Sunday, January 20, 2013

Post Game: Game #1 Oilers 3 Canucks 2 (SO)

VAN Edler 2 (Unassisted) 10:58

VAN Kassian 1 (D.Sedin, H.Sedin) 14:18
EDM Eberle 1 (Hall) 19:56

EDM Hemsky 1 (Gagner, Whitney) 14:05

No Scoring

Sam Gagner Goal
Ales Hemsky Goal

Alex Edler Miss
Alex Burrows Miss

Game Notes:
- The Oilers started the game like they ended last season. Slow, lethargic, unsure of themselves, the Oilers took their time getting into the game. Jordan Eberle scored with 3.1 seconds left in the 2nd period that gave the Oilers life heading into the 3rd period. One dangerous rush by Ales Hemsky tied the game just like that and then the Oilers won it in the shootout. The Oilers came around and looked good in the last half of the game. The things that plagued the Oilers last season are still there. Lack of depth on defense, have to take the good with the bad on the 2nd and 3rd lines, but all in all Ralph Krueger did a great job of deploying his players in his 1st NHL game as the Oilers full time head coach. Devan Dubnyk recovered to have a clean period  plus overtime when the Oilers needed to have that in order to walk away from two points. I expect Dubnyk to have a strong start to the season, what will define him is how he finishes it playing the bulk of the games. All in all, it was a great start for the Oilers. The strengths are starting to define themselves, the weaknesses are still there, but if the prize is finding the playoffs, then this game was a step in the right direction.

Player Of The Game:
Ales Hemsky. He was flying tonight even though he had little chemistry with his linemates. He had little issue gaining zone entry most of the night as the Canucks D gave him room to navigate because he attacked with speed. Scored the big goal late in the 3rd period to tie the game at 2 and allow the Oilers to win it in the shootout. Also scored the winner in the shootout with a cheeky forehand, backhand, 5-hole move. Hemsky looked more dedicated to the cause in this game more than at any point last season. Looks refreshed, hopefully sticks with "it" through the good and the bad a little longer into the season. He was still -2 on the night even though he came through with late game heroics but the goals against had little to do with him.

Goat Of The Game:
Corey Potter. Was also -2 on the night but the difference was, he had little positive impact on the game. Potter had issues with mobility and gap control early on in the game. Potter needs to find a way to utilize his stick more effectively. Too often he doesn't attempt to get his stick in passing lanes, allowing pucks to get into danger zones without impunity. Newcomer Mark Fistric was a healthy scratch tonight. It will be interesting to see how long he stays up there. My guess is that it won't be long before he gets a call with how Potter played tonight.

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