Oilers 3 Stars From Last Night’s Game

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1st Star – Jesse Joensuu

This was a no-brainer.  Joensuu was clearly the best player on the ice for the Oilers last night and one of the few who played a full sixty minutes.  He scored his first goal as an Oiler, had 5 shots on net and was throwing his size and weight around like a man on a mission.  He is the exact type of player the Oilers need and could use a couple more like him.

He did finish the night with a rating of minus-2 which could be something to watch for.  But as long as he’s banging and crashing, mucking it up after the whistle and in the opponents faces while chipping in offensively, the other end of the game will come with time.

Joensuu could find himself playing on the Oilers top line in a short period of time if he continues his fine play.  With Ryan Smyth‘s audition on the first line looking like a failure, Joensuu could be the perfect fit to go with the slick hands of Ales Hemsky and the reckless play of Taylor Hall.

Coach Eakins told the media after the game that looking back he wishes he had got Joensuu on the ice more during the third period.  Let’s hope the coach doesn’t make that mistake again if Joensuu continues to deliver that caliber of play. He was easily the first star for the Oilers.

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Topics: Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers, Jesse Joensuu, Will Acton

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  • Cody Anderson

    I like the stars, and while not a Hemsky fan I agree he had a solid game. Hall had some sloppy mistakes that are not like him, and Dubnyk had a weak showing that he should rebound from.
    Overall, while we all want the 2 points I think it was very encouraging to see us outshoot anyone. The play of Joennsuu, Hemsky, Acton, and the rest of the 4th line would far outweigh most of the negatives we saw last night.
    If Belov plays more like he did in his small sample of preseason and Dubnyk rebounds this team will compete every night.

    • Derek Stykalo

      RNH and Gagner can’t return soon enough and when they do this team will most definitely compete every night. For now it’s trying to bridge the gap and focusing on their defensive zone is the top priority. We know they’ll score goals, just can’t have them blunder in their own end.

      As always, thanks for reading and the comments.

  • Cody Anderson

    I still hate the idea of saddling Hall with the extra responsibilities of centre, and then putting him with bottom 9 players. I get that it is one game, but Smtyh can’t keep up on the first shift, let alone if they plan on playing Hall for 26 minutes a night.

    Here are the lines I would like to see, and an explanation as to why I think they make sense.

    Perron – Hall – Yakupov

    Joensuu – Acrobello – Eberle

    Smyth – Gordon – Hemsky

    Gazdig – Acton – Brown

    This puts Hall with elite scorers and makes that a real 1st line. Perron is used to having some defensive reponsibility.

    Joensuu looks like he can keep up with the top 6 and he is willing to muck it up, protect his teammates and go to the net. The tiny duo of Ebs and Acrobello should benefit from the grit he seems to bring.

    This looks like a 3rd line that can shut down other teams and still be a threat to score. Ice time should be more manageable for father time.

    This 4th line looks capable of sending messages, being physical, and annoying the other team. I would like to see at least one upgrade on the line, but the Acton experiment looks good thus far.

    • Derek Stykalo

      I like these line combos Cody and would even go as far as to put Joensuu with Hall and Yakupov. Either way, I hope Eakins mixes things up sooner rather than later and doesn’t pay too much loyalty to Smyth. He’s still one of my all-time favorite Oilers but we need to win and I’m not sure having him on the top line can contribute to that.