PHO Oliver Ekman-Larsson 2min Holding 16:33
PHO Derek Morris 2min Slashing 4:17
EDM Eric Belanger 2min High-Sticking 13:57
EDM Tom Gilbert 2min Interference 17:58
PHO Adrien Aucoin 2min Cross-Checking 9:11
EDM Taylor Hall 2min Tripping 11:26
EDM Antti Tyrvainen 2min Tripping 13:46
PHO Ray Whitney 2min Boarding 18:03
Shots - Phoenix 20 Edmonton 32
- It was the Hall and Nugent-Hopkins show tonight. They showed great chemistry together, and fed off of each others' abilities all night. Hall played well off the puck tonight, looking like a pure goal scorer. This game was a no hitter tonight and it was a preseason game so a longer look will be an order to make sure they can make things happen game in and game out. The biggest test will be how they handle physicality and how they respond to it. Someone will be looking to take their heads off at some point this season. How they handle it will tell us where they are at. I felt safer with the Hall-RNH-Eberle line than any other line tonight, they did a great job protecting the puck and backing each other up. I'm sure Tom Renney felt more than safe with them as well. It's hard not to get giddy about tonight after the show the kids put on, but you can something evolving here. But it was only one game and it was a preseason game. The tougher tests are coming. Khabibulin had himself another solid outing. Didn't have much of a chance on either goal, but battled and stopped the ones that matter. Light night for him with only 20 shots. Big time kudos to the defense and the centers supporting them in the defensive zone. Its amazing what happens when you have 4 centers in the lineup that can check their hats. less shots against. The only concern I have is the Oilers really petered out in the third period. Maybe Phoenix woke up, or less urgency to score, either way something of concern. A young team will need to develop a killer instinct. There is little doubt in my mind now, the kids will drag the Oilers as far as they can, after that, thats where they will lay. It just goes to show what the Oilers had and what they are about to have are miles apart in terms of ability and hockey sense.
Player of the Game:
Taylor Hall. He was mesmerizing tonight. He did everything with power and speed tonight. Either taking the puck to the net or releasing one-time lasers. He was the gamebreaker tonight. Offensively uncontainable. Only other person to consider is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who was doing the dealing for Hall tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Ladislav Smid. This was a tough one, because no one was flat out brutal tonight but there were some plays that made you go hmmm. I'm not sure what Smid was doing on the first goal of the game. It looked like he was going for a line change but the problem was that the puck was still in his zone and more importantly his man was alone in front the net alone. It was an easy deposit for Ryan Whitney and a blown coverage for sure. I didn't get the number of Smid's partner on that play but he may have been even at more fault on the play.
Next Game - Friday Sept 30 2011 Oilers at Wild 6 PM MT @ edmontonoilers.com