I'm going to go out on a limb here: I think the Oilers current slump can be blamed for the most part on their anemic PP. After watching us dominate the first 17 minutes of the game vs Montreal, I did my best to find the source of the 2nd and 3rd period drop off, and I found the horrible oiler PP consistently lent the Habs the momentum. I believe most fans would agree that a successful PK for their team often causes a favourable shift in momentum. Keeping this in mind, the consequences of a poor PP are two-fold: first our boys are disappointed in their inability to even generate a quality scoring opportunity, and the opposing team is stoked because they just completed a big kill. Once the PP is dangerous again, look for the Oil to bounce back with a string of victories.
Some other thoughts:
- Jan Hejda is the real thing. He's physical, can shoot and most importantly, his outlet passing has been VERY good. I know it's only two games, but with what I have seen so far, Hejda has been our best defenseman at moving the puck. If I had the choice between Tjarnqvist and Hejda, I would have to go with the latter. He has played with a lot of heart in his first two games, and shouldn't be taken out of the lineup while he continues to do so.
- Matt Greene is getting a lot more tough minutes on the PK. His game has come far this year, he seems to improve every game. I would like to see him be a bit more physical, beyond that I have no criticisms.
- We were hitting again in Montreal, I wonder what MacT said/did to resurrect our physical game.
- MAB was jumping up in the rush, I was really happy to see this. I think that our offense has been stagnant in part because of a lack of pinching by the defense (not the outlet passes, the horse that the masses are beating on). Sure, we will give up more 2 on 1's, but I think the risk-reward is worth it.
- Horc and Pisani had great games. Look for them to come up big tonight in Detroit.
- Raffi and Lupul were subpar, however, if somehow all our offensive weapons can get going at the same time, look out NHL
- I hate seeing fans bitch about MacT's shootout choices. If Sykora hadn't hit that post, they would all be praising him.
- I never say anything about Sykora, because I don't think he is a 'true oiler' or that he will be here next year. I also don't buy his hockey happy speech, I think he's in a contract year and signed with the oilers because he knew he would get a lot of powerplay minutes and be on the ice with Hemmer. With that said, he's been a great addition, and it will suck when he signs with Columbus for 3.8m in 2007.