Oilers Vs. Canucks Postgame: Poor Devan

Vancouver Canucks: 3

Edmonton Oilers: 2 (OT)

Devan Dubnyk’s body language said it all as he slumped to the ice after allowing a power play goal in overtime. He deserves a win at some point.

First Period

Lucky me, living in B.C; I get to watch the Canucks feed.

Devan Dubnyk vs. Roberto Luongo seems like a mismatch at first glance. At second glance too, for that matter.

“Go Canucks Go” sounded like the chant at Rexall. Every game is a road game from here on out, apparently. Unless the Oilers play Carolina in Carolina.

Jacques on the fourth line now with Pouliot and Stortini. I wonder if Moreau’s neck is still bothering him, or if he’s somehow been promoted.

Moreau, Horcoff and Pisani out together as a line; that’s an interesting shutdown trio.

Pouliot/Jacques may not be a bad combination, actually; I’ve pretty much given up on Jacques when it comes to the hockey-playing side of things but he did have some AHL success with Pouliot.

A very nice chance for Patrick O’Sullivan is the Oilers’ second serious chance on net (Jacques, of all people, had the first one), and that leads to more good stuff as Bernier is whistled for an roughing penalty on Strudwick.

Nice Souray shot setup by some good puck retrieval work by Robert Nilsson, but that’s pretty much it for the first half of the power play.

The second half of the power play goes a little better; Lubomir Visnovsky hits a post and then Gagner capitalizes on a poor change and a nice pass from Grebeshkov to put the Oilers up 1-0.

I’m watching this game with my lovely wife, who is watching against her better judgement. She’s laughing every time the Oilers miss a pass, and it’s starting to bother me. Not because she’s wrong, but because the sound of uninterrupted laughter gets irritating after a while.

Hooking penalty to Stortini. Enter the penalty killers; we who are about to die salute you.

A good start for Devan Dubnyk is interrupted as Alex Burrows tips a Sedin/Sedin pass into the net with the man advantage. My lack of surprise may be palpable.

The Canucks commentators compare Burrows to a table hockey player before saying that he’s infinitely more talented than the cardboard cutout. Given some of the names who have had big scoring years with the Sedins, “infinitely” may be putting it strongly.

After a scrum where Cogliano and Glass engaged in some stick work, Dustin Penner ended up with Kyle Wellwood draped off him. For all the world it looked like the latter was whispering sweet nothings to Penner amid the chaos. Perhaps a shared moment over both being the butt of fat jokes at various points in their careers?

First Intermission

The next time Doug MacLean wants to call out Shawn Horcoff for shoddy defensive play, he should have them cut the replay off before it shows Horcoff calmly rubbing out the guy with the puck. Imbecile.

Wisdom from Nick Kypreos: “You might think that just anybody can put his stick on the ice, but no.” Suddenly, I understand why Red Green has been telling me for years to keep my stick on the ice – because not just anybody can do it!

“I’m not sure Edmonton can continue to play sound defensively.” I think the best hting about these panels is the insight involved. You think just anyone can guess that the Oilers won’t be able to hold up defensively? It takes a keen eye for and understanding of the game to make a statement like that, given the Oilers epic defensive proficiency.

Second Period

Sheldon Souray scores on an offensive zone faceoff. The real hero here though is Zack Stortini, who recovered the puck after Kyle Wellwood won the faceoff for the Canucks. Also appearing in this goal: Marc Pouliot, who somehow gets awarded an assist. I didn’t think he’d touched the puck, but he may have sped up Stortini’s pass to Souray

Fernando Pisani just stopped a goal as Devan Dubnyk kicked a rebound right at Mason Raymond.

Patrick O’Sullivan with a gorgeous chance, but he fires it directly into Luongo. A few seconds later, Shawn Horcoff takes a high-sticking call.

Devan Dubnyk was very good on the penalty kill, and somehow the Oilers manage to hang on for the entire two minutes.

”Lou”-ing comments have to be the most irritating things about Canucks fans and commentators. You love Luongo. The whole world gets it.

Great shift for Sam Gagner. He had a nice rush, went in and out on the Canucks defenceman and draws a hooking call. There’s a delayed call, and Steve Bernier has a step on Gagner, but instead of going for the puck he angles away from it to drill Gagner. Gagner reacts to the nasty hit by taking a swing at Bernier. Now, there are three possible calls there – the initial hook on Edler, the interference call on Bernier, and the roughing call on Gagner. The referees opt to hand Bernier a penalty. Meanwhile, John Garrett moans and whines that Gagner reacted to a clean hit and should have been called for swinging at Bernier, illustrating either blind homerism or simple stupidity, I’m not sure which. Memo to Garrett: the puck has to be near the play for a hit to be clean. Yeesh.

Roberto Luongo makes a few great saves to kill off the penalty.

Garrett’s back on Gagner for swinging at Bernier. “Clean hit,” he says. Listen: Bernier had a step on Gagner and he was still two or three steps from the puck. That means that when he turned and drilled Gagner it wasn’t a clean hit. Good grief. Why, yes, I do upon occasion yell at the people in the TV, why do you ask?

Fun end to the second with chances both ways, often to improbable people.

Second Intermission

Anyone remember that nice chance for O’Sullivan I pointed out earlier? Doug MacLean just watched it and credited it to Gagner. Awesomeness.

The panel is now discussing goals from the red line, and manage to do it without any reference to Dan Cloutier.  Or Vesa Toskala.

Third Period

Nice hit on Salo just at the corner of the camera; I didn’t see who did it.

Kyle Wellwood takes a penalty for holding back Jason Strudwick. It’s his third minor of the season, and I have to wonder – did he really feel that intimidated by the vaunted Strudwick speed?

I think the best word for that power play is “uneventful.”

A series of nice plays by Sam Gagner; a shot on net and then a nice stick check on Wellwood.

Canucks hit a post.

Jason Strudwick, doing one of the things he does well, drills Mikael Samuelsson as he goes for the frozen puck. There is a certain virtue to having a guy like Strudwick in that position.

I’m not sure John Garrett knows the difference between Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Deslauriers; he just implied that Dubnyk was a first round bust at the age of 25. I suppose it’s technically possible he has a time machine and zipped ahead two years, but then again, who would trust John Garrett with a time machine. I’ll try and keep things within the bounds of possibility.

I think Pat Quinn has started line matching. Things must really be desperate. The hope here seems to be that Ganger, Penner and Cogliano can score and Moreau, Pisani and Horcoff can shut things down.

The camera zooms in on Gary Bettman, who has been in town less than a full day but is already hard at work preaching how essential a new arena is to the team. I think it’s a tougher sell when the team is so obviously miserable.

Burrows and Horcoff take penalties; the one against Horcoff was fairly weak, in my opinion, but he did react a little bit to Burrows actions.

A little over four minutes left, and Andrew Cogliano takes a penalty for hooking. Salo shoots and scores about five seconds into the man advantage to knot the game at two. Big shock.

Overtime

A point tonight is unavoidable, now. The streak ends.

Denis Grebeshkov takes a penalty as Mason Raymond steamed past him to give the Canucks a power play. I wouldn’t argue with that one, although of course any penalty at this point in the game is a little vexing just because of the time.

Jason Strudwick clears the zone nicely, and thiry seconds are killed.

Moments later, Daniel Sedin scores the winner as Henrik threads a pass through Jason Strudwick to him and he tips it in. 3-for-4 on the power play tonight, and Devan Dubnyk, who must dearly want a win, hangs his head in frustration despite the fact that he wasn’t really to blame.

Three Stars

1. Jason Strudwick. He may not actually deserve the first star rating, but I was so impressed with him tonight (relative to his usual play) that I’m giving it to him. The fact that he was on the ice for five even-strength scoring chances for and none against may be the most remarkable statistic of the season.

2. Sam Gagner. A solid game, again, for Gagner. He scored the first goal of the game on a lovely shot, and generated chances all night.

3. Patrick O’Sullivan. I’m dying to include Ryan Potulny (his line was very strong tonight) but Patrick O’Sullivan narrowly gets the nod here. I’m also tempted to include Devan Dubnyk, who played well, but O’Sullivan was a threat almost every time he was on the ice.

DFF Star. The penalty kill. One for four and doing the dive proud.