January 30 2010 11:54PM
Calgary Flames: 6
Edmonton Oilers: 1
I ended up watching this game without my laptop, so unfortunately (fortunately?) I don’t have the more in-depth analysis tonight.
God willing, though, I’ll never have to listen to the CBC “C” squad again. Mark Lee was actually slightly better than I remember him, but good lord was Kevin Weekes a train wreck. Aside from the few moments where he made blindingly obvious statements (‘so good on the defenceman for skating there,’ ‘as a goalie when a guy bowls you in that can be tough’) I wasn’t even sure we were watching the same sport, never mind the same game. I’d thought I’d hit the highest possible level of announcer annoyance with John Garrett in the last Canucks game, but Weekes managed to raise the bar. It was the worst commentating I’ve heard, ever. He made no comment all night that wasn’t either a) wrong or b) a brutally obvious generalization or c) a repetition of what Mark Lee had just said or d) a combination of any or all of the first three. His performance was so bad that it could accurately be described as worse than the Oilers’, which I’ll address presently.
The Oilers were simply miserable tonight.
Their goaltender was shaky from his first play: he was shaky skating from the net, he was shaky moving the puck, and he was shaky in the crease.
The defence was a disaster; Sheldon Souray gift-wrapped a goal and showed a lack of discipline and may have been injured, Lubomir Visnovsky was uncharacteristically poor in his own end, Jason Strudwick is not an NHL player and probably isn’t an ECHL-level skater, and Taylor Chorney was out of his depth in the AHL. On the plus side, Tom Gilbert wasn’t awful.
Up front, the forward corps mysteriously lacked Mike Comrie, but it probably wouldn’t have mattered. Ethan Moreau was out a-chopping, as he does. Jean-Francois Jacques doesn’t really need to play with a hockey stick; it’s superfluous to what he does out there. Robert Nilsson made a bunch of brilliant passes, half of them to teammates. Dustin Penner seems to have lost a step. Shawn Horcoff is clearly frustrated out there (although that resulted in a fight). Marc Pouliot had his worst game since coming back. Again, on the plus side: Sam Gagner was pretty good.
One final point: Lee and Weekes both seemed to be describing a spiritual experience as they gushed about the physical play and courage of Phaneuf, Regehr and Glencross. Particularly appealing were hits on O’Sullivan, Brule, Nilsson, Visnovsky, and Potulny. I just wanted to chime in with my agreement; after all, there’s nothing quite so courageous as hitting a guy 4” shorter and 50 lbs lighter (please note: I’m not complaining about the hits; I’m saying that “courage” is the wrong word to use).