Maybe last night’s game will be remembered for more than the win. Edmonton, doing their usual “skating around without thought” routine, worked smart and the tumblers clicked in a 3-2 comeback win against the Islanders. The cause? An emotional and loud intermission.
Sure one would hope this team didn’t need that kind of ass-kicking between periods, but it’s also true the club was playing with an overwhelmed D group (sans Petry, mind) and a fourth line with issues. On December 27, the Oilers were 39GP, 12-24-3. In the 25 games since, Edmonton is 10-10-5. In their last 10: 6-2-2. They are absolutely riding Scrivens .941 to their most recent record.
Really important and enjoyable moments don’t come along often these days for Oiler fans. Ryan Smyth’s bullet (hey, it’s a record, we’re allowed to embellish!) found twine and got things rolling for the Oildrop. 99 was in the house, so was the best center he ever played with (Weight) and it was a very nice touch. I hope he spends one more year at his current job, and wonder if the club might ask him on as a coach when things are done. I know this team hires too many of its own, but can you think of a better instructor on things like corner work? Standing in front of the net? Passing and taking a pass? And he’s not just some ordinary superstar, this guy worked his bag off every night.
Martin Marincin lost his partner and kept on ticking. I think it’s a very good rule to wait 200 games before saying a defenseman is a full-fledged contributor to success, but there are exceptions. Marincin is very early in his NHL career and looks truly capable. I know, I know, wait until next year to see if he can do it again. I’ll say this: Oiler fans will be hard pressed to remember a more impressive defensive debut. Mr. Wingspan can play the game.
CORSI FOR 5X5 PERCENTAGE, OILERS BLUE
- Marincin 50.7
- Petry 47.8
- Belov 46.4
- Larsen 43.8
- Schultz 42.9
- Ference 42.9
- Fraser 39.2
I think it might be time to call up another of Nelson’s men. The last one they called up is making the NHL players look bad. I expect Edmonton recalls Klefbom for the Sunday game if he plays tonight and keeps it healthy. I don’t think there’s any reason to wait at this point. If they want a righty to replace Petry (don’t know how long he’ll be out) then by all means recall Fedun. He’s earned it, and his Corsi 5×5 for % during his cup of coffee was 45.7%.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
- Steve Lansky, Bigmouth Sports. Trade deadlines, past and present.
- Corey Graham, Oil Kings PBP. OK’s winding down the regular season, but still plenty to play for—including some impressive boxcars.
- Chris Corbiel, Edmonton Rush. The team is on an historic run, we’ll talk about that story and the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders (seriously).
- Jeff Chapman, Copper and Blue. Hemsky’s legacy, does Smyth return for another year, Justin Schultz’ next contract.
- FC Edmonton, as they get ready for the season.
- Jungle Jim Hunter, Sportcology. We’ll talk about the Paralympics as they get started.
10-1260 via text, @Lowetide_ on twitter. It’s Friday! We’ll have fun.