This game would have been different if the Oilers could have killed off the penalties. The 5 on 3 was the main game killer. Is this team on a downhill slide for the rest of the season? Or do they turn it around and save face?
The Cult of Hockey Grading System: 10-perfect game, 9 extraordinary, 8 great, 7 good, 6 above average, 5 average, 4 below average, 3 poor, 2 terrible, 1 deserves to be in minors.
#27 Dustin Penner (5) - Once again I liked what Penner brought to the table. It's just too bad his line mates are weak. The big guy drove to the net, blocked a Souray shot (by accident) and played well enough to look good.
#89 Sam Gagner (4) - He played ok but was still over matched by the bigger players. You can tell by how many faceoffs he loses. If it's a lot, then he's get out muscled throughout the game. He didn't impress me much tonight.
#10 Shawn Horcoff (4) - I didn't notice him a whole lot. He was so-so and didn't really contribute a whole bunch.
#13 Andrew Cogliano (5) - Cogliano had some good moments in this game. I thought he drove to the net pretty good but he needed to shoot the puck when he had good opportunities.
#19 Patrick O'Sullivan (5) - He didn't really stand out but did pick up the assist on the Potulny goal. The fans really want this guy gone/traded and you would think that would be motivation for him to do better. But it really doesn't seem so, does it?
#67 Gilbert Brule (6) - He played a great positional game and made no mistakes. I really liked him tonight. He had 3 hits and had 2 shots and really buzzed around. One of the better Oilers tonight.
#18 Ethan Moreau (4) - He had two great chances tonight. But other than that, he did nothing. He had 3 shots and 1 hit. Isn't hitting people supposed to be part of his repertoire?
#22 JF Jacques (4) - Another "JFWho?" game. He also only had 1 hit. He seems to have the same problem as Moreau. Isn't hitting supposed to be your thing? 1 hit really?
#16 Ryan Potulny (5) - He scores a nice/lucky goal and gets the Oilers on the board. He hustled a lot tonight. I like the way he plays but he suits a more 3rd or 4th line type role rather than a 1st line guy and it reflected that better tonight. He would have had a 6, but he was that culprit who shot the puck over the glass.
#46 Zack Stortini (5) - He threw some good hits and had a good tilt with Rick Rypien. At the start of the fight he was slugging him with a forearm drag punch to soften him up. After that it was all meat clubs that he hit him with. I was a little stunned that Rypien pulled his helmet down during the fight for protection. How weak is that? Quinn needs to play him more.
#32 Ryan Stone (5) - He was ok. I didn't yell at him so that must be a good thing. I liked his big hits and had 4 on the night. But that's all he contributed to. He didn't do much else.
#12 Robert Nilsson (5) - I don't think he's a fit on the 1st line with Penner and Gagner. Brule is a better choice. He took 2 shots and blocked 2 shots. Not really 1st line stats.
#44 Sheldon Souray (6) - He played a pretty good game. I liked how he played. He led the team in ice time but needed to hit the net more.
#71 Lubomir Visnovsky (5) - He was the third star of the game. I don't know why. He had 2 shots and 2 hits. Other than that he was just ok. Nothing special here.
#77 Tom Gilbert (6) - He's starting to figure out Souray and they are playing pretty good hockey together. He played another decent game and quietly logged a ton of minutes again. He made all the right decisions and earned the trust of Quinn. Is he morphing in front of our eyes?
#24 Steve Staios (5) - He played alright. He blocked a few shots and didn't make any glaring mistakes. I've been liking him more lately. I've been respecting his playing style more and more.
#5 Ladislav Smid (5) - He played ok. He didn't stand out as being good, but he didn't suck either. He only had 2 hits and could have done more in that area.
#37 Denis Grebeshkov (4) - The worst of the defence. He had 2 giveaways and looked kind of bad all game. Is this still rust from the injury, or does the "bad Grebeshkov" make an appearance once in a while still?
#38 Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers (6) - He kept this team in the game, but was burned on two power play goals that sunk it for the Oilers. He did what he could, but the team couldn't score. It's too bad, he deserved a win.
#40 Devan Dubnyk (N/A) - He did not play