The weather is unpredictable, as evidenced the wicked wind that swept through the city of Edmonton today. Unpredictable also is the game of hockey.
Key reasons for an Oilers' loss:
a) the loss of Strudwick and Cole (and along with him all the positive momentum)
b) not converting freebies (Nilsson, Pouliot, and Nilsson again)
c) an overall fatigue from playing 3 games in 4 nights
There were 3 or 4 times (at least) where the Oilers didn't capitalize on their chances where they should've or could've that would have totally changed the tide of the game. Not that this is trying to place blame in any way, but it is definitely a learning experience for the Nilsson's and Pouliot's for whom we have been singing praise as of late.
Erik Cole's looked really good on the RW and I think Alexander Edler agrees. After Cole and Pouliot's chances, it could easily have been 3-1 Oilers at one point. But it didn't end up that way: Cole got kicked out for a stupid jersey rule that not every ref calls nowadays anyway and Pouliot shot it off Luongo and then the post (yes, consecutively) despite the indescribable openness of the open net. It was wide, wide, wide open, and he had all, all, all the time in the world.
Playing with Hemsky, Nilsson fanned on a one-timer play, and he did so again playing with Grebeshkov. Sure, these things happen all the time in tight situations. Sure, some people will say Grebeshkov should've shot the darn biscuit. I disagree. The only thing that's hard to swallow is missing tape-to-tape plays. You gotta convert those buddy! When Grebs dekes out the whole
'Nucks squad and leaves you an empty net to convert, you gotta convert. Same with Pouliot not converting with Luongo down and out. When you have all the time in the world, you gotta roof it buddy.
Nevertheless, Nilsson and Pouliot were still among the better players out there tonight.
Also, Mattias Ohlund is a freakin' coward. He had his chance to defend his honour against MacIntyre when Steve took a run at him, but no, Davison did that for him. When Cole decided he was game to fight Ohlund, Mattias decided not to take off his helmet equipped with a face mask. For fuck's sake, if you're going to fight a guy who's game, take off your freakin' helmet.
The momentum was not seized and the 'Nucks capitalized on their somewhat marginal chances in the 2nd. We did manage to come back to tie it 3-3, but the 'Nucks eventually took it. Why? Capitalizing on chances and playing consistent hockey.
Another dinger for me is Souray's discretion (or complete lack thereof) when it comes to shot selections. A lot of D-men will shoot or one-time shots at the net on the powerplay if it means they can get a deflection, a rebound, or if they intend to slap-pass it for a play. When it comes to Souray, he shoots everything really hard, all the time. Sure, we know you can shoot it hard Souray. But a) hitting the net is important, and b) shooting it in a situation where it's an obvious blocked shot causes turnovers and odd-man rushes in the opposite direction, where the puck shouldn't be going on your own powerplay. Visnovsky is guilty of this too, but Souray is notoriously guilty. If you're blocked, don't hammer the goddamn biscuit. You have options at the piont even if you're blocked, Sheldon! You can a) walk around the guy after faking the shot or b) slap-pass it to someone for a one-timer or c) shoot it to a marginal scoring area in the goalie's range to create a rebound chance.
And geez, if you're gonna shoot it intentionally at a 'Nucks player blocking the shot, at least break something. I'll take an ankle or knee.
Grebs had a few bad turnovers tonight too, but Mr. Lube and Tom Gilbert bailed him out a couple times - so life's good in the D-zone.
Last thought: yikes, Stortini and MacIntyre are running into each other on that line. I think it's time to split 'em up and use em as deterrents on separate lines.