Sunday, November 2, 2014

Edmonton Oilers Postgame 11: Devil in the Details

The Oiler fan reaction after: a) Scrivens' 3rd period pass, b) Hall tumbling into
a post during the game, c) all of last season, d) all of the above 
For a guy nicknamed the Professor, Ben "Pass Givvy" Scrivvy is not flexing a lot of grey-head-worms when he's handling the puck. In a tight, well played, fast paced, even game, a poor mistake in the third can often be the difference between grins and grim. In this case, Benny wasn't even under pressure which makes the resulting pass even more puzzling. It didn't help that the shot from Derek "Dumb-nut" Dorsett - a career NHL plumber - eluded Scrivens moments later.

Adding insult to the 2-3 loss was Tayor Hall leaving the game after crashing into the post and boards after a bull-drive towards the net. Hall, PBUH, left the building without crutches or a boot, and Rishaug tweeted this afterwards:

Hall out of the lineup for any length, dare I say, is the fast-lane to Oilers apocalypse. The fire and brimstone raining from above, 7 seals breached kind of stuff.  He's the beating heart of the team, and is directly responsible for swaying momentum within games with his tenacious and fearless style.

Aside from Scrivens making worse decisions than a Bush administration during a hurricane and Hall's thigh making a date with a goal post, the game was actually a spirited, fast-paced affair. The Oilers absolutely ran a clinic around the stagnant Canucks during the first period (check out the Corsi chart). They dominated the shot attempts 27 to 17, and aside from a poor rebound and crappy coverage from the Oilers forwards, would have exited the period with a lead and a near perfect period. The Canucks goal with under a minute left marked the beginning of the Canucks playing a progressively stronger game. Periods 2 and 3 featured a lot more Sedin sisters and unfortunately, a lot more Brad Hunt, since he was inexplicably paired with Schultz in the numero uno pairing.

Let me just say, I really dislike Brad Hunt as a defenceman. Power to him he's short and some kind of sob story, I'd rather not have him play the third most ice time during the game. Only Hopkins and Jultz played more than his 19.5 minutes. The guy just can't be seeing more ice and more whisker-faced Sedin than Fayne. For a guy who is supposed to boost the Oilers PP, he had over 3 minutes and finished -2 with 0 shots. The Oilers PP, by the by, is 21st in the league at 14.7%. Meanwhile Oscar Klefbom's stat line looks like this:

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In light of Hunt playing like a rhymes-with-slang-for-female-parts, it makes sense to send him to the land of Greyhounds and not-good-enough.

Finally, to cap off the presentation, Perron potted a pisser in the meshed maw, finally. After a run of impressive games with no results, last years goal leader is off the snide, and hopefully Perron can continue his strong play. He's a very talented player with no obvious weaknesses as an NHL winger. He can dangle, drive, dish, and disturb with the best of the ràt-fû masters.

A couple more thoughts after the hop:
The Blessed
  • David Perron had 4 shots, 6 hits, a goal, and plenty of "fuck you's" in french for the Canucklefucks. He's a responsible winger who wins puck battles, and is probably the most balanced winger on the team after Hall.
  • The First Period featured an Oilers team we wouldn't even recognize last year. Regardless if it was the Canucks partaking in a magic-marker and glue sniffing party before the game, or the Oilers having more speed and skill than any other recent team, they ran the show. They were blazing into the Nux zone "on the reg", and if it's any indication of the peak of their abilities, there's hope yet for a meaningful game in February.
  • Jeff Petry played a whale of a game, with an apple, a plus, 4 shots, and a plethora of pinpoint passes.I felt his play had sagged the last couple - regular for most players - but he was full-speed and full-marks in the loss.
The Unholy
  • Ben Scrivens' puck handling ability. I'm a chinese made ipod-knock-off stuck playing the same mp3: Baby don't you do it. Also: his goaltending wasn't so hot last night. It's definitely time to Fasth track in some different goaltending for a bit (take that Principe).
  • The Canucks stifling D for the last half of the game. Eakins mentioned after the game that when they are playing in a defensive shell, you have to start de-emphasizing carrying into the opposition zone. Dr Eakins prescribed dump and chase, and forcing the Dmen to retrieve deep. I'm not sure it ever makes sense to emphasize dump and chase, but I'm not an NHL coach.
  • Brad Hunt is going to get a permanent entry on my shit list. He doesn't really do much right except shoot the puck with hellacious velocity. There is just absolutely no way he's the Oilers best option for first pairing at this point!
The Cursed
  • Taylor Hall may not have a serious injury, but for the love of god, can't he make it through a season without a big injury? Last year was his first really fully healthy year, but sometimes you wonder if it's going to be the exception. Pray for a speedy recovery oh ye Oilers faithful.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


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