The Oilers had a two goal lead in the second period last night, but Vancouver was able to charge back, knotting it up with under three minutes remaining in regulation. Vancouver’s Chris Tanev was able to win it in OT with less than 30 seconds remaining on his first career NHL goal.
That’s a bitter pill to swallow, but losing two players to various injuries is quite the more bitter.
- The Oilers are already down a faceoff guy in Eric Belanger (broken toes), and now they’re down Shawn Horcoff (busted knuckle). Horcoff took a shot off his hand, and it depressed a knuckle down into the hand. That’s no good. Coach Krueger said that Horcoff’s injury will be “long term”.
- Oilers defenceman Mark Fistric went to the dressing room after running into the boards from missing a check. Gene Principe says that it looks “day to day“.
And those are just the injuries. There was a game as well.
- This team loves to come out swinging. Ales Hemsky had a first period power play goal that was straight Hemsky. Nail Yakupov dumped the puck shallow into Vancouver’s zone, when Hemsky picked it up about five feet in front of Roberto Luongo. Hemsky took it to Luongo’s right and deposited the goods.
- Justin Schultz played nearly 28 minutes last night. 28 minutes is forever in a hockey game.
- Sam Gagner also had an assist on Hemsky’s first goal, giving him his tenth point in nine games.
- Ryan Smyth had a shorthanded goal (!?!) for his first of the season. This goal put the Oilers up by two goals with just over half of the game remaining. Things were looking up.
- UNTIL the same things crept up. The Oilers gave up 40 shots this game while amassing only 25. The Canucks tallied 15 shots in the second period while Edmonton tallied only four. Vancouver had seven shots in OT, while Edmonton had just two.
- The Oilers got absolutely blastedin the faceoff circle (44-19). That ratio is likely an anomaly, but with Horcoff and Belanger gone for some time, the Oilers will have to be real good, real quick.
- A rare penalty shot was awarded in OT as Daniel Sedin hooked Taylor Hall on a breakaway. Hall was unable to convert the attempt.
- Devan Dubnyk was once again relied on heavily to keep this game close. Dubnyk turned aside 37 of 40 shots. I can’t say enough about Dubnyk right now, as he’s surpassed my expectations by a considerable margin. There’s no way that Edmonton takes a point in this game if Dubnyk is average, and there’s no way they take a point in the San Jose game last week if Dubnyk is average. Guy is playing out of his mind right now. I don’t know how long it can last.
So, it’s the same old theme of this season. Team is still allowing way too many shots, and the first line has yet to break out. If Fistric is out for more than a day, I’d look to see Ryan Whitney back in the lineup by Wednesday when the team takes on Dallas at home. Also, the team has to take a hard look at 3C/4C seeing as how 10 and 20 are out for a while.
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