ST. LOUIS 5 (SO)
As MacT put it, the Oilers have been "limping to the barn" in obvious need of an Olympic break, so having St. Louis and that lardbutt Keith Tkachuk in town didn't exactly guarantee two points. So one point it is, then.
The other point, sadly, went through our goalies five-hole about three easy times, once again highlighting our deficiencies between the pipes. For the 51st game out of 58, MacTavish was forced to pull a goalie, this time being Mike Morrison, who let in two softies and gave up plenty of mega-rebounds. Markkanen almost blew it late in the third with a shot from 50 feet away. Fans often insist "the goalie didn't see it," but good goalies don't collapse like crushed beer cans deep in the net when they can't see the puck. Good goalies guess where the shot will be and try to stay square to the shooter. I'd point out that Tommy Salo's goals went in like this, but the dreadful save percentages of our current 'tenders speak for themselves.
Of course, everyone knows it's a problem, and there really isn't much on the Number One goalie market worth risking prospects. Then again, there's only so many times you call pull a goalie: maybe it's time to trade for a Marty Biron or a Toivonen, even if they may not be Number 1 material. The young kids Winchester, Greene, JF Jacque, Roy and Brodziak stepped up and played really well, in the very least creating a possible logjam for defencemen and good, all-round checking forwards when Oiler veterans get back from injuries.
St. Louis' recent resurgence has been cute and all (4-1-1 since Weight/Sillinger were dealt) with some impressive young Blues like RW Lee Stempniak and D Dennis Widerman making the most of their ice time, but the Oilers should have had this game bagged. The usual ingredients for a win: shots on goal, winning faceoffs (61%), physical play, powerplay goals and strong puck control were all on the Oil's side. Unfortunately, a collective save percentage of .809 cost us another game.
Rest up boys, and enjoy the break.
- Don't miss a chance to bother Oilers in person, this upcoming Feb. 26 at Kingsway Garden Mall! Of course, I pride myself on totally ignoring local celebrities, which is my way of feeling big. That and I would never ask someone born in the 1980s for an autograph.
- I'm worried that one game Hemsky will DIE
- Intriguing coach moment: Mayor Quimby was thrown back into the game to take the shootout. Good move, even though it didn't pay off (Morrison is now 5-1 when it comes to shootouts)
- Seriously, playing 2 Unlimited between shootout attempts? Fire the music guy at Rexall immediately, even if he has kids to feed. The first two strikes against him were for playing "Cotton Eyed Joe" in the year 2006.
GAME RATING: FIVE 1990 Bill Ranfords out TEN 1999 Bill Ranfords
Sunday, February 12, 2006
ST. LOUIS 5 (SO)
Posted by mike w at 4:41 PM