Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oilers Update - Mile High Win

Make it 4 straight wins for the Edmonton Oilers who waltzed into Colorado to defeat the Avalanche by a score of 3-1.  The red hot Oilers received goals from the "unusual suspects" such as Cam Barker and Andy Sutton who both potted their first points of the season.  Ryan Smyth also found the back of the net, but the man of the match was the goaltender Devan Dubnyk with his 40 save perfomance.

Good Defence Makes for Good Offence

While it has been all Nikolai Khabibulin in the collecting the wins for the Oilers, Dubnyk simply took over the reins and remained solid for 60 minutes.

"I saw some shots, quite a few shots, but I maintained my focus and kept playing my game.  The guys up front did an amazing job of blocking shots.  It made it easier for me.  Whenever the puck got past them to me, I was ready to make the save. It is noticable how hard our defencemen played. said Dubnyk.

Cam Barker lit the lamp with a tick left on the power-play clock.  The defenceman jumped into the played a received a soft pass from Sam Gagner and then shoveled a brilliant backhand past Av's Semyon Varlamov to make it 1-0 in the second.  

With 6 minutes left in the second stanza, Lennart Petrell earned his first point as rookie for the Oilers when his point shot blast was tipped in by Andy Sutton.  Both Sutton and Barker went 10 straight games with goose-eggs in the stats section.

27 seconds after the Av's buried their own tally, Ryan Smyth drove the final nail into the coffin when the "King of Muck" swooped in on a loose biscuit to secure the teams 4th straight victory.

"Leave it to the "King of Muck", he was pretty much on his belly and swinging at it."  said Tom Renney about Captain Canada.

The Oilers will now head to St. Louis this Sunday to face the Blues for the first time this season.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Oilers Update - Can't Cap Oilers

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. 


Here's why..

1st period. 

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 %.,2,134

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. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oilers Update - Oilers Hold On For Win vs Canucks

3 goals in a span of 5 minutes was all the Edmonton Oilers needed as they went on to the defeat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 last night at Rexall.

Once again, Nikolai Khabibulin was the hero of the match as he set aside 37 shots to help the Oilers record their 2nd straight win.  At the other end, Canucks net-minder Roberto Luongo was pulled in the second after letting in 3 goals on 14 shots. After it was all said and done, it was the kids who were responsible for ending Luongo's night, who combined for 5 points. 

"It was a frustrating night for me.  I felt I was moving well and seeing the puck well in the first period and then in a five minute span they got three quick ones and that was all she wrote." said Luongo.

The Oilers now move 2 games above .500 but most importantly pick-up 2 points against their divisional rivals which could pay dividends come April.

"It was a statement game.  These are the games that good teams win, the games that really matter in the standings at the end of the year.  These are the games that, if were are the team that we think we are, that we have to win." said Taylor Hall who scored his second of year.

Over in 5 minutes.

2 minutes into the second, Taylor Hall peeled off the half boards and found Jordan Eberle alone on the high slot as he made no mistake to earn his first of the season.

4 minutes later, Luongo misplayed the puck behind his net and Ryan Smyth collected the loose biscuit and dished it off to Shawn Horcoff to make it 2-0.

1 minute later, the kid line struck again and it was Taylor Hall who narrowly slid the puck past Luongo to earn his second goal of the year.  Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle each collected helpers on the goal.

The Canucks finally managed to break Khabibulin's goose egg when they received tallies from Cody Hodgson and Alexandre Burrows, but it wasn't enough as the Oilers held on for the win.

During the win the Oilers lost Ryan Whitney to a knee sprain.  The veteran defenseman finished the first period but did no return to the line-up.  According to Oilers Head Coach, Tom Renney - at the moment Whitney is now "listed as day-to-day".  

The Oilers will now host the Washington Capitals this Thursday at Rexall Place.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Oilers Update - Oilers defeat Blue Shirts

Reporting from Munich Germany.
Last night the Edmonton Oilers skated to a 2-0 decision versus the visiting New York Rangers at Rexall Place all thanks to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle's 2 point performance.   However the real hero of the match was Nikolai Khabibulin who earned the shut-out after turning aside 19 shots.  Khabibulin added his 44th career shut-out and at the moment the Bulin-Wall has a .972 save percentage. 

"I didn't expect anything from myself other than a good effort from myself and to fight for playing time.  It's nice to that it started this way.  It's nicer to start well than to not start well and to be trying to catch up all year."  said the 38 year-old net minder.  The net minder set the tone of his game early when he made a tremendous save off of Ruslan Fedeotenko's point blank shot in the slot.  Fedotenko, pounced on Ryan Whitney's cough up which nearly put the blue shirts up in the first.

Late in the first, Magnus Paajarvi had a glorious opportunity to find his first of the season when Ryan Smyth gave the sophomore a behind the back pass.  Lundqvist, was able to stick his toe out to make the save on the Swede to keep the game scoreless in the first.

In the second, Nugent-Hopkins posted the games first goal after firing a wrister past Herik Lundqvist.  The play started when Taylor Hall raced down the right wing with his blinding and then gave RNH a perfect back-hand saucer pass. 

In the third, the Oilers went on the power-play and defenseman Corey Potter cashed in on his first goal of the season using his booming slap-shot to seal the game for the Oilers.  Both Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins collected assists on the goal.  

Soon after the goal, Lundqvist left the game due to some "equipment problems" thus paving the way for Martin Biron to end the match with three saves. 

"It was botherig me the whole game, we tried to fix it during the intermission.  In the end it was just too painful.  It's a little sore now but tomorrow I will be fine." said Lundqvist

Who is hot?

RNH continues to be hot for the Oilers who now has 7 points in 7 games and leads the Oilers in points.  

The Oilers will now face the Vancouver Canucks this Tuesday at Rexall place.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oilers Update - Wild Shock Oilers

It wasn't supposed to end the way that it did.  With less then two seconds to go in the game it was for certain that the Oilers would chalk up another W for the season...until that no-good and much hated Dany Heatly tied it to force overtime.

But, how many times has this happened before in the past where the Oilers simply lose their marbles in the last few seconds of the game?  Nevertheless, the Oilers spoiled it for themselves and couldn't add the finishing touches to clinch their 3rd win of the year.  

"I thought we played well, but it came down to tenths of seconds.  I have nothing but confidence in the this team.  They're a pleasure to coach because they want to badly to the right thing." said Head Coach Tom Renney after the loss.  

However, if there's any sort of consolation, our foes from the South also fell to the Rangers with one tick left. But, don't say that to Eric Belanger.  The newly acquired centre managed to ring the post in the shoot-out and probably feels that part of this loss rests on his shoulders.

"We have to start closing games. We're playing well but we need to finish." said Belanger "I feel good I am working hard but soon things are going to go in I can't get down on myself."  Belanger also missed a chance to put the Oilers up by two on a partial break-away earlier in the game.

Late in the first, Ryan Jones put the Oilers on the board with a tip in off of Ryan Smyth's shot.  Jones now has 2 goals in the last 3 games for the Oilers.

Next up the Oilers will face the New York Rangers on CBC this Saturday.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oilers Update - Flames burn Oil

The Oilers were without the services of Taylor Hall who missed the action when he came down with the flu before game time. The dynamic sophomore has 4 points in 4 games, but the Oilers did welcome back defenseman Ryan Whitney who has been out since early last December with an ankle injury.

However, despite the loss of Hall and the addition of Whitney, the Calgary Flames managed to edge the Oilers with a 2-1 decision with two late quick goals scored by Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Tanguay.   Both goals were 90 seconds apart but was enough to put the game out of reach for the Oilers.  

Tom Gilbert scored the lone goal for the Oilers when he wired a one-timer past Mikka Kiprusoff from a point pass from Corey Potter on the power-play.

The Oilers have not won in Calgary in their last 9 visits to Cow-Town and captain Shawn Horcoff had this to say about the win drought.

"If you want to make the play-offs and if you want to go deep into the play-offs we have to win in our division and it starts with winning in Calgary for us.  We have are going to have to find ways to close out games like that."

The Oilers are now 2-3-1 this season.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Reporting from Munich, Germany

It was Ryan Smyth appreciation night and to celebrate his return to Edmonton, the Oilers organization gave away Smyth bobble-heads to all 16,000 + fans at Rexall Place.  And if you believe in magic...perhaps the bobble-head was responsible for the Oilers come back win versus the Predators. 

Nevertheless, spearheaded by the Mullet Man,  Ryan Smyth posted a goal and an assist on Ryan Jones' open-netter in the third, to help his club lift past the Nashville Predators by a score of 3-1.  Oilers Captain Shawn Horcoff also made his presence known by capping off his night with 3 assists commented on his clubs 3rd period efforts.

"I was impressed with the effort we come out with in the third. We really took it to them.  The power-player goal got us the momentum and we able to go from there.  It was a a really good win for us, and hopefully a momentum-builder going forward."

Sergei Kostitsyn opened the scoring when he wristed a shot past Nikolai Khabibulin early in the second.  Late in the second, the Oilers pressed for the tying goal and it was Taylor Hall who nearly converted on a spin-around shot but was denied by Pekka Renne to keep the game at 1 nothing.

In the third, the Oilers were granted a power-play opportunity and the #1 draft choices  immediately went to work. Taylor Hall shelved his first of the year after converting on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins brilliant feed from the half boards to set the game at even.

2 minutes later and on the transition, Shawn Horcoff found fellow veteran Ryan Smyth flying down the left wing and Captain Canada then neatly deked Rinne out-of-his-jock-strap to make it 2-1.

With the net empty late in the third Ryan Smyth went in on a 3 on 1 with Horcoff and Jones as the trio played keep-away with the lone defender, but it was Jones who decided put the game out  of reach for the Preds.

Nikolai Khabibulin recorded his first of the season and turned aside 25 shots to Rinne's 12.

The Oilers now gear up for the Battle of Alberta tonight in Calgary.

Watch Video Here 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oilers Update - Nuge Hat Trick...Will he stick?

He has only played 3 games for the Edmonton Oilers and already, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has 4 goals in his very young NHL career. 

Last night in the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Vancouver Canucks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins posted his very first hat trick at Rexall Place.

Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scores on Vancouver Canucks Roberto Luongo during first period NHL action on October 15, 2011 in Edmonton.After receiving some hefty criticism from the hockey pundits about his lack of size and then of course hearing suggestions that he should return to Jr.'s for some seasoning; last night Nugent-Hopkins silenced the doubters with his play, but is it safe to say that the "The Nuge" is here to stay? 

"I definitely didn't expect to have that kind of start.  I just want to keep it going." said Nugent-Hopkins after scoring his first hat-trick."

His first goal came off of the power-play when "The Nuge" converted on the brilliant feed from Eberle and Hall.  His second, was a tip-in from Potter's shot from the point and his third caused a bit of confusion among the referees who originally gave the goal to Hall.  After, careful review, the puck did in fact leave #93's stick to grant the kid his first trick.  

"It was all very exciting, but it's disappointing that we didn't get the win.  There is a lot of other little things I need to do to get a definite spot on the team.  I'm going to be working as hard as I can at both ends of the ice." said Nugent-Hopkins.

While Nugent-Hopkins admits that he does have some areas to work on, however with 6 games remaining in his "probationary period" it would be ludicrous for the Oilers ship the 18 year-old back to Red Deer.  In fact, Nugent-Hopkins' supporting cast of Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall combined for 7 points yesterday evening and there is no question that this line could in fact be one of the top in the NHL.  

At this point it is very clear that Tom Renney likes what he see's with the trio.  With less than 2 minutes left in the game, Renney threw out the kids to find that even strength goal.  Sadly, the kids couldn't find the back of the net and the Oilers fell 4-3.

"There is a freshness to their game to be honest.  There's a certain exuberance and enthusiasm. They can make things happen offensively."  

Welcome to Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Oilers Update - "Oh I remember that!" Fight Night Oilers vs Canucks

Reporting from Munich Germany


So, I managed to put down my Augustiner Beer (best beer in the world btw) to bring you the weekly edition of "Oh I remember that!"  

I am going to take you back during a time when I was part of the Canucks Organization when I worked in their media department.  While I wasn't on shift for this little dandy when it unfolded, I can tell you that my eyes were glued to the screen to watch a series of fights within less than 40 seconds to go in the game.

After that no-good, cocky Burrows scored one of the simplest goals in recent memory, former Oiler Jarret Stoll (respect) took exception for Burrows' post-goal celebrations and thus gave the Knuckle Head a little shove.  The shove was then reciprocated with a slash across the ankle of Stoll which prompted the famous melee.  Even little Sam Gagner got into the action vs. Ryan Kesler.

Penalties Summary.

Vancouver - slashing - 5 min - 19:20, A. Burrows
Edmonton - roughing - 2 min - 19:20, J. Stoll
Edmonton - fighting - 5 min - 19:20, S. Gagner
Vancouver - game misconduct - 10 min -19:20, A. Burrows
Vancouver - fighting - 5 min - 19:20, R. Kesler
Edmonton - roughing - 2 min - 19:20, S. Staios
Edmonton - fighting - 5 min - 19:51, C. Glencross
Vancouver - fighting - 5 min - 19:51, M. Weaver
Vancouver - fighting - 5 min - 19:51, L. Bourdon
Edmonton - fighting - 5 min - 19:51, Z. Stortini
Edmonton - roughing - 2 min - 19:51, E. Moreau
Vancouver - misconduct - 10 min - 19:51, M. Weaver
Edmonton - misconduct - 10 min - 19:51, C. Glencross
Vancouver - slashing - 2 min - 19:56, R. Shannon
Edmonton - fighting - 5 min - 19:56, M. Greene
Edmonton - game misconduct - 10 min -19:56, K. Brodziak
Edmonton - fighting - 5 min - 19:56, K. Brodziak
Vancouver - game misconduct - 10 min -19:56, W. Mitchell
Vancouver - fighting - 5 min - 19:56, T. Linden
Vancouver - fighting - 5 min - 19:56, W. Mitchell
Edmonton - slashing - 2 min - 19:56, L. Smid
Edmonton - misconduct - 10 min - 19:56, L. Smid

Oh I guess you want to watch it now right???? 

Oilers Update - Oilers Flop in Shoot Out

You can chalk that one up in the L column for the Oilers as they lost to the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in St. Paul.  In fact, make that the Oilers 17th straight loss at the Excel Energy Centre.  

Captian Canada had the only goal for the Oilers when he converted on Eric Belanger's shot.  The Mullet Man backhanded his first tally as an Oiler since 2007 to open the games first goal.

The game remained scoreless until Matt Cullen broke the ice with a beautiful goal of his own.  Cullen faked a pass on a two-on-one then blew one past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin.  The Bulin Wall managed to shake off the tying goal and remained spot on with his game until the 4th round of the shoot-out; when Devin Setoguchi won it for the Wild.  Khabibulin closed out the game with 34 saves.

The Edmonton Oilers will now face the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena this Saturday.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Oilers Update - Nuge is Huge. Oilers top Pens in OT

Reporting from Munich Germany!

All the hype and hoop-la about this years rendition of the Edmonton Oilers was under the keen and watchful eyes of every spectator at Rexall Place; with the spot-light directly shined upon RNH.

Rookie phenom Ryan Nugent-Hopkins got the crowd to their feet when "The Nuge" crashed the net and slid a backhand, past Pens goaltender Brent Johnson to earn his very goal as an Oiler.

"Going into the game I was really nervous but I tried to use that to my advantage.  It felt pretty was really exciting but I'm more excited about the win." said Nugent-Hopkins about his first regular game with the Oilers.

When sudden death proved fruitless for both squads, teammates Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky solidified the win in the shoot-out to earn the Oilers first win of the season.

"It was hormone hockey, I guess you have to expect that.  Our team hadn't played in a while and we had some guys playing their first ever NHL regular-season game.  There were almost over-excited.  We turned the puck over a number of times in the first two periods.  But we started to play a little better and started to share the puck better."  said Oilers Head Coach Tom Renney.

The Pittsburgh Penguins skated without superstars Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  Malkin was schedule to play but became a late scratch due to a lower body injury suffered during the pre-game skate.   

Kris Letang had the lone goal for the Pens late in the first.  Letang's wired a one-timer past Devan Dubnyk for the game's first goal.  However, Dubnyk remained solid for the duration of the match as he managed set aside 33 shots to earn his first win of the season. 

The Edmonton Oilers will take a few days off and will now face the Minnesota Wild this Thursday  in St. Paul's.

Watch Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first NHL goal on video here!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oilers Update - "Oh I remember that!" Boys on the Bus.

Sure it is Saturday, but it is FINALLY time for "Oh I remember that!"  I realize that I am one day late with this blog entry but can you blame me?  I am out traveling.  

Where am I?  

I am here!

I found a cool montage which was put together back in the 80's featuring all of your Oilers favorites, in fact it is an excerpt from the famous "Boys on the Bus" video.

Yes this is short and sweet but the visuals of this video will put a nice smile on your face!  


Monday, October 3, 2011

Oilers Update - Bound for Europe

My dear readers.  I will be arriving in Europe in the next couple of days.  What this means - it will be rather hard to give you up-to-the-moment updates while traveling.  However, once I become settled in my desired location, expect to see my pre and post game articles along with the weekly "Oh I remember that!" portion of Oilers Update.

Thank you all for the support!

Antony S Scandale

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oilers Update - Canucks Win...Oilers Cut Players

Yesterday, the Edmonton Oilers concluded their preseason with a loss 4-1 against the Vancouver Canucks.  Magnus Paajarvi was the lone scorer for the club in the defeat.

However, the biggest news to come out of the Oilers organization were the 5 assignments which were made this afternoon.  Head Coach, Tom Renney placed the following players on waivers for the purpose to report to the Oklahoma Barons in OKC.

Brule sent packing.
Gilbert Brule
Teemu Hartikainen
Ryan Keller
Josh Green
Ryan O'Marra 

Ever since the addition of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and of course his magical play during the preseason, it was somewhat inevitable that the 24 year-old Brule would find himself cut from the team.  The pivot who has been with the club for nearly 3 years couldn't find his stride in recent seasons mainly due to a rash of injuries and an illness he endured.  While it appears that Nugent-Hopkins will fill the center gap, Brule on the other hand is quite capable to play the wing if injuries strike the big club.  However, Steve Tambellini does have the option to perhaps make a deal with some clubs to move a player such as Brule; in order to bring in some much need personnel on the back-end.  Mind you, depending on the severity of Smid's and Chorney's injuries and Ryan Whitney's imminent return to the club, Tambi will probably keep the gun in the holster a little longer.

Brule leaves the club having scored 48 points in 117 games. 

I wonder if U2's Bono will cheer for Brule in OKC?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Oilers Update - Oilers Win 4th Straight, Lose 3 Defensemen - Oilers vs Canucks

When the dust settled at Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota, the Edmonton Oilers managed to come out with a 4-3 shoot-out victory over the Wild, yet sadly at the expense of losing three defensemen due to injuries.

Ladislav Smid (shoulder), Taylor Chorney (knee) and Taylor Fedun all ended the their nights with injuries, though it was Fedun who suffered the most when he crashed into boards and broke his leg.  Fedun becomes yet another victim of the no-touch-icing rule, and to add insult to injury, Wild's forward Eric Nystrom received a measly 5 minute penalty for boarding.  The extent of Fedun's injury is a complex fracture on his right femur, and the injury(ies) couldn't come at a worst time for the Oilers who now have to scramble to fill 3 spots on the back end in time for opening night.

"There should be more to the penalty than what was there, but the referees called it exactly the way it should have been called. If you are going to give majors and whatnot for guys who carry their sticks high and don't control their sticks at head level, on an icing play like that when you have your stick in somone's feet, regardless you are going for the puck, that is a very, very dangerous play and the young fellow probably lost his season because of it." said Tom Renney.  

Despite the injury, Renney and his players could see a lot of potential oozing from Fedun. The bench boss could only show his praise for the young man's play as of late.   

"(Fedun) is a fine young man, he's very intelligent and navigates the game well.  We're still excited about him as a player."

Anton Lander was the hero of the night when he buried his shoot-out goal going backhand top-shelf Backstrom during regulation time.  With the game tied at 3 piece, the game went into a shoot out and again it was Lander for the win.  Also chipping in for the Oilers it was Linus Omark who had a goal and also gave an apple to Ryan Jones to help tie the game and force a shoot-out.

The Edmonton Oilers will now face the Vacouver Canucks at Rogers Arena tonight at 7pm Pacific time.

Drawing in for the Oilers is Burnaby's, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who will get to play in front of his hometown friends and family for the first time in his young NHL career.  

While it is still early to determine what the line combinations will be for both teams, it's almost safe to say that Jordan Eberle, RNH, Taylor Hall, Gilbert Brule and Shawn Horcoff will also suit up against what is rumored to be a veteran heavy line-up for the Canucks.

Oilers vs Canucks 7pm on CBC (FINALLY SOME HOCKEY ON TV IN BC!)