Oilers vs Hawks, on the Chicago broadcast for those of us who are non-PPV-enabled. Overall, the Oilers didn't play exceptionally poorly, but they didn't play well, and the Hawks played much better. The score reflected it: 3-0. I actually found it fairly hard to mark, although I took two (9x7") pages of notes. The powerplay was horrible, getting only 1 shot in 5 chances, almost 10 minutes of PP time and getting scored on to boot. The penalty kill was actually pretty good, it gave up a goal in 3 chances but the goal was a quick one right off the faceoff. The lineups seemed to reflect the game; no surprises at first, but at various points I saw Stortini with Pouliot and Penner, and Hemsky with Brodziak and Penner. The worst sins were too many offsides (particularly from Hemsky and Horcoff) and too many ill-advised cross ice passes. The top line generated some shots, 11 of 23 total, but only a few good scoring chances, and that's just not enough.
Smid, 6: with Staios out, Smid gets another start. He showed fairly well, playing with a bit of an edge and I didn't see any blatant giveaways. When Fraser hammered Visnovsky in the corner, Smid knuckled on, threw him to the ice, and just kept punching. He didn't do a lot in the other end either; didn't have any tremendous keepins, but no egregious giveaways either. I noted a couple of smart passes.
Nilsson, 6: he didn't score, but generated a few chances and gave the Chicago D fits on occasion. Cycled well with Cogs and Gagner.
Cogliano, 6: see Nilsson.
Gagner, 6: see Cogliano. The Little Knight That Could got some short handed time and looked decent doing it, although he just doesn't have the size to handle guys like Andrew Ladd. The best he can do with power forwards is use good body position and hope to slow them down, which probably is not compatible with a long career for a guy his size. He made some great passes and had 3 shots.
Moreau, 6: 11:24 of icetime, a small scrap, and not much else. He was skating well and making defensive plays and wound up with 4 hits, none of which were memorable - led the team, apparently. I wonder if the Chicago hit-counter remembered he was a Hawk at the start of his career.
Cole, 6: he got scored on while on the PP, but also at least generated some offense. He had a couple of decent chances, self-generated using his speed and size down the wing and behind the net. He came back nicely too, again using his size to force opposing players off the puck. His chances were the best the Oilers came up with.
Grebeshkov, 6: took the body well, made some smart passes and made a couple of mistakes. 22:17 of icetime was second on the team, albeit only one more second than Gilbert.
Strudwick, 6: just the game a stay at home dman wants to play. No mistakes and he made a great play near the end of the game to keep Versteeg from going in alone. It wouldn't have mattered, but it was a nice play anyway.
Brodziak, 6: No bad passes, but no good rushes either. He's most effective when he's cycling, and there wasn't much of that. Only Oiler who did very well at faceoffs, 7 of 12 for 58%, and he did some good work on the PK.
Pouliot, 6: 13 minutes of icetime, including a titch shorthanded. I'm not sure why MacTavish had him playing the wing, but there it is. He played fairly physically, didn't give the puck away, and made smart passes. He didn't show much offensively though, only 2 shots and no real scoring chances for his line.
Roloson, 6: the 3-0 goal was a gimmie, a 35 footer or so from a defenceman not known for his offensive prowess. Nevertheless, he made 27 stops, including a spectacular diving block after a bad giveaway that had the whole building buzzing.
Souray, 5: led the team in icetime with 23:30, he didn't play poorly but there was that small matter of the shortie and Burrish walking around him, so a strong 5. He got his nose dirty plenty and made simple passes.
Horcoff, 5: he was -1, took a hooking penalty (at least it was in his own end), didn't help at all on the power play and was on the ice for the SHG against. And to top it off, he was 8-18 on the faceoffs. He played 19 minutes, down a lot from last game - less than Gagner, in fact. Overall, a forgettable game.
Penner, 5: also -1, he started the night on the checking line but got juggled around; at one point he was out with Brodziak and Hemsky. Gagner actually took his spot on the PK, just to add insult to injury, and he barely saw any PP time (21s as it wound down), so only 11:10 of icetime in total. He showed some flashes with his usual work in tight on the boards and down low, protecting the puck well, but ultimately didn't accomplish much. He did muscle guys off the puck and didn't get credited with a hit when he had an attacker lined up. Likely because he held off from totally creaming him as the puck was dished off. Penner would be much more effective with a bit of a mean streak, but I repeat myself.
Pisani, 5: frustrating night for Pies. He also didn't play a lot (11:36) and didn't do a lot while he was on the ice. Some nice defensive play, a couple of good cycles with Moreau, but that was it.
Stortini, 5: with MacIntyre out, he saw more ice time, 8:36. It would have been nice to see him do more with it though. He did have a scrap, which he didn't lose despite being punched repeatedly even after pulling his opponent's jersey over his head. He had one hit and one missed one that would have been good but... wasn't.
Visnovsky, 5: one shot and 3 shot blocks is good for a defenceman, but 0 credited hits (thought he had one) and a muffed one-timer leading directly to a SHG against hurt his score. He did make some very nice passes, but that doesn't help if they don't wind up in the back of Khabibulin's net. Also had some very bad passes in the neutral zone. High-event player, lucky to not be -2 on the night and wasn't exactly robbed of any points himself.
Gilbert, 5: Two hits, two blocked shots, was in on some nice cycling with 12-13-89, but he also had some ill-advised cross-ice passes get picked off.
Hemsky, 5: no points, some bad giveaways at the attacking blueline, and went offside when he wasn't coughing the puck up. He also zoomed around and made some nice plays, one or two seeing-eye passes. High-event, fruitless when you can't score and doubly bad when you're scored on twice. He did lead the team in shots with 4 (tied with Horcoff) but none were Grade A chances. His best hit of the night was on Grebeshkov, who was behind Chicago's net for some reason, chasing Seabrook.