With two goals on the night and likely playing in his final game as an Oiler, Ales Hemsky lead the way in a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. 

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Off a lost draw, this is usually a set play where the winger
picks up the puck and goes around the horn. Coaches generally teach two ways to
handle these defensive situations. The center (Gordon) either stays on his face off man (Spezza)
no matter what, or some coaches will teach the center (Gordon) to release his
center to the defenseman, and Gordon is then expected to challenge the winger
with the puck, which he did here. 

Either way, on this play two guys go to one, and Spezza is
left wide open. Both Fraser and Gordon get caught in no mans land. I think Fraser should have trusted Gordon would close the angle and stayed with Spezza. Not knowing what is taught by Eakins, it’s hard to tell who
missed their assignment but that is not Hendricks guy — his man is at the point.

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After a dreadful 1:30 of power play had elapsed, Hemsky gets time
and space and does exactly what he does best when given room.  Just a beauty of a goal.  


A great play and goal, thanks in large part to Taylor Hall.  Hall wins a battle in the defensive zone then
leads the rush up ice finding Gagner and goes right to the front of the net,
driving the defenseman back and stopping in front.  Hemsky does a great job to hold up and find
the open space at the blue line, where Gagner hits him and Hemsky beats a
goalie that couldn’t see because of Hall.  It would have been easy for Hall to just fly
by, but he didn’t. You can’t draw it up any better.


This play starts in their own end with Eberle breaking up a
4 on 3.  He gets the puck to Hall, who makes
a nice hesitation play in the neutral zone to get it back to Eberle, and then
Eberle goes and stops at the net. Again, many times players will just swing behind
there.  He stops and gets rewarded with a
tap in.  Good habits.

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These are the plays this season that for a fan, coach or teammate
you just wonder why? Up 3-1 midway through the third period and Ganger circles back with plenty of time before he is eventually pressured and tries to
force a backhand pass through the middle instead of just chipping it off the
boards on his forehand into the neutral zone.

It leads to a glorious opportunity for the Sens and an Oilers defenseman has to pull the puck off the goal line that squeaked through Scrivens. If that goes in it completely changes the game.  It’s just a mental error.  You don’t have to go into a defensive shell with a lead, but you have to know the score and timing within the game. He cannot
force that there and it happens too often. (Not just Gagner)


A controlled breakout and there are four Oilers standing still at
the far blue line. Not a great goal for Scrivens to let in, but how do you give Erik
Karlsson the room to wheel uncontested to the far blue line?  I’ll give Karlsson credit, he made a heck of a
play at the line, but there’s still too much room because most of your
defenders are flat footed.


Taylor Hall was very noticeable tonight, definitely his best
game since the Olympics.

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Minus the Karlsson goal, he looked fantastic.  Seems like
every game he’s played he gives this team a chance to win.



Well Ales Hemsky didn’t hurt his trade value tonight by any
means.  If this is indeed his last game
as an Edmonton Oiler he definitely went out in style. He was deservedly the game’s
first star, and what a lasting memory for a guy that I hope gets to go
somewhere and enjoy a nice playoff run.


Trade Deadline3

The trade deadline is tomorrow.  It’s always a fun and exciting time as a fan
and media member but for most players it’s a nerve racking time. I wrote about
it two years ago as a guest writer at Oilersnation. You can check that out here if you like, my feelings haven’t changed.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I hate Eakins even more…

    He really ruin the entire Oilers season and may even damage some players career. I always like Hemsky for his play, just the injury bugs that has limited his action for the last few years. Maybe it is just Oilers losing culture that made him unwilling to get better, but he always has the skill. Hopefully the change of culture that Hemsky will become a bigger star like all those who lefted Oilers from before. It is sad to remember how many players that Oilers have sent away and became a true star.

  • mesa

    The last of the Mohicans, Hemsky and Smyth are the few bright draft picks Oilers had since 1985. That’s right folks if you look back Oilers draft picks since 85 til now, we have no superstars or good NHL players. So don’t blame Lowe on how bad Oilers have been, Lowe was Oilers 1st ever NHL pick also. Can’t believe Messier, Kurri and Anderson were 3rd and 4th round picks, they each scored over 400 goals and Hall of Famers. Brighter days will come, just like seasons change, we need this stupid winter to be over soon (Oilers season too, good picks to come)!

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    ….and tomorrow comes and Hemsky, Smyth, Gagner, N. Schultz et al are still here because “Mr. Bold Move” couldn’t get enough value for them. hope i’m wrong though.

  • mesa

    Good on Hemsky , had a solid effort and a strong game. Too bad he didnt show more of that in the last few years. He had the talent , but not the will. Oilers blew $10 million on this guy in the last two years, and he leaves with $38 million of OIlers money.. NO TEARS for this guy.

    Move on .. should have plaed like this more often you could have stayed.

  • mesa

    Barely another win, when will these guys actually WIN a game. NLT be outshot 2-1 and outplayed most of the night? After 8 failed years, I want to see this team
    Dominate one game.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I was hoping for a hatty from Hemmer (pump and dump). But in typical fashion, he left me wanting more.

    Bon voyage, Ales. I’ll cherish the memories.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Well the team decided to show up tonight. What a frustrating thing to watch them tonight then compare that to the game I attended against the Wild last week. Tonight I was prepared to bid Adieu to Hemsky and hoped he would have a good game. He had a great game, he showed up. Makes me mad that he didn’t do it consistently every game Also saw Smyth do the same and Eberle do the same. These millionaire players decide the day before the deadline that they are going to audition for a better team so they bring their A game. They have alot more talent than they do heart I guess. Eakins can’t motivate them. The whole coaching staff stand there behind the bench like a bunch of emotionless dolts….Only player that played well in my opinion, consistently, has been Scrivens. Glad they signed him. Not sad to see Hemsky go, and I have been his biggest supporter over the years. Hope he does well in his future endeavours. Paying guys like Gagner, Eberle, Hall, and Nug five or six million a year was I think, a stupid decision.

  • BobbyCanuck


    Did you honestly suggest the reason Hemskys career is as an amazing hockey player because Eakins ruined him? He’s a hockey player who has been in the league over a decade… If he hasn’t figured it which he has then that is on him no one else.


    Hemsky is the loosing culture eh? Considering the guy was the reason we won last night, he generally plays 3rd line minutes with the center who plays 20% offensive zone starts… Yeah I’d highly suggest that he’s the reason we lose. No, it’s because they haven’t given up anything of value to actually get value. We needed goaltending they addressed, they don’t know if it will be good enough yet. They need defensemen that are true top defensemen, and we need top 6 forwards that could care about what happens in their own side of the rink and not just when the puck is on their stick. Outside of RNH.

    If a scapegoat was necessary it wouldn’t be a team, one player doesn’t kill or make a team. So no Hemsky is not the reason we are a losing team.

  • Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy!

    I would like to thank all of the fans and the ticket holders for the support on Military Appreciation night. Without all of you it would not have happened.
    It was great to see an Oiler win but it was simply outstanding to see and feel all of your support at the game. It was something I will never forget and on of the highlights of my career in the Canadian Armed Forces

    Thank You!

    • Oilerz4life

      No, thank you sir. It is us that owe you an unmesurable amount of gratitude for your sacrifice and that of your comrades, so that we can enjoy our freedom, which we all to often take for granted. Please know that wherever you are in service our thoughts are with you, and we appreciate all that you do and what you stand for in our great country.

    • BobbyCanuck

      it was simply outstanding to see and feel all of your support at the game. It was something I will never forget and on of the highlights of my career in the Canadian Armed Forces…

      I am glad you and your cohorts enjoyed themselves, Glad the Oilers were able to send a ray of sunshine your way, because our government certainly does not care about you

  • Oilerz4life

    oilers please stop gaining the offensive line and then attempting a cross ice pass. put the puck deep. what kind of coach puts up with that. defence first, when are the oilers going to learn that you can get win games consistantly with this north south style of game.