Monday, February 25, 2013

Post Game: Game #18 Black Hawks 3 Oilers 2 (OT)

EDM Petry 1 (Petrell) 4:28 SH
CHI Kane 10 (Kruger, Leddy) 5:30 PP

EDM Yakupov 6 (Gagner, J.Schultz) 14:17 PP

CHI Stahlberg 5 (Rozsival) 2:24

CHI Hossa 9 (Sharp, Rozsival) 1:44

Nikolai Khabibulin 31/34

Ray Emery 17/19

Game Notes:
- Another good news, bad news affair in Chicago tonight. Good news, they fought a point out of Chicago. Bad news, leaving all these points on the table will eventually haunt the Oilers. Hard to make up any ground by doing it one point at a time, but at least statistically its a decent start to the trip. At least they didn't bury themselves in the first game of the trip. Hard to make anything out of this game. It's been pretty much the staus quo of the season. The Oilers special teams kept them afloat but 5v5 they were outmatched. Nikolai Khabibulin was, by far, the busier of the two goaltenders. Ray Emery was pretty shaky in the Hawks net but the Oilers couldn't sustain any pressure to see if he would crack.  The kids are looking overmatched these days, specifically Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, like they know if there is a physical battle upcoming that they just get out of the way. The Oilers need a fine tooth scalpel and start cutting some pieces so they can add others that make sense. Problem is the entire NHL knows this and trying to acquire these pieces is going to be a tough bit of business. The Oilers might have to steal a piece of the playbook from Vancouver GM Mike Gills and trade a highly skilled player in Cody Hodgson for a meat and potatoes type scorer in Zack Kassian. Its the type of deal the Oilers might have to look at doing. All in all, the point is nice to achieve but their is very little that I can take out of this game and say the Oilers are going the right way.

Player Of The Game:
- Jeff Petry D - Since I don't give the GOTG to a defenseman often, I figure its a good time to hand out one here since the offense was subpar and Khabibulin played well but gave up 3. Petry tallied the opening goal on a shorthanded effort following up a nice pickoff and rush by Lennert Petrell. Petry had a team high 7 hits on this night to go along with 3 blocked shots. The pair of Petry and Smid were among the more reliable pairings tonight. Did a decent job of keeping the high scorers of the Hawks at bay for the most part. Good to see Petry pot a goal tonight, but have been disappointed in his lack of offense to this point. Petry has been solid defensively for the most part this season but has had some rough patches there as well. The goal represented his first point of the season.

Goat Of The Game:
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C - The Nuge has been finding himself far too ofetn this season. All of it isn't on him though. Ralph Krueger has been playing him way too much this season and those hard minutes are starting to eat at the production of the sophomore. He lead the team in minutes played over 24 minutes, ended up 58% on the dot, but just doesn't seem to be as hard on the puck and is constantly getting beat up and down the ice. I know the Oilers aren't very deep down the middle, but some of these minutes need to be absorbed by Belanger and Vandevelde more so the Nuge can focus a bit more on offense. Going head to head against the Jonathan Toews of the world is no easy task especially for a slender 19 year old. Ralph Krueger does not have a lot of wiggle for success with this club. If he does not coach them perfectly, they will plummet in the standings.

Next Game - Thursday February 28, 2013 vs. Stars @ Dallas on Sportsnet West 6:30 PM MT.

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