Friday, November 18, 2005

"Wild" and "Zany" Oilers' Win!

Edmonton 6 (OT)
Detroit 5

"Jesus Christ," I muttered during the second intermission, throwing a sock across the room.

It was all so unfair. The Oilers were outplaying Detroit all game, winning 60 per cent of the playoffs, blocking twice as many shots, and creating chances but they weren't getting any goals. Then Datsyuk and Johan "Jonathan" Franzen skated up the ice and made Markkanen look a bit silly.

I was expecting a run-of-the-mill-good-try loss to Detroit but was rewarded with an ol' fashioned barnburner, with four straight Oilers goals in the third. So: Whoo! Some quick thoughts before bedtime:

- I thought Ryan Smyth was all about garbage goals and greasing his way around defenders on the boards. Nope, he's a sniper. Third best shooting percentage in the league (30.6%)

- Special Teams success: 3 for 9 on the PP, 1 PK goal and 1 for 3 on Jason Williams giveaways from the point.

- Markkanen has a .899 SV %, which is actually good. I think the league average is around .896 right now, and he's played a lot better than many other Number 1s, so I think we can safely shop for another goalie at a leisurely pace. And perhaps Conklin will get his game back, too. (cough)

- Scoring depth. To the Calgary fan on BoA who scoffed when I mentioned Oilers scoring
depth: we're 11th in the league. You're what? 19th? HhahahaHA! Eat my ass, bitch! Of course a tired, slightly geriatric Detroit defence helped us along, for one night.

- Earlier this year we had a debate whether you'd take 2 or 3 above average players instead of one very, very good player. I still would take the very good player every time. While Hemsky is not a superstar, anytime he's on the ice a chance seems to be created. He's the reason Stoll scored in OT, using his speed and control to get past the defender and eventually feed the puck to the point. It's a team game to be sure, but most teams seem to do well with just front-loading one real scoring line. Even the Oilers only really skate three. The big difference this year is that we have a first line with some real talent (Smyth, Hemsky), with of course a tip of the hat to Horcoff. He's in the team record books now with 4 assist in one period.

- In the business as usual department: Georges Laraque took a dumb penalty late and was benched. Don't mess with a good thing!