Quick, what’s the last game you remember where not a single penalty was called?
The Oilers opened up the scoring early on, but major lapses on defence coupled with a a couple questionable moments gave the Leafs a 6-3 victory at the Air Canada Centre. Jordan Eberle is still very, very good, the Gagner point streak lives on, and Tom Gilbert played his first game since his ankle injury against the Blackhawks.
Oh, and the Nuge is out for at least week with a sprained shoulder.
THE DEFENCE RESTS
Oh, it was a strange game. With Coach Renney out recovering from ‘concussion like symptoms’ after being hit in the head with puck during practice, assistant coach Ralph Krueger was behind the Oiler bench. The top three lines got a near-equal amount of ice time, which was…well, pretty odd.
If anyone had any question about the quality of the defence on the 2011-12 Edmonton Oilers, please refer to last night’s game.
Cam Barker did not have a good game. If Cam Barker is supposedly a ‘top 4′ defenceman, it clearly wasn’t his night. Jake Gardiner scored an easy one from Mikhail Grabovski, after Grabovski absolutely blew by Barker.
Then, there was this.
So uh, yeah. Devan Dubnyk didn’t have a spectacular night by any means, but if you’re going to get on his suitcase about that goal, you’d better pen a lengthy response to Barker there. One of ‘those’ moments. I’d be surprised to see Sutton out of the lineup again.
Ryan Smyth was very close to scoring a goal late in the first period, however one of those ‘intent to blow‘ moments happened. Or, it was ‘incidental contact’ with James Reimer. Either way, the puck trickled behind the Leaf ‘tender, and the goal was waived off. That’s alright, the Oilers don’t need to score anyways.
Let’s talk happy talk.
- Jordan Eberle was very good once again. Eberle netted Edmonton’s first goal within the first half minute of the game, finishing with two on the night. Eberle continues to lead the team with 24 goals and 54 points.
- Taylor Hall had a pair of assists on the night, he’s now up to 40 points.
- Good to see Tom Gilbert back in the lineup, and Ryan Whitney looks…better. Not 100%, but getting there.
- Jeff Petry was a solid guy last night. For his efforts, he was rewarded with his second goal of the year. Petry’s play has been dramatically better than some options on the D as of late.
- NOT MUCH FUN: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins left the game early last night with a shoulder injury. Reports say he’ll be out ’7 to 10 days’ with a shoulder sprain. I say this every injury, but now more than ever: don’t rush him back. The team isn’t going to get into the playoffs, let him come back when he’s 110 per cent. RNH says that this shoulder injury isn’t at all related to his last shoulder injury. Let the speculation run.
- In response to the last bullet point, the Oilers have recalled Magnus Paajarvi from OKC. Let’s put him on the second line, see if something happens. We’re running out of time this year, and I’d like to see MPS get a shot at smiling once or twice this year.
Oilers continue their road trip in Detroit tomorrow night.
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