Have to also mention, Penner looked impressive for the Oilers, creating chances and showing some good puck control in tight spaces. Could the Kings give Smyth his swan song and return him to the city in which he belongs?
I think most Oiler fans would make that deal, especially if they could work Souray into the deal and maybe get a little more. Not that Penner is disliked by the fans, but most believe that he's not comfortable in the fishbowl (Penner is so laid-back he makes Joe Thornton look intense) and probably won't re-sign after his contract is over. So-Cal really does fit his personality a lot better.
Smyth is going to finish out his contract with the team. It would be a very bad PR move to trade him and he is part of the veteran leadership group. It's so easy to underestimate what Smyth brings on the ice as well. His game is simple and effective and built for the playoffs...now, if Murray would just give him some therapy days.
I have to admit that I groaned when I saw Stoll skate out there for the shootout. Especially given the size of the goaltender, how far he was coming out, and how Stoll has never deked in his life, but I am glad it worked out the way it did Very pleased with our performance this season as a whole.
Probably the same place the Capitals have been the past 3-4 seasons. All offense with no defense.
I worked with BB when he was with the Kings system as an asst coach (training/d systems) and the weird thing about it is that he is one of the most complete system coaches you will ever run across. He preaches keep your house clean and then go mess up someone else's in every practice and every chance he gets.
I have found it really weird to watch the way that his system has morphed during his time in WA.
I suppose part of it is due to the fact that he has the greatest hockey player in the world on his team and in that he doesn't need to really drill in the defence first concept but likely the trouble comes from the rest of the team watching and not doing.
I had to watch the game after the fact so I had read that observation before hand and I didn't see more than one occasion where Penner cleanly beat Doughty and I really looked for it.
I will say that along the boards Penner's size and strength gave him a grinding advantage but most of the time DD did the right thing and that is back off and let the bulk have the boards and you play the outlet position. Its twice as frustrating to the guy with the puck when you let him move a little bit and then take the puck and position away from him and DD is learning that bit really well.