Thursday, January 04, 2007
Stars @ Oilers: Post Game Comment and Video.
MattM and I decided to head down to the Black Frog once again this evening in hopes of catching another solid Oiler victory. While it was a wildly entertaining game, it was also a fairly disappointing performance by the Oil. Mistakes were made by just about everyone: forwards, defensemen, vets and rookies. Unfortunately on this night, Roli wasn't able to bail anyone out. A few observations:
- Horcoff looked great out there with Smyth and Lupul. He made a great deflection-pass to setup Smytty on Lupul's goal, and roofed a laser top shelf off of the rush. This line had a really solid night.
- Stoll's line kept up their stellar play. They were solid in the both zones all game, especially late in the third when we were looking for the equalizer. The STP line is pretty much gold.
- The Czechs weren't so great. They had a few nice offensive shifts, but didn't manage to generate any quality chances. Defensively, this line pretty much lived up to expectations: it was horrible. The second Stars goal was almost comical, Sykora is playing the role of the low man - generally the centers job in the defensive zone - and plays his check pretty soft behind the net. The Stars player throws the puck back to the point which results in a slap shot wide. Then two Stars then go behind the net to fetch the puck and Gator follows. The Star closest to Gator feeds it off to the 2nd man (the one that the low man is supposed to be on), which forces Greene to cheat away from the front of the net. Next thing you know, Mattias Tjarnqvist receives a pass in front of the net and no Oiler is within 5 feet. You can pretty much put this goal squarely on Sykora's shoulders. It was his responsibility to either check the guy behind the net or make sure Tjarnqvist was covered.
- Generally, a fourth lines job is to provide your team with some energy and not get scored on; any sort of offense is pretty much a bonus. Tonight, our fourth line didn't do it's job. In the first period, Jacques was out there throwing some hits and everything seemed fine. However, Dallas' first goal can pretty much be summarized as a couple rookie mistakes. First, Jacques missed a 3 foot pass deep in the Dallas zone, which then led to a 3 on 3 rush. Second, on that rush, Pouliot messed up his coverage and gave Stefan a clear lane to the net. Next thing you know, the Stars are back in the game.
- I'm pretty excited about the Smyth - Horcoff - Lupul line. It's just a matter of time before Hemsky and Sykora get their rhythm back. Sykora leads the team with 12 even strength goals, with Hemsky assisting on 8 of them. These two can do some real damage 5 on 5, regardless of who they are out there with. If they can get their shit together, our top three lines should be lethal.
- Gator got caught on a bad pinch on the 5th goal, it wasn't Greene's fault.
- Smid is out 7-10 days, at least that means Hejda stays in the line up.
- The tying goal is pretty much beyond words. I think the hockey Gods were evening up the McGeough score.