If I had to list the worst things about a NHL hockey game in order they would be:
- The Loser Point
- Shootouts Determining Playoff Possition
- 3 on 3 Hockey Determining Playoff Possition
- Matinee Games
Sure enough today had all four of those for us to enjoy. If you disagree with me on those points well then you were in for a real treat.
Hands down it was Taylor Hall. Besides his goal in the first period he completely crushed his competition. Hall had 7 shots alone and together with Leon Draisaitl and Teddy Purcell they combined for 11 of the Oilers’ 41 shots. Hall had a solid 61.29% corsi for and a 67.5% if you include all situations.
Many will probably argue that Jordan Eberle was more deserving of praise today because on his 2 goals (which were both things of beauty by the way) but the SportsNet crew already crowned him first star while Hall and the rest of his line-mates were overlooked. Hall played a better all around game and that needs to be noted.
For as much as he’s been a very nice surprise this season, Brandon Davidson had a rough game. He almost looked lost on the ice today, like he was half asleep. Probably because as most of us know, hockey players usually nap during the afternoon, which is why matinee games suck so bad. But back to Davidson, his bad pinch on Arizona’s third goal lead directly to the 2 on 1 that ended with Anthony Duclair putting the Coyotes up by one. He was easily the Oilers worst defenseman in the game. Hopefully we see the Davidson we know on Monday night.
There was nothing horrible about today’s game. The Oilers played a decent game and won in a shootout. So what could possibly be ugly you ask? It’s the NHL & the wild card system. After today’s win the Oilers are 4 points out of a playoff spot but are also 4 points out of DFL in the NHL. Its early January and most of us are used to seeing the Oilers at the bottom of the league but talking about playoffs just seems strange. Why should the NHL be rewarding teams like Vancouver & San Jose that are 2nd & 3rd in the Pacific Division but are 20th & 21st overall respectively? Meanwhile teams like Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Colorado all sit above 20th overall but would miss the playoffs because of the strength of their divisions. This wild card system is a complete joke and it just adds to the list of poor decisionsby the league and its governors.
Well I’m off to the game. Thanks to Ryan Batty, I’ll be taking my son to see the Oilers take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday evening. The game starts at 7PM MT at Rexall place. I’m not sure who will be covering the game yet all I know is it wont be me. See you Friday when the Oilers take on Tampa Bay.