The morning after Craig MacTavish's night of debauchery the Edmonton Oilers took to the ice in a matinee game against their Eastern Conference doppelgänger the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers' had only scored 22 goals all season and were the lowest offensive producing team in the league. The Oilers, not wanting to be out done, decided they would help their friends from the east to get out of their goal scoring slump.
Analysis of the Game Winning Goal
After a horrible call on Anton Belov for a phantom head shot and an oops we f**ked up call on Wayne Simmonds the teams were playing 4 on 4. The play starts with Taylor Hall's pass up to Jeff Petry who immediately passes it to Ales Hemsky. Hemsky, with Jakub Vorachek right behind him, crosses the the Flyers blueline and decides to leave a drop pass there for Hall. Vorachek picks up the puck and gets it right onto Claud Giroux's stick. Giroux skates up the ice while Petry covers Vorachek. Andrew Ference's check is Giroux but he plays it like it is a 2 on 1 even though Petry have Vorachek tied up. Giroux takes one step to his right and uses Ference as a screen as he rips it past Devan Dubnyk blocker side.
Three mistakes occurred on this play that lead to the goal by Giroux.
- The break out of the zone for the Oilers was executed perfectly. Hemsky's drop pass is what screwed the entire play up. Instead of trying to get the puck deep with three defenders around him he figures he has put enough space between him and the trailing Flyers' player and makes the drop pass. This leaves Hall and Hemsky both in no mans land and unable to get back in on the play.
- Instead of challenging Giroux, Ference plays him like its a 2 on 1 even though Petry has Vorachek covered perfectly. Ference allows Giroux to take the extra step around him and make him the screen on the play.
- Not sure if Dubnyk thinks the puck is going wide but he uses his blocker to push the puck to the corner and doesn't get square on the play.
Tweet of the Game
New drinking game, every time the Oilers toe drag and lose the puck you drink. I was hammered in the first period. #oilers— Toby Bush (@tobybush) November 9, 2013
This constant mish mash of the lines is brutal to watch. How does this team ever expect to start winning games if they can't get any chemistry going? With that being said I can understand the reasoning behind moving Nail Yakupov to the fourth line. Yakupov's been in slump moving him to the fourth line means he'll see weaker competition and maybe improve his chances of scoring but with a linemate like Luke Gazdic he'll have to score from 200' out.
For what its worth once Gazdic left with his injury Yakupov lead the team in CF% at 66.7.
Devan Dubnyk is not the goalie he was last year but he isn't playing like the goalie he was in his first four games either. The only goal Dubnyk could truly be faulted on tonight was the game winner by Claude Giroux which was more than just him on that one. All I can say is I'm almost certain that I'd rather have Dubnyk in net and Ilya Bryzgalov as the number one.
Belov had another good game. The puck may not always be going the right way when he's on the ice but he plays a sound defensive game that makes up for it. He is still young and getting used to the North American game but he has performed better than I had expected.
Secondly what the heck was that? If Belov receives anything other than an apology from the league on that horrific phantom call, I will lose my mind.
I would never wish someone ill will but this may be a break for the Oilers. If he is injured they'll be able to dress someone more capable that him as player even if its a marginal improvement. I hope he gets better soon and the injury isn't really bad but maybe the Oilers will see that they don't need him and may be a better team because of it.
Justin Schultz may not be the most sound defenceman in his own zone but at least the guy can handle a puck. Watching Larsen on point on the power play is more frustrating to watch than Justin Schultz's defence. Please get well soon Justin, we miss you.
- David Perron
- Taylor Hall
- Jeff Petry