Sunday, March 18, 2012
Pre-Game: Game #72 Oilers vs. Coyotes
The Oilers head back at it tonight sans Taylor Hall. Hall is out with a concussion after being the wrong end of a collision from Cory Sarich. Hall's latest mishap has Oilers' fans worried about Hall's style and his longevity. All I can say is, we have to let it be what it is and surround Hall with more retribution type players and a coach that isn't afraid to let his players do so. Like Pat Quinn used to say, "fight dirt with dirt". Hall's play is high risk, high reward and telling him to lighten up would be like pulling the reigns on a thoroughbred. Hall's game is skating and shooting and pulling the reigns on that would hinder his effectiveness. Hall's going to have car crashes every once in awhile, heck every player does at some point, its how he deals with them and learns from them that will be the key. Hall's focus into a game is key going forward. He has to understand that he will be a target, thats just how the game works. The Oilers defensive play has picked up as of late, limiting Columbus to 22 shots and the Flames to 19. The defensive posture is much better. Centers covering the D, the D covering the goaltender, keeping things to the outside, not cheating for goals. It's all apart of the process. I believe the heavy pursuit for more goals really wrecked the great start they had. Fans were preaching the likes of Belanger, Horcoff, Paajarvi, anyone on the defense, to score more goals. They cheated on offense at the benefit of the defense and set everything into a downward spiral. Like I have said in the past, the difference between winning and losing isn't as great as everyone thinks it is. A player's mindset here, insert a bigger body there, play passers with shooters and understanding when to play defense and when to turn it into offense. Phoenix only has two wins on the month so far, so they come in a bit cold. Phoenix is currently sitting in 10th place, 1 point out of a playoff spot, so needless to say its another foe the Oilers face that desperately needs this game.
- Even without Hall, Eberle and RNH are rolling hot right now.
- Keith Yandle has double the amount of points than any Oiler defender. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is an emerging defender as well.
- Mike Smith has given the Coyotes consistant goaltending all year long.
Special Teams Oilers
- Oilers power play has slipped to 2nd, overtaken by Nashville. Phoenix has the worst power play in the NHL.
- Dave Tippett has shown to always get the most out of his talent.
- Oilers have won 2 in a row on home ice.
Forwards: (my version)
Game Time - 6 PM MT @ Rexall Place on Sportsnet West.