October 22 2009 10:38PM
- Edmonton Oilers: 6
- Columbus Blue Jackets: 4
Oilers Three Stars, According To Me
- Dustin Penner. I'm not sure if everyone's abandoned the 'Penner's fat and lazy' story line that has been overplayed for the last two years, but it's pretty clear that after a five point (two goals, three assists) effort and a standing ovation from the crowd at Rexall, the average fan is more than willing to give him a fresh slate.
- Lubomir Visnovsky. Visnovsky had three points on the night and played a calm, cerebral game while the rest of the Oilers' puck-moving defence corps (Gilbert to some degree, but especially Grebeshkov) were busy with brain cramps and giveaways. He also scored the game winner.
- Ales Hemsky. It's not every night that the third star manages five points, but Hemsky recorded a goal and four assists tonight, and looked as good as he's looked since, well... the Columbus game last year.
I'm actually not a big believer in turning points, but if there was one tonight I thought it was when Dustin Penner charged the net with the puck right after the Oilers went down four to one. He'd end up scoring a goal just 17 seconds after Kristian Huselius had put Columbus ahead by three goals.
- Brutal, brutal night for Denis Grebeshkov. He was a big part of the reason that Columbus had a four to one lead to start the game.
- I've been calling on Sam Gagner to replace Shawn Horcoff on the top powerplay unit for roughly a year and a half, and with his performance tonight maybe he'll get a prolonged look.
- The Oilers powerplay scored three goals (including Nilsson's empty-netter) against the league's best penalty-kill. Entering this game, Columbus had scored three short-handed goals while allowing only one powerplay goal against.
- Dustin Penner shot the puck 11 times tonight. That's more shots than J-F Jacques, Andrew Cogliano, and Ethan Moreau have had all season.
- Horcoff and Moreau were playing together late. Despite Quinn's aversion to matching lines, I wonder if this team may be moving toward a designated hard-matched checking line.
From the Press Conference
"Right now, [Penner]'s a complete player."
"That gap where we gave up was less our forward line than our defence."
I'm sure it's just how [Gilbert and Grebeshkov] been taught and how they've played for several years. A lot of teams have played that contained sort of way for many years... are these guys capable? I believe they are, yes."
Comment of the Night
It seems like it has been like FOREVER since they like last played. Hurry up 7:30pm.
6-3 Oilers (Pennerx2, Gagner, Vish, Cogs, Nilsson)
Not a perfect prediction, but substitute Hemsky for Cogliano and give Columbus one more goal and it would have been bang on. Pretty impressive.