December 04 2011 11:48AM
Lots of anger on the internet today over last night's loss to Calgary. I would like to offer a somewhat opposing view to what has been written so far.
The best news for this fan last night was Taylor Hall's recovery timeline. Hall makes a practice of scaring the daylights out of us and then returning quickly (I'll always remember the Mem Cup broken neck play and the goal minutes later), and apparently he's miles ahead of schedule.
Here are some other observations:
- The Calgary Flames are a much better team than the standings indicate. Although not playing consistently, the Flames have made some important moves (Comeau) and are getting stellar play from some important men (JayBo, Kipper) in the lineup.Bouwmeester played 30 minutes last night against the best Edmonton can offer.
- The second game in as many nights is a tough item for any NHL team, even if both games are at home.
- Sam Gagner had his best game this season. If Samwise can get rolling while Hall is out and then find some chem with two of the bottom 6 forwards on a third line this team should get scoring from three lines from here on out. They have the talent.
- This was a winnable game. Coach Renney's
line matchingdecisions combined with some rookie errors meant the third period was more sad than glad. The Oilers were in the game entering the third period, something that's been a trend for quite some time.
- Ryan Whitney isn't going to be a go-to option against the toughs for some time.
- Oilers goaltending doesn't steal games like it did early in the season.
- The powerplay died last night. Edmonton had been very effective with the man advantage but the Flames were exceptional, in fact I don't think any of the PPs saw many breakdowns at all. Seriously. The best opportunities all night came when two forwards were a hair late into the zone. But once there, it was textbook and CGY's PK men were on their game all night long.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
Sometimes you have to give the other man his due. When Michael Douglas was 56 years old, he married 31 year old Catherine Zeta-Jones. What are you going to do? I mean holy crap, that's pretty impressive. Tip your hat, move on.
There are some things to be learned. Coach Renney was manhandled by my eye and never did find a way to either stop the 2 CGY lines that were going or get his 2 scoring lines loose. In fairness, that 4th line must have snuck out on the ice in the third period when he wasn't looking, and the kid Petry had some tough moments.
Either way, it's a loss and they've been doing that a lot lately. However, I'm less upset about this one than the Minny game where they had a 2-0 lead and found a way to blow it. Last night's game was 2 in 2 nights and Calgary wasn't exactly lying back and thinking of England.
Last night the winderkid was just averagekid, the coach got his show run, the goaltending was not spectacular and the PP was noxious. Plus some rookies looked rookieie (is that a word? should be). If it were a country song it might be "Tonight the bottle let me down" but as a hockey game it serves as an education. For a few member of the Oiler organization.