Oilers Vs. Sharks Postgame: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Jonathan Willis
March 21 2010 09:41PM

Edmonton Oilers: 5

San Jose Sharks:1

Despite the score, the Sharks were the better team. Seriously. They were. However, I’m not a Sharks fan and the first overall pick is safe, so I’ve got to say I really enjoyed this game, and I’m definitely pulling for a Phoenix Coyotes as division champs story, which this helps.

 

Oilers Three Stars

 

1. Devan Dubnyk. Asked about getting two wins in two games after his lengthy career-starting losing streak, Dubnyk said “I don’t remember what was so hard about it,” before talking about how hard everyone in front of him worked, going away and then amiably coming back to talk to Gene Principe. He played well again tonight and this is one of those situations where he might make the Oilers goaltending situation a little more complicated before the year ends.

2. Tom Gilbert/Ryan Whitney. This pairing was fantastic tonight, moving the puck sharply, playing solid defensive hockey, and finishing the night plus-3. Tom Gilbert alone had twice as many blocked shots as the entire Sharks team.

3. Fernando Pisani/Shawn Horcoff. It was a good night for the checking line, and both of these players finished with a goal and an assist while keeping their opposition off the score sheet.

 

Other Thoughts

 

The shot clock at even-strength was 24 to 24 in favour of the Sharks, which looks pretty even but doesn’t begin to reflect the Sharks’ territorial dominance. The difference was that virtually every Oilers’ shot not only got through but landed on net – the Oilers had five goals, 19 shots, five missed shots and two blocked shots, meaning that 77.4% of their shots were effective. On the Sharks side, they had one goal, 23 shots, 20 missed shots and 20 blocked shots, so only 37.5% of their shots were effective. It’s a weird split (I can’t recall another like it) and the Sharks numbers are closer to what one would expect from most games, meaning that a) the Oilers made their shots and b) if I were Todd McLellan I’d be spending the entire next practice having guys block shots until they got in the habit of doing it.

It was an unfortunate evening for sketchy looking hits. Rob Blake hammered Ryan Potulny cleanly, but that was just the start. Brad Staubitz butt-ended Potulny in the face (it looked unintentional), and then caught Sam Gagner in the head with his shoulder (again, it looked unintentional). At the end of the game Doug Murray caught Theo Peckham with an awkward hit that sent him tumbling into the boards; Peckham left the game favouring his shoulder.

Three fights in the game; Stortini fought twice, once against Staubitz after a good hit on Dan Boyle (more on that in a second) and then again against Murray a while after Murray’s hit on Peckham. Mike Comrie also squared off against Scott Nichol. None of them were really decisive wins, but I thought the Oiler came out on top all three times.

How did Brad Staubitz escape an instigator penalty when he went after Stortini seconds after the latter hit Dan Boyle? I’m indifferent on the penalty as a rule, but it’s there and the referees should call it, especially when the fight happens right after a clean hit.

Sam Gagner was relegated to the bottom six for the entire night, which I don’t get at all. If Gagner was hurt, he should have been out of the lineup entirely, and if he was healthy he’s arguably the Oilers best player right now (and certainly one of their top three forwards). Sticking him on the bottom half of the forward corps is one more bizarre decision in a season that’s been full of them.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
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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#1 jeanshorts
March 21 2010, 09:49PM
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"The shot clock at even-strength was 24 to 24 in favour of the Sharks, which looks pretty even but doesn’t begin to reflect the Sharks’ territorial dominance."

That does look pretty even.

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#2 SirFozz
March 21 2010, 09:53PM
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Oilers win. Oilers win against top tier team. Oilers win against top tier team 5-1. Oilers win against top tier team 5-1 while I was at the game (traditionally a guaranteed loss night).

Weird.

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#3 Di-Hard Oilfan
March 22 2010, 08:36AM
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OK. Maybe someone can pull out some comparables for Eberle. 6 points in 3 games, but lets average down now, 15 points in 12 AHL games. It is getting harder and harder to contain the optimism that the Oilers have something very special in Eberle. If he continues to play anywere near this pace, the brain trust have to give him 3 or 4 games up here.

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#4 Crash
March 22 2010, 12:49PM
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@Archaeologuy

Fair enough, if the fans want to boo if they are displeased with someones body of work then so be it....but when the fans decide just to boo the player for the sake of it such as when the player is announced as being in the starting lineup or has contributed an assist or a goal or is announced as one of the 3 stars then I think it's counter productive. Not only to that game in particular but also to other players who may take notice.

I'm not a big proponent of Shawn Horcoff as one of our key go to guys either but I don't think the fans need to constantly boo Shawn Horcoff in an endless attempt to let management know they made a mistake. I think they know.

If the guy has scored a goal or had a good night I really don't see what booing him accomplishes.

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#5 Ender
March 22 2010, 01:56PM
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Don't boo your own guys unless they do something classless to deserve it. We sign a thug like Boulerice and he goes out and swings a two-hander at someone's face, boo away. That's about the player. You have a problem with management and the contract they offered someone? Send team management an e-mail. That's not the player's fault, and booing the player at this point benefits no one.

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#6 cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan
March 22 2010, 07:02AM
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Canadasportsguy wrote:

You had Horcoff listed as the 3rd star? he was not very good tonight at all. What did he do to earn the 3rd star?? He turned the puck over and was doing nothing in the offensive zone. He was always a step behind the play. My entire section were calling him out the entire night.

TBH

www.canadasportsguy.com

Note: We get that you have a website dude. Stop using it as a signature please. Love Wanye

1G 1A, +2...went 10-6 on the faceoff dot. all this while going up against one of the top lines in the NHL.

people are so biased against the guy now they wont even admit when he has a decent game

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#7 OB1 Team Yakopov - F.S.T.N.F
March 22 2010, 08:23AM
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Canadasportsguy wrote:

You had Horcoff listed as the 3rd star? he was not very good tonight at all. What did he do to earn the 3rd star?? He turned the puck over and was doing nothing in the offensive zone. He was always a step behind the play. My entire section were calling him out the entire night.

TBH

www.canadasportsguy.com

Note: We get that you have a website dude. Stop using it as a signature please. Love Wanye

Your section was calling him out? No way, really? Didn't he have a three assist game a few weeks ago and still get booed off the ice?

The smartest fans in the league strike again.

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#8 Kizz
March 22 2010, 08:45AM
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Canadasportsguy wrote:

You had Horcoff listed as the 3rd star? he was not very good tonight at all. What did he do to earn the 3rd star?? He turned the puck over and was doing nothing in the offensive zone. He was always a step behind the play. My entire section were calling him out the entire night.

TBH

www.canadasportsguy.com

Note: We get that you have a website dude. Stop using it as a signature please. Love Wanye

Not only read your post i also read your blog on Eberle... Horcoff had a great game, though I am not a fan of himi can recognize when he does play well and what is with the Eberle blog... You actually think he is overhyped, thats incedible 106 pints in the dub and 9 points in 9 ahl games last year not to mention 6 in three games this year along with being +2... You also dont think he is a first liner... do you even watch hockey at all

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#9 Bucknuck
March 22 2010, 02:09PM
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VK63 wrote:

The hall of famer Rod Phillips had the second Stortini fight as a total domination/beatdown by storts. Go figure.

I love Rod for that. I always picture a complete punch fest in my head listening to him. And the amount of AMAZING saves by the opposing goaltender makes my mouth dry.

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#10 Jamie B.
March 21 2010, 09:52PM
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Staubitz may not have meant to hit Gagner quite that awkwardly (although he didn't exactly try to avoid it either) but some cheapo Shark made sure to give Gagner a little shove from behind so that he fell face first right into Staubitz's shoulder. Ouch. Gagner bounced up again fast but that can't be good for his head.

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#11 Vaclav
March 21 2010, 09:53PM
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Tencer reporting that Peckham's got a separated shoulder.

Bad ending to what's been a pretty miserable season for Theo.

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#12 Ryan2
March 21 2010, 10:19PM
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Wow, do the Sharks ever look horrible right now. Nabokov seems to have the Tommie Salo post-Olympics blues - he has not been the same since the shelling in the Canada game. Looks like they are a safe bet for a 1st round exit again this year. It will be interesting to see what they do with not so Jumbo Joe in the offseason - he is a great regular season player but wilts when the going gets tough.

Too bad about Peckham - he was starting to play better hockey now. Who do we have left on the farm that can step in and play now? Plante is still out, right?

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#13 The Towel Boy
March 21 2010, 10:54PM
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SirFozz wrote:

Oilers win. Oilers win against top tier team. Oilers win against top tier team 5-1. Oilers win against top tier team 5-1 while I was at the game (traditionally a guaranteed loss night).

Weird.

That is weird.

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#14 David S
March 21 2010, 10:55PM
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I'm completely stunned as to how Sam Gagner has been played in the last few games. If anybody has any insight on this, I'd sure be interested to hear about it.

Its almost like he has a bonus kick in if he gets 50 points and everything is being done to make sure he doesn't get there. Now that's obviously NOT the case, but what the hell?

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#15 Arby
March 21 2010, 11:00PM
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Is eberly for real? Wow

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#16 OilCrazy
March 21 2010, 11:24PM
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Apparently Gagner is hurt.

It's likely something he can play through, and my personal opinion is that it was likely up to Gagner and he wants to play. I believe the team can't force a player to go on IR (or to come off of it for that matter), and Gags is trying to set an example for what the team (and teammates) can expect going forward.

That's the type of guy he is, and why he's a good bet to wear a letter next year.

Maybe someone can clarify the injury position a player has. It would be much appreciated!

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#17 Jodes
March 21 2010, 11:38PM
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Ryan2 wrote:

Wow, do the Sharks ever look horrible right now. Nabokov seems to have the Tommie Salo post-Olympics blues - he has not been the same since the shelling in the Canada game. Looks like they are a safe bet for a 1st round exit again this year. It will be interesting to see what they do with not so Jumbo Joe in the offseason - he is a great regular season player but wilts when the going gets tough.

Too bad about Peckham - he was starting to play better hockey now. Who do we have left on the farm that can step in and play now? Plante is still out, right?

How about Arsene? Or is he still injured?

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#18 OilCrazy
March 21 2010, 11:43PM
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Johnson's taking away Strudwick's shot at a new contract next year...

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#19 Moop
March 21 2010, 11:50PM
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OilCrazy wrote:

Johnson's taking away Strudwick's shot at a new contract next year...

We can only hope.

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#20 Mother Pucker
March 22 2010, 12:13AM
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I feel so bad for Peckham. He played so well lately and then bam, he is on the shelf.

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#21 Jasmine
March 22 2010, 12:48AM
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@OilCrazy

Gagner missed 4 games prior to the Olympics with a knee injury.

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#22 Pajamah
March 22 2010, 01:00AM
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Mother Pucker wrote:

I feel so bad for Peckham. He played so well lately and then bam, he is on the shelf.

~Welcome to your 2009/2010 Edmonton Oilers~

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#23 Jamie B.
March 22 2010, 01:07AM
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@OilCrazy

Yeah, Quinn said it was his knee and in his opinion it's affected Gagner's skating. I'm not sure Samwise would agree. He was still putting up points with a bum knee before.

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#24 Deaner
March 22 2010, 01:17AM
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The Horcoff goal brought me back to 06' what a good year, loving the grit over the past two wins, it would be nice to finish off the season with a pile of wins with the Leafs having no chance to beat us in the DFF.

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#25 Canadasportsguy
March 22 2010, 06:48AM
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You had Horcoff listed as the 3rd star? he was not very good tonight at all. What did he do to earn the 3rd star?? He turned the puck over and was doing nothing in the offensive zone. He was always a step behind the play. My entire section were calling him out the entire night.

TBH

www.canadasportsguy.com

Note: We get that you have a website dude. Stop using it as a signature please. Love Wanye

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#26 jake
March 22 2010, 06:52AM
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Another D-man hurt, does it ever end??? I like Peckham in that he seems not to want to defend once the opposition is in his end, but he doesn't like them to get in there in the first place, stands players up often at the blue line.

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#27 DBO
March 22 2010, 07:01AM
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On peckham: he's played reallywell with johnson. Too bad he's out,. because he seems to have made a serious case to be the #6 dman paired with johnson next year. Solid and cheap back pairing.

On eberle: The team looks like they are playing better and seem to have a bit more jump. if the org was trying to shelter him from a bad situation, maybe this is the right time to bring him up. He's played really well the 3 games in the AHl, and if he's that impactful down there maybe he really is too good for the A. Bring him up, put him with Gagner since he's the 4th line centre and let them get some chemistry.

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#28 The Real Scuba Steve
March 22 2010, 07:14AM
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Flames are going to be put out!

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#29 Dyckster
March 22 2010, 07:29AM
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Was it just me, or on Nilsson's goal, after he stripped Big Joe of the puck in the neutral zone....did Thorton make a b-line for the bench. I watched the highlight 3 times this morning and swear he did. Wow, that's brutal, you'd think after getting mugged like that he'd put his head down and at least try and catch the guy (Nilsson).

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#30 Reagan
March 22 2010, 07:43AM
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Wow, they looked like a real NHL Hockey club now! Too bad this didn't happen in December. I laughed the fact that they beat the Sharks.

My wife was quick to say, "So did they lose again. You know they suck don't you, Why are you wasting your time watching that garbage."

I replied with they won 5-1 over San Jose. To her amazement she turned the channel from her crappy whatever to sportsnet so say good for them, but their season was done in December...

:)

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#31 Petr's Jofa
March 22 2010, 07:46AM
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The tragic number in the fall for hall now sits at 6.

The Sputter under Sutter entered it's final 10 games and the Flames are 2 points back looking at the Wings who have a game in hand. After catching up to Detroit in the standings on Friday when all went wrong and they beat the mighty Sharks and Edmonton beat the Wings, they gave it all back when they lost last night to the 13th placed wild team.

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#32 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 22 2010, 07:49AM
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Reagan wrote:

Wow, they looked like a real NHL Hockey club now! Too bad this didn't happen in December. I laughed the fact that they beat the Sharks.

My wife was quick to say, "So did they lose again. You know they suck don't you, Why are you wasting your time watching that garbage."

I replied with they won 5-1 over San Jose. To her amazement she turned the channel from her crappy whatever to sportsnet so say good for them, but their season was done in December...

:)

Yeah, my girlfriend's the same way.

Her: "Do you really need to catch the puck drop? If you miss the first minute, at least you won't see the Oilers give up a goal."

Me: "Do we have any beer in the fridge?

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#33 BUCK75
March 22 2010, 08:05AM
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Nice to see them win this game after they should have beat the Sharks at the end of November @ RX1 only to lose in a shoot out.

Another 2 game win streak *w00t*. ~If we can keep winning, Eberle can keep lighting up the AHL.

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#34 Chaz
March 22 2010, 08:45AM
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Kudos to Comrie for going after Nichol like he did. I heard it was because Nichol was the guy who gave Paul Comrie the concusion that ended his career. Can anyone confirm this?

If it is true, I like it. Avenging your family honor years after the fact....revenge really is a dish best served cold.

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#35 Holden
March 22 2010, 09:02AM
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When Jumbo Joe is off, he's REALLY off. After giving the puck away to Nilsson, he skated to the bench and didn't even give chase. Whaaaa?

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#36 madjam
March 22 2010, 09:07AM
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Should we be surprised at the resurgence of the Oilers ? We gave up a lot of skill on back end at trade deadline , and now we are better off as a team ? Size and physicality on blueline, and all of a sudden our diminutive forwards feel more protected and playing like they are all 6 inches taller and 25 lbs heavier . How different this season might have gone if they had realized this in off season, and also filled those other two glaring voids we had left over from previous season ? To managements credit they did realize it , but did nothing to correct it - instead wasting their time and energy on going after one component in Heatley and blaming MacT . and coaching for their problems . Another wasted year that needn't have been . Player development and assessment thwarted by inability to give team needed tools to be successfull , that's what is so frustating about this entire season .

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#37 MrCondor
March 22 2010, 09:17AM
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What is the general opinion on calling up Eberle for 5 games at the end of the season?

How could 5 games hurt his development? On the other side, the Oil will be facing some teams fighting for playoff position so it would give Eberle a chance to see the real NHL before the summer.

I think we need to light a fire underneath him before the offseason (not implying that he isn't motivated already). He is tearing up the A right now, so shouldn't we feed him a slice of humble pie before the season is up?

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#38 Ender
March 22 2010, 09:51AM
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Chaz wrote:

Kudos to Comrie for going after Nichol like he did. I heard it was because Nichol was the guy who gave Paul Comrie the concusion that ended his career. Can anyone confirm this?

If it is true, I like it. Avenging your family honor years after the fact....revenge really is a dish best served cold.

I was able to confirm that Scott Nichol played in the game that ended Paul Comrie's playing career. January 7, 2000 was the last time Comrie ever played professional hockey. His Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Rochester Americans that night 4-1, and Comrie had a goal and an assist in that game.

Paul took an elbow to the head during the game, but I think most people didn't view it as serious at the time; Paul finished the game. It wasn't until afterwards that the real damage was discovered. No one seems to talk about who actually delivered the elbow but if it was Scott Nichol he wasn't assessed a penalty for it. Scene of the crime, but no supporting evidence at this time.

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#39 Chris.
March 22 2010, 10:08AM
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Re Bizarre coaching decisions... why was Strudwick and Chorney killing the Shark penalty to start the third period? Was Gilbert/Whitney still tired after 18min of rest? ~It's not like your fragile young goalie is pitching a shutout when a Shark player easily beat Strudwick to the outside to ring one off the crossbar!~

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#40 Crash
March 22 2010, 10:20AM
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Chris. wrote:

Re Bizarre coaching decisions... why was Strudwick and Chorney killing the Shark penalty to start the third period? Was Gilbert/Whitney still tired after 18min of rest? ~It's not like your fragile young goalie is pitching a shutout when a Shark player easily beat Strudwick to the outside to ring one off the crossbar!~

The simple answer is because Chorney and Strudwick are a defenseman pair and they were using Chorney on the PK....what is wrong with using Chorney in a situation just like this when the season is no longer an issue?

Isn't this the perfect opportunity to use some of your younger guys in these key situations? Get them used to it at the NHL level, let them learn from mistakes, let them get better at it?

Just a thought

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#41 Archaeologuy
March 22 2010, 10:32AM
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@Crash

My guess is that's the only answer. Take the last 10-11 games as a learning tool for guys.

I dont think Chorney is in the NHL come October though.

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#42 Chaz
March 22 2010, 10:32AM
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Ender wrote:

I was able to confirm that Scott Nichol played in the game that ended Paul Comrie's playing career. January 7, 2000 was the last time Comrie ever played professional hockey. His Hamilton Bulldogs beat the Rochester Americans that night 4-1, and Comrie had a goal and an assist in that game.

Paul took an elbow to the head during the game, but I think most people didn't view it as serious at the time; Paul finished the game. It wasn't until afterwards that the real damage was discovered. No one seems to talk about who actually delivered the elbow but if it was Scott Nichol he wasn't assessed a penalty for it. Scene of the crime, but no supporting evidence at this time.

That's some nice leg work ETD. Thanks for that. I'll try to look into it a bit if I can find some time today.

For a little guy Comrie doesn't mind mixing it up here and there. Wish more of our small guys showed grit like that a bit more.

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Crash wrote:

The simple answer is because Chorney and Strudwick are a defenseman pair and they were using Chorney on the PK....what is wrong with using Chorney in a situation just like this when the season is no longer an issue?

Isn't this the perfect opportunity to use some of your younger guys in these key situations? Get them used to it at the NHL level, let them learn from mistakes, let them get better at it?

Just a thought

I have to agree, seems to be a lot of complaining about stuff that we really shouldn't be complaining about. Considering our PK hasn't been that great this year I have no problem giving guys a chance now. Maybe we have a hidden gem in our lineup, lets find them.

Also I like to say that my thought and prayers are with the Flaming family. Guy's dad passed away yesterday morning.

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Archaeologuy wrote:

My guess is that's the only answer. Take the last 10-11 games as a learning tool for guys.

I dont think Chorney is in the NHL come October though.

I tend to agree, but maybe he plays in these situations and realizes what he needs to work on over the summer.

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#45 Mike
March 22 2010, 10:40AM
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You are great when you use stats and very informative, but it is clear your knowledge of the game is sketchy.

At the end of the game Doug Murray caught Theo Peckham with an awkward hit that sent him tumbling into the boards; Peckham left the game favouring his shoulder.

Both guys went to hit each other and Murray overpowered Peckham. It sucks for Theo that he is out for the year, but the hit was perfectly clean.

Three fights in the game; Stortini fought twice, once against Staubitz after a good hit on Dan Boyle (more on that in a second) and then again against Murray a while after Murray’s hit on Peckham. Mike Comrie also squared off against Scott Nichol. None of them were really decisive wins, but I thought the Oiler came out on top all three times.

None decisive? Comrie dropped Nichol with a great shot. That is decisive. I don't know if you've ever been in a fight or not, but I wonder what you think a guy has to do to have a decisive win. Comrie won clearly.

Your arguments that are stats based are awesome, but I wonder if you actually watch the game or look at stats while you watch.

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Mike wrote:

You are great when you use stats and very informative, but it is clear your knowledge of the game is sketchy.

At the end of the game Doug Murray caught Theo Peckham with an awkward hit that sent him tumbling into the boards; Peckham left the game favouring his shoulder.

Both guys went to hit each other and Murray overpowered Peckham. It sucks for Theo that he is out for the year, but the hit was perfectly clean.

Three fights in the game; Stortini fought twice, once against Staubitz after a good hit on Dan Boyle (more on that in a second) and then again against Murray a while after Murray’s hit on Peckham. Mike Comrie also squared off against Scott Nichol. None of them were really decisive wins, but I thought the Oiler came out on top all three times.

None decisive? Comrie dropped Nichol with a great shot. That is decisive. I don't know if you've ever been in a fight or not, but I wonder what you think a guy has to do to have a decisive win. Comrie won clearly.

Your arguments that are stats based are awesome, but I wonder if you actually watch the game or look at stats while you watch.

I just watched Stortini's fist fight as I missed the first yesterday and he won that one pretty clearly. Staubitz didn't throw very much. Even the second one Murray only landed 1 maybe 2 punches.

Not that he was super dominate and kick their butts, but Stortini did more then enough to win the fights.

As for Comrie's he was losing, but came up with the big KO at the end. And are Comrie's wrists taped?

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#47 Archaeologuy
March 22 2010, 10:56AM
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@Mike

I'm sorry, but how do you figure that, "At the end of the game Doug Murray caught Theo Peckham with an awkward hit that sent him tumbling into the boards; Peckham left the game favouring his shoulder.", isnt an accurate statement?

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#48 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
March 22 2010, 10:57AM
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@Mike

Original Ogden Brother seems to have explained it fairly clearly. Comrie was losing until he delivered those last 2 punches, at which point he came out on top. That seems to be in line with what Willis wrote, doesn't it?

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#49 Crash
March 22 2010, 10:58AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

My guess is that's the only answer. Take the last 10-11 games as a learning tool for guys.

I dont think Chorney is in the NHL come October though.

Maybe it's just me but since the Olympic break I don't think Chorney has really looked that bad and unless the Oilers add more veteran d-men in the off season I can't see Chorney not being here next fall.

He certainly doesn't look worse since the Olys than Grebeshkov looked all season long IMO.

Just a hunch but I think he is here next October.

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#50 Archaeologuy
March 22 2010, 11:14AM
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@Crash

I totally disagree, I think Chorney is a mess back there. I'll give him a break though because he's playing with Strudwick, who appears done. I'll try to give him a fair chance the rest of the season.

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