So, uh: Whoooo!!!
The 3 for 7 powerplay pretty much did it. Jarret Stoll and Chris Pronger seem real comfortable on the point, with a Hemsky option on the side boards to keep defenders from cheating towards the blueline too much. Last season teams knew we sucked and would just pressure the points, with Brewer or Bergeron coughing up the puck. Also Hemsky and Horcoff also seem much better at carrying the puck in to the zone, something we didn't do very well in '04.
The best part about the penalty kill was that the Oilers kept their interference infractions reasonably low with 7 penalties called overall. The Oilers came into the game 13th in penalties minutes per game at 16.0 (in 2004, it was 14.9 over the season), a number which will drop after tonight's game. This bodes well and speaks to the mobility of the defence core, and if you discount Ulanov, most of the interference calls are going against backchecking forwards.
My first look at him but: Does Rita ever skate into the middle? For a guy playing on the top line he missed his chance to make an impression. He just seems to glide around, and defensively he looked kind of lost, especially when the Ducks cycled around the boards. On one play waiting for a pass from behind the net, he backed away near the circle, only to watch Bergeron pinch in front where he should have been for a good chance. The only time he looked dangerous was when he had plenty of room, something he's not going to get a lot of in the NHL.
Blink and you missed Brad Winchester, since he was only on the ice for 2 minutes. As always, MacT is slow to warm up on these young guys, especially when there's so much special teams anyway. Our million dollar Georges Laraque barely played, too. Semenov looked shaky too, gave up the puck a couple times and was benched for most of the game.
Oh, and one other thing: Peca will not be a scorer, just like hasn't been for years. But I would like to see him wrist some shots, get them on net and only then graduate to slapshots. He's a good defensive player but why do I get the feeling that only Lowe would have payed him $3-4 million if he were a free agent last summer?
Overall: A solid road win. Seven and a half Joey Mosses out of ten.
PS: I think I got my hate back for the Leafs, remembering the whiney, ubiquitous nature of Toronto media and their team. With their loss tonight, I'm certain we'll see a rash of commentary on whether the shootout is "a good way to end the game" the same way we've seen national, roundtable discussions on high sticking or visors the second one of their players gets hurt. Meanwhile, their team sucks.
Monday, October 10, 2005
So, uh: Whoooo!!!
Posted by mike w at 8:28 PM