Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins – Game 14 [L 2-0]

 

Oilers at Boston - TD Gardens

Oilers at Boston - TD Gardens

 

Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins [October 31, 2009; 11:00 am]

Happy Halloween!

Today, the Edmonton Oilers (7-5-1) will be playing the Boston Bruins (5-5-1) at the TD Garden.  Did I mention that the game itself is at 11:00 am MT?  As for Boston, they’re coming off a single recent loss against the New Jersy Devils.

Pre-game thoughts:

Boston’s special teams have been fairly lackluster this season with a penalty kill ranking 22nd in the league while their powerplay is ranked even lower at 27th.  As for the Oilers, both their powerplay and penalty killing are ranked at 14th in the league.

The Oilers site suggest that Fernando Pisani and Steve Staios both made the trip to Boston along with Mike Comrie and Lubomir Visnovsky.  However, Pisani and Staios are both unlikely to play today as Pat Quinn said that he brought them along in case of an emergency.  In contrast, Comrie and Visnovsky will be a game day decision.  Pat Quinn’s suggested that the kid line of Gagner, Cogliano, and Nilsson might not play together due to their collective minus number during the recent game vs. Detroit.

Much like the recent game vs. the Detroit Red Wings, today’s game will be a story about defensemen or lack thereof.  If Lubomir Visnovsky doesn’t play, then the Oilers will be forced to play Chorney, Strudwick, and Peckham.  Srudwick’s beyond his career or comfort level for the amount of icetime that he’s played per game this year.  In short, he’s more effective with less minutes.  As for Chorney and Peckham, Peckham was thought to be higher up on the Oilers depth chart even with his recent injury.  However, Chorney’s moved up ahead of Peckham on the depth chart partly due to Peckham’s injury during the preseason.  Peckham and Strudwick when paired together have an innate ability to induce abject fear into many Oilers fans.  I hope that we don’t see them together today.

Edmonton Oilers projected lineup:

[My best guess]

Penner – Horcoff – Hemsky
Cogliano- Gagner – Nilsson
Jacques – Brule – O’Sullivan
Moreau – Pisani – Stortini
Smid- Grebeshkov
Gilbert – Chorney
Strudwick – Peckham

Boston Bruins projected lineup:

[From the examiner.com]

Marco Sturm—David Krejci—Mark Recchi
Brad Marchand—Patrice Bergeron—Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille—Vladimir Sobotka—Blake Wheeler
Shawn Thornton—Steve Begin—Byron Bitz

Zdeno Chara—Derek Morris
Andrew Ference—Dennis Wideman
Matt Hunwick—Mark Stuart

Tuukka Rask/Tim Thomas

Game Notes

  1. Visnovsky, Comrie, and Staios did not play
  2. Sheldon Souray was put on retroactive long-term IR to make cap room for Fernando Pisani

Period 1 – Edmonton 0 / Boston 0

  • Overall, I think that the Oilers were outplayed during this period.  The shot totals favored Boston 7-5, but they also flubbed a number opportunities.
  • Peckham’s having a little better game, but he sometimes puts himself out of the play in his end by making checks.
  • The Kid line is playing tonight and they’ve been better tonight in terms of creating chances.
  • Boston’s trying to match Chara with Penner.
  • The Oilers have only managed to get 5 shots this period-nearly all from outside of scoring zones–not to mention these shots were from Moreau, Chorney, Peckham.
  • Hesmky’s looking a little sluggish and has made a few turnovers.

Period 2 – Edmonton 0 / Boston 0

Saved by the Bell! Boston scored just after the clock ran down at the end of the second period – no goal

  • Absolutely brutal period for the Oilers who were hemmed in their zone for much of it.
  • The Oilers were unable to get any pressure down low or to get the cycle going until late in the 2nd with the top line out.
  • Peckham took a penalty for tripping and had a few bad give aways including one that nearly lead to a goal.  If Peckham/Strudwick are  on the ice, you can look for the puck to be in the Oilers zone.
  • The shot clock only shows a 16-12 disparity, but this doesn’t reflect much about the game itself.
  • Chorney got pyloned pretty bad on one play by Bitz who nearly scored.
  • The Oilers haven’t had a single powerplay in this game yet!

Period 3 – Edmonton O / Boston 2

  • Boston opens up the scoring with their fourth line.  Peckham dropped his stick in his corner and got beat with the puck getting into the net.
  • Boston continues on with a goal from creating a 2-1 on Smid with Horcoff trying to get back into the play with Grebeshkov no where to be seen.
  • Overall, this game’s looking worse than the Chicago game.
  • We had our first powerplay in the third but didn’t do much with it–no shots on net.
  • Zdeno Chara owned 3 Oilers behind his net on the second Oilers’ powerplay.

Post game thoughts:

  • The Boston Bruins win with a score of 2-0.
  • The Oilers notch their third shutout loss in only four games.
  • The only reprieve on our recent shutout losses had a lot to do with the goaltending of Howard of the Detroit Red Wings.
  • Peckham’s a good Oilers’ prospect, but he’s currently nowhere near being ready to play in the NHL at this point.
  • Strudwick’s best days are behind him.
  • Khabibulin had a good night in net for the Oilers.
  • Horpensky got shut down during this game.  Hemsky was sluggish and made a number of bad/intercepted passes in the neutral zone.
  • Boston was able to utilize long stretch passes or just speed in the neutral zone  to create a ton of chances on the rush.  They followed up with a good cycle in the Oilers zone and created a ton of pressure down low.
  • The Oilers were barely able to get the puck into Boston’s zone and when they did, they were lucky to get a shot on net from the perimeter.
  • Shot total 27-19 favoring Boston.  Shots from prime locations also favored Boston 11-3.
  • I can’t honestly say that I expect the Oilers to win many games with Chorney playing 20 minutes and Strudwick/Peckham each getting 15 minutes of icetime.  Peckham does need to lose weight or anything, but he does seem to lack footspeed.

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