To begin, I predicted on OilersNation a 5-3 win. I usually don't like to say anything out load, but I'm changing it up a bit. Why not. What's it going to hurt?
Why is it that the crap teams come to E town and teach the Oilers a lesson on how to win games? I sure hope that that isn't the case tonight. *fingers crossed* So the game starts off in the favor of the Oilers. Erik Cole blasts down the right side and beats his man and scores his 15th of the year. Yay! 1-0 Oilers. (Cole unassisted at 2:20). Pretty much right after the ensuing faceoff, Big Mac and Koci drop the gloves. It was a pretty darn good fight. I would have to give the decision to Big Mac even though Koci fell on him at the end. At 5:40, Strudwick fires a knuckle puck and scores. Yeah! 2-0 Oilers. (Strudwick from Gagner) Unbelievable! This sure isn't how I pictured this game. The game then continues at a good pace. The Oilers clearly are the better team this period. It's kind of refreshing. TB takes a penalty at 13:09, and the Oilers fail to score. The PP did look a little better, so that's a good thing. The crowd seems to be unusually quiet tonight. Not sure why? The Oilers are winning 2-0. TB takes another penalty just as the period is about to expire. The Oilers will have 1:45 of PP time to start the 2nd. Hopefully another goal? As the period ends I can't help but think that the TB team has a fantastic 1st line. Beyond that they look like a beer league team. Wow! And the Oiler fans think we have it bad...
The Oilers don't score on the PP but they continue to play good. I hope our 1st line can get it going. We need them to be going every game. Scratch that. We need at least 2 lines going every game. If we want to be taken seriously that is. So the Oilers can't cash in on the PP and Nilsson takes a goalie interference penalty on the other end of the ice at 1:49. Wouldn't you know it. Tampa Bay scores. Boooooooo! 2-1 Oilers. Well that brings the Lightning back into the game. At 3:25, Gary Roberts takes a goalie interference penalty. Oilers can go up by two if they can score here. No dice. But Souray lets off quite a few bombs. Some hit the net. Some don't. Either way, if I am Dustin Penner, I probably stained myself a few times. Seriously... how scary must that be? During a face off, Gagner high sticks a TB player and then sits for two. Luckily for Gags, the Oil kill it off. Ok guys. Momentum time. But Steven Stamkos gets a breakaway and scores at 12:23. Booooooooo! 2-2 Tie Game. Glove High on Roli. Does everyone in the league know that it's five hole or glove high on Roli? However the Oilers storm back. Souray blasts another shot at the goal and this time it goes in. Yay! 3-2 Oilers. (Souray from Cogliano at 13:15) Right on. Back in the lead. Staios nails Recchi and makes the Lightning want to fight. No real takers but Souray let's all those female dogs know who the alpha dog is in this house. Make sense? Haha. A short while later Roli makes a huge save. Roli! Roli! Roli! Still 3-2 for the Oil. Just as the period is about to end, Cogliano busts in to the TB zone and gets hauled down. PP once again for the Oilers. But the period runs out.
Well they start out on the PP and the lightning kill it off. But at 2:20, Cogliano has the puck find his stick in the crease and pops in an easy one. Gooooooaaaaallll Oilers! 4-2 Oilers. (Cogliano from Stortini and Moreau) The period has some real good flow to it. The Oilers continue to fire the puck at the net. That is also refreshing to see. We usually get out shot. Nilsson slams his knee with a TB player and seems shook up. Hope he isn't gone for a long time. At 8:09, Souray and Koci each take a roughing penalty as they mixed it up in the Oilers zone. I love Souray for his hardcoreness. I wish all the defenseman on the Oil were like that. At 11:09, Halpern takes a penalty and the Oilers go on the PP. But seconds later, Gagner takes a Hi-sticking penalty to make it 4 on 4. There was some good chances but nothing really transpires for either team. At 13:46, TB does score. Damn! 4-3 Oilers. Oh no. I hope this isn't a waste of a game? Again. So the action picks up a little with the new found closeness in the score. Tampa Bay is trying hard to tie it up. At 18:15 Peckham and Reechi come together. They both take penalties and sit for two. What is it with Peckham and the Grandpa's? lol. *in my best Rosco P. Coltrane voice, "I love it, I love it"* So with a minute left in the game, TB has their goalie pulled, and Horcoff shoots it and St. Louis makes the save. What? Yeah... He didn't score. But just as the game is finishing, Souray shoots it from just past the red line and scores with 2 seconds left. Yeah! 5-3 Oilers. (Souray from Brodziak) What a finish. OILERS WIN!
Game Summary (CLICK HERE)
Stats Sheet (CLICK HERE)
Tonight's Starting Lines
Penner Horcoff Hemsky (This line had tons of ice but came up short in the goal department. Penner was actually not bad tonight. He wasn't the squeaky wheel tonight. Horcoff wasn't all that bad. He just wasn't all that good either. Faceoffs good. Shots good. -2 bad. Hemsky was not Hemsky tonight. He seemed weird to me right in the beginning of the game. He was hit a few times and that kind of made him puck shy. Maybe it's just PMS?)
Nilsson Gagner Cole (I liked this line tonight. (2nd best line) They were real strong in the begining of the game. They were playing as a unit very well. Nilsson was shaky at times, not quite himself tonight but still good. Gagner was good. He played his position well and got an asssist on the Strudwick goal. Cole was also good tonight. He had seemed to do everything right tonight. I really enjoy watching him play. Only 3 games left. :(
Moreau Cogliano Stortini (This was the best Oiler line tonight. They were awesome. Moreau didn't take a single penalty. In fact, he managed to finish up +3. Cogliano had a goal and an assist tonight. A real sloid game for him. Stortini only played 10:55 but was great. No dumb penalties for the big guy. Nice Game 3rd Line!)
Reddox Brodziak MacIntyre (Ahhh... it's the 4th line. They really didn't do much as a line. Reddox was ok but not really noticable. Brodziak wasn't that bad. He did earn an assist at the end of the game. Big Mac only played 2:03. He did fight though. And a good one at that.)
Tampa Bay Lightning - 3
Edmonton Oilers - 5
Sheldon Souray - The man was awesome tonight. He was a mean hitting machine. He was a shot firing cannon. He was a true team leader on the ice. The Edmonton Oilers are damn lucky to have a guy like Sheldon Souray on this team. He represents the team well. Have a frosty beer Souray. Great Game. Cheers!
Andrew Cogliano - The speedy center was due for a good game. And today was the day. He scored a pretty easy goal, but a goal nonetheless. He also had an assist tonight for his efforts. A 2 point night and 12:55 of ice time. He did have 3 giveaways but I'm turning a blind eye and I must have missed them. *wink* Have a beer Cogs. Cheers!
Ethan Moreau - I have been giving Chopper a hard time all year, but tonight he showed me who the real Ethan Moreau is. He was excellent all over the ice. He played a real smart game and took no penalties. I'm sure people were waiting for it. I was. But for ending the night at +3, that deserves a nice cold one. Cheers!
Honerable Mention - Erik Cole (He had his legs going tonight. The goal he scored was a real factor in this game. It gave the Oilers the momentum.), Sam Gagner (The guy was pretty good all around.), Steve Staios (he did what he had to. He played a simple game and that works for him.) Zack Stortini (Is this the same Huggy Bear? This guy is impressing me.)
The 1st Line - When the game looked like they were playing a beer league team, I thought that the 1st line should kill these guys. But they didn't. In fact they looked average. This line needs to click every game in order for the Oilers to make it to the playoffs. Boooooooooo!
That's all folks. That was an exciting game. I am relieved to get the 2 points. As of right now the Oilers are tied with 3 other teams for 7th. Minny, Anahiem and Dallas are tied with us with 65 points. One game at a time boys.
Next game is Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. We need this win as well. Let's Go Oilers!!!