Oilers Vs. Canucks: Post-Game

Edmonton Oilers: 2

Vancouver Canucks: 1

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

  1. Nikolai Khabibulin –  A brilliant performance on the evening.  The performance was so brilliant in fact that I’ll even credit for giving up a morale-crushing goal for the Canucks just seconds after the game ended.
  2. Patrick O’Sullivan – O’Sullivan was in on both goals, but aside from that he had jump all night and was great on the penalty-kill.
  3. Lubomir Visnovsky – There were at least a handful of other guys who could have gotten this spot, but Visnovsky made calm plays all night and easily the Oilers’ best defenceman (with all due respect to Ladislav Smid’s goaltending turn).  

Other guys just missing the cut for me include Sam Gagner (game-winning goal), Dustin Penner (a far better player in the second half of the game) and Taylor Chorney (who played as well as I’ve seen him play since his WJC days).

Random Thoughts

  • The idea that fighting deters pests is at times laughably false.  Zack Stortini, for instance, was cleanly beat in a fight by Rick Rypien early in the game but over the rest of the night hounded everyone (including Rypien).  He threw hits, he agitated, and he was in the crease slashing at the puck and running Luongo.  Fans around these parts sometimes focus too much on the guys on the other side doing stuff like this; I have my doubts about how much it affects winning but Stortini was perfect in the role tonight.
  • Nikolai Khabibulin is glacially calm.  I’m still not a fan of the contract, but I’m pulling for the player and I have to admit that I love watching him in net.
  • All night, the Canucks commentators were saying how the Oilers were owed powerplay opportunities, but the referees made up for it by putting their whistles away in the third when the Oilers got away with a ton.
  • What was Ales Hemsky doing on the ice with a little over a minute to go?  He was brutal all night – quite possibly because he’s still day-to-day – and laying down when he was stick checked as he sauntered in on an empty net was ridiculous.  I like the player, but he wasn’t up to it tonight and I think it says something about the Oilers’ RW depth that Quinn chose to send him out.
  • On a similar thought, Jason Strudwick shouldn’t see the ice after the 10:00 mark of the third.
  • Miserable night for Mike Comrie, who took three penalties (although the slashing call was weak) and got away with at least one blatant interference call.  Pat Quinn already took a shot at him in one post-game press-conference, and the Oilers need Comrie to play a smarter game.
  • The Canucks kept trying to overload the right-hand side of the net; better than three-quarters of the shots that they took were from that half of the ice.
  • Ryan Stone left the game early with what looked like an ankle injury.

Comment of the Night

From Victoria at 1:21 PM:

"Khabibulin struggles more v. the Canucks than any other team, he is only 6-16-3 with a 3.39 GAA. He hopes to change that tonight."

But then, he’s been great against the Flames in previous years and now he seems to suck against them. Maybe that trend will continue. 

Highlights from the Press Conference

"We’re going to get better. I don’t want to say fragile, but we’re still a team with a low threshold."

"We want to be better in our own zone, and we will eventually.  Tonight it didn’t kill us – it hurt us, cost us a goal."

"We’re going to screw up, but that’s okay because good teams screw up too.  But at least it’s errors of commission rather than hiding in the turtle shell."

"Penner… set a tone."

"Our defence [in the final 20 seconds] looked up and saw all the bodies coming at them and decided to back up and pray, it looked like."

"MRI tomorrow [for Stone]."

"We’ve got four, maybe five guys showing symptoms [of the flu]… we’re going to take a day away from each other and see if we can nullify anything that might be going on."



  • Ender

    As has been mentioned by a couple guys including Jon, Horcoff looked awful out there. I got my wife to watch the game with me (she's not a huge fan, but she'll consent to keep me company on occassion) and she kept pointing out that "we weren't too good at hitting the shot off the pass". Then she started noticing that it seemed like it was always the same player that was missing the puck – number 10.

    "Who's that number 10?" she asked. "He's awful."

    "Ummm, that would be our starting center," I replied.

    From that point on, we kept track of every missed one-timer. Almost every single one was – you guessed it – Whiffcoff. It was amazing how you'd see a guy miss, think "It can't possibly be Horc again", look for the number 10, and sure enough there it would be. It was morbidly funny by the end of the game.

    Maybe while everyone else is practicing faceoffs, I can think of an alternate skill for Horcoff to work on.

  • No Clue

    Re: Chorney, what happened to Peckam? I would have thought that he would have been the first D call-up. Even though Chorney has played better than expected, Peckam is "crustier".

  • Harlie

    I agree with most of what you said JW but I disagree in regards to Quinn sending Hemsky out there last night. I think he should have been made to play and I was actually surprised that he looked better than he was letting on or feeling. That boneheaded play at the end of the game nearly cost us once again and the only fault Quinn had there was sending Ales out at that time as we've been burnt already by him in the last minute of games this year with him wanting a perfect empty netter versus an ugly one. That mishap falls solely on Ales' shoulders if you ask me.

  • Harlie

    8 games in, how much does Murray wish the Oiler deal had held up?

    Michalek 4 points

    Cheechoo 2 points

    Combined 0 +/-

    Penner 9 points

    Cogs 5 points

    Smid 3 points

    Combined 18 +/-

    Best deals are the ones never made

  • Milli

    Divisional game, a win is a win!!!!! And, when your sitting in your basement bar, with a few canuckleheads ( as I live in BC), a win is even frickin SWEETER!!!!!! What can you say about Bulin, he has been money!!! Can't wait to see what happens once the flu bug departs, I still am waiting for the real Hemmer to show up, and sooner or later, he will take over a few games.

  • Ender

    Milli wrote:

    I still am waiting for the real Hemmer to show up, and sooner or later, he will take over a few games.

    Mmmmmm. Sooner or later, Stortini might take over a few games as well. Oh, wait . . . that already happened? Well, sooner or later, Pisani might take over a few games too. Or maybe Pouliot.

    Wait a second . . . Hemsky plays on what line again? And we're how many games in?

  • I'm a Scientist!

    So who is going to come in for Stone? If he needs an MRI and crutches to leave the building, i think he won't be back by Thursday.

    With three games in four days coming up, i sure hope that flu bug passes quickly!

    *straps on his medical mask*

  • smiliegirl15

    If Gagner and Cogliano have been centred with Moreau and Stortini to get them going, can't the same be done with Horcoff? He's not even a shadow of the player he was before his shoulder surgery. Did he lose all his hockey abilities under the knife? Cogs or Gagner would help out Hemsky I think. At least they'd be able to finish some of those passes (I hope). Cogliano may not be first line centre material but he certainly has the speed to either create space for Hemsky or take a pass.

  • The Fish

    Everyone one has pointed out good and bad so I will go elsewheres. We missed Brule and Stoners physical play. Gilbert and Grebs are a disaster in their own end. Time and again, Gilbert gets pushed off the puck or outmuscled, leading to the puck staying in the Oil end for extended periods of time. Chorney out hits both of them and he is a smaller player. Grebs is contributing at the other end of the ice, at least. We miss Souray, and if Peckham is ever ready for the NHL, that would be a big help, at least along the boards, and taking a player out of the play. I think Gilbert will be the odd man out, down the road.

  • Dan the Man

    First thing….I'm loving the O'Sully for Cole trade so far…nice work on that one Tambo

    Second thing, I'm also wondering about Pekham. If Staios and Souray are going to be out for a while Pekham might be a nice option instead of having to play Strudwick every night or if Chorney's game tails off a bit.

    Last thing, Stortini should really know not to trade punches with Rypien, that guy has the quickest hands in the league. I do however admire Stortini for his willingness to do so.
    Rypien ahs no issues with fighting bigger guys. I give Rypien a slight edge in his fight with Hal Gill a few weeks ago and he gives up 8 inches and 70 lbs to Gill. Gill isn't a great fighter but you'd think he could just throw Rypien around like a rag doll given the size difference.


    • Skidplate

      I think Stortini wanted to see how his summer training with Laraque helped him out. Stortini fought Rypien last year and got beat, and he is still better.

      Have to admire Stortini though, he still played the pest role after losing the fight.

        • THREE 1ST NAMES

          he was defending…. it was just with his face. …. when you have a guy punching that fast it is hard to defend you just have to out last the flury, and when his hands drop because he is tired, throw one down the pipe and connect and it is lights out.

          • Ender

            Lol. That is the greatest strategy I have ever heard of; let the other guy punch you until he gets tired.

            If that's the advice Storts was trying out last night, I think he might be better off just going back to being Huggy-Bear.

          • The Fish

            ~that must be the oiler strategy with getting outshot as well, wear out the other teams arms then dangle right through the middle of them in their state of perilous exhaustion.~

  • Chaz

    Dear Mr. Horcoff,

    I like you as a player Sir and I try to defend you when others bash your contract, but if you don't stop wiffing on your chances (IE: one timer in the slot and your breakaway opportunities last night) I won't be able to defend you for much longer.

    If you aren't working on your one-timer in practice, then what are you working on?

    A Concerned Fan,

  • Chris.

    Seriously… not to detract from the conversation or anything, but is it possible for the nimwits who post here to clean up their gramatical errors? Reading a majority of the posts here it looks like some backwater know nothings are posting here. If I were a fan of another team reading these posts I'd laugh my ass off.

    Clean it up, review what you're writing and for the love of God… learn how to use their, there and they're.

    On that note, go oil. The wall was amazing today and that's why we won. Period

    In regards to spelling errors on here, your spelling of " grammatical" is in error. There are two "M"s not one. Secondly, the word nimwit does not exist ..in the dictionary..the word you probably mean is..Dimwit..which means ..a stupid or slow thinking person !! which you have proven.
    Proverb…don,t point out the speck in your neighbors eye, when there is a plank in your own!!

    Just to be fair to all the bad spellers on here..that you have chosen to slam!!

  • Chris.

    While I agree Horc was not good tonight, and hasn't had a great start, it's worth remembering that he's had to ice down his foot just to get it into his skate. Playing on a hurt foot will affect your ability to one-time a shot properly. He did muff the breakaway, but that's what seems to generally happen when you struggle – he just needs a couple goals to get rolling.

    For all the bile this summer, I think a few props are due to Tambi. Bulin and Comrie are an upgrade and it's fair to say that Sully's impact was pretty much overlooked by the Nationeers. Still can't fathom though why we don't have a veteran centre.

    • Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things

      Let's maybe hold off on that kind of stuff.

      At the end of the day, spelling and grammar is important to convey your thoughts in such a manner that they won't be misunderstood. That being said, it's probably not important enough to raise a big fuss.

      "Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

      ~Albert Einstein

      ^ Try to keep that in mind when you're on the internet, because anonymity seems to amplify the latter.

    • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

      LOL…you missed your apostrophe in the word aren't … and was oil king not being a jerk to all of us?..you included?..for making grammatical mistakes on here like you just did..!Proof..youR a big Pussy "Nimwit" like him…(Cu..nt is too good of a word for you)!!

  • I should point out that all of you discussing grammar and spelling should have maybe taken a closer look at the ON comments code, where I wrote:

    "Also, pointing out other commenters' spelling or grammatical errors is often tragic, since people who do so invariably spell something incorrectly themselves. Do you really want to be that douchebag?"

    Come you guys, wasn't there a hockey game on last night, or something?

  • Chris.

    Could someone please explain to me why nobody knocked Wellwood on his arse? One of the single greatest things about the NHL is penalties in the last three seconds are completely irrelevent! Take the freebee already: Tackle him, punch him in the freakin mouth, and laugh at him as he falls! If your teammates are smart enough to avoid touching the puck for the reamaining two seconds as it rolls harmlessly to the boards: its game over! JEEEZE! This team drives me nuts some times.

    • Gregors dirty 'stash

      I've always wondered about that.

      Not sure if Brownlee, Gregor or Jonathan (Whatchoo talkin' about "Corsi"?) Willis know this and could clarify:

      Does the NHL have a history of handing down suspensions to players that will cross-check/hold/mug/maul/poop-on the opposition in the dying seconds of a game during a flurry to prevent tying goals?

      I imagine the league wouldn't want to see people disregard the rules in the dying seconds to protect a lead, and the only way I can think of enforcing that is through suspension or fine.

      – Word

      • Dan the Man

        I'm pretty confident the NHL isn't going to hand down a suspension for a trip or a hold and that's all it would have taken last night.

        Also Stauffer says Staios will be out another 2 weeks and Souray 4-6 weeks

      • Hemmertime

        Those are called "Good penalties" and make for a smart hockey player. You're taking a risk because you might get called and they have a 6 on 4 for a few seconds but its a good penalty to take and with 3 seconds left in a game there are no rules (besides no fighting – I think NHL has a rule about fights in last 5 mins I heard).

    • I'm a Scientist!

      Hey, did you go look for the smoking hot chick last night? My score prediction was waaaaaay off (7-5 HA!), so I imagine my smoking hot chick was actually a dude with missing teeth, a mullet, a cheese oder and was sporting a Maple Leaf jersey — to an Oilers/Canucks game. Sorry about that!

      • SquidRx

        I looked, but was over in section 112 so to far away to confirm or discount your claim. The jumbotron did show a number of ladies whom one would call pleasing to the eye though. And the game was quite entertaining too.

  • Dan the Man

    I think Quinn might be a better quote than MacT. This is pure gold…

    “Our defence looked up and saw all the bodies coming and just decided to back in and pray.

  • Other than the gaffe at the end of the game (I hate lazy plays like that), I thought Hemsky was ok. Sure he didn't score, but he took 8 shots (only 3 hit the net) and handled the puck ok. But then again… I was judging this years Hemsky, not the flashy guy we are used to from years past. If he was that bad, would Quinn play him for 19:16?

  • Are there any updates on injuries? Is Pisani getting close? Is Stone out long term? Have Souray and Staios started exercising yet? Is anyone else on the team sick with the flu?

    I'm assuming there won't be much information available today as it is a day off, but hopefully we can find out a bit more during tomorrow's practice.