Benoit Pouliot and David Perron do bad things sometimes


I’ve been a fan of sports my entire life, and I know one thing to be absolutely, immutably true for virtually any game or event: when their guy does something illegal and gets away with it, it’s deplorable and possibly criminal and the referee should have his eyes examined, but when our guy does the exact same thing it’s veteran gamesmanship and gosh isn’t he a lovable rogue.

So I’m expecting that fans of the Edmonton Oilers are pretty happy with what David Perron and Benoit Pouliot after their grey area contributions on Friday night.

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It hasn’t taken very long in Edmonton for Benoit Pouliot to live up to his reputation as a guy who takes silly penalties in the offensive zone. Some of it’s because he’s aggressive to a fault, always pushing for puck possession and that means he’s going to get whistled occasionally. Some of the rest of it is because he does things that should obviously be penalized.

When he takes a penalty, he doesn’t win himself any friends, and if he’d taken a penalty here it would not have been a good moment for the Oilers. And make no mistake: he definitely deserved a penalty.

10.25.14 Pouliot slash

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Players aren’t generally allowed to break their stick over the hands of an opponent. It’s especially bad when that play directly leads to the go-ahead goal in a tie game. No wonder Carolina assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour lost his head so badly that the ‘Canes took an unsportsmanlike penalty.


This clip shows some great work from Perron and some dogged determination from Leon Draisaitl (who was excellent), but it doesn’t explain how Draisaitl came to be standing all alone in front of the net. Carolina’s not a great team, but presumably their defensive zone coverage is a little better than that normally.

What happened? David Perron happened. The top of that clip shows a stick caught in Perron’s gear, but what wasn’t shown on camera was how that stick managed to get lodged there.

On the Carolina feed, analyst Tripp Tracy correctly identified the problem as going back to that stick, which belonged to Hurricanes defenceman Tim Gleason. Gleason lost it, went to recover, and no forward took his spot in front of the net. But when he went back to review the play, he found something else: Perron grabbing the stick out of Gleason’s hands:

Perron bad

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Gleason wanders away to go get his stick back (the puck was headed up ice at the time) and nobody covers for him. That leaves Draisaitl all alone in front to score what turned out to be the game-winner.

Chance and Gamesmanship

When we talk about hockey being a game heavily influenced by chance, we’re talking about things like that Pouliot play. Most of the time, that’s a two minute minor for the Oilers and a chance for Carolina to take the lead; on Friday it was a pivotal goal.

When we talk about gamesmanship, we’re talking about things like that move from Perron which handily demonstrates why he’s never going to win the Lady Byng. If that were Alex Burrows and Mark Fayne instead of Perron and Gleason, Oilers fans would scream murder, but because it’s Perron and Gleason I imagine we’ll see some chuckling and admiration in the comments section.

But it’s something to keep in mind the next time the Oilers are on the wrong side of a situation like this. Referees miss things; sometimes it works out in the favour of the home crowd and sometimes it doesn’t.


  • Eberle4MVP

    It led to a goal so we all love the “edge” that we play with. If Pouliot got a penalty and it led to the Canes scoring, and us losing the game, I bet most of us would be calling for his head.

    Scrivens is getting better and better in the crease, and worse and worse outside of the crease and when playing the puck. Can they not work on this in practice?

    Seems like communication from the defense is all it would take to make the correction. Right now, it’s costing us at least a goal per game.

  • Eberle4MVP

    Came across this old article while running out of things to do…

    Pouliot was once a draft bust that did not play consistent enough and did not show enough effort. His big body with effortless stride a la a Penner did not helped. After many years bouncing around teams in 3rd/4th line role, at least the “drive” is no longer an issue.

    A little off topic, apparently he also played center back in the days. Wonder if he is still an option there if Dri is send away.

  • james_dean

    Nice job of exposing Perrons “gamesmanship” now the Refs will be obligated to put the hammer down on the Oilers even harder,soon if you can pull some more of this stuff out of your hat they will be calling us divers ,whose side are you on , there is enough stuff to talk and write about that you dont have to undermine the team.

    Try to find Flames to illustrate your points next time if they are going to expose someone to critique.

      • Rdubb

        Well that is possibly the dumbest comment i have read in quit some time on anyof these “blogs”/sites, and that is about as plain and simple as i can make it…like any ref decides to go onto Oilers Nation and read what the writers/bloggers have to say…
        In all honesty, itd be my guess that the NHL looks @ all the games all over again and sees where and what happened all over the ice, plus, don’t the refs get “judged” by their boses? Do they not go over game tape too and see where they made good and poor calls?
        All-in-all, just a dumb comment

  • BlazingSaitls

    Ive watched most Flames games this year ( I hate liking you Rogers) and have been irked by how much I like watching them play. Ill never be a Flames fan in the sense where I bleed Oilers, but as a hockey fan I cheer for these guys…This has never happened before.

    I’m sitting here, watching HNIC, and I’m genuinely disappointed the Caps are winning and this exciting young Flames team is falling flat.


    • Anton CP

      Get serious, I watched the game also and was enjoying the Caps victory any Flame loss makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Lots of great hockey to watch this year.

      • BlazingSaitls

        idk man. In my case the burning hate I had for Flames is gone. From the games Ive watched this year the Flames have played exciting hockey. Other than Burke I find it easy to like this team.

        For me it balances out. I have more disdain for Canucks than I have for any pro sports team… Ever! I dont have enough hate in me to despise both the Flames and Nucks.

        I live on Van.Isle. Ive grown up with Canucks ‘fans’. They are granola eating hipsters that only wear a Canucks jersey’s if there team is a President Trophy winner. They talk crap all year when I wear my Oilers jersey even though they never watch hockey games. At least Flames fans appreciate the game.

  • ATL Oiler

    You know what sucks about this blog? Serious Gord and Fresh Mess can walk in our house, kick us in the nuts and act like its no big deal. The freedom of speech is BS when your in someone’s house and show no respect. I enjoy reading about my team and it’s no secret there are issues so WTF are you trying to prove already ? Do you boo the National anthem too? RESPECT!

  • Anton CP

    I remember 2 years ago when Oilers played against Kings that Quick hooked Gagner with his pad which led to an open net that Oilers scored. Quick then went to refs and complain about it which later on they overturned the call and disallowed the goal for goalie interference (good that Oilers won that game and the goal celebration by Yak was memorable). Top tier teams do get away with calls and sometimes can even overturn the calls by complain about it. The refs bias will never go away but NHL is still a little better than NBA which is just all fixed to no end.

  • 1. When the oilers get a penalty, IT’S ALWAYS A BAD CALL. PERIOD. THAT’S RULE #1.

    2. No matter which Oiler commits the crime, if they can prove they are able to get away with it often enough that it helps more than it hurts… Fans will love that player.

    3. Every single thing that is even close to a penalty needs to be called(if it gives the Oil a PP)

    Them’s the rules. I didn’t make ’em.

  • Death Metal Nightmare

    Can this site inplement a mute button? So I can mute a registered user and never have to read his posts again.

    I realize they could just post as a guest, but maybe you can change that too. Just a suggestion.

  • Rob...

    Last I checked, the Oilers weren’t the team that put Daniel Carcillo under contract this year. I’ll sleep fine tonight knowing that Perron and Pouliot step slightly over the line on a nightly basis, knowing full well that neither of them is capable of pulling what Carcillo or Matt Cooke, or Zack Kassian will.

  • Rob...

    For tonight’s game will the Oil utilize the scoreboard to bring election results as they are being counted from Edmonton Whitemud and the 3 Calgary seats? It will be one of those educational moments for all.