Well it’s safe to say, I miss watching Team Canada play in
the Olympics for gold.  I found last night’s
game incredibly boring and I’m sure many felt some sort of emotional letdown.  If you didn’t right away, surely a 3-0 loss to
the Minnesota Wild did the trick.


Just a lack of communication here, generally the defenseman
will play the puck carrier and try to step up while the forward coming back is
responsible for filling in behind the d-man, picking up another guy or retrieving
the puck if chipped to the corner. Obviously the exchange near the blue crossed
everyone up, but they need to talk more. Too easy.


This one is all on the forwards in my opinion. Veillieux
finds a little soft spot on Eberle but where are Gagner and Hemsky going?  Eberle is clearly the first forward back and
takes his man to the net. He probably should have released to Ference a
little sooner but regardless, Gagner just sort of floats into the left side of
the zone. Even worse Hemsky can see the whole ice and also floats back to the
left side, not trying to fill Eberles wing where the eventual goal was scored from at all.  


Just as the Oilers were making their usual third period push
when trailing, the Wild put the nail in the coffin.  A lost battle on a contested puck keeps the
puck in the zone and eventually a goalmouth scramble allows fan favorite Dany
Heatley to make it 3-0.


Last night midway through the first period Nugent-Hopkins
got into a scrum with Keith Ballard where they exchanged more than a couple
cross checks and face washes.  On the
other side of the net Taylor Hall was being confronted by Matt
Cooke.  Neither guy backed down which was
great to see, but where was everyone else?

I read somewhere the other day Dallas Eakins wanted five
guys involved when things like this occurred, yet the two defenseman on
the ice Petry and Belov just stood on the blue line watching their best players get pushed around. For what, an offensive zone draw in the middle of the first

When it’s your best players in a situation they likely
shouldn’t be in, it doesn’t matter who you are, you get involved and stick up
for one another.


It was once again a struggle as they were really unable to sustain
any kind of pressure. To add to the misery, it was nice of Belov (who was on
for every goal against as well) to nonchalantly give Minnesota a glorious opportunity
late in the third on the PP.  He looked very concerned about turning it over too. Watching effort like that is so frustrating.



While many were still on break last night, how can you
not like what this guy has brought to this team since coming over from Nashville?
He’s not flashy, he’s not going to score a ton, but he knows his role and you
don’t have to worry about him showing up to play every night.

Other teams have to be aware of when he is on the ice
because he will finish every check. How many guys can you say that about the
last few years around here?

Anyways…Bring on the Flames.

  • flamesburn89

    Taking a look at the goals again this is what I was thinking of.

    First one is on RNH. As the centre, he should’ve shadowed Parise and followed him to the outside, allowing Belov to stick with Granlund. RNH ends up in no man’s land covering empty ice, Belov is forced to follow the puck carrier instead of Granlund, and the puck ends up in the net.

    2nd one was a tough one to give up. Eberle. Ference, and Belov are all in decent position, except Eberle is too far back to stop the pass to Veillux. Ference also screens Scrivens, which doesn’t help, but for me, this goal is a result of the centre, Gagner, watching Eberle try to pick up his slack. Gagner just seems uber-lazy. He was almost level with Veillux, “19”, at the start of the play, and he just glides back defensively. Disgusting.

    3rd one: Eberle needs to get that puck out.

    Great article by the way Brian, love this kind of analysis of the actual plays

  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    “Even worse Hemsky can see the whole ice and also floats back to the
    left side, not trying to fill Eberles wing where the eventual goal was scored from at all. ”

    If Hemsky collapses into the slot to take the shooter, literally all five Oilers are collapsed tightly into the same strong side surrounding the puck carrier around the face-off dot.

    Surely, someone has to stretch the opposition team out, challenge the points and cover the weak side.