Sunday, September 26, 2010

I Watched This Game: Canucks at Oilers, September 26, 2010

I Watched This Game is a recurring feature on Pass it to Bulis, chronicling the insights and observations of two guys that watched a hockey game.

Eight goals for the Edmonton Oilers. Eight. What in tarnations?

That was, suffice it to say, a terrible game. If I were coach of the team, I'd cut everyone in this unit and start the season with the squad that beat the Ducks last night. Mind you, that's why I'm not the coach of the team. I have faith that AV will be able to sort through this mess and send the guiltiest parties back to Manitoba (ex: Kevin Bieksa). Thankfully, I won't dwell on this too much. It was a preseason game, and Dexter's on in half an hour. Let's make this quick.

  • We watched this game with our wives. During the anthem, they commented on the size of Horcoff's nose. Skeeter's response: "Horcoff has a heck of a honker." Weird.
  • Hodgson looked reasonable in his first preseason game, quickly getting into the game with some physical play. He looked strong and confident, though not confident enough to try anything especially creative. He played a safe, responsible game and did not look out of place with Kesler and Raymond. With a couple more strong performances, this could actually be a line we see at the start of the season, with Samuelsson starting with the Sedins. In any case, it's hard to gauge Hodgson's performance given that the team collectively sucked.
  • As mentioned above, Bieksa did not have a good game. He wasn't alone, as the defense was just plain bad. Lee Sweatt was arguably the best defender, but he made several mistakes as well, notably a poorly advised pinch on the Oiler's fourth goal. There was a wealth of odd-man rushes for the Oilers to take advantage of, mostly caused by poor positioning by the defense. It's comforting to note that Ehrhoff, Edler, and Hamhuis weren't in this game, but Ballard, Bieksa, and SOB were and they were not good. At all.
  • While he didn't have much support in front of him, Cory Schneider had a poor game. He let in 8 goals, there's not much more to say. Quite frankly, Eddie Lack has outplayed Schneider in the preseason. There wasn't a battle for the backup role heading into camp, but 8 goals opens up the debate.
  • The following Canucks were not terrible: Oreskovich, Morrison, Kesler, Raymond, Hodgson, and Malhotra. The rest were terrible or, at best, unnoticeable.
  • I desperately want to make a drunk Khabibulin joke, but Skeeter's the one typing this (awkwardly writing in the third person), so it's not happening.
  • Funniest part of the game was Hordichuk trying to steal Volpatti's fight and getting a penalty. "No, Volpatti, you're not making the team by fighting, I am! That's my job!" Guess what, Hordi, it's not going to be your job in the future. As in, this season.
  • Hordichuk did manage to get in a fight with Zack Stortini, but the real highlight was after the fight, when the penalty box camera captured him watching his fight on the Jumbotron and making some sweet reaction shots. The video above stops just before the first of these.
  • Burrows claimed that the Canucks' sluggish play might be due, in part, because they flew in that day and didn't get to indulge in their pre-game nap. That puts hockey alongside kindergarten as the only place where a nap makes or breaks the success of the day.

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