Remember this save? I believe this to be the one off Cheechoo in spring 06. The finest weeks of goaltending we’ve seen from OilerG since the Joseph golden weeks of the late 90s and some of those nights would rank up there with Fuhr 1-0 and Moog’s stunning dominance of the Habs 25 years ago.
This Oilers club is going to need great goaltending all season and I think last night was the first time we could stare at the goalies in the post-game.
That was far from the only problem, however. The story of this season is beginning to show through on the stat sheet and here are some things that stand out:
- Jarret Stoll: 5gp, zero points and minus 6. He’s coming off a major injury and isn’t the same player as he was before the concussions. It may take a large chunk of the season to get him back to flush although some more powerplay time might help (Stoll is getting 3:11 on the PP this season compared to 4:45 on the first PP a year ago and 5 minutes in his career year).
- The rookie forwards. Several of these kids are contributing way more than expected. I understand the soft minutes, but we’ve seen kids get the soft parade before and not perform like these young men have so far this season. Among the kids up front, ES-scoring-per-60 minutes numbers include Gagner (3.97), Cogliano (3.41) and Brodziak (3.26). Hemsky is up some over last year’s number (2.65 to 2.09) but he’s obviously facing tougher competition. It’s early, but those three kids are performing pretty well even given the circumstances.
- The D. I don’t think they can continue to go down this road. Grebeshkov looks like 10 cents on the Bergeron dollar, Souray’s nickname should be “trying to do too much” and all 6 of them look many times to be playing one pairing above their heads. I’m not smart enough to know what exactly is wrong but this is not going to get better anytime soon without a trade.
- Dustin Penner. Frank Mahovlich was never this quiet. I wonder if he’s going to end up going 15-15-30 and spending the summer getting into game shape. This looks painfully similar to the Lupul experience.
- Reasoner and Sanderson. I find myself wishing they could be double shifted. Smart plays all over the ice and even though they lack the hands of other forwards these two in particular have played well overall since the opening whistle.
- Horcoff. I love the guy. Steps into the gale and starts working and it’s paid off a little so far this season.
- Hemsky. I notice the hf group railing against him but I don’t see it. If anything he’s more high event and just like in baseball there’s sometimes a delay between hitting ropes and having them fall in. I suspect he’s not far from a three point game.
- Harry Nilsson. He did exactly what a lot of tweeners do, made some interesting sounds but couldn’t keep his batting average up and slipped below the Mendoza line. It’s also his bad luck that the two veterans he was given didn’t deliver close to results and ended the relationship almost before it had begun (regular season-wise).
- Pitkanen. I like him plenty, but he has lots of chaos in his game and it doesn’t look like he should be the top pairing partner with Staios. I’d even suggest Tarnstrom-Staios, Pitkanen-Roy and Gilbert-Greene at this point but that leaves out Grebeshkov and the other guy.
- Garon. He ranks 50th out of 54 NHL goalies in SP and it’s too early to go too far on this, but he needs to be better than that if the Oilers are going to have a rested Roloson.