(OT) Bruins - 1 @ Oilers - 0 (Rexall Place / PPV); Brent Sutter speaks out about Brandon/Doug Weight incident
According the the Boston Bruins PPV announcer, they have SUPERMAN in net. Apparently its true, because the Oilers were shut out this game - with a little help from Sam Gagner and the Bruins PP. Roloson played markedly well.
In this photo, Tim Thomas watches the puck fly by him. For the longest time, the former Oilers goaltending prospect thought he would watch his career fly by him as well. As you are all probably familiar with by now, the Thomas story involves a lot of perserverance, determination, and patience. In the last few years Thomas has established himself as the #1 in Boston. This year, it's not so etched in stone as Fernandez has come in to Boston as the #1b, perhaps to push Thomas to play better, who knows.
The only thing worse than watching your career fly by is watching PPV that is not worth your time. For those of you who were not at Rexall Place, tonight's game was on PPV and I've got to say I wasn't too impressed with the team's uninspired coverage last year on the PPV. But as a result of my unwillingness to commit to feeding the profitable yet lacklustre Oilers PPV machine, I decided to stream the game online from a popular P2P streaming forum. To be fair, I haven't watched an Oilers PPV game yet this year so I will be curious to see how they have changed it for this 2008-09 season.
To be fair, the shots were pretty close by the end of the 3rd but the Bruins still outshot the Oilers by a considerable margin. Still, it was an entertaining game and the 1-0 score is misleading.
Turns out the Boston Bruins have poor PPV coverage as well. Not only are the announcers heavily biased in their coverage of the Bruins they also get excited (they sound like they peed their pants) over seemingly unimportant plays which confuses listeners/watchers when the play is actually worth getting riled up for (think 630 CHED but on crack and from Boston). Furthermore, the Boston announcers called our rink Rexall Center. Come on buddy, you're a professional - get it right. This is down the same school of the announcers who have poisoned the airwaves with mystery players such as "Sam Cogliano" and polluted the press with the likes of the infamous Ladislav "Smead."
The Oilers performance tonight:
The Oilers started the game getting heavily outshot in the 1st period due to some spirited D coverage by the Bruins. Once the Oilers got into the flow of it, Hemsky and Cole were starting to zip around in the 2nd period. Grebeshkov and Gilbert looked great again.
3rd period: Roloson keeps the team in it and Cole, Moreau, and Cogliano make a lot of great plays going into the Bruins zone. Hemsky beginning to play a bit more of backchecking, stripping Nokeleinen of the puck at one point. The announcer did not feign to describe the great goaltending on this night. Roloson robs Savard at one point. Sam Gagner was mostly unoticable but he did pull of some sweet moves in the last minute of play. More on Sam Gagner's play later. All examples point to one thing: team chemistry and consistency are starting to find its way into the Oilers play.
OT: Sam Gagner's play leads to some mayhem in the D-zone. Oilers fail to kill off the subsequent penalty. Sigh.
At least we got 1 point, eh?
The D in the Oilers defensive zone is still a bit worrisome in terms of challenging shooters, though. I don't know if anybody else notices this, but we just let people cycle around the outside forever and ever and ever... this is like a PK, except it lasts the whole game. Sure, we haveMacT and Huddy who know all about playing defensively. But there has to be some time in the D-zone when someone has to pull a Regehr or Smith and strip a guy of the puck with strong physical play? Otherwise the opposition is going to tee up one-timers from the slot all game, and that sure caused us to bite the bullet in the Vancouver game. I'm sure a small change to the D-zone coverage could prevent the Oilers from being outshot every game.
Boston Bruins Announcement Gems:
(1) OH MY GODDDD.... SUPERMAN!
(2) Coming straight to you from Rexall Center...
(3) Steve Staios was coming in the back door HARD...
Brent Sutter speaks out:
Brent Sutter, a hockey pseudo-legend, spoke about the Doug Weight hit on his son here. Here is obviously peeved about it, and relates the following quote:
It was a hard hit, a legal hit ... but something has to be done about players being hit in the head while in a vulnerable position.
Sutter nails it on the dot. Also quoted:
If a player got hit in the head, whether it was clean or dirty, you knew what was going to happen. It was going to be a long night for the guy who did the hitting. And the next time, it would be a long night.
The game today is better in a lot of areas. But in some areas, it's not and it's troublesome. There is a lack of respect for opponents' players. It's the way the game is played today, and there are significant injuries. It is what it is.
Unfortunately, the league is better at wiping out one thing and not the other. One thing is a deterrent to the other thing (aka big hits draw revenge so thus prevent stupid plays) but if you remove the balance then there will be too much of one thing. In a weird kind of way, the senseless violence balances out the senseless violence: revenge brawls or fights send a message about decking vulnerable guys on the ice. Not that I would suggest the Canes go and target Doug Weight, but it is a pretty effective deterrent to on-ice headshots. And obviously more effective than anything the league has tried recently...