At General Motors Place in Vancouver at 8pm (MT), the Edmonton Oilers will face the Vancouver Canucks. It’s going to be a tough game to play coming off the loss just last night to Calgary and again playing with a depleted roster.
Edmonton Oilers (0) vs. Vancouver Canucks(2)-Game 11– aka 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back. In short, probably one of the all-time most boring hockey games that I’ve watched. Yes, it was a snooze fest.
The story of tonight’s game will be how the Edmonton oilers will be able to persevere through the on-going saga of adversity that’s been characterised by the Flu bug and injuries. Again, the Oilers will be without the physical presence or cannon from the blue line with Sheldon Souray still out indefinitely. From what it sounds like, Mike Comrie will again be out of the lineup with the flu. However, it’s been suggested that Gilbert Brule will be playing tonight and show help to improve our bottom six from last night.
The Edmonton Oilers projected lineup:
Penner – Gagner – Hemsky
Moreau – Horcoff – O’Sullivan
Jacques – Cogliano – Nilsson
Stortini – Brule – Strudwick
Gilbert – Grebeshkov
Smid – Visnovsky
Peckham – Chorney
The Vancouver Canucks projected lineup:
Burrows – H. Sedin – Samuelsson
Raymond – Kesler – Grabner
Shirokov – Bolduc – Bernier
Hordichuk – Johnson – Glass
Mitchell – Edler
Ehrhoff – Rome
O’Brien – Bieksa
Period 1 – Vancouver 1 / Edmonton o
- Edmonton’s been out shot 10-7 with Vancouver also having the edge 7-3 in shooting from prime shot locations.
- I suspect the shot differential tipped to Vancouver’s favor later in the period.
- Edmonton failed to convert on a 5v3 powerplay.
- Stortini and Hordichuk had a pretty good tilt. Stortini looked to get more punches in and got the take down, but walked away himself with blood all over his jersey.
- I am not really sure why Quinn/Renney seem to love Chorney/Strudwick on the penalty kill.
- Vancouver converted with a redirect goal by Michael Grabner on their powerplay. Chorney left Grabner wide-open in front of the net.
- Overall, it was a fairly even period until Grebeshkov went to the box on a obstruction call near Vancouver’s blue line which lead to Vancouver’s powerplay goal.
Period 2 – Vancouver 2 / Edmonton O
- On the one hand we do have a depleted roster, but I am not sure that we’re doing a very good job with line-matching. Seeing the Sedin line on the ice vs. Moreau, Stortini, Cogliano with Peckham on defense is pretty questionable.
- For the most part, the Oilers were out-played during this period (Out-shot 19-16).
- Peckham played hot-potato with the puck in his end and rifled it around the boards with no pressure to move the puck on him. The puck was stopped at the Oilers blue line and found its way into the back of the net in less than 5 seconds.
- Peckham’s played on the wing and on d, but he looks to be far behind even Chorney in terms of defensive abilities.
- With all three of Peckham, Chorney, and Strudwick on our roster, the mistakes are bound to happen and lead to goals against.
- At least a few of our powerplays have occured with our top line drawing the penalty. The problem with this being that they go to the bench and we’re not left with much on the power play.
- I don’t imagine too many teams would use players like Jacques or Stortini on their power play units.
- Cogliano and Nilsson might be sick, but their offensive game is no where to be seen tonight.
Period 3 Vancouver 2 / Edmonton 0
- Grabner went to the box for four minutes (double minor) on a high sticking penalty (Lubo got cut).
- The Oilers were unable to convert on the 4 minute power play.
- Vancouver’s penalty kill was pretty effective at limiting passes and blocking shooting lanes.
- Final shot total was 29-27 favoring Vancouver
- Shot locations from prime locations also favored Vancouver 12-7
- Hemsky/Penner/Gagner had some good pressure shifts in the third but were unable to score.
Post game thoughts:
First, I will concede that it’s never fun watching your team lose a game while it’s worse yet when they don’t put any points up on the board.
Overall, the Oilers several defensive zone lapses combined with their inability to score lead to a relatively close loss. Stortini’s been described by others as a “low event player” on both sides of the ice and he plays a physical but simple game. On the one hand, he plays a fairly smart yet simple game. Conversely, Stortini seems to lack adequate foot speed and skill to avoid killing the offense for his team when he’s on the ice. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Stortini, but I don’t love him playing this many minutes in a game particularly when we’re behind on the score board.
Whether due to linemates or illness, Cogliano and Nilsson have not looked particularly good these past few games. Nilsson himself was making brutal passes all night that failed to even come close to connecting to anyone on his team. To their credit, Vancouver did a very effective job at shutting down our top line. With Comrie out and our top line loaded up with Gagner, Hemsky, and Penner, the rest of the line combinations just didn’t look very dangerous.