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.

  • The Real Scuba Steve

    Even if we did luck out and get Hall or Seguin, they will probably spend at least 1 year in the minors, so the Oil will probably be in the same spot
    next year so we maybe not have a contender team like the Hawks for about 3-4 years. Does this sound like a good plan if we miss the play offs for another 4 years to load up on young draft picks?

    • The Oilers shouldn't be trying to spend 4 years loading up on draft picks. We've already spent 3 years and are likely coming up on a 4th.

      The idea to tank for Tyler/Taylor comes from the (almost) fact that this season is a write-off. Our chances are very low in making the playoffs. Our chances are very likely though (just given past, recent history) that we'll somehow manage to slot in the 20th-ish spot.

      Sooooo, for those of us out there that have considered this season a loss… would we rather see the team make a failed, but valiant attempt at making the playoffs (and really getting us no further ahead, in the future)? Or would we rather see the team hit rock bottom, pick up a potentially elite player (who actually could play next year, but that's besides the point), and make some roster tweaks to turn things around (starting the trade deadline), helping the future of the team?

      Either way, whether the team tanks or continues prodding along, they still need to make some key changes next year. But I'd just like to see the team pick up one more star along the way. Why not?

      I know some people are hanging on to the possibility of playoffs still this year, but realistically it ain't happenin'. 10 points doesn't sound like much, however someone on one of these hockey sites pointed out that in order to reach that magic cutoff (91 points I think), we'd have to win at a clip that is on par with how the first place teams have played all year… starting now… still sound doable?

    • Colin

      Yes. Making the playoffs is no longer good enough. This teams goal should be to win the division and hoist the cup every damn year.
      I'm sick of playing for mediocrity and hoping the stars align and a miracle run(2006) can happen. How about we build a team smartly and set the bar high?

  • @ Scuba Steve

    "Even if we did luck out and get Hall or Seguin, they will probably spend at least 1 year in the minors?"

    Highly unlikely, I don't know when the last 1st overall pick (forward) didn't make the jump to the NHL the first available year.

  • @ Phil

    "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."

    Nonsense? This is a fairly simple concept Phill.

    To keep the #'s simple, lets assume the teams SV% is .05% higher when Horc ISN'T on the ice, giving the team a .913 SV% (probably pretty close to what it actually is). Now, Horcoff plays roughly 1/3 of the game, so again, to keep the numbers simple, lets assume he's on the ice for 10 shots against/game.

    What that means is for every 10 games played, the Oilers are letting up the equivalent of 5 more goals when Horc is on then when he's off. That equals out to about 18 goals for the total amount of games he's played.

    Now of course that doesn't tell the whole story, or let Horc completly off the hook. I mean he could be (and I'm sure he has a few times) made errors that put the opposition in a high % shooting area… meaning he would be at fault for at least part of the abnormaly low SV%. However with 4 other players on the ice, a goalie and luck + bounces, it's a pretty big stretch to conclude that he is responsible for all or even most of that statistical annomolie.

    In other words, if the team had an average SV% when he was on the ice, he would be roughly an even player at this point.

  • Happy thought of the day: I was talking to a friend yesterday that has a family connection to the Pats hockey opperations. He was talking with over Xmas break. The fellow with the Pats was telling him that most in his circles feel Eberle is one of, if not the best player in the CHL. He also thought he was NHL ready this year and was one of the best jr players he's every played with/had in his orginization.

    He was confident Eberle will be an NHL star.

    • Chaz

      Eberle should end up being that 30-35 goal scorer we haven't had since Smytty left.
      With MPS, Gagner, we should have some young high end talent in a couple seasons.

      And like all Oiler fans, you always hold out hope that the Omark, Rajala, Hartikainen, Lander's of the world can become something special as well

  • Harlie

    almost forgot…you guys see Mike Gillis making rain on the HNIC after show last night? Man that was tough to watch. Beads of sweat just pouring off the guy.

  • Chaz

    So let me get this straight: Our captain takes a brutal penalty which directly leads to Vancouver's first two goals, and ultimately the game, and his comment on it after the game is that the team needs to be better short handed?!?! How about showing some leadership and humility and taking responsibility for taking an undisciplined penalty that directly resulted in another loss?

    Worst captain in the NHL.
    Tied for worst Captain in team history with Shayne Corson.
    The Oilers will never be a contender with him as Captain.

  • Regarding the Rypien v Stortini fight:

    All NHL fights are essentially "clinch" fights meaning combatants are hanging onto eachother at very close quarters. In martial arts the most effective strikes are with your forearms and elbows. You can get a much accuracy and momentum using your forearms and elbow then with an unbalanced haymaker.