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02-18-2007, 12:49 AM
callighenfan's Avatar
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The view from section...

Hi all,

I'm assuming a few of us were at the game, so I'll start a new thread for post-game thoughts, as opposed to post-game knee-jerk reactions.

Hated that there was a ceremony before this one, kind of felt like a hex given our track record for these things. But we came out pretty well in the first period, I thought, despite the results. Basically the game boiled down to this: if you turn the puck over three times in your own end, you're probably going to lose. Goal 1: Petersen muffs an easy clearing attempt on the PK, and thirty seconds later it's in the net. Goal 3: Nedved's horrible turnover. Goal 4: Smid flubs a simple pass, and thirty seconds later it's in the net. Factor in that we were atrocious on the dot, and we were lucky it was as close as it was.

Line breakdowns:

Smyth/Horcoff/Hemsky - Smytty brought it all night, but couldn't do anything with his chances. Hemsky was off for most of the night, and still ended up with a nice assist and should have had another, but Horcoff choked on a wide open net on our first PP, putting a weak snapshot along the ice and giving Raycroft time to get in front of it. Horc had a tonne of shots tonight, but that play seemed to snakebite him. Hemmer set him up in almost the identical position shortly after and instead of taking the shot he overthought it and made a stupid pass to the slot that resulted in a turnover. Never really had it together after that. And he was terrible in the faceoff circle. Sundin owned him (and also made me very envious of the Leafs for having a true number 1 centre when he buried the exact shot Horc muffed on their first PP).

I was horrified that MacT had Horc take the second-last draw of the game in Toronto's end, with MAP standing right beside him. (He lost, costing the Oilers 45 seconds.) Then I was even more horrified that MacT had him take the very last draw, though he did take that one. I understand sticking with your vets, but surely even Shawn would appreciate that MAP had the hot hand.

Sykora/Petersen/Lupul - The definition of ineffective. I said it after the Buffalo game, I'll say it again: this is one of the worst-put-together lines in Oilers history. If you tried to do this on NHL 07, you would get 0 chemistry. Two snipers who can't create their own offence (one playing out of position at centre and losing draw after draw) and an undersized plugger who doesn't do anything particularly well. Every time they were out I thought to myself: "Just please don't give up a goal. I know that it is totally, 100% impossible that you will score, just don't give one up." I should add that I'm seeing a lot of criticism of Lupul, but it's underserved—he was out there busting his tail trying to create offence on his own, a role he's not well suited to, and if he turned the puck over more than usual, that's why.

Torres/MAP/Thoresen - What can I say, they brought it all night. Surprised they weren't skating bowlegged, their balls were so big. MAP probably didn't deserve that penalty shot, but he made a heroic play to put himself in position to draw the call, and buried it in style.

Nedved/Stortini/Reasoner - Stortini was fine, though I wish'd he'd have taken on Wade Belak, who was launching checks at our guys all night. Reasoner is being underused. Nedved is awful, and should be cut. He almost caused a goal against Buffalo, he did cause one tonight. He's not bringing any O and he's a major defensive liability. And why oh why isn't Marty taking the draws on this line??? Wasn't he in the top 10 in the league at one point this year???

Smith/Hejda - Solid all night.

Staois/Smid - I thought Staois was having a bit of a rough night in his own end, but his goal wiped out any dwelling on that. There was nothing more he could do on Sundin's fourth goal, it was just a great play. Too bad about Smid's turnover that led to that goal, because I was again impressed with him up to that point. Should he be getting a shot on the PP?

- See my thoughts on the MAB thread Cerebral started - he's not doing anything on O, and when he's not a weapon, he's a major liability. Greene was good.

Roli - Tough to fault him on any of the goals, except maybe Sundin's second, but that was in the net in a heartbeat.

I said after the Buffalo game that if the Oil kept playing like that, they would make the playoffs. If they play more than one or two games like tonight, they almost certainly won't.

Last edited by callighenfan: 02-18-2007 at 09:59 AM.
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