Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
In a feat that some Oiler fans may not have known was possible, the Oilers won again tonight, giving them back-to-back victories for only the second time this season.
There's been more misery hanging around C&B these days than is probably healthy, so other than pointing out that this is only the second time this year the team has managed consecutive victories, I'll do my best to keep it to a minimum and just rejoice in the splendor of a victory on this night.
Possession Report via Boys on the Bus
The usual suspects here in terms of the guys who have played well throughout the course of the 9 game road trip. Sam Gagner and Magnus Paajarvi have something going on a line together. Both players looked very strong again on this night and a special hat tip to MPS for the awareness on his goal to allow the puck to drop to a distance safely below the crossbar before batting it into the open net.
Devan Dubnyk deserves a shoutout for the shutout. He looked calm and steady all night long and made a few tough saves when it was needed to keep the game as one-sided as it was on the scoreboard. Very good to see him back looking healthy and unaffected after being injured against the 'Hawks.
Ryan Whitney continued to produce some offense and as has been said all along, has certainly not lost his skills as it relates to distributing the puck. He had a number of excellent passes on this night. Also...RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS HIT THE NET!!!!
Ales Hemsky. That is all.
Shawn Horcoff. That is all.
The Nuge and Jordan Eberle had a pretty rough night and really did not look overly involved in the offense. Probably because they spent the entire night in their own zone. Huh...who was the third guy on that line? See the Ugly section.
The fourth line was pretty ineffective and Ryan Smyth should just not be playing centre. It's not on Smyth, he's doing what he's been asked to do, this is on Krueger. The Oilers are going to forfeit the rights to Chris VandeVelde by not getting him into enough NHL games to retain his RFA status (they may not care about that I suppose) and choose to leave him in OKC while Smyth plays a position he can't handle. Makes little sense to me, especially given the recent comments from the MSM indicating that Ben Eager may be done as an Oiler.
The Oilers were dominated on the face-off dot on this night by about a 60/40 split. Horcoff was at 57% but everyone else on the roster was decimated.
Jones is terrible. He floats out in search of offense like he plays in a beer league. The guy is supposed to be the veteran presence with 14 and 93 while they move Hall to play with Hemsky and Horcoff in search of a more balanced line-up, and he basically left two kids to fend for themselves in their own end, and actually contributed to keeping them hemmed down in their own zone by refusing to engage defensively.
He's a travesty. He scores the occasional goal, but that's usually because he's behind everyone and the puck finds him in the neutral zone.
He should be traded for whatever they can get so his roster spot can go to Teemu Hartikainen, who deserves it 1000% more.