Thoughts on Game 17 (4-0 win over Edmonton)
By the way, what horrible defense by Edmonton. No one challenges Lebda. No one covers Samuelsson. Johan Franzen's fourth goal was like that too. He skated by two flat-footed Oilers, then put the puck in from an angle which Dwayne Roloson should never have allowed.
-- Darren McCarty can still fight. He's not a heavyweight, but he's getting the job done and I never would have thought he could when he joined the club last spring. He clearly beat Zack Stortini, Monday night, making it two fights in a row that he's won. Aaron Downey is a better fighter, but McCarty is a better hockey player, more skilled, more positionally sound. Again, I never would have thought it last spring. McCarty has turned me into a fan.
-- I thought this was Ty Conklin's best game of what has been a very good season so far. Conklin was under control all night. He didn't have a lot of tough stops to make, but you got the feeling like he would have made them last night had the challenge been there.
-- An Oilers blog, Cult of Hockey, has an interesting breakdown on the game ... http://communities.canada.com/edmontonjournal/blogs/hockey/archive/2008/11/17/mact-is-being-judged-by-the-high-standard-he-himself-set.aspx
-- The Griff line of Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Kopecky was flying. They had their best game of the season. Hudler's goal was important and Kopecky driving to the net was a big part of that. But overall, they forechecked well and won battles.
-- I thought that Marian Hossa was by far the best player on the ice. He was constantly a danger that the Oilers had to deal with. He had a team-high six shots on goal, had another four that missed the mark and two more that were blocked. Unfortunately, nothing went in for the Datsyuk line.
I got to pick the three stars of the game and really wanted to give one to Hossa. But the Zetterberg line scored two goals, the Filppula line scored one, the second power-play unit netted one and Conklin puts up a shutout. No room for Hossa without any results from his charged play.