Friday, December 30, 2005


Back on Top

What's to say about tonight's game?

Simply an all around good effort. 5 on 5 the Oil were solid, the penalty kill was terrific, the powerplay potted two goals, and Jussi -- despite giving up a tonne of juicy rebounds early -- settled down nicely and made at least two fantastic saves in the third.

At no point was I worried, except for the 3 minutes prior to Nashville's last goal. I hate it when the Oilers have a lead and try to protect it instead of playing the same way that got them the lead. It never seems to work out for them. Maybe it is simply because they have had so little practice at playing ahead over the last few years.

Anyway, the Oilers are back atop the division (albeit with an extra game played), which sets up another terrific Battle of Alberta tomorrow night.

Healey -- in one of his rare lucid moments -- already pointed out that the Flames have been fortunate to catch both Minnie and Edmonton on back to back nights, but I don't think it is going to matter. The Oilers continue to roll into the New Year.

Question? Does Craig Simpson ever say anything on the bench? Every time the camera pans the coaches he has the same goofy smile on his face. Maybe he is still selling carpets back there.


The Oilers looked pretty good from Row 5 tonight, Sac. Jussi was decent enough, and it's well past time the Ty Conklin Experience was put to bed. They had good legs, unlike either game against Minny, and it was really noticeable in the third. I'll confess mixed feelings, because Nashville's coach is a hometown contemporary of mine. Unlike the other former Dauphinite in today's paper, however, Barry probably isn't all that heavily tatooed. Anyway, that's plenty of name dropping for one night.

Captain Canada Jr., Kyle Chipchura, is more or less from my own neck of the woods. I figure a guy with a name like Chipchura absolutely cannot miss the Hall of Fame.

One of my friends grew up playing minor hockey with Jason Smith in Calgary. In fact, he was Jason's captain. He says that at the time, there were 5 "Jason Smiths" playing minor hockey in Calgary, and the current Oilers captain was the worst of them.

I've always liked that story.

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