Sunday, October 09, 2005

Finest Moment

What was the finest moment of last night's Oiler victory, you ask?

I can say for certainty which three moments were not the finest.

It was certainly not the lame-duck attempt by Markus Naslund in the shoot-out. A wrist shot to the five-hole??? Come on Markus, you just got had by the oldest goaltending trick in the book. The Markkanen giveth, and the Markkanen taketh away! I saw that one coming before Nazzy had even crossed the blue line.

Another certainty was Bertuzzi's lacklustre deke. I should be thankful thank he didn't just shoot the puck over the net, a la Eric Lindros. And the look on Bert's fact as he turned back towards the Oiler netminder read something to the effect of "how did he get his pad in front of the puck like that?". Lesson to be learned here, kids: raise the puck!

But perhaps most depressing moment of the night was not what did happen, but what did not happen. Richard Park, the South Korean dynamo with lightening-fast legs who bagged a water bottle-flying breakaway goal in the pre-season against San Jose, was left to rot on the bench. In that game against San Jose, coach Marc Crawford picked Naslund, Bertuzzi, and Park in the shootout (in that order). None of them scored.

If you want to win a shootout, do you use the same formula that has already failed?

The next shootout line-up should look like this: Park, Morrison, and Daniel Sedin.
At least until the big boys have some serious breakaway practice sessions.

Credit the the Oil, they did something they haven't been able to do much of against the Canucks in recent years - get two points. They will not get two points next time.

And if I were Colby, I'd be hoping that sprained MCL suffered by Smyth in the first period will not keep him out of the line-up for long. The Oil aren't going to get very far relying on guys named "Rafi" and "Ales".