by Lisa McRitchie on 02/09/12 at 03:45 AM ET
Oilers lose 4-2 to Red Wings
At least Sam Gagner has been on fire lately. With two goals from Gagner, the Oilers may have been shutout by the hockey giant Red Wings. But, thankfully for the Oilers, Gagner has been incredible lately. Incredible enough to make many forget then he only had 5 goals up until a week ago. Now, he has 12.
Currently, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is out with a shoulder injury. The team has quoted Nugent-Hopkins saying that it is a different injury despite being an injury to the same shoulder. Mark Spector on his radio show on the Team 1260 discussed at great lengths the likelihood of it actually being a different injury, and Spector is right, it’s pretty hard to believe it is.
The hit that took Nugent-Hopkins out of Monday night’s game in Toronto was extremely light. Most likely, Nugent-Hopkins may still not have been ready to return from the shoulder injury. The upcoming Oilers games are not as important as the future of Nugent-Hopkins with the team. They need to take care of this young man, especially the way that the Oilers’ medical staff has come into question.
Because Nugent-Hopkins is out, someone had to come up. That someone was Magnus Paajarvi. While I am a big fan of Paajarvi, and would like him to know that the Oilers have faith in him and believe that he is not far out of the NHL lineup, the extra ice time with the winning Oklahoma City Barons would be extremely beneficial to Paajarvi’s development.
While Paajarvi was showing more glimpses of confidence through this game against Detroit, it is goals that Paajarvi truly needs to find before it becomes more of a head game for the Swedish winger. Paajarvi was clearly excited to get to play once again in Detroit, after receiving the call-up, Paajarvi tweeted “Heading to swedetroit… #hockeyseason”
“It was better than the last games I played,” said Paajarvi of this game, and it must have been in Renney’s eyes as well because Paajarvi played some power play time which got him on on Sam Gagner’s second goal of the game. “When you play power play up here you have to do something. You can’t just be happy to be here, you have to do something. Otherwise, you’re not going to stay there.”
This was another poor showing by Oilers’ defenceman Cam Barker who is just coming off of an ankle injury. But once again, in a loss it’s easy to point fingers at the defenceman. But, Andy Sutton and Theo Peckham were sitting in the pressbox; Renney has choices he can make when it comes to his lineup.
“We needed to come back because we weren’t very good.” Said Oilers head coach Tom Renney who himself is coming back from injury. “We weren’t good enough against this team at all.
“I didn’t think that we managed the puck very well. We gave a very good team, maybe the best club team in the world, one of them, an opportunity to come right after us and to control the game from the get go.
“The way that we responded, coming back and getting ourselves tied was almost fools’ gold because we thought that we had enough and clearly you don’t ever do enough against Detroit until you beat them.”
15 shots. That’s it, that’s all that the Oilers managed through 60 minutes. Its little wonder the Oilers dropped yet another road game, but at the same time, the Red Wings are a great team and didn’t allow the Oilers to get many chances.
This was another excellent outing for the Red Wings, and from their perch on top of the NHL, it is actually quite surprising that they only managed to score four goals on Nikolai Khabibulin. With Khabibulin’s loss, it may be Devan Dubnyk in net for the Oilers next road game, a matinee game in Ottawa Saturday at noon MST.
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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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