Who are these guys??
The Edmonton Oilers managed to snuff the visiting power house Washington Captials by a score of 2-1 last night at Rexall Place. Once again it was the kids and Nikolai Khabibulin who led their squad to their 3rd straight win in 5 games. The win catapults Edmonton to 3rd in the Western Conference and they now sit 1st in the North West Division.
Moments after squandering an opportunity to capitalize on the power-play, defenseman Karl Alzner rifled a shot past Nikolai Khabibulin to make it 1-0.
From the sin-bin, Roman Hamrlik helplessly watched the Oilers orchestrate a blinding tic-tac-toe play to tie the game at 1 a piece. Corey Potter's slap pass to Jordan Eberle then found Taylor Hall's stick on the other side of the crease to beat a sprawling Thomas Vokoun.
In the second, Troy Brower also had the opportunity to witness the Oilers convert on his infraction, and once again the tandem of Corey Potter and Jordan Eberle brought the fans to their feet. Eberle hammered Potters rebound to earn his 10th point of season.
Late in the third, Alexander Ovechkin had a chance to send the game into overtime but his shot rang the cross bar and flew into the crowd. The Capitals leave Edmonton with no points but were handed their first loss of the season.
"It was a good test. We really wanted to see where we're at. So it feels good to beat one of the best teams in the league." said Nikolai Khabibulin who climbs to .97 GAA with a .976 Save %.
Where are these guys?
Sure. It's only the 9th game of the season for this club and quite frankly, any Oilers fan wanting to prepare a parade on Whyte Ave in the summer...please think again.
While this club is on a roll, one has to remember that hot goaltender and a semi-rookie line-up will not bring home hockey's holy grail. In fact, the focus now has to be brought to attention to the other players who haven't made much of an impact in under 10 games. 2nd and 3rd line scoring is an absolute must if any team wants play in the post season. Players such as Paajarvi, Lander, Belanger, Omark are now teetering towards some time in the press booth.
What about RNH?
After playing his 9th game of the season while collecting 9 points, the verdict is still out for rookie phenom who leads the club with 5 goals. Tom Renney has given no notion about the fate of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins just yet, but if the kid plays his 10th game against the Colorado Avalanche this Friday, consider the kid a keeper.