Okay, so the Oilers lost last night 3-1 in the preseason game vs. The Vancouver Canucks. Since you can learn as much or more from a loss than a win, let’s review some aspects of the game.
To start with here was the roster for last night’s game:
The defensive pairings:
- JDD did look pretty good last night and he did get tested with a number of quality shots.
- Last night, we saw what happens when you have too many small lines on the ice. For the most part, pretty much every line lacked both much compete level or overall effectiveness. If my name were say, Ryan Stone, I might like my chances of finding a roster spot even more.
- Is it time for the Gagner/Hemsky experiment to end? So far, it looks like Horcoff is a much better bet to center number 83. Horcoff might be a better fit given that he does have some size and plays a different style of game than Hemsky–unlike Gagner. To me, it seemed the Hemsky was a somewhat of a ‘lone ranger’ last night in deciding to try low percentage shots instead of setting up a play.
- Is it time to send Cogliano to the wing? Cogliano was not very effective on the draw–he won most of his draws in the neutral zone and lost most of his draws both in the offensive and defensive zone. Cogliano and Penner didn’t look very good on the ice together last night. Cogliano also looked a little bit lost on the powerplay.
- Nilsson was slotted on a checking line last night and he didn’t fit in well. When he wasn’t drawing bad penalties, he was not playing very effectively. As for his reported 15 lbs in bulk that he added over the summer, it didn’t seem to show much in his play.
- After the 1st period, the game was pretty ugly to watch. Our special teams–both PK and especially the PP both looked absolutely brutal. It wasn’t pleasant to even see a guy like Dustin Penner trying to play dump and chase to gain the zone on a powerplay.
- Souray shooting from the blueline was pretty much the only quality scoring chances that we were able to generate during the game, which doesn’t say a lot–other than that Souray’s a tremendous value for offense.
Let’s take a look at some faceoff data:
- 19/52 total faceoffs won by oilers (37%)
- Reddox– 2/11–18%
Okay, so there’s not too much to say about this–except that it’s not really surprising to see. The Oilers were weak on faceoffs last year which will only be magnified by the loss of Brodziak… The numbers are even worse than they suggest as neither Pouliot or Cogliano won many draws in either the offensive or defensive zones.