Post Game: Edmonton vs. Detroit – Getting Down Off The Ledge

Edmonton Oilers: 6

Detroit Red Wings: 5

What a game. 

The saying says that all’s well that ends well, and by that standard the Oilers came out okay.  A five-to-one lead blown, and then a shootout victory on the back of Nikolai Khabibulin’s three saves and Patrick O’Sullivan’s goal.  Also, on the back of a great offensive game from the new top line of Dustin Penner, Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff.

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

1. Dustin Penner.  Once again, Penner was the straw that stirred the drink offensively for the Oilers; not just charging the net and making life difficult in the offensive zone, but also carrying the puck and making plays. 

2. Shawn Horcoff.  I thought Horcoff had a decent game against Colorado, and he put it all together tonight.  Played a strong two-way game and was rewarded with three points on the night.

3. Ales Hemsky.  It’s tempting to bump Hemsky ahead of Horcoff, but unlike the first two players he disappeared a bit (by my eye, anyway) in the last half of the game and lost more than one puck battle.  Still one of the Oilers better players on the night.

Random Thoughts

  • There was a point in the game where Denis Grebeshkov was in the penalty box and Tom Gilbert was in the dressing room dealing with an equipment issue, and all I could think of was that Ladislav Smid was the only real NHL defenceman available to the coaching staff.  It was a recurring theme throughout the night actually; Strudwick was repeatedly embarrassed by Detroit’s high-end players, Chorney was shakey (although that Zetterberg goal was just bad luck) and one of my favourite prospects, Theo Peckham, looked out of his depth.  This will continue until Visnovsky, Souray and Staios are back in the lineup.
  • Gilbert Brule’s a heck of a player.  I was critical of him in the preseason, but he’s been getting a truck-load of defensive zone draws and he’s done very well.  The scoring probably won’t continue, but I think he’s a bonafide NHL’er.  On a slightly different note, did anyone else think that his hit on Filpulla could have been a boarding penalty?
  • Sam Gagner looked like he was yapping all night, especially after getting tangled up with Brad Stuart.  Maybe that was part of the reason for his line’s miserable play (a combined -9 on the night, by the way) or maybe it was just that this line was more suited to Craig MacTavish’s stringent line matching where they got a little more shelter.  Regardless, none of the three looked good.
  • Speaking of MacTavish, the ex-coach showed class on the TSN broadcast tonight, admitting that part of Penner’s problem last season was the way he used him.  He’s brilliant as an analyst, and TSN’s crew (Bob McKenzie and James Duthie on the panel, Ray Ferraro and Chris Cuthbert doing colour and play by play) did a great job, as they usually do.  It’s night and day from the Sportsnet crew; particularly in the comparison between McKenzie/MacTavish and Kypreos/MacLean.  It’s a shame TSN doesn’t broadcast all the games.
  • Finally – and this is completely unrelated – great episode of The Office tonight.  I can’t help but pass along this video, despite the fact that it’s somewhat cringe-inducing: 

  • For everyone confused about my thoughts on Gilbert Brule this season:

    Selected quotes, all from the article above:

    "Gilbert Brule's a heck of a player."

    "[H]e's been getting a truck-load of defensive zone draws and he's done very well."

    "I think he's a bonafide NHL'er."

    Seriously. Gosh, could I go a little easier on the guy? Do you think I hurt his feelings?

    But I suppose suggesting he won't keep up his near point-per-game scoring pace is taboo. And around the 40-game mark, while he's carrying around a less than stellar +/- and not chipping in a ton of offence, I'm going to be complimenting his team worst 34.8% offensive start rate. Of course, just like when I praise Horcoff for the same thing, it'll probably fall on deaf ears.

    • Lofty

      We are so used to roller-coaster rides, we Oil fans.
      nonetheless, we have new coaching staff. main duty of coaching staff to get the players to, and maintain them at a relative good form. case in point: Penner, Brule, even Cogs, Stone (look fwd to see what he does when he gets back – same for Comrie). I'll bet by game 40 a lot of people will be surprised by how well the Oil have done…
      Let's keep drinking that 1/2 full glass (of Koolaid? ha, ha, ha)

    • Is this for real? Are you being serious here?

      I wish, for your sake, you hadn't posted this because it leaves us with only two possible opinions of you. Either you are terrible at making a joke, or you are a complete idiot.

      I'm not sure which is worse.

  • smiliegirl15

    I don't question Horcoffs Skill. I question is poor judgement, and timing judgement. He is always two seconds late for everything. He's the quickest guy I know that can rush up or down the ice and always be late. What drives me insane is those fancy moves he make within ten feet of clearing the Oilers zone, and he turns the puck over. I can't count on how many times on the right side breakout I have seen that…

    • "What drives me insane is those fancy moves he make within ten feet of clearing the Oilers zone, and he turns the puck over. I can't count on how many times on the right side breakout I have seen that…"
      you switched to describing 83's game here, right?

  • Dan the Man

    Reply #43 Dan the Man October 29 2009, 03:46PM

    Had a dream last night that I was reading the scoring summary from tonight's game and Horcoff had a goal and an assist.

    Oilers hang on for a 5-4 win.

    Who predicted Horcoff would end his drought?

    That would be me….

  • Lofty

    No, Horcoff has turned the puck over, or has had his pocket picked there numerous times. Watch for it. It may change now, but he did it on Tuesday against Colorado, but eventually got tit out.

  • Jonathan – While I dearly appreciate your calm demeanor replying to some of these guys, I'd suggest that sometimes it saves alot of precious brain cells if you just reply with something like…

    "P!ss off noob"

    and move on to something more worth your time.

    • Ender

      Seconded. JW, the people on here who matter cringe a little when we see you crawl down into the mud to wrestle with the unenlightened. Let it go and move on. We get you.

      • Hemmercules

        You have to think it's fun sometimes for the ON writers to bring someone back to earth and pick them apart. I for one enjoy when they do it to the trolls.

        • Ender

          It's a long list. Rather than do a roll call, it's easier just to explain who's not on it:

          Read the definition of 'troll'. If you're posting trash just because you get a kick out of having people acknowledge your existence (ie. negative attention is better than no attention), you're not on the list.

          If your mission in life is to discredit an ON writer as a fraud and an imbicile, and the biggest weapon in your arsenal is posting 'Yer so stoopid! several times in succession, you're not on the list.

          If you can't write a sentence without swearing three times and taking at least one personal shot at someone, you're not on the list.

          Everyone else, welcome to the Nation. Your host for today will be Jonathan Willis, who is for the most part a pretty smart guy. Enjoy your stay.

  • Chaz

    This is why I love the Nation. JW was lambasting Hatecof to the point of no return, then Robin jumps off the bench and comes in for the knock out punch…

    Boom!

  • Cleetis

    74 TigerUnderGlass October 30 2009, 11:03AM
    jayoilfan wrote:
    @pajamah

    Sorry, but it is 'rapier wit'. And If JW wants to use 'razor wit', that works too.

    Is this for real? Are you being serious here?

    I wish, for your sake, you hadn't posted this because it leaves us with only two possible opinions of you. Either you are terrible at making a joke, or you are a complete idiot.

    I'm not sure which is worse.

    Dude I'm pretty sure he was just trying to quote the greatest movie ever, Dumb and Dumber.

  • Itsbitsman

    Hatecroff…………

    start you own damn website and see how popular your terrible (whiney)drivel really is

    Most people enjoy back and forth factual (but opinionated) banter that ON provides,

    you sir just don't get it……….. buzz off

  • Pajamah

    Just a thought…does anyone think that maybe if Penner keeps this up…he could be a serious contender for an Olympic position? Could this be his motivation this year????

  • Pajamah

    Jayoilfan, I was referring to the greatsest movie ever, Dumb and Dumber

    Please, for the sake of humanity, watch the movie (again,if you've seen it once already)

    Its humor knows no bounds