Oilers vs. Canucks Postgame: Think Of It As A Chance To Win A Draft Pick

Jonathan Willis
December 27 2009 12:09AM

Edmonton Oilers: 1

Vancouver Canucks: 4

The Canucks hadn't won at GM Place on Boxing Day in years and years, but then again they haven't been lucky enough to face your 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers in all those games either. Another loss and shoddy work on the PK obscured a solid effort from the Oilers.

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

1. Ladislav Smid. The battle between Smid and Mikael Samuelsson was a fun side issue over the course of the game. Samuelsson knocked Smid down off a faceoff early in the first, but Smid took the number and came back to drill him twice - a beautiful hit in the Canucks' zone where Smid sent the puck deep, and an undisciplined hit where Smid left his position on the PK to drill him. Still, the mean streak is nice to see and the first hit was a thing of beauty. He also prevented a goal by knocking the puck away after it squeaked by Deslauriers, all while holding off an attacker.

2. Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff had a nice game, moving the puck smartly and backchecking well, as usual. His minus on the night came on the empty net goal; I'm still a little confused as to why the NHL counts those on a player's plus/minus.

3. Ryan Potulny. Had a lovely goal that made Luongo look a little bit silly (he should have had it) but showed his goal scoring ability on a gorgeous shot. I'm also inclined to cut him some slack for his delay of game penalty; that's just bad luck.

Random Thoughts

I thought Tom Gilbert was having an incredible game, up until he let Ehrhoff blow by him and score the Canucks' third goal. He made a bunch of brilliant plays and has mostly looked rejuvenated since being paired with Souray.

All night the commentators were talking about how great the Oilers' fourth line looked; that's what happens when they get matched up against the Rypien line. The Canucks' fourth line is enough to make anybody look good. That said, it's a shame this team has so many small players because Andrew Cogliano deserves a better spot than that one; he played well tonight.

The Canucks' two power play goals that changed the game were all sparked by Ethan Moreau running into Robert Luongo; had he not done that, than Potulny wouldn't have been stuck in his own end and he wouldn't have accidentally put the puck over the boards.

Very poor game for Dustin Penner, who looked half a step behind all night.

Robert Nilsson coughing up the puck at the opposition blue line never gets old.

That was an epic battle between Rick Rypien and Zack Stortini, although I was confused by Stortini's tactics: when did the forearms become more effective weapons than the fists?

Bless Steve Staios, he can't take that interference penalty; it was a game sinker. Between he, Moreau and Visnovsky (who took a poor hooking call in the first) the Oilers' veterans were the ones making costly mental errors.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 RossCreekNation
December 27 2009, 05:19PM
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#52 Pajamah
December 27 2009, 07:08PM
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Ogden Brother wrote:

Happy thought of the day: I was talking to a friend yesterday that has a family connection to the Pats hockey opperations. He was talking with over Xmas break. The fellow with the Pats was telling him that most in his circles feel Eberle is one of, if not the best player in the CHL. He also thought he was NHL ready this year and was one of the best jr players he's every played with/had in his orginization.

He was confident Eberle will be an NHL star.

Eberle should end up being that 30-35 goal scorer we haven't had since Smytty left. With MPS, Gagner, we should have some young high end talent in a couple seasons.

And like all Oiler fans, you always hold out hope that the Omark, Rajala, Hartikainen, Lander's of the world can become something special as well

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#53 hyneser
December 27 2009, 07:27PM
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Yeah go oilers

Tyler hall over to eberle back to hall over to brule, brule scores!

Has a nice ring to it don't it?

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#54 Horcsky
December 27 2009, 08:10PM
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Any news on the injury brigade lately? Are Pouliot, Comrie, Pisani, or the Wall any closer to returning?

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#55 Harlie
December 27 2009, 08:48PM
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almost forgot...you guys see Mike Gillis making rain on the HNIC after show last night? Man that was tough to watch. Beads of sweat just pouring off the guy.

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#56 Phil
December 28 2009, 02:10AM
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Bwaha, Ogden Brother, you sure told me with all that bullsh*t! Retreeeeeeeeeeeat!

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#57 Lofty
December 28 2009, 06:16AM
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hyneser wrote:

Yeah go oilers

Tyler hall over to eberle back to hall over to brule, brule scores!

Has a nice ring to it don't it?

New Smurf line? need some size in there... Penner or trade for a Dustin Brown or Byfungle

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#58 Chaz
December 28 2009, 11:08AM
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So let me get this straight: Our captain takes a brutal penalty which directly leads to Vancouver's first two goals, and ultimately the game, and his comment on it after the game is that the team needs to be better short handed?!?! How about showing some leadership and humility and taking responsibility for taking an undisciplined penalty that directly resulted in another loss?

Worst captain in the NHL. Tied for worst Captain in team history with Shayne Corson. The Oilers will never be a contender with him as Captain.

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#59 RossCreekNation
December 28 2009, 11:36AM
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#60 Kai
December 28 2009, 12:40PM
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Regarding the Rypien v Stortini fight:

All NHL fights are essentially "clinch" fights meaning combatants are hanging onto eachother at very close quarters. In martial arts the most effective strikes are with your forearms and elbows. You can get a much accuracy and momentum using your forearms and elbow then with an unbalanced haymaker.

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