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)
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.