Taylor Hall returned to the line-up today after a two week hiatus due to a knee injury and he would not disappoint. Also joining the Oilers was Linus Omark, after being recalled from the Oklahoma City Barons yesterday. Devan Dubnyk got the start in net and once again Taylor Fedun drew into the line-up for an injured Anton Belov.
Even with Hall back in the line-up and Will Acton and Ben Eager healthy scratches, Ben Bishop and Steven Stamkos lead the way for the now 11-4-0 Tampa Bay Lightning.
Just by eye the Oilers appeared to dominate this game even though the score didn't reflect their effort. The Oilers fought hard to come back but just couldn't beat Ben Bishop. The biggest issue in the game though were the two give aways in the first period to the wrong guy, Steven Stamkos. Even though neither of his goals were the game winner the Oilers had a tough time fighting back against a hot goaltender. So lets focus on the two Stamkos goals.
The first turn over. Yakupov had 2 maybe 3 options there, 1) move the puck up himself, 2) pass the puck back to the Fedun or 3) he could have passed it up to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He decided to move the puck up himself and had to avoid a check as the puck squirted to a wide open Steven Stamkos. For what its worth Nick Schultz was a bit weak on the puck carrier and appeared to screen Dubnyk while trying to poke check Stamkos but I haven't seen the play from any other angles so I can't say for sure.
The second turn over. I don't know what Andrew Ference had on his stick that caused the puck to start bouncing like tennis ball but that was bad. As a defender you have to be aware of who is on the ice. Jordan Eberle is on his off wing, Stamkos is only a step behind him, Petry was wide open on the opposite side. Once Stamkos had the puck, Ference tried to poke check Stamkos and again it didn't work, then he completely lost his check.
This sums up the game and the season. The Oilers lose the puck, bad defence can't save them and they get scored on. This game, although better because the Oilers scored, was almost a carbon copy of the Toronto game on October 28th.
Tweet of the Night
After the Tweet Up from last game I've decided to cool it on the Tweets but I am still going to include a single Tweet per game in the new Tweet of the Night section.
Today's Tweet comes courtesy of @SirFoz
Oilers look much better losing with Hall.— SirFozz (@SirFozz) November 8, 2013
There is nothing else to say about this guy except he had a great game. He was the primary reason the Oilers lost.
It was so nice to see Taylor Hall back. He had 8 shots on net alone and put the Oilers within striking distance of tying the game. He had a phenomenal game!
On the upside Petry is starting to look like Tom Gilbert. He's playing against the toughest assignments and the puck is going the right direction when he is on the ice. On the downside Petry is starting to look like Tom Gilbert. Sooner or later the fans and media are going to turn on him and he'll be run out of town for being the best defenceman the team has.
I think the Oilers found their next candidate for healthy scratch status. Gazdic had 5 shifts and a TOI of 2:32. Welcome back Darcy Hordichuk we've missed you.
It may be time for someone on the Oilers to call this guy out for his abysmal play. In a game where the Oilers are dominating on shot attempts, Ference was the only defenceman to be on the negative side of shot attempts and has been the case for almost every game this year.
I missed the second half of the third period because I was driving home so I had the pleasure of listening to the game on 630 CHED. All I can say is SERIOUSLY?!? As Jack is talking about some useless information I could hear the play going on in the background. He starts calling the play about 5 seconds after the faceoff but then goes off on a tangent again and misses a shot on net. Also I don't know if he realizes this or not but people in Canada listing to the game on the radio usually have a clue about hockey and the teams in the NHL. We don't need to know 10 times a night that the Oilers are wearing their white away jerseys with blue and orange trim or that the Lightning are wearing their blue home jerseys with white trim and the lightning bolt crest. As a kid I remember turning the volume off on the TV to listen to Rod Philips' play by play I can tell you that I will not be doing that with Jack Michaels.
- Taylor Hall
- Jordan Eberle
- Jeff Petry