The NHL’s free agent market includes goalies such as Ilya Bryzgalov and Jose Theodore. That might seem like a random thing to mention, but after Monday’s game, Edmonton Oilers fans might want to note that fact.
The Oilers suffered another unsettling loss today, this time falling to the struggling Washington Capitals 4-2.
Four ugly minutes
Really, one could argue that the game was largely over in the second period, as the Capitals transformed a 1-1 tie to a 4-1 lead in less than four minutes.
The aggressors shouldn’t be surprising. Washington’s lethal power play supplied two of those goals. Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist while Nicklas Backstrom collected a trio of helpers.
The troubling part is that the Oilers weren’t wildly out-shot. In fact, Edmonton’s 30-20 shot advantage wasn’t a mere result of coming from behind; the Oil carried a 19-11 shot advantage through 40 minutes.
Oilers management spoke of making some bold moves this summer, and while there were some nice tweaks, they rolled the dice with Devan Dubnyk in net.
The big goalie could still work out, but perhaps they made a mistake by adding a career backup in Jason LaBarbera instead of someone who could battle more realistically for the starting role. The Oilers came into Monday’s action with a league-worst 86.4 save percentage and that will only dip after “The Barber” allowed four goals on those 20 shots.
Regardless of your target of blame, the 2013-14 season is at least beginning the same way far too many Oilers campaigns kicked off before.
With Canadian Thanksgiving in mind, much of the hockey world is full-bellied and relaxed (even the Buffalo Sabres’ lights are taking it easy). It’s still another day in the NHL, however, and there’s at least one questionable hit to consider, as Jason Chimera boarded Justin Schultz in the first period of Monday’s Edmonton Oilers-Washington Capitals game.
Here’s video footage from CSNWashington.com:
Schultz, 23, returned to action in the first period, decreasing Chimera’s chances of receiving supplemental discipline (he received a two-minute boarding minor for the hit).
Chimera, 34, was angry that hybrid icing was ratified in part because he’s such a hard hitter and can skate well enough to negate the occasional icing. Some might argue he’s being protected from himself, though.
(Not saying that the hit was illegal or legal, mind you; feel free to debate its merits in the comments.)
Update: The game just resumed around 8:50 ET. The Buffalo News’ John Vogl added an appropriate joke for that, too.
The jokes are even more inevitable than the losses: even the Buffalo Sabres’ lights aren’t ready to go this season.
Here are a couple quick jokes from the beat writers on hand for Monday’s Sabres game against the Minnesota Wild, where the second period was delayed by lighting problems:
Before you drag Buffalo through the mud, don’t forget that the latest Super Bowl was delayed for a lengthy amount of time until resumed. In that case, the San Francisco 49ers turned around their play and almost won against the Baltimore Ravens, so maybe the Sabres just needed some technological intervention?
Video footage of the outage will be added soon.