Saturday, November 26, 2011
It had been nearly four full years since the Edmonton Oilers had defeated the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. That string of futility mercifully came to an end Friday afternoon, as Edmonton picked up a 5-2 victory, ending the teams seventeen game losing streak in St.Paul. The Oilers continued to ride the hot play of the clubs top two lines, as they combined to score all five of the visitors goals. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin was very solid, stopping 30 shots to help Edmonton move within three points of the Northwest leading Wild.
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
With the start Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had had to his NHL career, Taylor Hall has almost become a bit of a secondary story in Edmonton this season. Nugent-Hopkins currently leads the team in scoring with 22 points while linemate Jordan Eberle is not far behind at 21. The two youngsters showed instant chemistry right off the bat so when the time came to breakup the Oilers "new" kid line, it wasn't surprising that Hall was the one moved. The 2010 first overall selection, currently sits with six goals and 16 points on the season but he has yet to find his "A" game.
When Oiler fans see Ales Hemsky playing at his full capabilities, he is still arguably the best offensive weapon this team has. As good as youngsters Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall have been since joining the Oilers, Hemsky still remains the player that teams fear the most. The talented Czech can take his level of play up a notch or two and when he does, he is a joy to watch and nearly impossible to stop. The problem being, he's become somewhat injury prone in recent years and at times, appears to give the impression he is disinterested. So what should General Manger Steve Tambellini do with the soon to be, unrestricted free agent?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Take note NHL, the kids are starting to find their way on the road. After a tough outing in Dallas the previous night, the Edmonton Oilers rebounded with their best road game of the season, pounding the Nashville Predators 6-2. Jordan Eberle lead the onslaught with two goals and an assist, while Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had two helpers a piece. Not to be outdone, veterans Shawn Horcoff, Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky all had two point nights, as Edmonton's top two lines were too much for the Predators to handle.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The Edmonton Oilers continued their losing ways on the road, this time dropping a 4-1 decision to the Dallas Stars. The Stars were the aggressor from the get-go and were full marks for the victory. Dallas imposed their will on the young Oilers and punished them physically. Defenceman Mark Fistric, who led the club with seven of their forty-seven hits, was a wrecking ball, crushing one Edmonton player after another. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin kept the Oilers in this one stopping 30 of the 33 shots fired his way but the offence went cold after last weekends outburst against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Truthfully, I can't sit here and say that I am surprised by the play of one Sheldon Souray this season. The rugged defenceman has rebounded nicely in Dallas after a tough couple of years in Edmonton. Many were saying that Souray was all but washed up by the end of last year and that he could be counted on being nothing more then a power play specialist, at this point in his career. Come on...did anyone really buy this nonsense? The guy was coming off two horrendous seasons in Edmonton's organization but is only three seasons removed from being this teams MVP. Sheldon is not a top pairing blueliner but he still remains a solid second pairing option that brings a ton to the table.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
It's funny how things sometime work out. When you combine the injuries the Edmonton Oilers have suffered of late with their poor play and the fact that their opponents on Saturday night are currently the best team in the Western Conference, all things were pointing towards a very long night for the Rexall Place faithful. That's the great thing about sports, you just don't know what is going to happen. Instead, many in attendance were throwing their caps out on the sheet of ice before it was all over.
For the third time this season, the young Oilers put on a stellar performance on Hockey Night In Canada and for the third time, it was the kids who led the way. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins picked up five assists and Taylor Hall scored three times, as Edmonton destroyed the visiting Blackhawks by the score of 9-2.