Saturday, January 28, 2012
Heading into this season, Ladislav Smid was on the sideline nursing a sore shoulder and I had questioned if the time had come for the Oilers to seriously consider moving the popular defenceman. Smid had become somewhat injury prone in recent seasons and with him already getting hurt during the pre-season, it wasn't looking good for the big defender. Though he was expected to miss the first handful of games to start the year, Smid was in the starting lineup on opening night against the Pittsburgh Penguins and he has not looked back since. Ladislav has turned himself into the solid top four shutdown defenceman that both fans and the organization were hoping he could be. With Smid finally comfortable in his role, the question now becomes how good can this guy get? In my mind, he has more to give and should only get better from here on out.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
In recent weeks, one could sometimes question the Edmonton Oilers effort level on a nightly basis but for the second consecutive evening, this team gave all they had against two of the premier teams in the Western Conference. While they were able to pull off a 2-1 shootout victory on Monday night against the San Jose Sharks, they fell just short of pulling off the same result against the Vancouver Canucks, losing 3-2 in yet another shootout. Cody Hodgson scored the shootout winner and Roberto Luongo stopped four of the five shooters he faced, in beating Edmonton for the third time this season. Devan Dubnyk started in goal for the second consecutive night and was outstanding in making 33 saves on the night.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk's 2011-2012 campaign has been a tale of two seasons. When he has been on his game, Dubnyk has looked almost unbeatable. When he has struggled, the big man has looked as though he is in way over his head, letting in weak goals at the worst possible time. Fortunately for the Oilers, it was the good Dubnyk that stepped onto the ice against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night. Thanks to their netminder's solid 44 save performance, the Edmonton Oilers were able to snap their latest three game slide, with a 2-1 shootout victory over the slumping Sharks.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
You would have thought after the unexpected return of Taylor Hall from a grisly injury earlier in the week, the Edmonton Oilers would have been raring to go against their provincial rivals on Saturday night. Unfortunately, the undermanned Oilers continued to underwhelm in being trashed 6-2 by the Calgary Flames on home ice. Lee Stempniak led the charge for the surging Flames with his second career hat-trick and Blake Comeau chipped in with a three point night. Calgary is now 4-0 against Edmonton on the season and currently sit two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.