Oilers vs. Blue Jackets Post-Game: All Hail The New First Line

  • Edmonton Oilers: 6
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: 4

 

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

  1. Dustin Penner.  I’m not sure if everyone’s abandoned the ‘Penner’s fat and lazy’ story line that has been overplayed for the last two years, but it’s pretty clear that after a five point (two goals, three assists) effort and a standing ovation from the crowd at Rexall, the average fan is more than willing to give him a fresh slate.
  2. Lubomir Visnovsky.  Visnovsky had three points on the night and played a calm, cerebral game while the rest of the Oilers’ puck-moving defence corps (Gilbert to some degree, but especially Grebeshkov) were busy with brain cramps and giveaways.  He also scored the game winner.
  3. Ales Hemsky.  It’s not every night that the third star manages five points, but Hemsky recorded a goal and four assists tonight, and looked as good as he’s looked since, well… the Columbus game last year.

Turning Point

I’m actually not a big believer in turning points, but if there was one tonight I thought it was when Dustin Penner charged the net with the puck right after the Oilers went down four to one.  He’d end up scoring a goal just 17 seconds after Kristian Huselius had put Columbus ahead by three goals.

Random Thoughts

  • Brutal, brutal night for Denis Grebeshkov.  He was a big part of the reason that Columbus had a four to one lead to start the game.
  • I’ve been calling on Sam Gagner to replace Shawn Horcoff on the top powerplay unit for roughly a year and a half, and with his performance tonight maybe he’ll get a prolonged look. 
  • The Oilers powerplay scored three goals (including Nilsson’s empty-netter) against the league’s best penalty-kill.  Entering this game, Columbus had scored three short-handed goals while allowing only one powerplay goal against.
  • Dustin Penner shot the puck 11 times tonight.  That’s more shots than J-F Jacques, Andrew Cogliano, and Ethan Moreau have had all season.
  • Horcoff and Moreau were playing together late.  Despite Quinn’s aversion to matching lines, I wonder if this team may be moving toward a designated hard-matched checking line.

From the Press Conference

"Right now, [Penner]’s a complete player."

"That gap where we gave up was less our forward line than our defence."

I’m sure it’s just how [Gilbert and Grebeshkov] been taught and how they’ve played for several years. A lot of teams have played that contained sort of way for many years… are these guys capable? I believe they are, yes."

Comment of the Night

Ronaldo, 2:08 PM:

 

It seems like it has been like FOREVER since they like last played. Hurry up 7:30pm.

 

6-3 Oilers (Pennerx2, Gagner, Vish, Cogs, Nilsson)

GOOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Not a perfect prediction, but substitute Hemsky for Cogliano and give Columbus one more goal and it would have been bang on.  Pretty impressive.

  • Dustin Terpstra

    All Hail my star DUSTIN PENNER!!!! And my goat Staios is still ain't doing squat but riding the press box. 7-7-14 for Penner which is only 2 points behind Ovechkin's 9-7-16 not to shabby.

  • Wow, Grebeshkov had a bad night. Not his defensive partner Gilbert who spent the night letting Columbus have a free pass to the front of the net and in front of the net? Grebs has his moments, Gilbert has been awful more than just tonight.

    • Lofty

      I agree but for some reason everyone elses seems to see it the other way? I stll can't figure out why Gilbert turned away from the play on that one goal (3rd maybe?) in front of the oil net.

  • Lofty

    WOW! I turned the game on in the second and saw it was 3-1 for the BJs. Then they scored shortly afterwards to make it 4-1. I was a bit angry but then Penner got this second right afterwards then Hemsky again before the end of the period and I was like "they're totally going to make a game of this" and boy did they ever.!

    Penner looked fabulous. I really hope they can keep the chemistry going and keep this line togther.

    As someone said, it is lots of fun to watch this team again and the fight they have. They don't stop working for the goals. Quinn is doing a fine job.

    Go Oilers Go!

    • I'm a Scientist!

      I noticed that too… even when we were behind on the scoresheet, after a couple of goals Hemmer and Penner both seemed to be having the time of their lives.

      I am also very encouraged by the relaxed attitude Penner has in interviews after the game. He was joking around and having a good time! It is good to see somebody having so much fun out there…much like Ovechkin, just enjoying the game!

      Here's hoping he never slumps and all of us fans hop back on the PDP bandwagon…

  • Bucknuck

    What I think is astounding is that in a one point game with a minute left Nilsson was even on the ice to score that EN goal. I wouldn't have thought he would be in that position.

    All you Horcoff haters are the same people who wanted to give Penner away for a bag of pucks last year so just give it a rest already. He may be overpaid, but he is still a great player who leaves it all on the ice every night.

    For the record I believe the Macblender last year did give Gagner some time on the number one line but it didn't last long as it didn't create much. Last nights monster had to do with Hemsky and Penner completely dominating the opposition, Gagner enjoyed the ride I am sure.

  • blu

    It makes me sad to see some of Grebs play ecently vs his play last night. While people have singled him out from last night, it seemed to me that Gilbert made some ugly plays and missed a lot of assignments.

    OMG-Shoot-Penner lead to Lights-Out-Penner, who was only bested by Standing-O-Penner. If he can keep shooting and standing in front of the net like that, the question of who Hemmer is supposed to pass too has been answered handily.

    I think all those who were hating on the Bulin Wall can stop now.

  • Dan the Man

    Nobody has mentioned how we finally didn't whiff on an empty netter.
    Great game but it was still very scary watching them defend that lead at the end and we owe Torres and Chimera for taking a couple of stupid penalties.

  • smiliegirl15

    PDP – Power forward Dustin Penner

    Go Power Penner!! This is the power forward they wanted in the first place. Bob S said in the postgame show last night (in not so many words) that Quinn has been great for Penner. When he turned over the puck in the beginning of the game last night, last year he probably would have found his butt stapled to the bench. This year he's told to get out there and get it back and that's exactly what he did, and more!

  • Next Year Country

    STAR ROCKETS IN FLIGHT … THURSDAY EVENING DELIGHT!

    Well, Kevin looks a bit smarter now. Shades of The Big M.
    Great to see. My ankles aren't too sore because I always thought that Penner could be a much better player and, although I was disappointed, I never gave up on him.

    BTW, Heatley has played 10 games and has 6 and 6 for 12.
    Penner has 7 and 7 in 9 games, and the total for Penner, Cogs, and Smid in 9 games is 9 and 14 for 23.

    The Khabibulin deal looks really good. Aside from his play, which has been great, I was really impressed with the interview he did on HNIC. He has a really mature, team-oriented attitude. I hope that Pat plays JDD enough to see what he has on a consistent basis. I think he can become a very good goalie for us. To date I have liked what he has done, considering the poor way that he was brought along by the organization. He seems to be a good team guy with a positive attitude.

    As for chasing big names as we have done the past two years, I would rather develop our guys (we have some exciting prospects in the pipeline), and sign character guys that want to be here. The coaches are moving this team to a good place in terms of attitude and play. Lots of potential is being realized.

    Now if we can only crush the Flames on Saturday, so that my blood pressure doesn't go through the roof again, like it did in the two losses in our rink. It absolutely drives me crazy to have the Flameout fans jeering the Oiler fans and laughing when they walk out of the building, having beaten us. JERKS!

    There are only two days in Oil Country. Game Day and Waiting For Game Day. I haven't enjoyed hockey this much since 2006.

    I hope Big Mac plays on Saturday, and lets not give up on Nilsson, Brownlee.

    STAR ROCKETS IN FLIGHT!!!