Connect with us

Afternoon Analysis

Afternoon Analysis: L’Oilers

I didn’t have a damn thing to do last night. Nothing. So, I decided to risk a future heart attack by watching the Oilers’ game on TSN. Lucky for you I saw several plays that I wanted to point out, even luckier is that I couldn’t find a clip of most of the things I wanted to show.

Anyhow, the first item is something that Oiler fans might recognize seeing as how it happens with alarming frequency. Ales Hemsky, who I really, really like, has a habit of turning the puck over at the opposition blue-line. Like, once or twice a game type of thing.

Here, he gets the puck in the neutral zone thanks to a Visnovsky open-ice pinch and then promptly gives up to the Avs while both he and Visnovsky are caught in no-man’s land. The Avs’ David Jones takes the puck up ice with speed and gets a weak one past Jeff Deslauriers. That the goal was soft is inconsequential here. Realizing that his defense is caught up ice, a veteran like Hemsky should make sure he gets that puck deep.

The second play shows something that the Oilers don’t do very often, which is go to the tough spots to make a play. Sam Gagner, goalless in about forever, has obviously been told he has to stop thinking he is Winnipeg and abandon his perimeter play (I know, thats weak).

In this sequence, Gagner continually goes into the crease/slot area and gets beat up a little for his trouble. He is eventually rewarded when a Visnovsky rebound finds his way to his stick, and Gagner deposits it in the back of the net. Yes, Gagner does score the goal from a perimeter type of spot, but he gained his ice fair and square on this play. Again, a simple little thing like going to the front of the net can often be overlooked. Trust me, I watch a lot of Oiler games.

The final play I will show is the Ryan Wilson hit on Ethan Moreau. I only caught a glimpse of this play as it was happening live because I close one eye and squint with the other whenever Moreau takes the ice. To my fuzzy vision, this looked like an elbow to the head plus a potential jump into the hit.

All the same, no penalty was awarded on the play. Is this not the type of things that is all the rage in the media these days? The hits to the head? Moreau left the game and did not return, and this strikes me as a perfect example of a player who targeted another players’ head. Wilson had Moreau lined up and seemingly chose to take the head shot here.

Let’s hear your thoughts….