Coyotes: 5, Oilers: 4 (OT)
USA: 6, Canada: 5 (OT)
Both teams near and dear to the collective heart of OilersNation lost by a single goal in overtime. Team Canada lost at the World Juniors after an incredible comeback effort fueled by two late Jordan Eberle goals. It wasn’t enough, as Capitals prospect John Carlson scored the overtime winner to give the U.S. the gold medal.
Meanwhile in Edmonton, the Oilers twice came back from two goal deficits, but lost in overtime on a Shane Doan goal. Another loss, another bad outing for Jeff Deslauriers, and another game that I presume very few people actually watched because there was a chance to watch hockey played by a team that wins every now and again.
Team Canada Star
1. Jordan Eberle. Yep, that’s it. There were other strong performances in tonight’s game (Pietrangelo, for one, was pretty good)but it was Eberle who once again came through in the clutch, scoring goals with 2:49 and 1:35 left in the third period of the hockey game. He was Canada’s best player – perhaps the best player on the ice – from the middle of the second period on, and his big-game heroics on the junior stage have given him a lasting place in Canadian hockey lore.
Eberle was named tournament MVP and Best Forward at this year’s WJC. Given that Anton Lander and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson also had good tournaments, there’s plenty of reason for hope (and with three of the first four stories on the official website being about the WJC, the Oilers know it). Isn’t hope wonderful?
With the Springfield Falcons 5-2 loss on Sunday, Taylor Chorney now sits at minus-19 in the 16 games since he’s been returned to the AHL. I don’t know why he’s posted such miserable numbers since turning pro (my guess would be defensive incompetence) but they’re certainly continuing.
On the other side of the spectrum, Theo Peckham is the only plus defenceman in Springfield. There’s reason for hope there.
With his two point night this evening, the much-reviled Patrick O’Sullivan is as hot as he’s been all season; he has three goals, three assists, and a plus-1 rating in the last six games.
I completely agree with Brownlee’s argument about splitting time the rest of the way between Deslauriers and Dubnyk the rest of the way.
Congratulations to Dustin Penner on his 20th goal of the season; it’s his first goal in seven games, and hopefully this marks the end of the mini-slump he’s been in. Lowetide suggested that the Oilers might consider trading him a few days back (a suggestion that wasn’t met with a chorus of cheers) but there’s a part of me that wonders if his early season performance was an aberration. After scoring 15 points in the first 10 games of the season, he’s dropped to 7 or 8 points over the last three 10-game segements. Has he broken ou, or is he in danger of reverting to the 40-50 point player he’s been the last three years? I don’t know the answer, but if I were the Oilers I’d be thinking about it.