Wednesday, October 22, 2008

60 Minutes of Pure Domination

That's what Blackhawks fans can boast after the 'Hawks beat the tar out of the Oilers despite only winning by 3 goals. I've seen a lot more lopsided scores, but the game itself was about as one sided as someone would imagine a Steve MacIntyre Vs. Pee-Wee Herman fight to be.

The Blackhawks out skated the Oilers, were more physical, and were ALWAYS on the attack, no falling back and protecting the lead with them tonight. In the 2nd period, the Oilers tried to make it a game, but unlike the Oilers last game against the Flames, the 'Hawks would have absolutely nothing to do with it.

While the Oilers may have set themselves behind the 8 ball by starting their #3 goaltender, Dwayne Roloson, you simply cannot fault Roloson for this loss. The first goal showed what most have known for some time, Roli is just simply not very good at moving post to post. The 3rd goal, was a softie, but did it matter? The Oilers looked like they could play 180 minutes tonight without scoring a goal, they were just flat out outplayed in every sense of the word.

The Blackhawks did what so many Oilers fans have been hoping to see, a full 60 minutes effort, no taking a period off before stumbling out of the starting blocks, no need to turn on the afterburners after falling behind, just come out of the gate pumped up and feed the opposing team their lunch all game long without asking them if they like it.

Perhaps the coaching change in Chi-town had something to do with this type of effort. As great as it is to still be 4-1-0-0 in 5 games, a person has to wonder if Craig MacTavish can get this kind of effort out of his team anytime soon. The Oilers have been lucky to have 1 or 2 lines playing well every game, the 'Hawks didn't really have any single player that played poorly tonight.

After watching Marc Pouliot gel with Fernando Pisani and Ethan Moreau while collecting 2 assists and helping to lead the Oilers to a come from behind victory against the Flames, he was demoted right back to the 4th line. No chance to see if he could repeat the feat, meanwhile a visibly slower Dustin Penner who is apparently suffering from an injury did nothing out there tonight. Does MacTavish try to see if the spark is still there with the Moreau-Pisani-Pouliot line? Why do that when you're down 3-0?

This team could come crashing back down to Earth in a hurry as early as tomorrow night. It's time to get some new ideas coach MacTavish, the top line is playing like a 4th line, and what seemed like an exceptional 3rd line was scrapped for a line that hasn't looked half as good in 4 games as the Pouliot line did in 2 periods.

This is what should be done to get the Oilers back on track and playing how they should be playing...


Cogliano IMO has been one of our best and most consistent players. Hopefully his speed and heart can rub off on the slumping Horcoff and Hemsky.

Cole plays his natural position and faces lesser checking assignments, he adds a finisher to the kid line.

Moreau-Pisani-Pouliot is a no-brainer at least until they prove that their play against Calgary was a fluke.

Penner drops to the 4th line until he gets his play back up to par when he gets healthier. A true waste of what could be a more offensive line with a player like Schremp or Brule instead of Stortini.


Schitzo said...

I'd have to put Cole and Cogliano together. Cole's on record as saying he's a "north-south" hockey player, which makes me think he'll struggle with Nilsson and Gagner as much as he has with Hemsky. Plus, we saw in the pre-season what happens when those two turn on the jets. Nilsson-Cogs-Cole would be ideal. That probably leaves Penner-Horc-Hemsky and Moreau-Gagner-Pisani (or pisani at centre, whatever MacT has an erection for).

Bryanbryoil said...

Another example of Mac-T shying away from a line that did really well was the Schremp-Cogliano-Cole line. Most people that saw that line said that it was the Oilers best line at any point on teh preseason.

However just like the Moreau-Pisani-Pouliot line, it was scrapped without a second look.

I would however like to see what Cogs could do opposite of Hemsky. Hemsky likes to do things at high speeds, Cogs could give him another option.

However at this point, both Hemsky and Horcoff are proving to be difficult to play with. I'm not sure what's wrong with them, but a more intense performance in camp maybe the difference between them playing respectable, and playing the way that they are right now.

Dropping Gagner down a line might not be a bad idea either, he has been having a tough go of it, and perhaps a little lighter checking will get him going again.

Howeevr I'd bump Pouliot with Moreau and Pisani and drop Gagner down with Brodz and Penner.