Best of the Nation – 2.3.13

Jonathan Willis
February 03 2013 10:31AM

Trade talk, draft talk, and the early season's whipping boys! All that and more after the jump!

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The intersection of creativity and elbow grease

Jonathan Willis
February 01 2013 12:07PM

Thursday night’s game against San Jose was thoroughly enjoyable – both teams played very well, there were numerous chances (and solid goaltending) at both ends, and for Oilers fans the fact that their team was able to force a shootout on the second night of back-to-back games against a very good Sharks team was an exceptional outcome.

The shift I have chosen to highlight was not a key one in the game – in fact, it did not even result in a scoring chance for either side – but I do think it’s one reflective of the effort the Oilers put in.

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Aggression on the penalty kill

Jonathan Willis
January 31 2013 11:51AM

The game between the Oilers and Coyotes last night was the sort of game Jacques Lemaire would love – a “low event” affair. With goals in short supply, I wanted to highlight one penalty-killing sequence in the first period where Eric Belanger and Lennart Petrell successfully forced the Coyotes out of the Oilers end after losing a faceoff.

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How does Theo Peckham fit in on the 2013 Edmonton Oilers?

Jonathan Willis
January 30 2013 08:02AM

When the Oilers traded for Mark Fistric, it was good news for the team because it added a reliable, penalty-killing veteran who plays the game with a physical edge. It was bad news for Theo Peckham, since penalty-killing and a physical edge were the two things he added from his spot at the bottom of the defensive depth chart.

Peckham was activated off injured reserve by the Oilers on Tuesday. Now he’s likely the eighth defenceman, competing for a third-pairing job with Ryan Whitney, Corey Potter and Mark Fistric. Is there something he can do that the others can’t?

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A lot of work for an ugly goal

Jonathan Willis
January 29 2013 08:37AM

Last night, the Oilers' third goal - like all their goals - came on the power play, but it was pretty ugly. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins fired a slap pass that was redirected by Taylor Hall and then redirected by Shawn Horcoff past Semyon Varlamov in the Avalanche net.

The whole shift leading up to the goal was an interesting one.

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