The Oilers fought hard the night before in Calgary and cruised away with a victory. Tonight, after travelling to Vancouver, the Oilers weren’t the same team but they played a very good road game. The Canucks on the other hand, after having the night before off played like this.
This was a decent road game but when you consider that this was the second road game on consecutive nights, this game becomes even better. I was ok with the Oilers making it to overtime but Andrej Sekera and Lauri Korpikoski decided that a single point wasn’t enough.
Once again the goaltending was beyond expectations. With this game Anders Nilsson has 85 shots against and has a 0.953 SV%. Like I’ve said before we know that this isn’t sustainable but it’s still nice to have two goalies that can play hockey.
I am not usually one to complain about the refereeing in a game but I took issue with the way that some things were and weren’t called. For the most part things were called pretty evenly (as in nothing was called) but in the second period Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was called for a tripping penalty when Alexander Edler stepped on Nugent-Hopkins’ stick. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal if it wasn’t for the fact that earlier in this shift Nugent-Hopkins was practically tackled in the offensive zone and nothing was called.
A note on previous "The Bads" - I’ve been going on about the poor defense and how they can’t break out of the zone. In order to fix this issue, after game 4, Todd McLellan made a big adjustment. He changed the break out and really pushed the dump and chase. A lot of people have not liked this but I have to say with the defense that the Oilers have, this is probably the best tactic at this time. It will only work for so long but maybe the Oilers can win some games with this strategy and make up for their lack of defense.
The real ugly of the game was that miss by Daniel Sedin but funny enough the ugly wasn’t the miss. It was the lack of coverage by anyone when Justin Schultz pinched up that lead to the 2 on nothing. It was the perfect snapshot of the Oilers defense and defensive system or lack there of.
Let’s just say that was fun and move on. It was great weekend for Oilers hockey but it was two game there is 76 games remaining and its going to be tough. This isn’t a full team yet and what we see on the ice today isn’t what we’ll see at the end of the season. There will be changes and hopefully we can be cheering like this come February or even March.
Well the "easy" games are done. The Oilers face a few tough opponents starting with the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. This is where the real tests will come (not like they didn’t already face those in the first 4 games).