PHO Oliver Ekman-Larsson 8 (Martin Hanzal) 5:43
PHO Ray Whitney 18 (Radim Vrbata, Martin Hanzal) 18:46
EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 14 (Ales Hemsky, Taylor Hall) 8:28
PHO Shane Doan 20 (Keith Yandle, Adrian Aucoin) 17:32
12:54 Phoenix fighting - 5 min P. Bissonnette drawn by D. Hordichuk
12:54 Edmonton fighting - 5 min D. Hordichuk drawn by P. Bissonnette
14:37 Edmonton tripping - 2 min B. Eager drawn by M. Smith
2:01 Phoenix hooking - 2 min C. Summers drawn by T. Hall
Shots On Goal - Oilers 22 Coyotes 20
- This was a glass half full/half empty type game. Good news is the Oilers played hard, brought tons of speed and had the look of being dangerous on the rush. Bad news is the Coyotes kept them to the perimeter, the Oilers execution at the point of attack was lacking, and giving up goals at terrible times. It was a game they could have used some beef to attack the net. Mike Smith played well for Phoenix but saw every shot and was holding on to everything. I'm guessing everyone will write this game off as a one off and the Oilers will gradually and continually get better. The Oilers have, in the past and will continue to have issues with teams like the Coyotes until they can crush the will of teams like this. The Wild and the Flames before them. Teams that have issues scoring have no issues of beating teams like the Oilers because they feast on turnovers and are opportunistic. The Oilers are going to need some strength to beat teams like this, especially in the top 6 where the goals are going to come from. But who do they rid themselves of Hall? RNH? Eberle? Gagner? Hemsky? Smyth? Paajarvi has size but needs strength to match. I sit here and shrug my shoulders at the fans who want Hemsky to stay. If these are the results you want, these are the results you will get. Trade deadline day is next on Monday.
Player of the Game:
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Lots of try tonight, very little result. Every forward seemed to be a carbon copy of each other out there. Lots of dangling, dips, and dunks, but very little of putting the nose to the grindstone to create havoc. I give the nod the RNH because he did score the only goal of the game.
Goat of the Game:
- Devan Dubnyk. The Oilers team defense, I thought was pretty strong today. A pinball shot on the first goal, a slow in tight sifter on the second and a perfect rocket of a shot for the third goal. The second goal against was crippling. Ryan Whitney looked like a pylon in the play, but Ray Whitney should have never scored from that angle. Dubnyk played ok, but in a game where the guy at the other end was giving away very little, Dubnyk couldn't keep up. The Oilers as a team did a lot but created very little. Structurally their game was sound, but in the race to play mistake free hockey, they couldn't keep up.
Next Game - Monday February 27, 2012 vs. Jets @ Winnipeg on Sportsnet West.