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LMHF Game Report #16

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12-16-2009, 12:11 AM
  #1
LoudmouthHemskyfan#1
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LMHF Game Report #16

EDMONTON 2

VS.

LOS ANGELES 3
-----------------------

It was great to be back in the building tonight watching the suddenly inspired Oilers play hockey once more. To be honest the reaction from the home crowd was underwhelming. They weren't particularly excited to watch a team going for its 6th straight win; that disappointed me.

We played well at a few different times in this game. It was very much up and down. We were good early, generating many free pucks in the scoring area in front of the zone but not getting to enough of them. Quick wasn't particularly great at this stage, he just didn't let any bad ones in. We had our chances but couldn't take a good whack at them.

LA then controlled until later on in the second period. In this time, Souray scored, and Nilsson, Penner and Horcoff all should have. Those blown chances, 2 clear breaks and a downed goalie, wound up costing us the game in my estimation.

We kept control until a 3-4 minute stretch in the third that saw LA storm our zone. Their goal wasn't pretty in any way shape or form, and I honestly couldn't believe we got beaten again by an iffy point shot from a weak defenceman. Unbelievable.

After that we had our chances too...I could not believe however that Quinn stuck with Nilsson late in the game when Potulny was easily the best offensive player available at the moment. Penner fanned on another in a game of missed chances. Sad really to go down fighting that way.

I wanted to check Deslauriers save percentage in the third period over the last few games. He's allowed all of 2 3rd period goals in the last 6 games. I was convinced he wasn't going to allow #2 save for a fluke...and it happened. Damn.

Watching this team was almost like encountering a new one, more on that in PLAYER REPORTS
---------------------

Penner
- To be honest he disappointed me tonight. It's not that he was bad but that he didn't dominate at any point. He didn't really go on any great rushes down the wing or take more than 1 great shot. As noted he missed a great chance in the second and a good chance to tie in the third. He needs to finish at least one of those. There was a rush he made in the third where the same move he made against STL was open to him and instead he centered the puck to no one. He was just a little off tonight. He also had another tip chance off a nifty pass by Gagner that just missed.

Gagner
- Save for a couple shifts I really wasn't very impressed by Sam tonight. He seemed to be forever in the way and a step behind the play. He won more battles in the corners than at times this year but just couldn't create any direct offence. He needs to playing with Brule and Penner.

Brule
- Still looking really solid. He took a couple of really good shots and missed the opportunity to take a couple of others. His skating was good and he worked hard in the corners. The perplexing thing about this line as opposed to the last time the team was in town is that they didn't look particularly fast or dynamic but more plodding than anything. They got chances but they weren't explosive. I'm hoping they are better next game, but maybe they just got worn out tonight.

Nilsson
- The first half to 2/3 of the game saw a totally new Robert Nilsson. He was working his butt off, took some shots at the net, and was even hitting people AND separating them from the puck. It was truly amazing. Then it happened...the slot-double-clutch. After he started doing that, his offensive zone play got awkward and he simply wasn't as effective as he'd been. Robert needs to let that wonderful slapper go when he's free and clear in the slot, and he refused tonight. Shame. He was on pace for a great breakout game. I think the promotion might be too much pressure for him. Being on the PP definitely seems to be. He cannot be relied on to be the guy carrying the puck in; and abandoning the carry for the dump just doesn't work in a modern PP. They proved that with how many times they gave the puck up that way tonight.

Horcoff
- He was just okay for me tonight. I don't think the new line combo worked very well for him save for a couple shifts in the second. He had one really excellent chance in front of the net that simply required he hold the puck for three feet and go up; but instead he took a weak shot that was easily stopped. Didn't look good on the PP.

Stone
- Great to see Ryan Stone and his brand of positional, physical hockey back in our lineup. He does indeed make a difference in the makeup of this lineup. All he needs to do is keep doing what he's doing. The first two periods were really strong for him, the final one less so.

Potulny
- Crazy idea: when Hemsky comes back, Potulny should play with him. At least on the PP. Any guy who can bang the puck like that can play with Ales and score a TON. What an utterly beautiful goal that was he scored, first making a good decision to go to Souray then readying to fire and making no mistake. He made many possibly unnoticed plays tonight either with the puck or without that show he's here to stay. Everything is moving faster for him now, while the play around him slows down. Ryan has found the NHL confidence that so many struggle to find. When he isn't scoring, he's skating well, playing his position and even getting physical occasionally. He won some very impressive puck battles tonight. Our best on the ice today.

Cogliano
- Definitely signs of life. He blew by several defenders while maintaining control of the puck which is something home ice hasn't seen from him with any kind of regularity in a while. #2 rightly pointed out that after he banged Potulny's already-goal back into the net, at least he'd finally put one in. He just needs to keep working and we need to stay patient with him. If he's not going anywhere for an upgrade, at least he's useful and working really really hard.

Moreau
- The Potulny-Cogliano combination needs a better version of Ethan Moreau on it. The 20-goal version. He's sped up his decisions and his playmaking to attempt to keep up with a line that moves at blinding speed now that Potulny is playing confidently, but it's still not enough and the play seemed to die with him much more often than either 13 or 16. That's too bad. I think it's time to 4th-line him, though only if they can establish another guy on that line in his place.

O'Sullivan
- Disappointing to see that the one guy who didn't take flight on the road trip is #19. He's got to keep plugging away. I really think Quinn will turn him into the guy who was here in TC eventually, but there are always some bumps along the way. Quinn seems to take a longer and more complete view of guys like O'Sullivan, so I think we shouldn't lose patience or claim he's on his way out just yet.

Stortini
- He didn't really do much. One really good shot on net but that's about it.

Jacques
- Bad fight, but at least he drew the PP. Good hit previous to that, but Stone is a better hitter overall.

Gilbert
- Tom looks like he's turned the corner. He has returned to using his skating and his puck-moving ability to create time for himself to make better plays. He also is using his body to separate the man from the puck in the corner. These are the things Tom needs to do to be effective. When he knows he can skate, the opposition is forced to back off as it was tonight. That is why Tom suddenly isn't turning it over. It's not that he was doing anything dumb before, it's that he wasn't using his strengths to create a situation where the offence has to respect him as soon as he has the puck. He was panicky. Perhaps he took a lesson from Smid, who skates the puck out of harm's way on such a consistent basis. Gilbert uses a more rangy approach while Smid works better by dragging his opponent in close, but it's the same basic idea.

Souray
- His shot seems to have smartened up. Had he not clanged one off the post we probably win too. Defensively I'm not sure, he was really confident with the puck but wasn't exceptionally physical. On LA's second period goal, he made a bad decision to lung at the puck carrier rather than truly shut down the pass to the stronger player, but he was in a bit of a desperate spot too I suppose. Mixed game from Sheldon rather than second star in my books.

Visnovsky
- He made a very uncharacteristic mistake and couldn't recover for once on that same play that left Souray flat on his face. Aside from that he was quite solid and made the same passes and decisions that we all know and appreciate. I think it's a mistake relying on Souray instead of Lubomir on the PP. Quinn chose Souray tonight. Was it #71 that made that fabulous breakaway flip pass to Brule that was called offside?

Smid
- What new is there to say? He was an utter joy to watch as he has been pretty much all year.

Staios
- I'd say he made the primary mistake on the first LA goal in that he half-committed to going to Brown and left the seam that got the puck to Richardson. Grebeshkov was caught somewhat, but it wasn't really his fault that he was caught. Staios could've made an aggressive play on the puck carrier with Grebeshkov taking away some of the pass option but Staios didn't. Aside from that he was quite quiet.

Grebeshkov
- Just okay in his first game back. You could tell he was playing a little gingerly out there. I'm not sure why he was up on the PP so quick, but at least he wasn't shy about jumpinging into the play. I'm sure he'll be fine, and Staios-Grebeshkov making up the bottom pairing sure make us a better team. We didn't give the Kings very many good chances tonight.

Deslauriers
- He was alright. I figured he could've stopped at least one of the first two LA goals. He wasn't going to get beaten on a straight play in the third though, as he was locked on. I'm sure enough people have commented on his puck-handling, which is certainly a little scary, but didn't get him into trouble.
----------------------

To be honest, I thought we were winning this. Especially when down 2-1 going into the third. And even with our horrid PP. A lot of big maybes and what ifs tonight. Oh well. Til Thursday!

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12-16-2009, 12:18 AM
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Ghostbuster
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Thanks for the report as always.
I thought the overall the D was pretty weak.

However these "AHL" guys just keep on impressing me. They play simple hockey and it's hella effective. O'Sullivan should take a note or two.

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12-16-2009, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
Deslauriers
- He was alright. I figured he could've stopped at least one of the first two LA goals. He wasn't going to get beaten on a straight play in the third though, as he was locked on. I'm sure enough people have commented on his puck-handling, which is certainly a little scary, but didn't get him into trouble.
Thanks for the report LMHF#1. Good observation on Deslauriers -- I'm sorry, but the guy overhandles the puck. He is not Brodeur, or even Luongo who has had his occasional adventures as well, he is worse. Why isn't the new goalie coach (Chabot, I think his name is) trying to get him to limit the time he handles it? Something tells me Deslauriers does not have it in him to be more than an average starter in the NHL; almost every game, there is at least one that gets past him that is questionable.

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12-16-2009, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghostbuster View Post
I thought the overall the D was pretty weak.
I really didn't see LA getting that many even half-decent chances. We lost because we couldn't pull the trigger on ours.

As for the "AHL guys", it'll be interesting to see what happens going forward. It sure looks like both Potulny and Stone are in for good.

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12-16-2009, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1 View Post
I really didn't see LA getting that many even half-decent chances. We lost because we couldn't pull the trigger on ours.

As for the "AHL guys", it'll be interesting to see what happens going forward. It sure looks like both Potulny and Stone are in for good.
Grebeshkov fumbled on the first goal. Visnovsky got schooled on the second goal. Both goals were preventable IMO. Third goal was a team fail.

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12-16-2009, 12:57 AM
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Man oh man, what is with the Edmonton fans? in the final minute of the game, and they're all just sitting there like they're watching Schindler's List the Musical.

Horrible crowd, Oiler fans need to step it up.

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12-16-2009, 01:00 AM
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Man oh man, what is with the Edmonton fans? in the final minute of the game, and they're all just sitting there like they're watching Schindler's List the Musical.

Horrible crowd, Oiler fans need to step it up.
I noticed that tonight! Right from the beginning!

I am not sure if it was the weather or not but the crowd was just dead tonight.

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12-16-2009, 06:45 AM
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A few observations from my couch..Overall, I thought we could have won this one easily, thought we would, but got beat by a better goalie and a horrible PP.

- Nilsson is playing great. I didn't see him buckle too much in the 3rd like LMHF says. I do agree though, he doesn't have full confidence yet. His PP work is not great, and he had a 2-on-1 where everyoen in the rink knew he was passing. He seems afraid to be selfish.

-O'Sullivan is a waste of space at this point. Weak on the puck, not creative, not fast and shoots everything into the goalie directly. Unless he finds some magic chemistry with Comrie, I hope he's gone at the deadline. I'd much rather have other guys taking his minutes.

- I'm not sure what to think of Cogs. The guy gets moving, gets over the blue line, makes a half stop move and then dishes it usually to nobody. His work in the corners and d-zone is there, and is getting better, but offensively, this guy needs a spark.

- Not sure what you saw on goal #1, but Grebs was totally to blame for that one. He completely mishandled a pass on his tape, turned the wrong way and never got back in the play. He looked rusty, but gets a pass seeing as his first game in a while.

- The PP is horrid. If you don't score PP goals, you're not going to win a whole lot over the long term. The team looks absolutely LOST on the PP.

- Quick was WAY better than Deslaurier. Deslauriers I thought let in 3 bad goals tonight, mostly due to overplaying it, or being too jumpy. The first was a fanjob that he overplayed badly and so the squeaker went by. The 2nd was a terrible terrible rebound he put right to the King player (mind you, tough for any goalie to make that play), and the 3rd, well, that just has to be stopped, it didn't look deflected to me.

- What has happened to the building that once took pride in how loud it could get? Part of "home-Ice" advantage is actually knowing you're at home. Come on E-Town, get loud.

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12-16-2009, 09:55 AM
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Disagree on comments re Penner, Jacques, Stortini, Grebeshkov and Staios but overall a good repot

If you were disappointed with Penner's play last night then Jagr wouldve bored u in the 90s aswell. He dominated everytime he was on ice.. Greene tried his best to contain him but it only made Penner play better.. He couldve easily had another 4 point game if JDD was in net for LA.

Jacques' fight got the team going.. He isnt a fighter but went against a heavy weight.. He lost the fight but it sparked a comeback for us..

Stortini got some good hits in and was never a liability... I dont understand him and Jacques getting benched in the 3rd when LA players <Greene an co> were hitting every Oiler in sight..

Grebeshkov sucked as a "defenceman".. Strudwick, Chorney or even Arsene wouldve done better..

Blaming Staios for 1st goal against is not fair.. the blame should be shared between Grebeshkov and Deslaurier.. I never liked Staios but hes been looking decent this year.. seems a little faster, sounder defensively and is making good plays offensively.

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12-16-2009, 10:11 AM
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One of the things i was most excited for when the new coaching staff came on board was the potential for a legitimate powerplay, and boy do we not have that.

It frustrates me to see gilbert and souray on the powerplay. First of all, i don't know why anyone would put him on the left point. He belongs in the one time position. Secondly, you can't have a right hand passer for souray's one timer, it takes to long for him to turn and pass. I would prefer the visnovsky and souray pairing, it worked wonders for souray last year.

Also to people who don't think we need hemsky...

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12-16-2009, 10:17 AM
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Not sure how anyone could blame anyone by Grebeshkov for the first goal. That was all on him.

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12-16-2009, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
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One of the things i was most excited for when the new coaching staff came on board was the potential for a legitimate powerplay, and boy do we not have that.

It frustrates me to see gilbert and souray on the powerplay. First of all, i don't know why anyone would put him on the left point. He belongs in the one time position. Secondly, you can't have a right hand passer for souray's one timer, it takes to long for him to turn and pass. I would prefer the visnovsky and souray pairing, it worked wonders for souray last year.

Also to people who don't think we need hemsky...
Gilbert-Souray pairing would be good if Gilbert was on left point and Souray on right..
Right hand passer on left point is better then Visnovsky being there..

After the timeout last night we shouldve had Souray on the left point instead of Visnovsky.. Souray wouldve had a good shot on goal..

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12-16-2009, 10:23 AM
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Not sure how anyone could blame anyone by Grebeshkov for the first goal. That was all on him.
To be fair, JDD looked like a turtle bit him on that floppity save attempt.

I'm not sure why our dmen seem to love attacking the shooter on 2 on 1's as well. Aren't they supposed to be taking the pass away?

Having said all that, Grebeshkov was a bad decision machine last night. And he's been that way all season.

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12-16-2009, 11:46 AM
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Not sure how anyone could blame anyone by Grebeshkov for the first goal. That was all on him.
I've never been one to blame a goal on a fumbled cross-ice pass at the opposition blue. They are very dangerous plays, especially for the receiver. It's true he didn't do a very good job with it, but both defencemen got back into a position where they could have at least made it tough for LA to score and they didn't.

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12-16-2009, 11:55 AM
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I'm not sure why our dmen seem to love attacking the shooter on 2 on 1's as well. Aren't they supposed to be taking the pass away?
I always took the approach of attacking the shooter at the blue line if you could. I found that even very good players are most prone to mistakes in a 2-on-1 at that point as they haven't yet made a decision about what to do.

As the play goes lower, you do your very best to take the pass away, hopefully from a position that allows you to angle towards the shooter ever so slightly. Needless to say this wasn't a typical 2-on-1.

In my world, Staios should've attacked the shooter while skating forwards rather than wasting valuable time and real estate turning backwards. Grebeshkov could have then turned slightly to his left in time to either tap the stick, lift it, or intercept/deflect the puck. Staios wasted valuable time and energy putting on the brakes, the pass was made right at this time.

Either way, they had several moments of confusion last night.


Last edited by LoudmouthHemskyfan#1: 12-16-2009 at 12:42 PM.
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12-16-2009, 12:39 PM
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theranfordflop
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I always took the approach of attacking the shooter at the blue line if you could. I found that even very good players are most prone to mistakes in a 2-on-1 at that point as they haven't yet made a decision about what to do.
Ya, but that's tough when you've got that guy hanging around behind you. I feel like Staios played it very well entering the zone, especially considering the two entered at the same time. A lot of times the second man is trailing a bit, and you have time to go after the shooter early, but not in this case.

Quote:
As the play goes lower, you do your very best to take the pass away, hopefully from a position that allows you to angle towards the shooter ever so slightly. Needless to say this wasn't a typical 2-on-1.

In my world, Staios should've attacked the shooter while skating forwards rather than wasting valuable time and real estate turning backwards. Grebeshkov could have then turned slightly to his left in time to either tap the stick, lift it, or intercept/deflect the puck. Staios wasted valuable time and energy putting on the breaks, the pass was made right at this time.
In my world Staios lays down. Take the pass away and make the shooter shoot. Simple. Effective.

Quote:
Either way, they had several moments of confusion last night.
Ya, I suppose just enough to lose.

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