Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Oilers/Ducks: Prongerama Round 1

Ana's off to a fast start, 6-0-2, and Pronger's off to a slow one, 1-4-8. In terms of TOI he's just another 25 min plus guy alongside the likes of Niedermayer and Beachemin and Pronger's newest defensive partner is Sean O'Donnell, BTW. The other two Ducks dmen are Shane O'Brien and Joe DiPenta and if you already knew that then you're either a hardcore fan or one of their friends. Their forward lines have been changing a little bit of late as I'd noticed that Selanne was playing with Marchant and Penner but it looks like Shannon had replaced Selanne on that line the last game versus the Kings. So it's probably a safe bet that the Selanne-McDonald-Kunitz line are back together. Pahlsson usually plays with Neidermayer The Bad and Getzlaf/Perry are still scooping up the cherry minutes while being joined at the hip like a young Selanne/Kariya.

The Ducks are +7 in GA/GF differential but they're played six of their eight games at home and their sked has been laughable:

LA: Junk
at Phx: Garbage
Stl: Medicore at best
NYI: The EConf's LA Kings
Dal: Lost to the Stars in the SO
Det: Struggling out of the gate
Min: Defeated the Gaborik-less Wild 2-1.
at LA: Needed the SO to take out the Kings.

The Oilers are 6-2 and +9 and have played home and home's with both the Flames and the improved Canucks and they've hosted the Sharks as well. Edmonton certainly looks up for this challenge but the Ducks have been the NHL's best team at home since the tail end of October '05 so any trip to the Pond isn't easy.

Unless you're looking for tickets of course.

But seriously folks this will be tough sledding for the Oil given that the Ducks have last change and that Torres is auditioning in Moreau's place on one of the Oilers shutdown lines. I think we'll need a strong showing from the Horcoff line tonight and we'll need a couple of PP goals.

Back to the line matching for a second..I'll be posting a game review tomorrow where I go over the matchups and list, at least IMO, the scoring chances at ES and just how they were created and who was on the ice for both sides.


Blogger Earl Sleek said...

The Anaheim-Minnesota game was not Gaborikless, not until about the last 10 minutes or so.

But you're right, it has been a tremendously easy start to the season.

Still, the Ducks haven't blown their gift-schedule-start yet, so it's tough to gauge what this team will do when they do face quality opposition.

10/25/2006 4:25 pm  
Blogger RiversQ said...

The PP will be interesting for me because Pronger's an excellent PKer and I'm convinced he has a positive impact on PPGA. Of course now he's playing on the other side, I have no real reason to bother to prove that. Also, he knows what Hemsky can do (that's why he played the left point here after all), so I'm interested to see his positioning while Hemsky's out there.

As for the rest of the game, this Ducks team is still pretty much a one-line team and I haven't got a whole lot of confidence in them after that WC finals performance they put in. Sure, I'd like to give the Oilers a lot of credit for that whitewash, but honestly that was a soft, weak-willed Ducks team last year. Maybe they're different this year?

Sounds like JFJ is in there to rattle the boards. Should be good.

10/25/2006 4:40 pm  
Blogger namflashback said...

Guessing that Carlyle tries to match thusly:

28-71-83 get the Pahlsson line, (and the odd shift versus the Marchant line) and Pronger pair
94-10-15 get the Marchant line and a combo of Pronger/Sneidermeyer
14-16-34 get the Selanne minutes with Sneidermeyer (we will see many heart stopping moments with MAB/Greene in their own zone against these)
JFJ-19-26 get the Perry/Getzlaf line, and the ocassional dose of Selanne

We know how much Carlyle likes to shift it all about

So, looking at these -- does MacT try to on-the-fly change those matchups or does he think he can roll the way it is. Bad line changes to get the matchups nearly hurt them in Colorado.

I say he plays a little cat and mouse with Carlyle; does his best to hard-match his D -- and lets the boys go fly.

10/25/2006 4:44 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Two excellent posts, Dennis.

I am due to attend a "professional development" seminar and hence won't add anything but damn, I'm looking forward to this one!

10/25/2006 5:33 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

Just an update on that linematching and scoring chances VCR didn't roll on time last night so I didn't get to tape the game.

But I'll be taping it this evening thanks to the NHL Network and I should have the results up on Sat.

10/26/2006 12:16 pm  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Well tonight's game vs Phoenix was a complete piss-off, but the Ducks game wasn't a bad effort. Before the Oilers started taking wild risks in the third period I thought they pretty clearly had the better of the play vs Anaheim. Terrible night for Roloson. Both unlucky and bad on this night ... a lethal combination :)

The fourth line looked surprisingly good, Winchester especially. All the more impressive considering that they seemed to see quite a bit of Teemu's line.

Back to the Phoenix game, poor goaltending again and I think it's fair to say that the Yote's got the better of the bounces (the winning team usually does in hockey). But damn, after last night's loss I really expected to see the Oilers come out with a bit more emotion. It just wasn't there. None of the centres looked very sharp for the Oilers IMO. Smid put in a good effort and Hemsky had some terrific stretches ... but not much else. They deserved to lose.

10/26/2006 11:09 pm  
Blogger mudcrutch79 said...

Third game in a different city in four nights...these things happen. I didn't get too pumped about beating Detroit around when they were in that situation so I won't get too down now.

10/27/2006 6:40 am  
Blogger PDO said...

Tyler took the words righto ut of my mouth.

What's a teams winning % when they're playing their 3rd game in 4 nights? Trying to remember, and I know it was posted either here or Tyler's place. Anyone?

Oilers have a day off here, and a game against Washington, at home. No reason we shouldn't be 7-4.

Checking out HF is pretty funny these days. The sky is falling after 2 losses and we're cup contenders when we beat Detroit.


10/27/2006 10:04 am  
Anonymous dynastydays said...

Anaheim were very fortunate in their win. Bounces gave them the higher ground and Edmonton greased their own slope after trying to play catchup. They outshot and outchanced Anaheim the entire game.

A bit more discipline and intensity added to the mix and maybe the bounces wouldnt have been so lopsided.

10/27/2006 11:19 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

Mmm, the Yotes game was a total trap game. Look at the week the oilers have had:

Saturday - HNIC vs. Detroit
Monday - vs. Phoenix - team is at home, on a roll and puts it to them early
Wednesday - much hyped game against Ducks
Thursday - back to back vs team they smoked earlier in the week, right after the most hyped game of the year

Mentally I think they mailed it in before they even hit the ice - bad combination all round.

10/27/2006 1:34 pm  
Blogger Dennis-IOF said...

We'll see I guess. I'm not overly upset about it right now but let's see how many more points we gas in other less than hostile locales like LA, Colu and Chi for instance. No you can't win all the winnable games but you can't blow too many of those points either.

If we win the division then I'll be fine:)

In the shorterm though...a guy like Horcoff really has to buck up and our netminding has been terrible in these last two games and Roli was fighting the puck on Mon too.

Let's hope he gets over that quick.

10/27/2006 5:13 pm  

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