Oilers vs. Canadiens: Post-Game

 
Edmonton Oilers: 3
Montreal Canadiens: 2

Play of the Night

With 30 seconds left in the second period, Nikolai Khabibulin made three saves in the span of about four seconds, including a brilliant stop on Canadiens centre Scott Gomez.  Khabibulin’s strong play was all that kept the Oilers in the game.

The Coach Is Saying…

"I think you get a lift from [Khabibulin’s play].  You’re probably sitting there saying, ‘we don’t necessarily deserve to be ahead, but here we are ahead’.  We went in that way, and in the second when we started to play, got a couple of nice chances and then a little bit of a cusion, and some bad stuff set in again.  We picked times to not be smart, stickhandling with less than a minute to go, we have the puck, turnover for a two-on-one to even give them any sort of a sniff after a pretty good period.  In the third we battled hard but Montreal had the edge in the play, and Khabibulin was sharp again."
 
"We weren’t quick enough.  Quickness comes out of positioning too, and our positioning – we didn’t help our defence a lot to find plays tonight.  We were in circles.  We drifted away, turning our backs to the puck.  Your system of moving the puck then is ad lib, and ad lib very seldom has a chance."
 
"Our down low coverage depends a lot on your third man back in, which traditionally is your centreman.  We were losing a lot, we weren’t strong enough around the net area.  Part of that is your third, your centreman in a lot of cases.  I thought I’d move Mike [Comrie] out to the wing, which is where he believes he signed to play."
 
"Early on in camp when I was looking at Sam [Gagner] I was looking for his offence because I’d heard he had lots, but more importantly I was looking for how he’d play the transition game and that’s something I hadn’t seen earlier, but in the three games that he played so far to this day I thought he was doing pretty well."
 
"This will be work.  This is a project.  All teams are projects.  I don’t know how many points I can say I would be happy with; I’ll know when I see it as far as how we play, and when I’ll take some comfort that we’re getting close.  I’ve seen some good signs from my team, but at critical moments we do good work and follow it up with chicken stuff: not awareness, not smarts, not puck placement, or in the last minutes of games.  We gave up points in the last minute of two games.  Good teams have that happen once in a while, but in the first four games to give up points of two.  Again, in the last shift of the second period, for crying out loud, and last shift the other night against Calgary, the faceoff." 
 

Fun With Numbers    

  • Montreal outshot the Oilers 35 – 19.
  • Ladislav Smid led the Oilers in ice-time (23:12)
  • Of the Oilers’ top-nine forwards last night, none had less ice-time than Mike Comrie (12:24)

Random Thoughts

Did Hemsky really need to miss that empty net?  Doesn’t he realize he’s on my fantasy team and that I’m in the fight of my life?  If he really cared about my fantasy hockey team he would have found a way to make that happen.

  • Horcsky

    Well, Khabibulin is learning what it's like to play goal for the Edmonton Oilers. Lots of defensive breakdowns, the puck in your end for extended periods of time, and shots upon shots.

    Hopefully that's not true by the end of the year.

  • Horcsky

    I watched the game at Hudson's last night. It was pretty funny, I was trying to explain that guys like JFJ/Stone were on the team to create space/crash and bang to one of my friends–then they both finally put up points. It was good to see JFJ get a goal and Stone an assist.

  • That was a beauty tip by JF and Khabby was lights out. Quinn certainly knows the story and I think he will make solid NHLers from our young guys. I wonder how much patience he will have with vets making the stupid plays?

    Anyone know Peckham's status? Is he not in game shape yet? I noticed he played in the falcons games this weekend. (both losses)

  • Librarian Mike

    Well, one thing I can say about this season so far is that it's been exciting.

    Jonathan. I saw in today's Journal that there's talk about the Oilers having a ceremony to commemorate the 84 cup win. Are they serious? Look, I'm as big a fan as you'll find, but I thought this team was done with trading on the glory years. Can we please all just let the 80s lie and focus on the now?

    Sorry, I guess that kinda turned into a rant.

    • Gerald R. Ford

      Yeah, enough with the trips down memory lane already. You can't go forward if you're constantly looking back. There's a fine line between honouring the past, and being a slave to it. I'm not a fan of the vintage jerseys replacing the copper and blue as the primary home uniform, either.

      Have to agree with the assessment of Khabibulin. Rock-solid, and he's kept the Oil in every game, despite lots of horrifically bad bounces. He might sweat like Wanye around one of those airport luggage sniffing dogs, but he's as cool as a cucumber.

      In other news, it's good to see Horcoff making progress. At least he's finally finding *a* net. Just wish it wasn't ours…

      Oh, and if it's standard procedure to add "er" to the end of a guy's name for a lazy nickname ("Hemmer" etc.) does that make Roman Hamrlik "Hamrlikker"? Wouldn't want that one…

      Food for thought on a Sunday afternoon.

    • Hemmertime

      Sigh, Those werent my Oilers, I want success now (even at the expense of "Dignity" by groveling for a star as Brownlee puts it). The Oilers are becoming the 50 year old man that still brags about his High School Quarterbacking days.

  • DiamondDave

    I'm sure you guys have heard this one:

    After a narrow victory in 1994, Boston Bruins defenseman Al Iafrate was asked why, in the closing moments of the game, he had fired the puck around the boards rather than into the empty net. His reply? "Empty-net goals are for faggots."

    As per the Hamrlik nickname, it'd be "Hammer" which is pretty B.A. to me.

  • Dan the Man

    I criticized Bulin for mot making "the big save" in past games so I'm going to give him kudos for a great game last night too. He IS the reason we left with 2 points.

  • JW WROTE: "I thought I'd move Mike [Comrie] out to the wing, which is where he believes he signed to play."

    What does this mean? Has Mike expressed displeasure about playing center? Is he unhappy already? *scratches head*

    • toprightcorner

      He has over 60% FO winning percentage, he needs to be the one to help take some for Horc. I don't care where you prefer to play, you play where you can best help your team and currently that should be on the dot, but Brule on the wing to give him more opportunity to hit guys.

      What the heck is Horc doing trying to bat a shot out of the air. I bet only a 10% chance of actually batting it into the corner. Is it just me or do the Oil try to swing at shots in front of their own net more than anyone. Take your man and let the goalie see the shot. Blocking is one thing but trying to deflect it intentionally is down right retarded!

  • Hemmertime

    Gregor said Khabby needs to steal 7 games for us this year, I think its safe to say: One.

    Side note, why does it seem ON had quicker, more frequent updates in the offseason than during the year? Granted most of those were Willis and he has his new writing gig, but c'mon people. Piss off Bob Stauffer by writing articles.

  • toprightcorner

    Willis,

    Take some advice: either offer insightful analysis or don't post. You're stretching yourself too thin and this post is evidence of that, since it's pretty pointless. Usually you offer some of the best stuff, but you shouldn't add these analysis-free posts just to keep up appearances. You're going to ruin your own reputation. More is not necessarily better.

    And don't give me the "if you don't like it, don't read it" line, because I do like your stuff, but I'm going to stop clicking through if you keep offering these pointless posts, as will many of your readers I suspect. All you have to separate you from the countless other bloggers is your reputation for good analysis. Don't ruin it!

  • @ Ray.

    Are you bored? Need some nebulous conjecture to get through the day?

    Just because Quinn stated that Comrie thought he was signing up for a winger position doesn't remotely equate to his (Comrie's) dissatisfaction. Did you see the After Hours segment last night? Comrie would be just as happy washing Joey Moss' car as long as he was in the starting lineup.

    • Am I bored? Yes.

      Did I watch After Hours? Not very much anymore, I don't really care for that segment.

      Do I think that there is something underlying in that statement about Comrie? Yes.

      Am I wondering why your in a bitter mood on Thanksgiving weekend after a win? No.

  • Went to RX1 for the game last night. Pretty much enjoyed it, a win seems to do that. I have 2 issues though.

    1. The lame Hab fans behind us who continually cursed uncontrollably making it particularly less enjoyable for the younger fans in our section. We should have got security but didn't and one of the Canadiens fans decided it would be ok to fight a fellow Oiler fan right there in the seats after the final buzzer. Give the decision to the Oil fan as he got in a couple shots and then the other guys friends dragged him away before it got too ugly.

    2. Maybe Gregor, or Robin or Jonathon or anyone at the Nation can answer this for me. Why does the Oilers organization roll out the red carpet for the Canadiens and there fans when they come to town. It's bad enough we have to put up with red and white jerseys in the stands, can't do anything about that, but when Paul sings part ofthe National anthem in french and the pregame promo on the board caters to the Montreal faithful it bugs me. RX1 should be a hostile environment for the visitors not home away from home.