Game 8 Recap: Alberta Blues
You can't blow 3 goal leads. You can't waste 4 road goals and come away empty handed. From the red line back this was the sloppiest I've seen us in a long time. Hitchcock cannot be happy with this road trip so far. I know he likely will rip a new one. The first half of the second period we played amazing. The second half was a trainwreck. Did I say Hitch will be irate? Yup. He'll be very very angry.
Hemsky, Penner, and Gagner were really good tonight with the Oil. Our swiss cheese defense gave them plenty of room to make those tic-tac passes. This was the Oils only line tonight
It was great to see a line juggle instantly pay dividends. I thought the Huselius - Vermette - Voracek line looked very good. I think this also mixes our finesse players. Huselius and Brassard together on the same line has played light this year. Vermette, Umberger and Voracek are all good diggers, but weren't creating some nights. I like this switch and I think it makes us more dangerous and defensively responsible in our top 6.
Huselius played well tonight to follow us one of his worst performances.
Raffi Torres has the net nose. Add another PP goal to his total. He might bust the 15 goal prediction I had for him. He does have enough skill to hit 20, but I won't count on it. The bonehead minor at the end of the game... not what we needed.
I thought Filatov looked a lot more Hitch-like tonight, but that didn't lead to an increase in ice. He did make a bad turnover in his own zone tonight, but he looked like he took the teachings to heart. Battling for loose pucks (with varying degrees of effectiveness). He needs 10-15 more pounds on him.
Jakub Voracek played this best game of the season. His physicality and vision were great. His play lead directly to two of our goals tonight.
Jason Chimera continues his annual month long wonder hands period. The period that makes us wonder why he doesn't score 30 goals in a season. This guys is a total package of offensive skills. The package is usually disjointed. A great pass by Sammy Pahlsson to set that up.
The negatives... I'll keep it brief.
Team defense was terrible tonight. A lot of loose pucks in the high slot. A lot of cross ice passes. We looked lost defenisvely on the rush. The good news is Hitch can fix this and a lot of it likely has to do with personnel playing over their heads right now.
Garon was inconsistent tonight, but the D was terrible so it is hard to rate him.
The PK wasn't good tonight, but we knew that streak would eventual come to an end. Let's start a new one.
Mancrush of the night: Jake Voracek. Once he deliver his scoring touch, he'll be a dynamite player. I wouldn't mind getting him signed longterm before he really figures that out (next year)... it'd save a lot of money.
Whipping Boy tonight was the Captain. I call it the way I see it. I thought he had some lack relaxed backchecks and he was a -3 tonight. He tried to do a lot on a short handed rush and couldn't find his feet back into the play. It lead to the Penner goal that evened it. Time and score. The rush was good, but I'm not sure what hung him up in the corner afterward.
What will we see in Anaheim? Any predictions? Fire Away.