The Edmonton Oilers came back from a 2-0 deficit to take the San Jose Sharks to a shootout. The Sharks eventually took care of Edmonton, but the Oilers took a single point in the standings, and I’m just fine with that.
You should be too.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
A lot of them, really. This wasn’t a game where Dubnyk had to stop 60 shots, but he was pretty good nonetheless.
- Team played their second of a back-to-back series on the road and didn’t fold like a card table.
- Team came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game and send it to overtime. The 2011 Edmonton Oilers would have had some trouble with all of that. Taylor Hall had a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal that had Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi out of his underwear.
- Team held San Jose’s power play scoreless. That’s 0 for 5 scoreless (Remember last Tuesday’s game at Rexall place? San Jose’s powerplay could’ve taken a two week vacation after scoring all those goals, and no one would have noticed). The Sharks were on a 4 on 3 power play to finish up overtime.
- The Oilers kept Patrick Marleau off the score sheet. Marleau had 9 goals (14 points) in 6 games, he was held scoreless yesterday.
- Devan Dubnyk is really making some hay. After his performance on Wednesday in Phoenix, Dubnyk turns around and stops another 36 out of 38 shots at the Shark Tank. He’s now at a 2.61 GAA and a .921 SV% on the year. And yes, that’s after that crapfest against the Sharks last week. He’s also first in the league in saves, and first in shots against (averaging a whisker over 31 shots against per game). It’s the first seven games of the year, but you’ve got to say he’s looking pretty good.
- The Oilers scored both of their goals 5 on 5. The “trouble scoring at 5 on 5″ story was getting some traction. Two goals isn’t a whole lot, but it’s a start.
- Edmonton’s bottom six was a sketched out hall of mirrors. Lennart Petrell was a question mark coming into the game with a foot injury, Magnus Paajarvi got the demotion, Eric Belanger was on the third line due to Shawn Horcoff‘s neck injury and Anton Lander played in his first game of the season. Darcy Hordichuk played and lost a skate blade. Things were avant-garde to say the least.
This isn’t to say the Oilers played a perfect game. Far from it. Stuff like this has got to get cleaned up. The Oilers are on a power play here, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic is allowed to saunter into the zone untouched. Vlasic has a lot of real estate here, and the Sharks are shorthanded.
But look at the half full side of things – the team got a point. And, they’re currently tied for the Northwestern Division lead with 9 points, something I’d be hard pressed to say I could see two weeks ago. And, it’s good.
The Oilers take on Colorado tomorrow at 1 PM MST, where Nikolai Khabibulin is slated to make his triumphant return to the Oilers’ crease.
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