope that if you’re a tough guy and you’re in the lineup, that you can also play hockey if given the chance.  Darcy Hordichuk was signed by the Oilers to provide muscle into the lineup, that’s what he does, and that’s why he’s on the roster in select times.  I’d like to add that I think Darcy Hordichuk is probably a guy I’d like to party down with at Burkee’s Sports Lounge in Flin Flon, MB.

But there’s a problem that needed addressing last night, and for whatever reason, nobody got around to it.  It happened after Taylor Hall got the board treatment, and nobody got their day ruined because of it.  I’m pretty sure that Darcy Hordichuk is supposed to be the guy that helps ruin someone’s day, but for whatever reason, that never happened.

Are you a goon?  Alright then.  THE EXACT MOMENT one of your star players gets the treatment that Taylor Hall got last night, little pugilist antennae should pop up out of those little holes in your helmet, and you should focus on that pair of glacier-twilled fours that were on the back of Ryan Wilson’s sweater.

Hordichuk was on the ice for only two more occasions after Taylor Hall got flung into the boards, injuring his shoulder.  I would’ve tried to make at least one of them count.  If you’re going to dress a tough guy for 3:23 in a game and one of your star players gets injured as a result of a check into the boards, that’s all arrows pointing to a tussle.  I really can’t blame Hordichuk, as he didn’t get a real good chance to get at Wilson.  If you’re going to dress a tough guy, why not give him the chance to do what he’s good at?  You know, punching people?

We wait on the result of Taylor Hall’s MRI.  Maybe it’s just a stinger.

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Tags: Darcy Hordichuk Devan Dubnyk Ladislav Smid Ryan Jones Sam Gagner Taylor Hall

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