Well not much has changed since the last game. Everyone is healthy and ready to play so that means the lines will not change. It looks like Roli is going to get the start tonight. I wonder if he is going to play in both games? Hardcore if he is. Before this game starts, the Oilers are sitting in 9th with 60 pts. Vancouver is in 5th with 62 pts. So this game is important that we pick up these 2 pts.
The Oilers start the game off well. Good jump to their step. The 1st 5:00 minutes flew by like nothing. No real chances for either side other than the first few quick shots by the Oil. But good flow. At 5:58, Souray takes a penalty and the Coyotes are on the PP. Good thing the Oilers kill that off with no real good chances by the Coyotes. This is one of those periods that the time is going quick and the action is plenty, but no real big chances yet which makes it kind of boring and there is 8:15 left. It gets hard to describe a period when the play is like this. I mean come on... I want to boo something. Or cheer. Shots are 11 for Phx, and 7 for Edm. Ok... speaking of action. The Oilers get some PP time. Let's hope for a quick goal here. Well, Bobby Nilsson gets a nice breakaway chance. But can't score. Nice try though, very exciting. If someone can throw a big hit, the momentum will swing in their favour. The 4th line comes out and lays out some hits but not quite the "big one". So far this period all the lines have been good. All steady and stable. Then near the end of the period Jokinen throws a puck to the net and it bounces off of Souray towards the net. Roli had to be sharp and stick out the big toe to make a fantastic save. Yay Roli! So that is the end of the 1st period and the score is 0-0. The shots are also tied at 13 a piece. Let's hope the Oilers get fired up during the intermission. End of period score: 0-0 Tie Game
Well the Oilers look like they want to have a better period. The #1 and #2 lines came out with some quick chances. Even Penner tried to "stick handle in a phone booth". Well that's what Kevin Quinn said anyways. There has been good flow to this game. No one has stood out as 1st star yet (other than Roli), and I think something is going to have to give. Over at OilersNation I predicted 6-1 Oilers. And so far that is not happening. At the halfway mark the shots are 2 for the Oilers and 1 for the Coyotes. I am not sure why everyone looks for the pass and not the shot? Well Nilsson gets another breakaway chance. No goal again. But right after that Peckham has words with Goertzen because he ran into Roli. Next thing you know, Peckham is putting up the dukes. Good fight. Kind of a draw. But Goertzen ends up getting a penalty for the Roli run and sits for another 5 for fighting Peckham. PP Oilers. Good momentum changer. The Kid line has a great shift together but Phx kills it off. A little while later Phx takes another penalty. Another chance for the Oilers. Penner picks up the puck in the right corner and he brings it out to the front of the net. He shoots... rebound. Hemsky scores! (Hemsky from Penner and Horcoff) 1-0 Oilers. But at 16:48, Nilsson gets another chance to score but decides to grab a stick in the corner and takes a penalty. Damn! That's not all... at 17:23, Moreau takes another bad timing penalty and puts the Oilers down to 5 on 3. But the Oilers kill both penalties off and that is nothing short of amazing. But Ethan Moreau takes another penalty at 19:48 and gives more chances for Phoenix to score. And they do with 2.6 seconds left in the period. 1-1 Tie. All that hard work for nothing. But as the whistle blows, Stortini gets into it (14th of the year) with Fedoruk. Nothing really happens but a few punches are thrown. Fedoruk falls and Storts wants to crank him but doesn't. End of period score: 1-1 Tie Game
So here we are tied and ready for some action. Souray takes the 1st shot of the period right off the hop. Hey, that's a good way to start. Chopper tries a wrap around and almost scores. A few shifts later MacT sends out 18, 51, and 85. This line gives Phx some serious pressure. A couple of chances but they don't come out with a goal. Oh! Coyotes take a penalty. Oilers have a bit of momentum and a good chance here to get up by one with the man advantage. Yes! Souray with the bomb from the blue line. Oh yeah... 2-1 Oilers. (at 5:33, Souray from Hemsky from Gilbert) Well now we will have to see how the Oilers respond to the lead change. Phoenix battles hard with the Oil for the next while until Penner takes a penalty at 12:06. Phx should have been called just before that as Hemsky was high sticked, but it was missed by the refs. During the PP the Coyotes crash the net and Souray flips and starts swinging. Amazingly, he doesn't get a penalty. Roli makes some great saves and seems to be one of the best Oilers once again. The excitement level is rising in this game now that there is only 5:00 left. The 2nd line comes out firing on all 8 cylinders. Then Smid with his head down gets hammered by Goertzen in front of the Oilers net. Ouch! Now here is Phx with a little momentum. Roli has to come up with a huge save to save the score from being tied again. Then some smack talk happens and a kerfuffle happens. Souray wants to kill. Hemsky is swearing at people. Penner is grabbing people. But nothing happens. So now that the intensity level is flying high (quite the change from the 1st) Gilbert tries to chip the puck out and does just that. Out and over the glass. PP for Phx. Damn! During the PK, Souray fires three times at the empty net but misses. That's ok. As long as it's not in our net. With Gilbert coming out of the box, Horcoff picks up the loose puck and shoots it in the empty net at 19:36. 3-1 Oilers. Awesome! (Horcoff from Gilbert) That will be the game folks and now we are sitting in 6th place with 62 pts. Wooooooo! 4 out of 4 points so far on this roadie. Nice job Oilers! MacT for Mayor? Just sayin'...
Tonight's Starting Lines
Penner Horcoff Hemsky (This line was good tonight. Penner didn't look lazy. Horcoff was earning his money. Hemsky was Hemsky but without the flashy moves)
Nilsson Gagner Cole (This line was also good tonight. Nilsson was fast and on his game. Gagner is becoming the next Hemsky... but better. Cole was pretty effective in all situations.)
Moreau Cogliano Pouliot (This line was kind of not noticeable. That's a good thing if you are a defenseman but this is the 3rd line and that's not good. Moreau took a couple of penalties that killed momentum. Cogliano only looked great when he was with the Kid Line on the PP. Poliuot is the week link here. Reddox would fit better.)
Stortini Brodziak Reddox (The 4th line was trying to be destructive tonight. But this line isn't really a game changing line. Unless of course it's with a big hit or a big fight, and that didn't really happen)
Edmonton Oilers - 3
Phoenix Coyotes - 1
Dwayne Roloson - He was solid tonight. He looks to be in top form which is great if your an Oiler fan. He sure has put the naysayers to rest since the Garon trade. Good for him. I couldn't imagine being told that you suck every other day and still show up for work. But he is a gamer and he wants to play. So for another stand up game... have a frosty one Roli. Cheers!
Sheldon Souray - This guy was a workhorse toonight. 26:35 of ice time is a lot for a guy that didn't have to play that much a week ago. But he is showing us why we paid him so much to come here. He did everything right tonight. He kicked the crap out of net crashers and jerks. He scored with his big bomb (6 shots). He combed his hair in between periods to look good for the ladies. He is awesome! Have a nice cold one Souray. You're probably thirsty. Cheers!
Ales Hemsky - He was pretty good today. Not the flashy Hemsky that we are use to. But the useful Hemsky that gets things done even when it looks like he's not trying. He had a goal and an assist tonight, and that's about it (according to the stat sheet). But he had good vision and controlled the puck very well. I think that Hemmer deserves a beer. Cheers!
Honerable Mention - Steve Staios (he did well considering he played 25:57. That's a ton of ice for guy that was lucky to break a sweat most games), Shawn Horcoff (he sure earned his $$$ today. He was stellar all game. 2 Points), Sam Gagner (the little dude was good.), Robert Nilsson (had some great chances but couldn't convert), Tom Gilbert (he had 2 assists but was shakey at times.)
I really don't have any. Well other than the usual shoddy reffing. But what good is that to complain about? They don't care.
Well that game started out good, but boring. Then the second period was the same, but a little better. It wasn't untill the 3rd, when the intensity and the action went up a few notches. The next game is tomorow at 8 pm. PPV game. And it's against the San Jose Sharks. This is going to be a tough game. Hopefully we ride the Rolitrain to another win. See you all next time...