The Edmonton Oilers embarked on their six-game road trip with a 7-2-2 record. After two wins and four losses, they came back 9-6-2, losing their last three by a combined score of 15-6.
So is that it for the Oilers? Fun while it lasted? They are who we thought they were?
Tough to say. Dropping three straight in Boston, Detroit and Chicago could happen to any team, especially on the tail end of a long trip. The Oilers did get wins in Los Angeles and Montreal.
Coach Tom Renney had some harsh words for his team after Sunday’s 6-3 loss to the Blackhawks.
“Awful,” Renney said. “No sustained battle level, no forecheck, we weren’t heavy on our own sticks. We scored three goals and should have been in the hockey game because of it and didn’t do it. I don’t think they realize yet what it takes to win on a nightly basis.”
The Oilers have a few days to recuperate, regroup and get yelled at in practice. Thursday they host Ottawa, Saturday Chicago comes to town. Then it’s another extended trip – a four-gamer in Dallas, Nashville, Minnesota and Colorado.
Will Edmonton use the last three games as motivation? Or were the last three games the start of a tailspin that will end in another high draft pick?
“Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves,” said defenseman Tom Gilbert. “We have to find a way to get back to the way we were playing, where we were good defensively, where guys were in the right spot.”
Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.
As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.
Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.
Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.
PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).
Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.
In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.
Gaborik’s first goal:
And here’s video of the OT-GWG:
Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.
With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”
When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.
With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).
As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.
Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.
You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.
Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.
“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?
Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.
Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.
It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.
Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.
On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?
It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?
* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.