The final score last night was 4-0 but the score doesn’t really reflect how the Oilers played against the Coyotes. Overall the team played alright but by no means was they spectacular.
In the first half dozen minutes of the game it looked like this one could get really ugly really fast for Oiler fans. The Coyotes dominated the play and had the Oilers pinned in their own end almost the entire time. According to the official NHL play by play report in the first 6:40 of the game the Oilers were outshot 7-3 by the Coyotes. The Oilers were also credited (doesn’t seem like the right word in this case) with five turnovers and were losing the takeaway battle 4-1.
It doesn’t paint a pretty picture does it?
But the Oilers managed to not fall behind early and actually grabbed the lead on a nice goal by the captain. The play started with a great stretch pass from Visnovsky up to Potulny who found Moreau streaking down the right side. It was really a good goal and a nice change to see the captain put some marks on the useful side of the ledger for once.
The Oilers really grabbed control of the game a couple of minutes later when Souray and Hemsky scored just seven seconds apart – a new Oiler record. Souray’s goal was pure junk; Lombardi tried to clear the puck but bounced it off another defender and into the net. That the Oilers followed up that lucky bounce with another goal so quickly really took the wind out of the Coyotes sails.
The second period was a good for the Oilers, one that ended with a Horcoff goal with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. On Saturday night the Oilers were one tick on the wrong side of the green light at the end of the second period, last night it evened out.
Through two periods the score was 4-0 and the Oilers had played around 34 minutes of good hockey. Then there was the third period and it wasn’t good. It was more of what we all saw to start the game; turnovers and lots of scoring chances for the Coyotes.
Quinn’s post game comments summed up the Oilers play late in the game pretty well.
Our forwards were available and wanted the puck. That made for a good early performance until we got fat and happy. I don’t know why this team would ever have that happen to them because we haven’t accomplished squat yet.
The third period was sloppy all around for the Oilers. The Coyotes carried the play and outshot the Oilers 15-6. This is a game the Oilers have to win and that’s the kind of third period they come up with. I don’t get it. Is it leadership problems, a lack of attention to detail, or just plain old stupidity?
But as bad as the team played in front of him Deslauriers stood tall and managed to come away with his first career shutout. After back to back ugly performances it was a welcome sight to see him turn aside 36 shots last night en route to the win. The shaky saves were gone and he played an excellent game overall.
Up next for the Oilers will be the Kings on Wednesday night at Rexall Place. The Kings have lost their last two games but should be well rested since they haven’t played since Saturday night in Calgary. Recently the Oilers have struggle against the Kings. Last season they went 1-2-1 against them and in the last three seasons the Oilers have beaten the Kings just twice in six tries on home ice.
Filed Under: Edmonton Oilers
About the Author: I'm a life long fan of hockey, especially the Oilers. The primary purpose of my day job is to get money to support my addiction to the Oil. Between season seats, beer, and merchandise I shudder to think about how much money I feed into Oiler coffers every year. My addiction to the Oil knows no bounds, when I got married in Mexico the whole trip had to be shifted after everything was booked so that I'd be back for the Mark Messier jersey retirement. My wife is very understanding and I'm in a good place with my addiction right now so I see no reason to change anything. I can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow my random thoughts at http://twitter.com/ryan_batty.