Thursday, March 22, 2012
Pre-Game: Game #74 Oilers vs. Lightning
9 games left to go in the season. Its nice to see the Oilers winning some games this month, but the games are even less meaningless than a preseason game. The secondary scoring on the team has finally arrived in the form of Ales Hemsky. 4 goals in 2 games. The line of Hartikainen-Gagner-Hemsky seems to have found some chemistry. Hartikainen is the netcrasher/puckretriever player, Hemsky is the playmaker/pucktransporter, Gagner should be the shooting 2-way center, a role he does every once in awhile but loses his identity and goes back to his old ways. Gagner is the key to that line, if he can consistantly be a 2-way shooting center, the line can have sustained success, but strength and rink awareness are holding Gagner back from the line having consistant success. The play usually starts with the center, so if he isn't on his game, the whole line is usually out of whack. Sounds like changes to the coaching staff are on the horizon, so lets play out the rest of the season and hope for some wins. Tampa Bay comes into this game losers of 3 in a row and have looked to bailed on the season. They currently sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, with nowhere to go but down. It would have to be considered a very disappointing season for the Lightning.
- Steven Stamkos is the goal scoring of the NHL right now. 50 on the year so far.
- Former Oiler MA Bergeron leads the Lightning in points and +/-. 'Nuff said.
- The Lightning goaltending makes the Oilers goaltending look stable. Dubnyk has played as of late.
Special Teams Oilers
- The Lightning PP and PK are 24th and 27th respectively.
- Guy Boucher is having a wretched season for the Lightning. Tom Renney seems to have found the buttons to keep the Oilers afloat.
- Lightning are in the midst of a long homestand while the Oilers are playing the first of a back to back.
Game Time - 5:30 PM MT @ Tampa Bay on Sportsnet Edmonton.