Sunday, October 8, 2017

Oilers bully local bar owner and then get bullied by the Vancouver Canucks

Must be Karma.  Sick your lawyers on a local bar owner who wants to promote Oilers and still serve craft beer from local Alberta breweries, you get your ass handed to you by the so called worst team in the NHL if preseason prognosticators are too be believed  Click here to read story.

5 Observations: Oilers at Canucks Canucks win 3-2

1.  Even though Matt Benning was a pylon on the first Bo Horvat goal he had learned his lesson by the 3rd period when Horvat tried to go around Benning again only to be pushed behind the net.  For a small dman Benning can't let up for even a second.  The first goal of the game should never of happened had Benning been on his toes and been more physical with Horvat.  Saving grace in sports is learning from your mistakes and the young dman did just that.

2.  Just as Anaheim Ducks slowed down McDavid by being physical, taking away time and space so did the Vancouver Canucks.  It might of been McDavid's worst game as an Oiler as he never seemed to be able to get the puck moving with speed.  The end to end rushes that made all the highlights in game one against the Flames never materialized against the well coached Canucks.  Instead 97 was hit, bumped, smothered and harassed all night by a Canucks team that forgot McJesus was the chosen one.  It was extremely impressive and disappointing as  McDavid had no answer.  There was one play on the powerplay where his only option was to dump the puck deep and instead he tried to pass the puck through two Vancouver defenders across the blue line leading to a break away.  McDavid needed to be mentalily stronger, often displaying some of the frustration Crosby use to show when other teams would get physical with him.  Too often this game McDavid would get into tit for tat moments with that no name, never heart of before Vancouver player who made 97 a generational talent look quite ordinary.

3.  Todd McLellan is the reason the Oilers lost this game.  His insistence of playing Draisaitl and McDavid together makes the team easy to play against.  All you need to do is create one line capable of skating with 97 and 29 who have a physical flavor to their game and like magic you can greatly hinder the top scoring tandem in the NHL from scoring.  Vancouver did a tremendous job but McLellan made it easy by not splitting up the 97 and 29 up.  It makes me wonder if McLellan is trading short term reward for long term success.

4.  RNH still has trouble getting into good scoring areas.  His release is slow but I really liked his tenacity against the Canucks.  RNH, Lucic and Kassian was a handful for the Canucks and often the ice was tilted in the right direction according to the eye test last night.  I really liked Kassian on that line.  His speed and bumper car mentality means ice for opposing dmen which you know as an iceman I love.  Bring the ice baby should be Kassian's motto.  The downside to splitting up the 97, 29 line would be losing the chemistry RNH, Lucic and Kassian has.

5.  Oiler defense should get numerous opportunities to fire bombs from their perches on the blue line. Teams are compressing down to take away anything in front of the net to deal with Oilers dominate forward pairings.  This is leaving the defense at the top with open shots if they take them.  The rub is those same forwards need to become more proficient at tipping those shots from the point.  McDavid said he wanted to score goals in different ways and this is one way that can happen.  Pass to the point, low shot, tip of the stick into the top corners or through the goalies legs as the goalie opens up to stop the original shot.

What things did you see or observe in the game?

Stay Cool,

Master Iceman

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