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Nine is Fine

Oilers beat Blackhawks 9-2
The last time Rexall Place was filled with a “we want 10 chant” was January 29th, 2009 in a game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres would go on to win 10-2 and Oiler fans would cheer for the visiting team. Prior to that game, there was another we want ten incident and it was the same season but against the Chicago Blackhawks. What is extremely interesting is at the final score on that December 16th was also 9-2, but that time the win was Chicago’s.


The Oilers came out firing on all cylinders with Ales Hemsky putting up the game’s first goal 48 seconds in. The Oilers have played well when they can get the first goal of the game, and this one would be no exception.

Nine Oilers found themselves on the scoreboard, and six of them had multiple points. The leaders in that regard were Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle with five points each. That’s right, five points and in one game. Sydney Crosby didn’t score 5 points in a single game as an 18 year old. This kind of scoring by a rookie hasn’t been seen in quite some time and so will undoubtedly be sports desk talk for quite some time this season.

With the long list of Oilers’ scorers and point getters, it is still with much disappointment that I mention that Magnus Paajarvi is still looking for his first goal of the season. Also in the same boat are Ben Eager and Eric Belanger along with the usual suspects on the blueline. It’s a good thing that Ladislav Smid doesn’t let his lack of scoring get him down. Smid is absolutely becoming the shutdown defenceman the team needs and what we had hoped we had earned from the Chris Pronger trade. Still, you can’t help but sense the frustration felt by the sophomore Paajarvi, especially when his fellow rookies from last year are enjoying multiple point nights.

Taylor Hall earned his second NHL career hat trick and in the dying minutes of the third period went in for a fourth. Instead, Hall went flying into the net, and the goal was immediately called off. On this particular play, head coach Tom Renney said following the game “If I held my breath every time that Taylor Hall went flying into the net, I’d have brain problems… Maybe I do anyway but he’s relentless and he’s a reckless type of player and those are hard people to defend. As long as he keeps missing those posts, I’m alright with that.”

Nikolai Khabibulin had the start for the Oilers, despite a shakey start against the Ottawa Senators, and even getting the hook Thursday night. On the other end of the ice, it was Ray Emery that was pulled after a shakey start, but would return to the net to finish the second and third periods. Emery certainly couldn’t be blamed for every Oiler goal; it is after all a team sport.

The second period saw all power play goals, and in total the Oilers scored four on the night. This gives the Oilers a fifth place power play and by only allowing two power play goals against, the Oilers are now in sixth in the league for penalty kill. This is a far cry from the 25th and 27th place standings, respectively, from last year.

This win put the Oilers at 8th in the west, and second in the Northwest Division after falling from first and landing in 9th thanks to a four game losing streak. In a good and winning mood, Renney remarked “I’m not going to suggest for a minute that we’re any better than anybody else in this league, but we’re certainly better than what we’ve been seeing here.”

 


This was certainly the game that was needed after the recent road trip, but with this game on the books, the Oilers once again hit the road for a four game road trip. Next up, the Oilers make the trek to a warmer climate. Monday night, the Oilers take on the Dallas Stars.

 

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Ales Hemsky, Magnus Pääjärvi, Ryan Jones, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Smyth, Taylor Hall, | Oil Patch | Permalink
 

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About Oil Patch

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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