Oilers vs. Canucks Postgame: Think Of It As A Chance To Win A Draft Pick

Edmonton Oilers: 1

Vancouver Canucks: 4

The Canucks hadn’t won at GM Place on Boxing Day in years and years, but then again they haven’t been lucky enough to face your 2009-10 Edmonton Oilers in all those games either. Another loss and shoddy work on the PK obscured a solid effort from the Oilers.

Oilers Three Stars, According To Me

1. Ladislav Smid. The battle between Smid and Mikael Samuelsson was a fun side issue over the course of the game. Samuelsson knocked Smid down off a faceoff early in the first, but Smid took the number and came back to drill him twice – a beautiful hit in the Canucks’ zone where Smid sent the puck deep, and an undisciplined hit where Smid left his position on the PK to drill him. Still, the mean streak is nice to see and the first hit was a thing of beauty. He also prevented a goal by knocking the puck away after it squeaked by Deslauriers, all while holding off an attacker.

2. Shawn Horcoff. Horcoff had a nice game, moving the puck smartly and backchecking well, as usual. His minus on the night came on the empty net goal; I’m still a little confused as to why the NHL counts those on a player’s plus/minus.

3. Ryan Potulny. Had a lovely goal that made Luongo look a little bit silly (he should have had it) but showed his goal scoring ability on a gorgeous shot. I’m also inclined to cut him some slack for his delay of game penalty; that’s just bad luck.

Random Thoughts

I thought Tom Gilbert was having an incredible game, up until he let Ehrhoff blow by him and score the Canucks’ third goal. He made a bunch of brilliant plays and has mostly looked rejuvenated since being paired with Souray.

All night the commentators were talking about how great the Oilers’ fourth line looked; that’s what happens when they get matched up against the Rypien line. The Canucks’ fourth line is enough to make anybody look good. That said, it’s a shame this team has so many small players because Andrew Cogliano deserves a better spot than that one; he played well tonight.

The Canucks’ two power play goals that changed the game were all sparked by Ethan Moreau running into Robert Luongo; had he not done that, than Potulny wouldn’t have been stuck in his own end and he wouldn’t have accidentally put the puck over the boards.

Very poor game for Dustin Penner, who looked half a step behind all night.

Robert Nilsson coughing up the puck at the opposition blue line never gets old.

That was an epic battle between Rick Rypien and Zack Stortini, although I was confused by Stortini’s tactics: when did the forearms become more effective weapons than the fists?

Bless Steve Staios, he can’t take that interference penalty; it was a game sinker. Between he, Moreau and Visnovsky (who took a poor hooking call in the first) the Oilers’ veterans were the ones making costly mental errors.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    why shouldnt Horcoff get a minus on an emtpy net goal? if the opposition has the balls to pull the goalie to gain an offensive advantage – it sure the hell better be a minus if the other team scores. thats the chance you take pulling the goalie.

    that being said, this season is over. and most of us thought it was the coaching that made this team lame. expect internet traffic to drop.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Ever since Horcoff landed that exhorbitant contract he has done nothing but manage his money by avoiding the heavy traffic areas of the rink ! He can't motor fast enough to rush out of the traffic areas most nights , and basically lose himself in some corner of the rink while rest of team makes up for his absenses . Moreau was washed up 3 years ago and his foot speed with it . Moreau still feels showing grit and toughness is hooking, holding and slashing opponents and spends an exhorbitant amount of time taking momentum changing penalties . Tams will most likely get rid of Horcoff,Moreau and maybe Souray to take on another overpaid and falling player @ 10M a season in Lecavalier if he would remove his no trade contract . Eberle another power forward (not) to go along with our other Smurfs . If he was as good as they think , he would have beaten some of the Smurfs off our team and be playing for the big club as Gagner and Cogs did . Horcoff should be benched until he decides to go back into the traffic areas he did in his one and only break out season !!

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    I'm wondering if Stortini has damaged knuckles on his right hand because he was using the bottom of his fist.

    He did good though against a very good fighter.

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Just tank it I want a draft pic. Then I would like Kevin Lowe and all the boys on the bus to be removed from the oilers organization, hire some real hockey team builders. Tambo hasn't showed me anything that he is anygood! Its going to be a long year. Sometimes it hard to be an oilers fan but we will be good again someday!

  • Just watched the Stortini-Rypien fight. Pretty good tilt. Stortini did well, but to hear Rod & Bob last night and then watch it today… quite the difference. They made it seem like Stortini clearly won. I know Rod usually gets carried away with these types of things, but I thought Bobby usually called it as it was. C'mon now. "Forearm shivers"… lol.

  • brucechris

    I agree that smid cogs and gilbert had strong games.

    And i honestly think this team would be in about 8th to 9th if Moreau was gone he has cost us so many games, and if we had our full team then we could possibly be in 6th

    Horcoff's shoulder is hurting him, why else would he not be taking lots of draws and missing practices, we have to many injuries to let him sit out.

  • Everyone except a few people in Tibet knew what the Oiler deficiencies were even prior to training camp. Tambellini should've addressed some of these unless the masterplan all along was to try and get the lottery pick….

  • @ GSC:

    He had a good game. I'm not going to flog a guy for a poor season when he has a good game.

    As for his season, if you're going to flog Horcoff for his plus/minus than you should look at his on-ice save percentage (.863).

    He's had a bad season, yes. But a good chunk of it starts there.

    • Phil

      "As for his season, if you're going to flog Horcoff for his plus/minus than you should look at his on-ice save percentage (.863).

      He's had a bad season, yes. But a good chunk of it starts there."

      oh my Lord.

      I can't believe I just read this garbage from you. Well, actually I can, but still that is just sad. The excuses never stop coming. You guys on the Oilogosphere are kissing your "credibility" goodbye with this nonsense.

    • GSC

      JW,

      It's time to stop deflecting the blame and look at the Horcoff situation for what it is: he's paid the most amongst any Oiler forward, and he's not producing offence at an acceptable rate. Not even close.

      He needs to bring more to the table in terms of offence, it's primarily the reason Lowe handed him that contract. There has to be the expectation that he will be almost a point-per-game player, since his past stats have been in that range.

      You can cite save percentage, linemates, competition, injury (although he's still dressing), etc. It won't change the fact that he hasn't been good enough, and the buck stops right there.

      • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

        while i agree 110% horcoff is overpaid, and i think the deal was insanely bad, we do need to look at circumstance as well.

        it should be painfully obvious by now the oilers have to overpay to keep/attract players.
        horcoff, on the open market, probably gets in the 4-4.5mil range.

        can the player really be blamed for getting a contract that is far to rich? especially one signed before his (at the time) deal had even expired?

  • think it's pretty simple… if you are one of the SIX players on the ice, you should absolutely get a minus on the play if you don't manage to keep the puck out of your net. You do outnumber your opposition at this point after all.

    Great point. I wonder why Quinn doesn't play with six guys all the time? It is legal.

    Is it perhaps because not having a goaltender is a disadvantage?

  • brucechris

    I think it's pretty simple… if you are one of the SIX players on the ice, you should absolutely get a minus on the play if you don't manage to keep the puck out of your net. You do outnumber your opposition at this point after all.

    Stortini must have thought he was wearing Souray's wrist guard. Souray was mostly dreadful tonight.

    Dustin Penner didn't have a particularly good game. Lots of missed opportunities, from what I could see.

    The CBC commentators were talking about how much the 4th line was stirring things up for the Oil… all I saw was Moreau make bad plays all night and Cogs got manhandled into ineffectiveness yet again.

    Hmm… Hall or Seguin?

  • GSC

    Let's continue to defend Horcoff and his play for an overpaid salary.

    16 PTS, – 19, $5.5 MIL. Not good enough, not NEARLY good enough. And don't you dare argue that his shoulder is hurting…if it was that bad, he would not be in the lineup.

    No one can defend him at this stage. NO ONE. Show me whatever math and stats you've compiled, he's not producing at the level to merit his grossly overpaid contract. First line centres produce and create offence. Horcoff does nothing of the sort.

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      you are looking at it the wrong way.

      keep all of these guys together. with no changes, it is very clear that this team will continue to shat all over itself, and the need for a tank job disappears. the overpaid, underperforming group will take care of things on their own.

      it should also continue to highlight some of the absolutely idiotic choices made by management over the last couple of years. maybe, just maybe, katz will do something about it.

      in regards to horcoff, i hope he puts up 30 points and a -26 this year. maybe, just maybe, something will be done.

  • Colin

    I've long given up any hopes of success so losing doesn't sting anymore. However, it'd be nice if management recognized the problem. At the very least, they should pick up a cheap veteran backup so that Devan Dubnyk can return to the AHL and continue his development.

    Hmm. So how 'bout that Eberle and MPS?