There are games when your favorite team outplays the bad guys and can't seem to find the net. There are games when the other goalie stands on his head. There are games when your favorite team controls the game from the jump and breaks down late to lose the game. And then there are games when the opposite happens: your guys get dominated for two periods and look listless, but find some luck and a spark late to pull a win from the jaws of defeat.
This wasn't score-effects domination - the Jackets outshot the Oilers 31-19 and took a 2-1 lead into the third. The Oilers were unable to generate any attack and every line was stuck in their own end for 40 minutes. Then Ryan Jones tied it on the Smyth-like wrap-around, a goal that can only be blamed on Curtis Sanford. After that, the Blue Jackets collapsed. Ladislav Smid took my advice and opened up the shooting gallery, used a Jordan Eberle screen and scored on a top shelf blast from the point. It was over. Three goals in just under 7 minutes closed it. The Oilers outshot the Jackets 15-8 in the third, getting a one-timer from Jones and an amazing goal from Hemsky to ice the game. Jones chipped in an empty-net goal for his first career hat trick. Rather than cliched "stole one on the road", the Oilers stole one at home tonight and they needed it.
Head To Head Scoring Chances
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Shawn Horcoff had an amazing game. Matched against the Rick Nash line for the entire night, Horcoff held Nash scoreless at even, and tilted the ice in favor of the Oilers when he was out there. He was 9-17 in the faceoff circle and played a marvelous defensive game.
His wet noodle clear on the Derek Dorsett short-handed clear notwithstanding, Tom Gilbert played one of his best games of the season. He led the Oilers in time on ice, moved the puck quickly, and held off the wolves, even though he was matched against the Nash line.
Devan Dubnyk was strong in this one. He faced shots early and often, yet gave up only 2 goals on 31 shots through 2 periods. He found success by staying low and covering the posts and he was quick to jump out on pucks in the crease.
Ryan O`Marra had his best night as a pro. Though he was held off of the ice in the third period, he was able to tilt the ice when he wasn't out there with Hordichuk. He was 7-8 on the faceoff dot and was very good on the penalty kill. This was the first time where I saw O'Marra and thought he could be effective on the fourth line as long as he didn't have to carry a goon.
This was the Oilers first five-goal period since...13 days ago.
Not to beat a dead horse, but Ryan Whitney's mobility has been severely compromised by his injuries. He made two nice plays this evening which deflected attention from his shortcomings. He's forcing more responsibility onto Jeff Petry and it's not been a problem yet, but a full season of this is going to cause issues with this pairing.
After years of trying, Darcy Hordichuk finally wins a fight and he couldn't leave well-enough alone. He decided it was a good idea to taunt the entire Jackets' bench and was smacked with a two-minute minor. He shouldn't be on the ice in the first place, but if he's going to play, he can't have an HUA/60 of 11. Do you think Yukon Cornelius would rescue him if we sent him to the Island of Misfit Toys?
The Boston Pizza ad people. We've got a brewing revolution on our hands if the Sportsnet producers are going to subject Oilers' fans to the knob doing the nib and nub commercials for an entire year.
The Copper & Blue Three:
★★★ - Ryan Jones
★★ - Shawn Horcoff
★ - Tom GIlbert