Oilers 4, Predators 2
Well, shit: after two straight losses to Minnesota for some reason, we come out and more or less dominate the Predators, who are actually a surprisingly talented team (at least to those of us who don't pay attention to anyone outside of the Northwest Division, like yours truly).
I suppose I could soften you up with supple prose, but dammit, I'm really drunk, as is our wont, and as such, I have nothing but the energy required for point form notes. Do enjoy.
-Mr MacT: Please don't ever start Ty Conklin again. There were probably three or four times, at least, that Jussi made saves where Conky would have been beaten like a disrespectful Catholic schooler. Markkanen is by no means perfect (rebounds!), but he doesn't put us in a hole, unlike certain netminders. Consider letting Mike Morrison play again, as well--he certainly isn't worse at fundamentals than Conklin.
-This was a surprisingly emotional game, considering Nashville should mean about as much to us as Chicago, albeit slighlty better.
-Glenn Healy mentioned that the flu has been going throught the Oil roster, and suggested that was the reason for the "performance" against Minnesota. That's not entirely hard to believe, given how we played tonight. That said, I think we do far better against teams that decide to try to skate with us, as opposed to teams who play tight and conservative (thought, still, Minny is not a boring team, they're just not as agressive as some).
-If we have one strength, regardless of line, it's our ability to control the puck down low. We cycle like few other teams I've seen, and almost all of our goals seem to come from controlling the puck in the corner and working it out in front. We were helped slightly by Nashville's complete lack of size, but man, we work the corners rather well, I think.
-As Chris! pointed out in the Black Dog basement, the Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky line has an innate ability to know where each other are. The number of no-look passes they make that connect is amazing, and they seem to know the appropriate times to shoot and pass with each other on the ice. Hemsky also apparently posses a stick imbued with puck-nip; he makes ridiculous moves look perfectly natural, and dinks around with the puck like it was shinny against pee-wee players. I hope he actually does play with Jagr at the Olympics--what he'll learn will make him stellar.
-Matt Greene looked fine out there, even with a sort-of dumb penalty against Tootoo. Though, speaking of dumb penalties, what the hell was Brad Winchester thinking? You might at least wait until the puck is around before punchering a guy in the face. He didn't get off the bench much after that.
-Go Big Georges! Sure didn't have a hope in hell of scoring on that breakaway, but he seems to have remembered that he's bigger than everyone except Zdeno Chara and Shaq, and can use that to his advantage. He looked pretty good with Stoll and Torres, who are apparently incredibly good buddies off the ice, which makes me question Stoll's judgment of people (you just know Torres is a prick--it's the facial hair). BG also almost fought, which is a good thing for an enforcer to pull every so often.
-Did anyone else get the impression that Chris Cuthbert was making fun of Healy throughout the game? It just seemed like he kept pointing out the obvious flaws in Healy's analysis (like when he called the Oilers' assitant coaches a "crackpot" group, as if they were writing letters about alien conspiracys to the Journal or wearing big red clown noses or something). Totally deserved, of course, but still sort of funny, at least to me.
-Steve Staios and Ethan Moreau both have more talent than their statistics ever show, they just have abosolutely no finish whatsoever. Nice to watch them though. Oh, also, if Todd Harvey weren't on our team, I'd want to slash him in the teeth. Nice player to have, though.
Update: As per anonymous' comments, the names are now mostly correct. Alcohol may make you more attractive, but it sure doesn't help your memory.
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Oilers 4, Predators 2
Posted by DMFB at 1:27 AM