What an enjoyable disaster our goaltending has become: another goalie pulled on route to yet another Oilers win. Vancouver, being gracious hosts, offered up some limberger goaltending of their own (the book on Auld: lets in almost any shot around his shoulders). Don't mess with success! But hey, you wanna talk stinky goalies? Let's talk stinky goalies:
Markkanen 55 SV%
Conklin 86 SV%
Auld 81 SV%
(And Conklin scored on himself, by the way.)
Nevertheless, the Oilers played a good game of puck control, as Tom Benjamin might say. Teams are being outrun and outlasted as of late, even when the Oilers only roll out 4 Defencemen and 3 lines. And my nugget stat of the day? The Oilers are fourth in goals scored in the third period, despite coming into the game 14th in average goals per game and 14th on the Powerplay. Give Ethan Moreau's conditioning coach brother a raise. Come to think of it, give Ethan Moreau a raise.
Anyway, the game was a blur. WWE Commentator Pierre Maguire startled and confused me ("Wham!" "Awesome!" "Bring the HAMMER!"), but I cobbled together some observations.
- Defence: Ulanov is on a 2004-esque tear, pinching at the right moments and throwing hard accurate shots up high on Auld. I also liked Steve Staios' game, knowing when to push off and mostly using his stick to avoid penalties. Bergeron had a rough start but also plays a smart game and makes up for his mistakes with speed. Cory Cross? Hm. Looked like one of those tree people from Lord of the Rings.
- Chris Pronger is Chris Pronger, sometimes even confusing MacT with playmaking gabbledegook, as revealed on mic: "They've got a pinch in around the boards so they gotta know I'm there on the point, so they gotta get it up when Sedin passes to his brother, taking it from the side, blah blah" as MacT looks on, baffled. Apparently he has a rep for being a bit of a gabber, often talking out plays during poker games on the flight home. It sounds insufferable, but he's also our best defenceman in 15 years, so whatever floats his boat.
- the way he flies around, Hemsky might have some career-ending knee injury one day, so enjoy him while you can! It was kind of stupid, but I liked the penalty Cross took driving Jarko Ruutu's head into the ground for running Hemsky.
- And now a plea to the Oilers: please don't play Conklin on Friday. I have tickets.
- Fill the goblets with nog! Tied for first place!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Posted by mike w at 10:46 PM