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Shot Down in Flames

Oilers lose 5-3 to Flames
I don’t know how (but I have a good idea) the Edmonton Oilers could start a game with a 2-0 lead and end up losing by two goals. Not only that, this loss was as bad as they come for Oiler fans, this was a game against the Calgary Flames.


The Oilers were playing their second game in a set of back to back games, but there was no travel involved; these were games at home. Still the team looked as though they didn’t have much energy as they made poor decision after poor decision. There were bad line changes, defencive partners seemed to forget their roles and the power play was well, completely ineffective.

Instead of focusing on those issues that caused me grief on a snowy Saturday night, I will instead turn to the goals. Lennart Petrell opened the evening’s scoring with his second NHL goal. Also earning a point was Ryan O’Marra. This was O’Marra’s first NHL assist. Sam Gagner has finally scored this season and his goal came a mere 41 seconds after Petrell’s.

The third and final Oilers goal was Ryan Nugent-Hopkin’s 12th of his rookie year. This now puts Nugent-Hopkins in a three way tie for third in NHL scoring. This only helps make Nugent-Hopkins an early front runner for the Calder Trophy this year. Should Nugent-Hopkins take this honour, he will be the first Oiler to ever do so.

Although Jordan Eberle was left scoreless on the night, he did get an assist on Nugent-Hopkins’ goal. This only helps Eberle’s claim to top sophomore year. Nikolai Khabibulin may not have been able to turn away every shot, but he definitely kept the team in the game when those in front were struggling.

 


The Oilers will now have four days to rest, recover and work on pretty much everything. At the same time, winger Taylor Hall has been skating and taking part in many Oiler skill drills. It is being speculated that Hall will return closer to the two week mark than the four.

My twitter feed was full mainly with Renney ramblings. It seems that fans are frustrated with Belanger’s time on the power play, Darcy Hordichuk being matched with Jerome Iginla and putting the fourth line out against Calgary’s first line in the third period more than once. I can understand where fans’ frustrations come from, a loss against Calgary hurts like no other to most Oiler fans, but there was an entire team in front of Renney making errors.

Every game is important, every game matters, but the Oilers will have a chance to do better in Calgary next Saturday. Let’s hope that they do.

 

Filed in: Edmonton Oilers, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, | Oil Patch | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Nugent-Hopkins is a heck of player. I was a little concerned about his size prior to the start of the season, but so far, it doesn’t seem to be an issue. Then again, we are only a third of a way thru the season.

Posted by Hockey Coach from Toronto on 12/04/11 at 08:23 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

Nugent-Hopkins was smaller than a lot of WHLers as well but he just never seemed to get hit.

His size could still be an issue later on down the road, but he still has time and opportunity to fill out and as you say his size doesn’t seem to be an issue now.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 12/04/11 at 02:30 PM ET

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Does the Oiler D always give away the puck that often? I watched that game last night and their D was rather porous. I though Calgary had one of their strongest efforts of the season but the victory was due more to how Edmonton responded to the pressure than how good the Flames are.

Posted by Iggy_Rules on 12/04/11 at 06:52 PM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

The Oilers’ D was the biggest question going in, and although the team has a low goals against average, D is still a concern. It’s not that the players they have on the back end are bad, it’s just that they are having to play above their abilities.

Turnovers are a huge concern for the Oilers, they were especially bad last night.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 12/04/11 at 08:36 PM ET

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Well, I thought it was an entertaining hockey game, though not because the Flames won. There was lots of non-neutral zone play, something of a treat to see as a Flames fan. I like how the Oilers are built up front, speed, skill and hustle. Having a D-man that can make an outlet pass and join the rush would likely help the team over the hump.

Posted by Iggy_Rules on 12/05/11 at 01:56 AM ET

Lisa Brown's avatar

Ideally the Oilers will be able to trade Sam Gagner, and or Ales Hemsky to acquire that missing piece. Well, that’s the general consensus with a large portion of Oil Country. The Oilers are better and much more exciting than the past two years, but they are still missing a few pieces. They are getting closer though.

Posted by Lisa Brown on 12/06/11 at 02:45 AM ET

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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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