How not to kill a penalty

Jonathan Willis
January 23 2013 09:36AM

There were a lot of really nice goals in last night’s game. On the positive side, Nail Yakupov’s first NHL goal was a perfect finish to some very bright passing; Justin Schultz also scored with a wicked shot. On the negative side, the Oilers’ defence and penalty kill were cut to ribbons in all sorts of interesting ways.

For my money, no single goal was more illustrative of the night it was than the Patrick Marleau goal that made the hockey game a 4-1 affair.

The Oilers start the kill reasonably well. The Sharks have gained centre, but the Oilers have Petry (2), Belanger (20), and Petrell (37) forming a solid line and Ladislav Smid (5) is well-positioned to backstop them.

This is where the mistakes start. Joe Thornton (19 for San Jose) has the puck and Petrell has oddly decided that it’s more important for him to help his two teammates defend the middle than it is to prevent Dan Boyle (22 for San Jose) from gaining the Oilers zone. Notice also Joe Pavelski (8 for San Jose) lurking on that same side – Petrell’s puck-watching basically cedes the zone and that entire side of the ice to San Jose.

Just to make extra sure they gain the zone unopposed, Boyle moves in tight to Petrell. Thornton passes to Pavelski, who will gain the line with speed. San Jose has gained the zone without any trouble thanks to a total absence of Oilers on that side.

Pavelski has the puck at the bottom of the screen, the Sharks have four guys in the zone, and Petrell’s scrambling to get back over to that side. Also worth noting is the fact that there’s a gap between Jeff Petry and Eric Belanger, and that those two players are moving sideways, while Patrick Marleau (12 for San Jose) is making for that gap at high speed.

The strange thing here is that the ratio of defenders to attackers in this shot is 4:2 in favour of the Oilers, but neither Sharks attacker is in any danger. Petrell and Smid are containing Pavelski – limiting his pass options – but he has time and space. Petry seems to have realized that he should be getting back to the net but Marleau has a step on him and worse is on the inside; with Marleau’s speed that’s an impossible combination to beat.

Pavelski finds a way to beat Smid with the pass, and Marleau is all alone in front; the Oilers deserve a goal against at this point.

But they’re spared! Marleau tips the puck just wide of the net and into the far corner. Petry’s now the closest guy to the puck, and all four Oilers are close to where they want to be to defend now that the puck is in the zone.

But the puck zips around and Joe Thornton pinches in to stop it. Still, the Oilers have more or less recovered; Smid’s in front of the net, Petry’s pressuring Thornton and Belanger and Petrell are in decent spots to handle any Sharks attackers coming in from the blue line.

Thornton rips the puck past Petry and back to Marleau; Ladislav Smid moves to engage immediately.

Smid isn’t gentle, but Marleau had the better position and ultimately skates away with the puck. He skates to the corner with it.

Marleau passes to Boyle at the point. There are two Sharks in front of the net, being watched by Petry and Smid, so Boyle has two passing options – he can send it to the other point or back to Marleau coming out of the corner.

Boyle passes to Marleau.

Marleau cycles back toward the point and suddenly has a bunch of options. Logan Couture (39 for San Jose) has left the net and now sits squarely in the middle of the Oilers’ box with nobody close to him – Jeff Petry had been covering him near the net, but has decided to stay near the crease. Smid, meanwhile, has left Joe Thornton alone in the corner to put pressure on the puck carrier – but Smid’s stick can only cover one of the two lanes. Dan Boyle in the high slot has two guys on him – Petrell blocking the pass and Belanger blocking his route to the net.

Unsurprisingly, Marleau chooses Couture in the centre of the box. Couture has space but Jeff Petry is in good position to prevent him from getting to the net.

With the route to the net blocked, Couture passes the puck off to Thornton. Thornton now has three plausible passing options – Couture is closest, Boyle is in a good spot on the far side but has multiple Oilers in that passing lane, while Marleau is in the high slot with Lennart Petrell nearby.

Thornton hesitates for just a moment, and then passes in front of Marleau in the low slot. Now everything rests on Petrell; Petry has come low to challenge Thornton, Smid has cut to the net to block off Couture, and Belanger has stuck to Boyle.

Marleau, who knows what’s coming, moves toward the pass at full speed; Petrell takes a moment to react and that moment makes him irrelevant. Belanger is still blocking out Boyle, which is all he can do at this point – if Dubnyk makes the initial save, keeping Boyle at bay is going to be a big concern. Smid abandons Couture at the side of the net to try and get in Marleau’s shooting lane, while Petry is unable to do much of anything because he’s still close to Thornton.

Marleau scores.

It’s a long sequence, with a plethora of mistakes. Eric Belanger doesn’t seem to make any major ones, but he’s also called on to do less as the puck spends very little time in his area of coverage. Ladislav Smid fails to block a pass to Marleau in the slot, and then loses a puck battle to Marleau behind the net – small and understandable mistakes. On the initial Marleau chance, Jeff Petry is too slow to get back to the net – he needs to make a beeline back to his defensive position after the Sharks gain the zone, but he doesn’t and Marleau gets a great opportunity.

The real goat on this particular penalty kill is Lennart Petrell. Petrell’s weird decision to cut to the middle rather than hold his side of the line gave the Sharks an easy zone entry. Once in the defensive zone, Petrell just doesn’t defend; the most glaring example being on the eventual goal where he seemingly has no idea that Patrick Marleau is right behind him and picking up speed, but he also spends most of the time prior to that moment chasing the play – the puck keeps rotating through his zone of the ice and he keeps going to where it just was.

The point here isn’t really to pick on Petrell, who (rightfully) earned plaudits for his work on the PK last year. I chose this goal because it did a good job of demonstrating the kind of things the Oilers were doing on the penalty kill last night. The Sharks have a collection of great talent that executed well, but too many of the goals against were a direct result of unforced errors by the Oilers.

Twice on the night the Oilers faced 2-on-2 situations at their own blue line and played them terribly – on both occasions, the Oilers ended up with two guys on one Shark, with the other Shark free to do whatever he wanted. Even the Marc-Edouard Vlasic goal was less a result of Ryan Whitney’s poor speed than it was his decision to pivot and see what was happening rather than skating hard after the puck; he was beat on the ensuing foot race because he then had to turn back around and by that time Tommy Wingels was past him.

NATIONDRAFTS

All week long the Alberta Nation Network will be pumping our first ever NationDrafts online draft. With over $10,000 in prizes to win and a portion of the proceeds going to local charities - it is the most fun you can legally have on the internet. Only $20 per team - Click here to enter.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, 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.
Avatar
#1 Pharmboy
January 23 2013, 09:39AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
7
cheers

The fist period made me want to cry.

Avatar
#2 tileguy
January 23 2013, 09:43AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

let me be the fist to say (or second or third) that the breakdown of that play was well executed by you JW, great job, do more of that, I like pictures.

Avatar
#3 SteelStewart
January 23 2013, 09:55AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Can't wait to see Potter in the pressbox rather than Fistric...

Avatar
#4 Truth
January 23 2013, 10:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

Also on display last night:

- How not to sing a national anthem. I don't care that Paul Lorieau retired, Mario even made a comeback to help the struggling franchise. How about it Paul? Hopefully she's not the new regular.

- How not play goal. I don't care that the defense was horrible, it would have been nice to see one shot either saved or the rebound controlled. Just a horrible effort. If Dubnyk plays like that the Oilers will be requiring a new starter real quick. Just please not anyone that rhymes with Bluongo

Avatar
#5 Spydyr
January 23 2013, 09:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

The team showed how not to kill a penalty fist and foremost last night

Edit: Oops missed it by that much

Avatar
#6 Pharmboy
January 23 2013, 09:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

My first fist! And it actually applied to the game. Sorry, it will probably never happen again.

Avatar
#7 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
January 23 2013, 09:46AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

This is an excellent analysis, Willis.

This stuff can happen really quickly at game speed, so it's nice to have someone to break it down. I really appreciate it.

Avatar
#8 Dave Manson
January 23 2013, 09:52AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Not to sound too much like a star-crossed, dreamy fan - but if you look past the first period shellacking (awful PK)... the team was plucky. They pushed back and never looked like a team that had resigned itself to losing. They were a goalpost and a couple of saves away from tying it up. This team has the skill - finally! They just need to quit reading their press clippings, and get to work.

Avatar
#9 ef6901@gmail.com
January 23 2013, 10:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@SteelStewart

I concur, seems like for almost every goal against he is seen sulking back to the bench to analyze what went wrong. Let's give Fisty a chance.

Avatar
#10 Matt Henderson
January 23 2013, 10:10AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I'm still chapped at the Anthem singer.

I thought for sure you would have looked at the sequence that allowed 2 Sharks completely unattended in the slot. This one is good because it's more likely to happen again.

Avatar
#11 Rama Lama
January 23 2013, 10:32AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Great analysis on one event.........maybe you should consider doing play by play analysis for the Oilers JW?

Any ways, beyond the obvious, me thinks that the real issue last night was men playing agains boys. The sharks are big and can skate, we can skate but are small. There were too many plays where we could not contain their size and will and they made us pay. We can blame this on first period penalties but those were an indication of our inability to handle their size. WHen we finally figured this out we started using our speed to nuteralize some of their size.........which we shoud have done all along.

I for one would move Hartikinanen up to the first line who can help create some time and space for Ebs and RNH. Let Hall play with Gagner and Hemsky. Yukapov ned to play with a couple of veterans until he figures out how to position himself and they could use some break out speed on their line.

We need some top six size and until we get it big teams will feast on us. If I were Tamby I would be looking for that type of player in the draft. Russia had a player ( very big, strong and fast) in the world juniors,.........I forgot his name? He played a very strong game with his size and skill and scored a highlight reel goal against us........I would be scouting this kid as he would be a great fit with Yukapov and our small forwards.

Avatar
#12 Phixieus666
January 23 2013, 10:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I think this game is the perfect example of why the Oiler's won't make the playoffs this seasons or be very successful in following seasons unless they make some moves. I can't fault Dubby for many of the goals. You can't expect you goaltender to play well all the time if you throw him under the bus and in this case a 100 car freight train.

First off, and I'm not making excuses, the refs were full of all kinds of BS right from the start. Three high sticks all got missed among other BS calls all night. That Second penalty on Potter was all kinds of crap especially considering the Sharks did the same thing a little later and didn't get call for it. Don't get me wrong the refs had nothing to do with the Oiler's losing this game. The entire team is at fault including the coaching staff. You'd think after the second or third goal you might want to call a time out and get the guys all settled down but what do I know.

As to all the people that say size doesn't matter if you have skill, well this game is a clear example that that line of thinking is a load of crap. The Sharks are a big team that doesn't hit. Well that my friends is because they realize they don't have to hit to use their size effectively. All they had to do was push the Oil players off the puck and get control or use their size to shelter the puck. This game needed a crazy a$$ after the third goal to send a message and nothing happened. That crazy Finn on the Barons has a spot on this team no doubt about it.

You know every teams has nights like this but at least they show they are going to fight for respect in any way they can get it. The Oilers still look like a team of small high skilled pu$$ys and that doesn't cut it in todays NHL.

Dump Bulin's contract, find a way to get Dubinsky, and then trade Gagner to Van in some way for Lou. Find a replacement for Petrell(Angry Finn please) and someone you can swap Horcoff and Smyth out for every other game or two that brings some crazy fight to the team. This Sh*ts getting embarrassing.

Avatar
#13 match16
January 23 2013, 11:07AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

@Rama Lama

Valeri Nichushkin

Avatar
#14 Cody
January 23 2013, 12:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

This is what will desperate you from other bloggers Jonathan...great job. Ok so all summer long all you hear is how good eberle is, but in my opinion hall makes this team tick, his play last night was full of passion, alot of people seem to undervalue him, he's the best player on the ice 90 percent of his games. He needs to be the captain.

Avatar
#15 K
January 23 2013, 06:57PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

The anthem singer was just plain terrible. Hope to never have to hear her again - hurt the ears too many times. Is there no one in Edmonton that can actually sing them? I miss Paul!

Avatar
#16 Pharmboy
January 23 2013, 09:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

It's O.K. Spydyr, you were like 1 nanosecond too late. I hope this was a big wake-up call and a good lesson learned by the team to be ready to play every night in the NHL or get eaten alive. They should be better from here, fortunately this game wasn't at a critical time in April, and they may have lost to the Sharks anyway, if by 1 goal or 5 it really doesn't matter.

Avatar
#17 Mantastic
January 23 2013, 09:58AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Winnick plays for the Ducks.

Avatar
#18 K-UGER Industrial Smoothing
January 23 2013, 10:09AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think that that the first period was a good eye opener and a reminder to the fellas that they can't just waltz in to a game thinking that anything is going to be handed to them.

On this particular power play goal, Lennart Petrell simply needs to be better. Stay in his lane from the get go, and the rotation for the rest of the PK isn't compromised. After over-committing initially, he had an opportunity to get back on the puck when Pavelski was coming down the wall — but being out of position he was more worried about blocking the passing lane than trying to retain puck possession.

It wasn't as if there weren't other oilers failing to skate though (IE Whitney and Hartikainen), but Petrell needs to get his ass in gear and move his feet. If he doesn't, there isn't much of a point to having him in the lineup. Granted, it's one bad game in which almost every Oiler had a poor performance, but this power play left me yelling at my tv for about a minute.

Avatar
#20 Sliderule
January 23 2013, 10:20AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The breakdowns on the PK were bad but what concerns me is breakdowns in defensive coverage at ES.Two defenceman together behind the net or in the corner chasing the puck isn't tolerated at the midget level.Yet in both of our games I have seen this happen a number of times.

This is a either lack of communication between players or poor coaching.They had better figure it out fast or it will get uglier than even that mess last night.

Avatar
#22 blue31
January 23 2013, 10:26AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Good breakdown of the play.

And I hated the anthem singer also. On the plus side, she is cute as a button, but the songs. Went. On. For. Ever.

Avatar
#23 Hat Pughes
January 23 2013, 10:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Nice Breakdown Jonathan...It looked like a Firedrill out there even in still pictures -- everyone chasing. The other notable thing is the "Timbit" coverage. In MANY of the photos all 5 players on the ice were focused and moving toward the puck carrier.

Avatar
#24 Phixieus666
January 23 2013, 10:50AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Rama Lama

I remember it starting with a K. Give me a sec and I'll find it. I believe this was the guy Yevgeni Kuznetsov

Avatar
#25 Neal
January 23 2013, 11:03AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

My observation was the same as Archaeologuy's. The Sharks were able to establish a controlled presence right in front of our net multiple times. Oilers on the other hand had nothing like that until a scrambled attempt after the game was out of reach. Now, whether this is a function of size, awareness, or game plan is arguable, but it's a serious problem. Defending the cycle is a related issue. The play of Whitney and Potter has to be looked at closely. Fistric must have been really out of shape to have sat so far. Hope this changes.

Avatar
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Dave Manson wrote:

Not to sound too much like a star-crossed, dreamy fan - but if you look past the first period shellacking (awful PK)... the team was plucky. They pushed back and never looked like a team that had resigned itself to losing. They were a goalpost and a couple of saves away from tying it up. This team has the skill - finally! They just need to quit reading their press clippings, and get to work.

You're dead on. After the first period, I wanted to see if the team was gonna call it a night or keep fighting. What I saw was, the kids, especially Hall kept fighting. The Horcoff/Smyth line though all but disappeared.

Avatar
#27 Rama Lama
January 23 2013, 11:11AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Phixieus666

Valarie Nachuskuin

Big, strong, soft hands! Will probably go late in the first round. I would move heaven and earth trying to get someone like him.

Avatar
#28 Phixieus666
January 23 2013, 11:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33 wrote:

You're dead on. After the first period, I wanted to see if the team was gonna call it a night or keep fighting. What I saw was, the kids, especially Hall kept fighting. The Horcoff/Smyth line though all but disappeared.

Don't forget MPS, that kid showed up to play.

Avatar
#29 Rama Lama
January 23 2013, 11:12AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
match16 wrote:

Valeri Nichushkin

Thanks!

Avatar
#30 Taylor Gang
January 23 2013, 11:18AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

On the plus side, schultz is looking like a stud, not that that wasn't expected. Also, was anyone else watching the game caught off guard by hall's goal?

Avatar
#31 Phixieus666
January 23 2013, 11:19AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Rama Lama

Looks like he'll be around 7th in the draft. Not too sure if we'll be there or not at this point. Sure looks like the season could go either way.

Avatar
#32 Rama Lama
January 23 2013, 11:35AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Phixieus666 wrote:

Looks like he'll be around 7th in the draft. Not too sure if we'll be there or not at this point. Sure looks like the season could go either way.

We will be better than last year and maybe move up a couple of spots..........too many small forwards, no top goalie, will hurt us.

Either way I hope that the Oilers can get at least two first round pick so we can finally draft some size with skill.

Avatar
#33 Phixieus666
January 23 2013, 11:40AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Rama Lama wrote:

We will be better than last year and maybe move up a couple of spots..........too many small forwards, no top goalie, will hurt us.

Either way I hope that the Oilers can get at least two first round pick so we can finally draft some size with skill.

It this point I'd be ready to see a trade for some proven size and skill guys. Draft picks are always ? until they prove it and this team doesn't need ?. They need guys that can play, that's why I wouldn't mind seeing a trade for Dubinsky.

Avatar
#34 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2013, 11:41AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Any video of this anthem... I keep hearing about it, but missed it last night...

JW... great break down... you really could have picked any 30 sec. window in the first to showcase Oiler malfunction (with the exception of the yak goal).

One thing that hasn't really been addressed yet is the total lack of discipline on the Oil. I don't me the defensive/structural breakdowns (those have been tackled), I mean the inability to stay out of the box.

12 penalties in 2 games... not good. not good at all.

Avatar
#35 Phixieus666
January 23 2013, 11:47AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

If the Stars can't get Benn signed and have to trade him, does anyone think Gagner and pick(conditional 2nd this year or 1st next if the Oil make the playoffs) and a prospect would get the job done?

Avatar
#36 Oiler Al
January 23 2013, 11:49AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Home opener, national TV, big hype and talk by all in the media, and these guys pull this stinker? I hold Kruger responsible, yet,again, the team comes out not ready to compete. Surely there is talent on the team. AGain, Still, the defense is a MESS..still no system to get the puck out quickly and always beat by the forecheckers... Whitney tells you he's healthy, I doubt it very much... not mobile at all, even his passing is not great.I would say Smith is not the answer as a defensive coach... we are watching the same nonsense year after year, with Smith as the maestro.And, you can t go change up 4 guys on defense, when you can't even get one decent vetern guy signed up or traded for.

Avatar
#37 thefullnelson
January 23 2013, 11:53AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Romulus' Apotheosis

The singer had a nice voice but looked like a deer in the headlights with a weird haircut.

Avatar
#38 thefullnelson
January 23 2013, 11:54AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Enjoyed the photo-breakdown! If only our actual PK was as well executed as your synopsis :(

Avatar
#39 not the real brownlee
January 23 2013, 12:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Rama, I'm normally a proponent of size but last night's result had nothing to do with size and everything to do with a team that's too stupid to wake up and start skating from the first puck drop. For the second game in a row they started the game as if it was practice.

The second and especially third periods were much better. No doubt the sharks let the foot off the gas and sone of our improvement is due to that but most of it came from realizing they are in an actual game, stopped taking stupid penalties and playing.

We even had a better cycle than the sharks in the latter frames - and that's something big teams typically do better.

Yakupov has to go back to the right wing. He wandered to the right on many occasions, especially last night, and he played right point on the power play. He looks lost on the left side and is denied his biggest advantage there - that blistering snapper/one timer.

Avatar
#40 not the real brownlee
January 23 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Phixieus666

And who will be our second line center? Where will yakupov fit? Third line? Fourth?

Avatar
#41 vetinari
January 23 2013, 12:42PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jonathan Willis wrote:

Yeah, both Schultzes behind the net wasn't nice to see.

Maybe it was where they were holding the Schutz family reunion?

But seriously, I think that almost every Oiler in the first period looked horrible and certainly, the PK was butt ugly. Also, the best way to defend a PK when your defenders are all off is to simply not draw a penalty-- especially making it a 5 on 3.

The first period was like watching 20 men collectively dig their own graves, turn their backs, shoot themselves in the head and fall backwards. It was probably the worst single period of Oilers hockey that I've seen in three to five years.

Avatar
#42 Spurzey
January 23 2013, 12:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

We need to aquire Evgeny Kuznetzov. There would be zero goals against when he is on the ice kuz netz ov.

Avatar
#43 2004Z06
January 23 2013, 01:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Yes the anthem went on for too long, but that gal was nervous as hell. You could tell by her breathing. Give her a break! I doubt anyone of you could step up on national TV in front of 17000 crazy fans and both teams and nail it. As for the game....yeah they s@#t the bed in the first but it's the second game of the season with 2 more rookies and a loooong layoff, new coach/system. I fully expect a better effort going forward. You guys need to calm the hell down! None of you could carry the jock strap of an NHL'er but you are all experts.

Avatar
#44 Pucker
January 23 2013, 01:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I was at the game. I think the Oiler's came out psyched with all the hype around here these past few days. Forgot the basics and forgot how hard they had to work. They were trying to impress the fans and weren't focusing on the defensive responsibilities.

San Jose is maybe a big soft team, but they're going to outdo a small soft team 9 out of 10 times. Joe Thornton did as he pleased.

On JW's breakdown, it looks like Thornton beat Petry to puck from further away. I think this is typical of how the first period went. And I think SJ eased up after the first, though the Oiler's did pick it up.

Duby didn't play great but he can't be faulted for most those goals.

I liked the anthem singer. I'd give her a couple more tries to fine tune her presentation.

I just love these breakdowns Mr. Willis.

Avatar
#45 GVBlackhawk
January 23 2013, 01:25PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Dave Manson wrote:

Not to sound too much like a star-crossed, dreamy fan - but if you look past the first period shellacking (awful PK)... the team was plucky. They pushed back and never looked like a team that had resigned itself to losing. They were a goalpost and a couple of saves away from tying it up. This team has the skill - finally! They just need to quit reading their press clippings, and get to work.

I'll play devil's advocate:

The Sharks stopped trying after it was 6-1. They did the Oilers a favour if you ask me. They could have kept their foot on the gas and really embarrassed the Oilers for 60 minutes if they wanted to.

They were never close to tying it up -- that is true homerism.

Overall, it was a truly pathetic performance. By my eye the worst offenders last night were:

All the defensemen. They all made crucial errors at one point or another. Whitney and Potter are not NHL quality defensemen at this point. If management would please wake up and get rid of these two, the team would be better off.

Dubnyk. Let in a real stinker on the 2nd goal. Did not get any help, but certainly did not prop the guys up when he had to. Not good enough.

Gagner. Completely unaware of what is going on in the defensive zone. Got caught puck watching instead of covering the trailing opponent.

Hemsky. Looked lost out there. Put his linemates offside on a few occasions when they had dangerous rushes.

Petrell. If he is there to penalty kill, and he cannot do the job because he is puck-watching, then he has to go. Not good enough for NHL.

Smyth-Horcoff-Hartikainen. Appeared that they were skating with sandbags attached to their legs. Second game into the season? This was very alarming to me. The two veterans were supposed to be the top penalty killing option and they were both awful.

Krueger. Why would you not take a timeout after that 3rd San Jose goal? Or the 4th goal? The Oilers did not appear to be ready or properly prepared to play last night. Coach's responsibility.

Avatar
#46 Pucker
January 23 2013, 01:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Cody wrote:

This is what will desperate you from other bloggers Jonathan...great job. Ok so all summer long all you hear is how good eberle is, but in my opinion hall makes this team tick, his play last night was full of passion, alot of people seem to undervalue him, he's the best player on the ice 90 percent of his games. He needs to be the captain.

Hall is One Hall of Player. His speed is sick, or phat or whatever the good thing is nowadays.

It is possible to think Eberle and Hall and RHN and Hemsky and Nail are all good, and still think Hall is the guy that's making things work. They really missed him last year after he got hurt. No one makes the defense back up like he does.

I'm cheering for Gagner but other than that 'sick' pass to Yakupov, he was pretty well non-existant.

Avatar
#47 Ryan2
January 23 2013, 01:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I think that everyone needs to grab a cold one, sit back, and relax. It looked like the players were too amped up for the game from the get go, which happens. FWIW, I think it was good to take a loss like this to bring everyone down a notch after reading all of the pre-season press clippings and then playing a cream puff first game of the season.

Avatar
#48 match16
January 23 2013, 01:41PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
2004Z06 wrote:

Yes the anthem went on for too long, but that gal was nervous as hell. You could tell by her breathing. Give her a break! I doubt anyone of you could step up on national TV in front of 17000 crazy fans and both teams and nail it. As for the game....yeah they s@#t the bed in the first but it's the second game of the season with 2 more rookies and a loooong layoff, new coach/system. I fully expect a better effort going forward. You guys need to calm the hell down! None of you could carry the jock strap of an NHL'er but you are all experts.

She's in a band, if she's nervous to sing in front of a big audience then I think she's in the wrong profession. That being said, I was at the game last night and thought she was pretty good.... maybe tried a little too hard to 'showcase' herself.

Avatar
#49 B S
January 23 2013, 02:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
match16 wrote:

She's in a band, if she's nervous to sing in front of a big audience then I think she's in the wrong profession. That being said, I was at the game last night and thought she was pretty good.... maybe tried a little too hard to 'showcase' herself.

singing in an indie band in front of 50 potheads is not the same as performing in front of thousands of people

Found a link for those who are interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODNOMjpEjh8

Anthems start at the 6:56 mark. I wasn't particularly impressed, but I like the fact that she gives fair effort to both anthems (not like that bas--rd in Philly). Paul Lorieau's beauty was that he sang both anthems well and didn't hot dog it at the end, he just sang the song as it was written. Anyone who's going to replace him will need to do that as well.

Avatar
#50 Romulus' Apotheosis
January 23 2013, 02:15PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@B S

thanks for the link.

she's not terrible... but it's still cringworthy... your empathy kicks in when you watch someone not excel at an anthem and it's just too awkward.

Comments are closed for this article.