• Stolen Game? Check.

    by  • May 15, 2006 • Uncategorized • 3 Comments

    This thing that Greg Millen is talking about with the way to stop scrums being to take one or the other is nonsense. Millen has made reference to this a couple of times in the series so I suspect that he’s had a referee tell him that they’re doing this. While I don’t doubt that it’s an effective tactic, it’s not within the rules. On the Matt Greene penalty, it’s a mystery to me how the refs chose him instead of a Shark. I’m not someone who complains about legitimate penalties being called but I don’t want to see referees making phantom calls as part of their management style.

    Interesting play on the 2-1 goal. Smyth has his stick broken, goes to the bench, gets a new stick and then comes back to score the goal. What I found interesting is that San Jose didn’t get aggressive on the Oilers prior to Smyth returning. Small mistake that ended up costing them a lot.

    I really enjoyed the 30 seconds early in the third where the Oilers were up 2. Then it was back to watching in abject terror.

    Alan Muir thinks that Fernando Pisani is going to become a rich man in the offseason. Pisani is going to be a UFA and going to be a very interesting case. I’m a pretty huge Pisani fan-he’s a consistent EV+ player as a top 9 forward and he was dirt cheap this year. Very few Oilers were a + at even strength this year (I blame the “goaltending”) but Pisani was second on the team at +5.

    Possibly more importantly in terms of what he might get paid, he’s been an absolute force from time to time in these playoffs-the third in G6 against Detroit probably stands as his defining moment so far although he’s putting up a rather large third period in G5 as I write this. As Andy Grabia noted elsewhere, it’s like he’s pulling some sort of magical Papi power from the number 34.

    What’s Fernando worth? I’m not really sure. As the Oilers move forward though, I suspect his price tag is climbing. If a large chunk of his price tag involves payment for his clutch playoff performance, I hope Lowe doesn’t pick it up; call this the Lapointe Principle. I don’t think anyone can begrudge Fernando if he decides to cash in though. Chasing a career in professional sport for someone like Fernando Pisani is like putting a huge chunk of your future earnings on 6/49 tickets. Pisani won when he made the NHL-he’d be foolish to not cash in as much as possible.

    After the Oilers scored their fifth goal, I waited for Greg Millen to realize that the Oilers really switched up their power play there-Ales Hemsky is almost never on the right side of the ice during a power play. All year and all series long, we’ve watched Hemsky play out of the left side of the ice on the power play. Suddenly he shifts to playing on the right side of the ice, the Oilers score about five seconds later and Millen doesn’t bother to mention that Hemsky has switched sides of the ice? Now, I never played in the NHL and I’m not a coach but that seems like something that warrants a mention and a comment-does that affect the penalty killers when they’ve been defending the pass from the other side of the ice all series long? Good job by the Oilers coaching staff, who I assume were waiting for the right moment to unleash that.

    Bernier and Michaelek…unbelievable. That was like watching a Northern California version of the Giguere meltdown. Maybe there’s something there for the Battle of California to talk about-how their respective teams went bananas against the Oilers. YOu can’t like that if you’re Ron Wilson-we’ll see what happens if the Oilers get up a goal or two at the Rex, which I suspect is going to be absolutely wild on Wednesday.

    Heh, seeing Rem Murray on the ice for the PP is like a reminder of the old MacT days, where he’d grow so embittered with the terrible PP that the Oilers iced that he’d just start rolling the lines through the PP.

    Not terribly insightful but I’ll say it anyway: Edmonton’s special teams and goaltending were better than San Jose’s. That really is all there is to it. I’m sure that Sharks fans will be complaining about how things went down but it’s tough to really point to too much that you could have asked to go down differently-San Jose got their chances on the PP earlier in the game. A goal or two could have put the Oilers away and they didn’t get it.

    That was the stolen game for the Oilers. They haven’t exactly followed the recipe for success to a T, but they’re in a hell of a position right now. I’ll admit to being stunned by this-after G2 in the playoffs, I figured that the Oilers were about to lose to the eventual Western Conference champion. Of course, I figured that San Jose would go on to lose to Ottawa, so that shows what I know.

    While that still may be the case-San Jose is an excellent team-it shows what a difference a single moment can be in the playoffs. If it’s not clear yet, I don’t believe that the best team always wins in the playoffs. So far this year, I think that teams in Detroit, Calgary, Dallas and Ottawa who were better than their opponent are out. San Jose had an awful lot of opportunities to create that moment for themselves in G3 once the game got to OT and couldn’t capitalize. Now the shoe’s on the other foot and it’s going to be incredibly tough for the Sharks to get back into it. It’s not over yet but you have to like the Oilers chances, no matter who is the better team.

    On the ever growing list of reasons why I like MacT, he appears to have just acknowledged that the Oilers were lucky to be where they were entering the third.

    “The numbers are prohibitive when you’re tied 2-2 if you win the fifth game.” Yep. The road team has won 43 out of 57 series when they’ve won that fifth game. 34 times they’ve won it in G6.

    I am seriously looking forward to what Ron Wilson has to say here. I haven’t heard him speak live yet and I figure that it’s possible he just comes off badly in the print media.

    “We beat ourselves.” I’m not sure what to make of that. San Jose had the chance to put the Oilers away and didn’t get it done.

    Hmm, not much of interest from Wilson. I think he’s a bit stunned by the whole thing. He doesn’t seem like someone who handles loss well.

    Onto G6. As I’m signing all of my text messages these days, OILERS!


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