Can you remember the last time the Oilers actually outplayed an opponent? What has happened to this team of pantywaists? Not unlike the last game of 2004, the Oilers spent more time headhunting and taking cheap shots rather than actually playing hockey. I understand that Vancouver is full of ugly underachievers and aggravated assaulters, but flying elbows into Ohlund's temple will always get you a penalty. And also: spotting the Canucks an entire period's worth of penalties won't win you games. Players like Hemsky and Samsonov were rarely dangerous, which is kind of appalling considering how thin Vancouver is on defence.
That said, the entire thing is kind of predictable. Vancouver was embarrassed two nights ago by Detroit and had to come back and play disciplined, tight-checking game, which they did. Alex Auld actually played well and the forwards backchecked for once. The Oilers were neatly pushed to the outside for harmless shots, and even when the got up front chances were missed (witness: Samsonov's wobbly pass to a winger when he's 10 feet away from the centre of the net). Dumb things like a million retarded offside plays in the last ten minutes don't help much either. No puck support, no speed and no aggressive forecheck. And what's worse, they let Bertuzzi somehow be a plus for the night. Where art thou, proverbial Oilers Gut Check?
Most frustrating game of the year.
GAME RATING 2 Josh Greens out of 10 Sean Browns
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Posted by mike w at 9:26 PM