by Lisa Brown on 11/09/11 at 03:30 AM ET
Oilers beat Canadiens 3-1
The Edmonton Oilers found a way to put away their first original six team of their Eastern road trip. While apparently no one on the RDS panel expected the Oilers to find a win and the term “a walk in the park” was even dropped in terms of how the Canadiens as a team may find matching up against the Oilers, a win was exactly what the Oilers took.
Going into this game, I was pretty sure that it would be Lennart Petrell and Colten Teubert sitting this one out, or being sent to Oklahoma City. It turns out I was only half right. It was Magnus Paajarvi who took his place in the press box and not the Oilers bench. There is speculation that Renney may not start rotating a few players through the pressbox until he feels confident about who to keep in his lineup.
In terms of defence, it was Colten Teubert who sat this game out. Ryan Whitney will be out of the Oilers’ lineup for a while longer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Teubert got sent down at some point this week.
The Canadiens dominated the Oilers on the shot clock, but thanks to the outstanding performance by Nikolai Khabibulin, the Oilers not only stayed in this game, but walked away with the two points.
Yes, this is the same Khabibulin that I offered back to the Jets. Not only did I offer to pack Khabibulin’s bags, but I also offered to drive him to the airport. Of course, I made this offer in early September, but I don’t think that many saw a career comeback of this magnitude.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was left off of the score sheet, but was still an integral part of this game, like all of his others. It was clear through this game especially, that teams are recognizing Nugent-Hopkins as someone that needs to be stopped. We knew it was coming, but Nugent-Hopkins will adapt and evolve his game as he finds more and more confidence at the NHL level.
Ryan Smyth once again put his body on the line, and walked away with two points; an assist on the Tom Gilbert goal, and the empty net goal that sealed the deal.
In his first game back, Ales Hemsky also earned an assist and played over 17 minutes. The Hemsky, Horcoff, Smyth line was quite successful for the Oilers the first time around, this time looks as though it could be much the same. Of course this hinges upon Hemsky remaining healthy and in the line-up.
A key to this game was certainly the Oilers’ penalty kill, the Habs went 0 for 6 on their power play. This game certainly seemed to be all about special teams. Not only did the Oilers have success killing penalties, but Jones’ second period goal was scored short handed.
The Oilers were not very successful on the dot through sixty minutes. Overall, the Oilers lost far more than they won. The ray of sunshine was that Nugent-Hopkins seems to be catching on to certain linesmen and ways to help himself win faceoffs. Likely, this is due to practising with Eric Belanger.
Next up, the Oilers take on the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The interesting story behind this game is of course the matchup of Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin. Is there a rivalry, how will they respond to each other?
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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