Saturday, March 24, 2012
After being being passed over in the previous night's shootout, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins showed why that was not the wisest move by the Edmonton Oilers coaching staff. The Nuge was the Edmonton's fourth shooter and was the only player to score for either side, in the Oilers 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk continued his strong play, stopping twenty-six shots and all four Panther shootout attempts, in earning his eighteenth victory of the season.
Friday, March 23, 2012
In recent years, the Edmonton Oilers have made a habit of dropping games to teams that have former Oilers on their roster. The most recent example being last Sunday night, when the trio of Ray Whitney, Raffi Torres and Gilbert Brule came into Rexall Place and found a way to steal two points from their former club. You can now add Dwayne Roloson to that growing list of ex-Oilers that have done in their former organization. The veteran netminder stole the show, stopping thirty-four shots in earning Tampa Bay a 3-2 shootout victory, over former Lightning standout Nikolai Khabibulin.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
As much as this season has not been what the Edmonton Oilers or their fans had envisioned, there have been many positive steps taken forward by certain players. The trio of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have given hockey fans everywhere, a glimpse of what people can expect to see from the talented youngsters for the next decade. Ladislav Smid has taken such huge strides in his game this that he is no longer looked at as a maybe but rather a major piece of the puzzle moving forward. Having said that, no one player has shown more improvement in his overall game then defenceman Jeff Petry. While both the Oilers brass and fans had hoped Petry would eventually develop into a solid top four blueliner, what the twenty-four year old has manged to morph into, is someone with far greater potential then anyone had thought possible.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
While the 2011-2012 campaign has easily been the worst statistical year of Ales Hemsky's nine year NHL career, last night's three goal, four point performance clearly demonstrates the talented winger still has plenty of game left in the tank. Riding the coat tails of their veteran winger and a forty-one save performance from goaltender Devan Dubnyk, the Edmonton Oilers beat the Nashville Predators for the third time this year and chased one of the league's best netminders for the second time this season. Pekka Rinne allowed three goals on just seven shots and Edmonton took care of the rest, downing the overachieving Preds by a score of 6-3. The win gives the Oilers a 5-1-1 mark in their last seven road games, after going 6-20-2 in their first twenty-eight games away from Rexall Place.
Monday, March 19, 2012
About the only good thing that came from last night's 3-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes for the Edmonton Oilers and their fans, was that the win moved the Desert Dogs a full two points clear of the Calgary Flames in the battle for final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. Edmonton blew a 2-0 third period lead, in falling to the Coyotes for the fourth time this season. Former Oiler Ray Whitney led the charge, as he usually does against Edmonton, with a goal and the shootout winner, while goaltender Mike Smith made thirty-six stops to earn his thirty-second win of the season. Edmonton's Jordan Eberle continued his strong play, notching his thirty-second of the season and giving the talented sophomore seventy points on the campaign, which leaves him in a tie for ninth in league scoring with New York Islander star forward John Tavares.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
After watching Taylor Hall be knocked into next week by Calgary Flames defenceman Cory Sarich during Friday night's Battle of Alberta, all I could think was someone better pay for that hit and pay big time. Instead, we saw the same old non-sense from the Oilers. In all honesty, Edmonton's decision to not answer the bell and send a message to not only the Flames but the rest of the NHL, that their players better not be targeted or there will be hell to pay...was utterly embarrassing. If they truly believe they sent a message to their provincial rivals by beating them on the scoreboard, they are living in a dream world. This mindset could have a disastrous outcome and potentially put the Edmonton Oilers talented young players in a very bad situation.