Thursday, October 06, 2005



Oilers beat Colorado 4-3.

That was fun.

A few quick thoughts:

It was nice to see Roman Hamrlik have the type of game that Oilers fans grew to expect from him.

Horcoff answered the bell tonight. A terrific performance all around.

Hemsky was dangerous all night and Peca had a bunch of great shots - if only he had hit the net.

Goaltending was . . . decent. At least relative to the .815 from the guy down the highway.

The biggest thing I noticed was how much bigger the offensive zone is. I really think moving the blue line and back lines apart is going to have the biggest effect of all the new rules. There is just so much more room - especially on the powerplay. The television camera operators can't like it - previously they could just point it towards the zone and really not have to move much. Now, the o-zone doesn't entirely fit in the picture (you can't even see the blue line at times).

The other big revelation, for me, was Stoll. He looks so comfortable working the blue line on the powerplay, finds open areas, has a fantastic shot including a Hull/Heatley one knee rocket. He might be the biggest key to turning the special teams ship around.

The Oil are also doing a good job of looking up ice. Ulanov had a fantastic deep pass to Reasoner for a breakaway, and Bergeron had a really deep one to Hemsky at the far blueline for a partial. I'm sure defences will adjust, but for now I like the lack of redline.

All in all, good times.


I have to say that I think Cory Cross' days are numbered. He looked extremely slow last night, even more so than usual. It seems to me that he's a turnover waiting to happen, not to mention how fast players will easily be able to skate around him when they get one-on-one with him. I think we'll see Syvret before the end of the season, and I think Cross will be back selling insurance in no time. No disrespect to the guy, but he is way out of his league.

I love that: "no disrespect to the guy, but he's terrible".

Anyway, speaking of revelations, it doesn't look like Sutter will be jacking around, babying Phaneuf. He got first unit powerplay time, he attacked the net at least once, and generally looked like he belonged.

Mike Rogers (Flames colour guy) said after the game that he thought Dion was the Flames' best player. I wouldn't go that far, but that's pretty high praise for a first career NHL game.

After watching Phaneuf play, if his play is an indication of things to come, then Hamrlik was a huge waste of time. It was humorous to watch in the first period when the Flames were on a powerplay and one of their d-men turned the puck over on a sloppy play, and i thought "looks like Phaneuf has some things to learn" but then I realized it was Hamrlik, and then i thought "looks like Sutter still has things to learn!" unfortunately, the Flames will all learn the Hamrlik lesson the hard way. No disrespect to the guy, but he's terrible!

Conklin's goaltending wasn't bad. The cross-crease pass he should have blocked, but then again Ulanov should have had the guy. The second goal banked off Ulanov's skate and the third was a point blast through traffic. I was actually rather happy with his play.
As for Cross, he was a pleasant surprise because even though he was slow he didn't take dumb penalties to compensate. His positional play was much better than I expected.

I agree. Cross was his usual, dependable self. Nothing fancy, but very solid.

You're right, Conks was better than I gave him credit for. He made a couple of big stops when needed - includinig two in-close Sakic wristers.

Ullie definitely had a tough night, but considering he wasn't even going to start the game I guess it could have been a lot worse.

Why couldn't TSN play this game in SK instead of the Vancouver game?

I have to agree on Cory Cross, I barely heard his name mentioned last night which was terribly reassuring. Hearing his name mentioned will mean he screwed up, took a penalty or both.

Conklin looked shaky but the defense was fairly solid so he didn't see that many shots and at least he didn't let in horrid Ron Tugnuttesque floaters.

I was surprised at how bad the Avalanch looked, they seemed to have trouble keeping up with the pace of the game until the third period. I'm not saying it was a blow out, as they did perform fairly well defensively. Aebisher played well after the first 8 minutes. But Colorodo did not look anything like the team that was the perenial contender.

I agree that Cross played alright last night, however, if the best compliment you can give him is that he didn't get a penalty, or didn't screw up, then that should say enough about his skills right there.

Conklin held his own and got a big win. I think that will give the Oilers some confidence in their goalie, which is huge.

Conklin will have to be even better against Vancouver. and apparently the Wild can score too, although i think that was a testament to an unprepared Flames defence more than anything.

Actually, the best things I could say about Cross is that (a) he's got that wicked slapper, which we didn't see last night, and (b) he's pretty good at sealing the offensive zone, which we did see at least once. Yeah, he's also Cory friggin' Cross--but when the Oilers acquired him I was told by fans in his former cities that I was gonna hate the guy. (You know, sort of like we were warning Calgarians about Hamrlik?)

Also, I have a superstitious fear of defencemen with "Syv" in their name...

Yeah, that's right up there with Pilon.

Look, hammer is a defensive liability some times, but he fills a niche.

Any team that has ulanov in the lineup has no business criticizing the flames. Smyth would be 3/4 in Calgary.

Give me strength!

No way, I love Ullie.

He is one of those players that was pretty useless everywhere he played except in Edmonton. Here he has been very solid. A few brain cramps here or there, but on the whole he fills his roll very well. Although I wish he had helped Semenov a bit more.

He is also one of the funniest guys in interviews. He might be one of my favourite Oilers when personality intangibles are considered.

Ulanov is generally pretty good- I don't think he was 100% last night, and I like him better than Cross. Both play a role- Ulanov is a 5th/6th d-man, and Cross is a 6th/7th. Poor foot speed can be cancelled out by good positional play, something we saw from Cross last night.

As for Hamrlik, he is what he is. These days, he's more of a 2/3/4 defenseman and powerplay specialist than an all-round contributer. As long as he plays that role, Calgary should be fairly happy with him.

As for us criticizing Calgary's defensive unit, remind me- how does there number 1 guy compare with CHRIS PRONGER? (and yes, his name must be capitalized and bolded)

Weird but true: the Oilers' plus-minus leader in 2003-04 was Igor Ulanov. And the guy absolutely earned it: he was great. The year before, I was ready to have him shot and his family billed for the ammo. I'm waiting to see which version turns up this time.

I think we need to be careful of picking on 5th/6th/7th defenceman, especially in this new so-called "salary-cap era" (almost as if its just a trial?) anyway, its not possible anymore for teams to have 5-6 super talented defenceman, and in fact, why would you want that at the expense of fast-skilled forwards? So yeah, Cory Cross likes his ice cream cold and his hockey slow, but who cares, until he loses out to a younger, cheaper d-man, i'll take him. As for Calgary, i think there is some bitterness because almost every pre-season analysis of the team said what a strong defensive unit they have, and then they get lit up to the Wild! the wild!
So lay off Ulanov, not only will he play his heart out, he'll kick anyone's arse, and then call their mother and tell her he did it.

This is completely unrelated to the topic but I want to express my rage at TSN. As a Saskatchewan resident they forced me to watch toronto and ottawa with the eastern scum.

Perhaps the guys at TSN have never looked at a map, but Saskatchewan is a heck of a lot closer to Alberta than we are to Ontario.

Saskatchewan is full of flames and oilers fans -- not ottawa and toronto.

Hopefully, through the power of BOA, we can get through to the pinheads at TSN.

I agree, sure Saskatchewanites pay alot more taxes, and their football team isn't nearly as good as the two Alberta teams, but they should at least get to watch real hockey being played. Everyone knows behind every good Saskatchewan family is a couple future-Albertans. So come on TSN, let them watch "western" hockey!

We should really get rid of the ID function on this's a pain. The odd spam comment is nothing to deal with.

It's good thing the flames got their asses handed to them last night. It's a wake-up call. They'll come around. Sutter will make sure of that.

Pronger is a god and deserves to be in all-caps and bold. Let's just hope the injury bug doesn't bite! It will bite. It always does.

The word verification is designed to keep out spam. If, like you, the rest of the Flames fans find that typing out those 5 extra letters is too much effort, then I'll know it is working properly.

I think there is something to be said for the fact that the salary cap is probably going to cause a few marginal players to slink onto the 4th line or the 6/7 defensive spots. It will likely become even more evident once there are more injuries over the course of the season.

I'm just taking a wild guess but I think Saskatchewan likely got the Ottawa-Toronto and Vancouver - Phoenix game because TSN thought that people were likely to be interested in seeing Gretzsky's coaching debut. Although seeing the great one pace nervously doesn't strike me as particularly electrifying.

Yeah, but I have to admit there's just something weird and thrilling about seeing him back there. If the key to being a good coach is having a good game face, he's all set.

I think the "thrill" of seeing Gretzsky coach a bad team is that one wonders if after seeing a certain amount of incompetence displayed he'll be tempted to go out onto the ice and show them how to do it himself. Or simply throttle someone like Comrie for being a spoiled punk who can't perform.

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?