OLYMPIC HANGOVER

Brian Sutherby
February 28 2014 07:14AM

Olympichangover

Well it’s safe to say, I miss watching Team Canada play in the Olympics for gold.  I found last night's game incredibly boring and I’m sure many felt some sort of emotional letdown.  If you didn’t right away, surely a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild did the trick.

FIRST GOAL

Just a lack of communication here, generally the defenseman will play the puck carrier and try to step up while the forward coming back is responsible for filling in behind the d-man, picking up another guy or retrieving the puck if chipped to the corner. Obviously the exchange near the blue crossed everyone up, but they need to talk more. Too easy.

SECOND GOAL

This one is all on the forwards in my opinion. Veillieux finds a little soft spot on Eberle but where are Gagner and Hemsky going?  Eberle is clearly the first forward back and takes his man to the net. He probably should have released to Ference a little sooner but regardless, Gagner just sort of floats into the left side of the zone. Even worse Hemsky can see the whole ice and also floats back to the left side, not trying to fill Eberles wing where the eventual goal was scored from at all.  

THIRD GOAL

Just as the Oilers were making their usual third period push when trailing, the Wild put the nail in the coffin.  A lost battle on a contested puck keeps the puck in the zone and eventually a goalmouth scramble allows fan favorite Dany Heatley to make it 3-0.

TEAM PLAYERS

Last night midway through the first period Nugent-Hopkins got into a scrum with Keith Ballard where they exchanged more than a couple cross checks and face washes.  On the other side of the net Taylor Hall was being confronted by Matt Cooke.  Neither guy backed down which was great to see, but where was everyone else?

I read somewhere the other day Dallas Eakins wanted five guys involved when things like this occurred, yet the two defenseman on the ice Petry and Belov just stood on the blue line watching their best players get pushed around. For what, an offensive zone draw in the middle of the first period?

When it’s your best players in a situation they likely shouldn’t be in, it doesn’t matter who you are, you get involved and stick up for one another.

POWER PLAY

It was once again a struggle as they were really unable to sustain any kind of pressure. To add to the misery, it was nice of Belov (who was on for every goal against as well) to nonchalantly give Minnesota a glorious opportunity late in the third on the PP.  He looked very concerned about turning it over too. Watching effort like that is so frustrating.

MATT HENDRICKS

Olympichangover3

While many were still on break last night, how can you not like what this guy has brought to this team since coming over from Nashville? He’s not flashy, he’s not going to score a ton, but he knows his role and you don’t have to worry about him showing up to play every night.

Other teams have to be aware of when he is on the ice because he will finish every check. How many guys can you say that about the last few years around here?

Anyways...Bring on the Flames.

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A Moose Jaw Warriors alumnus and veteran of 460 NHL games with the Capitals, Ducks and Stars—Sutherby is here to regale us with tales of the WJHC, life as an NHL player and much more from a Pro’s perspective. Co-Host's the Jason Gregor show on TSN1260 on Tuesday's from 3-5 and Coaches at www.proconnectionhockey.com Twitter:@briansutherby
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#51 Fresh Mess
February 28 2014, 12:37PM
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Word is Erhoff has submitted a list of eight teams he DOES NOT want to be traded to. How much you want to bet Edmonton is on that list?

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#52 vetinari
February 28 2014, 12:43PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Word is Erhoff has submitted a list of eight teams he DOES NOT want to be traded to. How much you want to bet Edmonton is on that list?

He likely wrote down "just Edmonton", eight times...

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#53 pkam
February 28 2014, 12:44PM
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Fresh Mess wrote:

Word is Erhoff has submitted a list of eight teams he DOES NOT want to be traded to. How much you want to bet Edmonton is on that list?

I couldn't care.

Look at our defense and tell me how many would stand up for their teammates. I can count one, Ference.

If we want to change the culture here, I don't think Ehrhoff is the answer.

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#54 Sevenseven
February 28 2014, 12:54PM
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This organization has cancer. Not the head coaches, not the players, but kevin lowe and the boys on the bus.

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#55 Old Timer
February 28 2014, 12:57PM
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I've been a big Taylor Hall fan from day one but I wish someone would teach him how to actually skate. He has great straight ahead speed but doesn't know how to turn or use his edges properly. As my son said last night, he skates like Bambi.

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#56 Rod from Viking
February 28 2014, 01:11PM
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@Brian Sutherby

Great article, this team has to learn to be a team before it is going to ever win, anyone that ever played knows this. Being a team means no one takes liberties with any player, you step up everytime. This season is done and it needs to show it is a team for the rest of the year and then maybe a free agent will give Edmonton a second look.

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#57 ?
February 28 2014, 03:37PM
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Taking a look at the goals again this is what I was thinking of.

First one is on RNH. As the centre, he should've shadowed Parise and followed him to the outside, allowing Belov to stick with Granlund. RNH ends up in no man's land covering empty ice, Belov is forced to follow the puck carrier instead of Granlund, and the puck ends up in the net.

2nd one was a tough one to give up. Eberle. Ference, and Belov are all in decent position, except Eberle is too far back to stop the pass to Veillux. Ference also screens Scrivens, which doesn't help, but for me, this goal is a result of the centre, Gagner, watching Eberle try to pick up his slack. Gagner just seems uber-lazy. He was almost level with Veillux, "19", at the start of the play, and he just glides back defensively. Disgusting.

3rd one: Eberle needs to get that puck out.

Great article by the way Brian, love this kind of analysis of the actual plays

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#58 Serious Gord
March 01 2014, 08:02AM
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Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things wrote:

Don't wish for this. I know you're frustrated, but what you've got in Edmonton is better than no NHL hockey at all. I moved to Winnipeg from St. Albert in 1997 and had to go 15 years without seeing anything better than an exhibition game.

How long after the oil left would it be before a Florida team or PHX moved here?

New stadium, perennial waiting list for seasons tickets. Buoyant economy.

EDM is not WPG.

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#59 Serious Gord
March 01 2014, 08:05AM
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Denise Rex wrote:

Everybody is always complaining about Smitty on the power play or other but if the rest of these young humps would have his work ethics even at his age of 38 the team would be a playoff contender. He is a real role model and does anything to help the team while never complaining. Hell, he was once the face of the Oilers, was screwed over by Lowe yet came back and we treat him like this? I hope he gets traded and wins the cup because he deserves better then this crap. All the bitchers are the young meth upped screw balls that hate their lives because Mommy and Daddy are divorced and their peers are out to prove how much we hate our lives. YIKES!!!

He would be a real role model if he showed some pride and retired rather than humiliate himself and drag down the team all for the sake of collecting his paycheck.

As for work ethic - there are older guys in the league who seem to have stayed in better physical shape than he has - still have speed. Perhaps that speaks to his level of commitment.

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#60 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 01 2014, 11:19AM
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"Even worse Hemsky can see the whole ice and also floats back to the left side, not trying to fill Eberles wing where the eventual goal was scored from at all. "

If Hemsky collapses into the slot to take the shooter, literally all five Oilers are collapsed tightly into the same strong side surrounding the puck carrier around the face-off dot.

Surely, someone has to stretch the opposition team out, challenge the points and cover the weak side.

SURELY!!!

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#61 Romulus' Apotheosis
March 01 2014, 11:23AM
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Brian Sutherby wrote:

You can have Belov and his laziness and complete lack of care.

I'll take the guy all day on my team that cares and maybe crosses the line for being too intense from time to time

You don't think laziness might be a projection?

How comfortable are you making hockey decisions on the basis of bias-prone variables like "body language"?

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