Martin Marincin continues to impress just over 100 games into his professional career. He was asked to take on heavy minutes in the Oilers’ 4-3 loss to Phoenix on Friday, and unlike so many others on the team he didn’t disappoint.
Marincin picked up his first career NHL point against the Coyotes and played a career-high 23:53, the third time in the last six games that the rookie has topped the 20:00 mark. He finished the game plus-one, which makes him one of very few Oilers to be a plus on the season. The Oilers were excellent with him on the ice, out-chancing Phoenix 8-3 when he skated at even-strength. He was a bright spot in a loss, and he’s been a bright spot in a losing season.
Scoring Chances & Brief Thoughts
- The Oilers’ top line had a pretty good evening, all things considered. Or, at least, they did at even-strength – those kids also powered a misfiring power play that failed to manage even one chance per opportunity and went 0-for-6 in the goals department.
- The second line was a problem. Ryan Smyth has been good in a third line role and showed flashes, but his foot speed is a problem on a scoring line and without any kind of shot he seems better off in the bottom-six. This is particularly so when Sam Gagner continues to flounder.
- Matt Hendricks took three penalties but looked good when he wasn’t offending the officials. The third line overall, as it has been for much of this season, was a strength.
- It was a mixed night from the fourth line. Mark Arcobello is a favourite but had a quiet evening, while both Nail Yakupov and Jesse Joensuu had nice offensive moments and bad defensive moments.
- Andrew Ference left the game early and Justin Schultz’s transition to low-event play in major minutes continues. Mostly, the defence wasn’t terrible against Phoenix – though Anton Belov sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn’t he?
- Ilya Bryzgalov was awful. He faced 11 scoring chances total on the night and surrendered four goals and two posts. The Oilers made quite a few mistakes against the Coyotes but if they’d had even semi-competent goaltending they would likely have earned at least a point.
- Also: be sure to check out Lowetide’s look this evening at Aaron Ekblad.