Thursday, October 05, 2006

 

Andrew Ference For The Defence, Your Honour

Yawn. Ho hum. Another game, another victory. So much for the vaunted Flames defence. I mean, it's good to have, but if you can't score, it doesn't help you much. My summary of tonight is such:

• Both teams played sloppy, boring hockey for most of the game. I expect that to change once they get their legs and gel as units.

• The officiating was horrible, but at least it was horrible both ways. The Iginla penalty-shot was questionable in my mind, if only because it didn't look like a clear cut breakaway.

• Kipper looked rusty. Roli looked sharp, except for when he was behind the net.

• The Oilers D looked good, but both the forwards and the defencemen made some awful clearing attempts that turned into scoring chances for the Flames. Cut. It. Out.

• Dion Phaneuf needs to get his head knocked in. He's lucky he has his boyfriend Iginla protecting him.

• All the Flames defenceman were jumping into hits tonight. I thought leaving your feet like that was a penalty?

• How good did Pinto look? Wow. Puck on a string, and full speed, all night. Raffi may need to start throwing punches in his defence, though. I thought the Calgary D were running Hemmer all night.

• Other than the one Flames goal, when he should have been more aggressive on the puck, Ladislav Smid looked pretty solid.

• Why is Brad Winchester on the roster? Again, if you're going to only use a guy for five minutes a night, why not have it be a sniper for the powerplay?

• The CBC wouldn't stop talking about how difficult it was going to be to find ice-time for all the Oilers forwards. To me, they were digging for a story. If the team is winning, no one will care. Buffalo had four great lines last year, and it worked out fine for them. That being said, Lupul didn't seem to be on the ice alot tonight.

• Anyone else think we still need a fighter? I do.

• Mac T was up to his old tricks, juggling every line except for the Torres-Sykora-Hemmer line. Sigh.

All in all, a good night. It ain't playoff hockey, but it's still hockey. What did everybody else think of tonight's game?

Comments:

Winnie played 0:32?

JFJ's in for sure on Saturday, riding shotgun when things get nastier behind enemy lines.
 


Like I said in the other thread, I thought there was a great pace to the first half before it got all slow and yawn-y. Oh, and I'm a big subscriber to the "let 'em fight" school of thought.
 


I didn't think it was boring at all. Yeah it slowed down half way through due to the penalties, but overall, the Oil played very good. Lupul was pretty non-existant but damn, Hemsky and Sykora are fantastic to watch in person. Wow! Horrible officiating, as usual. Some things never change. Although I think it was more one-sided (against the Oil). And yup, good note about MacT shifting his lines. It drives me crazy. Game one, and he's at it again. Argh!!!!

Anyways, I predicted a 4-1 win for the Oil so I was pretty close (3-1 was the end result).
 


My first Oil game of the season but I thought the Oil looked fast. Crappy in the first 10 minutes but fast. Hemmer was able to make scoring chances because of it.

Phaneuf was head hunting tonight. Which NHL player goes out of their way to make the hit rather than worry about the puck? What is this, bush league?

The defense did miss Pronger on the back end slowing the play and looking for the smart outlet pass but were otherwise pretty solid. The Oilers are going to miss that.

Nice to see that the Oilers haven't quit on the shot blocking thing though. Forcing the shooters to shoot high is never a bad thing unless the goalie is like the Kipper and is sometimes weak on the high glove hand.

I'm not saying he actually has a weakness yet but he anticipates the play a little 'too' early sometimes and sells his moves.

Roli looked solid until he played the puck. Holy Conklin.
 


Yup. 32 seconds. And look at the penalty breakdown. It never ends.

I watched the game with my family, and we were all in agreement that it was a tame game. Not a lot of hitting and skating. Everyone sees it different, which is part of the beauty. I really want someone to punch Phaneuf out, though.
 


How do I feel?

YOOOOOOOHHHHHHHUUUUU!!!

I am very drunk.
 


I wish I was. Two drinks, and still sober. If I was, I'd say:

WE'RE WINNING THE CUP!!!!
 


Solution: Keep drinking.
 


Am I ever glad I snagged Sykora in the ol' hockey pool.

Three points (two on PP), a +1, four penalty minutes and the GWG. A fantasy GM's dream.

The Oilers sure do love their Czechs.
 


Did the Shames really improve their offence over the summer? They seemed par for the course - Iginla and three lines of crap.
They can book their late April tee times right about now.
 


Sykora's making me look like a genius in my pools.

What can we expect from him in terms of point totals? Is that line going to get all that icetime every night?
 


Sykora's making me look like a genius in my pools.

James, the superstats show him wiht 2 shots. 2 goals on 2 shots.

He's making lots of people look like geniuses.
 


I would imagine so JM. Smart money says:

Horcoff's line picks up the toughest minutes,
Reasoner's and Stoll's lines will split the rest and
Hemsky/Sykora/Torres get all the butter MacT can feed 'em

The effect will be most pronounced in Home games because of last change but even on the road that is a whack of point producing minutes - and a LOT of teams don't have the defense or goaltending that Calgary does.

Only downfall - Torres will demand a contract next year far in excess of his worth. Getting a spot on the Hemsky/Sykora line is the equivalent of winning the lotto as far as Torres future pay prospects go.
 


The simple answer is that Sykora will pretty much get exactly as many minutes as Hemsky does (a lot). Even MacT isn't enough of a micromanager to split up that tandem. They terrify me and I'm cheering for them.
 


how about for the first season since 1990(or 1987-88) oilers actually look like dominating as a team?

what mactavish does as a coach is teach the forwards to play defence...no wonder its hard for rookies to break in with him as coach...

i know its only game 1 but geez for the first time since i was 13 years old i can actually look forward to an oilers regular season
 


Okay I think I'm kind of sad but,

Anyone else think we still need a fighter? I do.

and the first thing I thought was "A firefighter? Sure. To put out the flames from all the hot Oilers.

But then they're hot ugly men.

Hopefully this win doesn't end up with us being slaughtered the next time round with Calgary like the Sens & Toronto. It's just not cool.
 


Bad zebras (both ways), but the phantom Iggy penalty that lead to the 5 on 3 sure hurt.

As did Iggy's penalty shot. I thought it was a good call; he was clearly in front of the D-man. But the Flames need to have someone chase him when he's taking his shot. On penalty shots/shoot-out he is 2 for 15, yet on breakaways I'd bet he is in the 75% range. Frustrating.

Giordano looked over his head - we need Warrener back.

It's only the first game.
Payback - Saturday Night - Our Barn.
 


Bad zebras (both ways), but the phantom Iggy penalty that lead to the 5 on 3 sure hurt.

As did Iggy's penalty shot. I thought it was a good call; he was clearly in front of the D-man. But the Flames need to have someone chase him when he's taking his shot. On penalty shots/shoot-out he is 2 for 15, yet on breakaways I'd bet he is in the 75% range. Frustrating.

Giordano looked over his head - we need Warrener back.

It's only the first game.
Payback - Saturday Night - Our Barn.
 


Last time I took Sykora in a pool, it was when he signed on to play with the Ducks along with Fedorov. Man, that sucked the big suck. I had to dump him and replace him with Shane Doan (ugh).
 


Iginla said last night that he has too much time to think on SO/PS. Makes sense.

And, shockingly enough, the penalties were actually even at 12 apiece, with the even-up coming after the scrum with five seconds left. Seems like the Flames took all their penalties first, then the Oilers took their turn with five of six or something like that.
 


Technically, James, isn't Sykora making me look like a genius in your hockey pool?

Thanks for Reinprecht, though...Gotta love it when the guy you grab in the last round is on pace for a 410-point season.
 


It's not so much that Iggy has too much time to think on a penalty shot, he also skates slower than my sister when he takes them. Last night he made Rollover look good with the slowest fake/skate across the front of the net move yet made.

Good win for the Oil, but I wouldn't be ordering the 2007 Western Conference Champs banner yet -- giving up 32 shots to the Flames is not a good sign.

The zebras were also pretty bad.

Go Flames.
 


my thoughts from last night:

1. How good is Hemmer right now?
2. Raffi and Greene carried over their solid physical play well.
3. Thoreson was impressive, for a guy that had less than 8 minutes, it seems like each shift, he was noticably helpful.
4. Nice having Reasoner back.
5. Smid wasn't perfect, but was solid.
6. Tjarnqvist is a funky lookin' dude
7. There will be about 1000 penalty shots called this year, if the first two days are any indication.
8. MAB is getting a lot of responsability right now. I like the guy, but it is a little scary when "He who shall not be named" is not there with his 20 foot reach to bail him out when he get caught pinching

anyway, I like what I've seen so far

go oil
 


giving up 32 shots to the Flames is not a good sign.

a) Why not? Look who was shooting.

b) It seems like 30+ shots is going to be the norm around the league, especially if they call 24 penalties a night.
 


Good game Oil - looks like Hemsky is in mid-season form already.

For my part, Im going to take solace in the fact that last night's performance by the Flames was superior to their opening night debacle last year.
 


Good game overall, although the officiating was consistently awful. Fortunately, I think it pretty much all evened out, as neither team could claim victim status. The 5-man PP unit is ridiculously good. Those guys will rack up some goals this year.

I thought the defense was OK and I thought the Oilers looked fine at ES minus all the penalties. However, Lupul looked pretty crappy next to guys like Smyth and Horcoff. It's going to be hard for me to like that kid.

Good stuff lately Grabia. I probably should have defended you against Douchey Dave in that other thread, but I figured since his name was Douchey Dave it wasn't really necessary.
 


What can we expect from him in terms of point totals? Is that line going to get all that icetime every night?

Hemsky and Sykora played under 16 min each last night according to nhl.com, sure felt like more than that.

Hemsky only played a minute more than Lupul.

http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?page=RTSSReport&service=page&sheet=%2F20062007%2FES020011.HTM

speeds
 


Wow. Only one minute more? Sure seemed like Lupul was barely on the ice.
 


Which NHL player goes out of their way to make the hit rather than worry about the puck?

Raffi Torres, for one. Occasionally MAB. Scott Stevens did it all the time. Both Derian and Kevin Hatcher. Bryan Marchment. Pretty much any guy who's got a reputation for hitting, actually: they have that reputation because they quite frequently ignore the generally smarter move of containment to go for a hit that will look good on Sportscentre. It's just that a thundering, concussion-inducing check is a lot easier to remember than the time the other guy side-stepped him and fired a mundane pass across the ice.

Having said that, though: Phaneuf blows!
 


Andy, on the 5F power play,

On the positive side, you can now offer a executive summary to your 4 volume tome on the Oilers powerplay. It can be done with a single sentence and some youtube clips.

"Yeah, make the power play like this . . ." then show the video.
 


ea few things we can take out of game 1:
note to Roli: "relax Francis, its a long season"

MacT trusts Greene

vision of Schremp screaming at his TV, " I wish my Gran Pa owned the fucken team!"
 


Am I the only one who hauled out their Crazy Fan Flag for the game last night? I'm sure the neighbors got a kick out of me WHOOOing behind my house, waving the flag just before the game started. Now everyone at work gets to look at it, as it on the wall in my cube, just high enough for everyone to see.

GOILERS!
 


Whatever. The 5F power play looked an awful lot like last year's power play. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Look up. Pass. Pass. Pass. Shoot wide. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass. Pass.

Not that my team's power play was any great screaming hell by any stretch, but let's not get too far carried away.
 


I agree with Peter that the PP wasn't that impressive. I'm happy about the 5F, but will have to wait and see before feeling convinced that we have turned the corner.

Agree on Greene, and should have added: "Hey, Matt Greene didn't take a penalty last night!"

And yes, I was also stoked. My girlfriend, sister, dad and I all had our gear on, and I was screaming at the refs, phaneuf, and iginla all night. It was like the season had never ended.
 

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