Back from Italy!
After a brief break for the Christmas holidays the Edmonton Oilers embarked on a 7 game road-swing last night making their first stop in Vancouver.
Despite yet another loss for the Oilers the hockey world is talking about "the hit" on Alex Plante in the second period. Vancouver's Dale Weise finished his check on Plante, sending the OKC Barons' call up face first into the boards. Planted remained on the ice with blood dripping from his face and never returned to action.
"It was a tough hit. said Oilers bench boss Tom Renney. "There should be a little sabbatical. He came pretty hard, he had a pretty good head of steam up and hew was after on thing and that was to hit and hurt the kids. If Planted is up against the glass, or up against the boards, then the maybe nullifies the issue quiet honestly. But he's about four feet away from the boards and Dale came in and hammered him pretty hard with on objective."
"I respect the call" said Weise who was sent to the showers for the game misconduct. "I think every hi in hockey, if they go by the definition, could be called a charge, but things happen really fast. I made the decision to finish my check. You've got to protect your players."
Plante was asked after the game about the nasty knock and the disheveled defenseman could only muster "I'm OK," to a crowd a reporters.
On the ensuing 5 minute charging major, offered an opportunity for the Oilers to make a comeback after being down by 3 goals. Eberle broke the ice to make the game 3-1 when he tapped in his 16th goal of the season. However, moments later the Canucks' super pest Alex Burrows was left unattended in front of Nikolai Khabibulin to post the games first short handed goal. Less than a minute later, veteran Ryan Smyth put the Oilers within two after receiving a simple feed from Ryan Jones.
3 minutes into the 3rd, Burrows found a swooping Ryan Kesler to punctuate another Canucks victory but this game appeared to be over in early in the first. At the moment of puck drop, the Canucks came out hard and Andrew Ebbett opened the scoring in the first 3 minutes of the game. The Canucks went to post two more before the end of the 1st frame.
"We can't play catchup against those guys. They've got too much firepower." said Jordan Eberle after this 2 point performance.
"We definitely came out slow...that killed us. But getting that power play and then giving up that short handed goal hurts. We have to find a way to score five-on-five. That just goes back to shooting the puck, we have to shoot more.'
Ryan Whitney sat out the game as a precautionary measure due to some tendonitis while Ales Hemsky became an healthy/un-healthy scratch with nasal infection.
The Oilers will now face the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul