"No Way You Live. No Way."
That little gem was delivered by Roger Murtaugh (aka Danny Glover) as he gunned down the villain not played by Gary Busey, General McAlister in the first Lethal Weapon. Hopefully the Oilers can dispatch the Ducks in Game Three with a similar attitude but preferably somewhat less unintentional comedy. (As an aside, has anyone noticed that General McAlister is the guy who played Greg's dad on Dharma and Greg? Wow, talk about being defrocked. He went from formidable villain to a bag of suck in a heartbeat. Furthermore, the two bad guys are Greg's dad and batshit crazy Gary Busey?)
Some Game 2 notes:
- Moreau still looks like he left something on the ice in Game 3 against the Sharks. He hasn't looked the same since then and, if I recall correctly, he was the only Oiler to complain that the triple overtime was a serious grind. It's just my opinion, but I think Moreau would benefit from a short series as much as any other Oiler.
- Samsonov had possibly his best playoff game as an Oiler. He was effective in a his own end helping the puck out and gave the Ducks dmen headaches since he seemed to be the Oiler with the most legs last night. One can only assume that his frequent disappearing acts allow him put some energy on reserve. How and when he chooses to use it is beyond me, but I'm glad he did last night.
- Bryzgalov duffed Pronger's goal. I don't think there's another way to see it. He had a clear line of sight to Pronger because one of the dmen had excellent position on Smyth and Pronger didn't exactly put it away. Weak goal. Nice work by Hemsky on that PP though - great rush and scoring chance and then he sent Pronger a perfect little pass for the one-timer after selling a shot from the high slot first.
- Friesen's goal wasn't much to write home about. Stoll was the goat on that one as he failed to do much of anything in front of the net while Pahlsson somehow managed to tie up Pronger. It was funny to see Friesen wake up that young family in the corner after he scored though. They were kind of happy I guess, but mostly just really scared.
- The Oilers played their most passive game of the tournament to my eye, although I should say that I did miss Game 2 in the Detroit series which was played close to the vest by most accounts. Given the fact that several Oilers didn't seem to have the legs for a real forecheck. It was particularly evident in the third period - I agree with mudcrutch's assessment of Horcoff's game in the first two periods but he was conspicuously absent in the third.
The post-game press conferences were interesting and I'm glad that OLN is showing them down here. They're doing a pretty good job, I have to admit. Anyway, Niedermayer came out dressed like Jesus, answered some silly questions with confoundingly vague answers and then vanished after maybe 30 seconds. MacT's time was probably the main one of interest. He mentioned that he didn't help Peca out much at the start of the year, which kind of confused me and makes me wonder if the Oilers are just making stuff up here. Granted, MacT used him pretty strangely to start, but surely they knew he wasn't a PP guy and that he was better served keeping the GAA down rather than trying to poach with the easy minutes. I don't buy the party line here.
I also picked up on one thing that Roloson said last night in Anaheim. Although the rebirth questions obviously irked him, he did specifically give credit to his coach in Worcester when he spent the 2000-2001 year in the AHL. This coincides with him actually putting up decent NHL numbers for really the first time in his career. I didn't really catch the name of the guy, but I think he said Keith Allain, who is now the goalie coach in St. Louis and was probably the goalie coach in Worcester that year. I wonder if he's available?
There are some interesting choices to be made for next year's Oilers. The core group is going to be more expensive next year and someone is going to enter the decline phase of his career. (Staios maybe? Moreau and Smith are potential candidates as well) Combine that with a few significant players likely headed out the door: Dvorak (I hope not, but it's possible), Laraque, Samsonov (I doubt he'll be worth the money), Spacek (ditto) and Peca; and this Oilers club is likely to have a very different look next season.
I think it was Lowetide who used the analogy of five bullets in a gun for the Pronger deal. So far it looks like the first Pronger bullet's aim has been true. At least it has been true enough that we should be satisfied regardless of the outcome of this series. So does this successful postseason change the philosophy for bullet #2? Do you ice a Sharks/Ducks style lineup in 06/07 while hoping that the core guys get you to the playoffs, and that the rookies learn a thing or two that they can use in 07/08? Or do you send a couple of prospects out the door again this offseason to take another serious run with an even more grizzled veteran cast in 06/07? I think that's a difficult decision but that's why Lowe gets paid the big bucks. It will be interesting to see what happens.
P.S.: As soon as blogger figures it out, my most excellent Murtaugh and Riggs photo will be there. It's not from the scene I'm talking about, but rest assured Glover's got his "No way you live" look on in full effect. I promise.