I watched the full game last night, although I'm not sure I caught everything because I was pretty zonked from a very full first day on the new job. That being said, the Oilers played a bit like they were exhausted and on a new job too, except for the fourth line. Even the referees must have been tired, since they missed an obvious icing at the end of the game that had MacTavish screaming. I was too.
Smid, 5: He had a couple of big hits, and soaked up a couple more. Offensively though, not much doing and defensively, he wasn't all-world either. He made a few decent plays, but in the first lost a puck battle he should have won that wound up in a good chance for the Isles - player missed the net, but still. On one shift, Comeau tried to hit him and bounced off, then he drove down below the Isles icing line and hammered Witt down. He was getting as good as he gave all night.
Horcoff, 5: Off game for the crafty C. The first Islanders goal came off a horrible giveaway by #10 and it didn't get much better from there. His ice time was down a couple of minutes from usual, 2:40 of useless PP and 2:21 of not great PK. Weak 5 might be generous, but on those occasions the Oilers gained the Islanders zone, he was almost himself forechecking.
Nilsson, 6: 3 shots, a hit, and a giveaway, 3:18 of PP time almost as useless as Horcoff's. He did at least create some chances.
Cogliano, 6: His goal was just what the doctor ordered, but he wasn't good enough on the faceoffs, and there's that anemic PP of which he played 2:58. 4 shots though, counting the one that went in, and two were good.
Moreau, 6: unusually high-event game for #18, his assist came off some strong hard work, and he was driving the net with authority and threw his weight around. 3 giveaways though, including one that led indirectly to Horcoff's.
Staios, 4: 3 giveaways, he had trouble clearing the zone at times, and he wasn't hitting and grinding. He did make a nice play to keep the puck in at the offensive zone, which is more than a lot of Oilers could accomplish. Strong 4, he had a couple of nice shot blocks.
Cole, 6: I considered a 7 just based on the number of times he was able to drive the net and the couple or three penalties he drew, but he wasn't able to convert that to anything on the PP and he only managed a single shot. Lots of flash, no bang (but 3 hits), 2 giveaways. Still, he was the hardest-playing forward whose last name didn't begin with S, so that's worth something.
Penner, 5: quiet night for the big man, although he showed his strength on a couple of wristers and some bullish play. Needed to be more physical or to score though.
Grebeshkov, 5: 1 shot, 4 blocked, blocked one himself. He had trouble clearing the zone and had 2:25 of that damn power play.
Strudwick, 7: 9:02 of ice, 2 shots, a goal, instrumental in another, and nearly scored a third to go with 2 hits and some strong forechecking. His line only got penned in really badly once or twice, more than you can say for the rest of the team.
Souray, 6: +2, a takeaway to go with his giveaway and some nasty play. But there's that power play... and he was out for 3:31 of it. He made a very nice play on the second PP to get back and knock Bergenheim down when the puck was coughed up deep by Horcoff (I think).
Stortini, 6: A well-deserved +2, young Zachery was ferocious on the forecheck with his linemates, digging pucks out of corners and just generally being ornery. Somehow only got one hit.
Brodziak, 7: 80% on faceoffs, +2, and scored a goal (albeit a very lucky one). He didn't give up much the other way either.
Visnovsky, 6: high-event game for #71, he made some great passes and some terrible ones. Early in the second he made a great shot block, then limped for the bench but he tried to make a hit and skated back into the defensive zone when the puck was turned over near him, gutsy move by somebody who had every excuse to bail. He turned the puck over on the third power play, which led to a great chance for Okposo. 3:57 of exciting-in-the-wrong-way power play time.
Gilbert, 6: nothing glaring, nothing great, 2 minutes on that damn power play. He moved the puck well enough and avoided giveaways, got a helper and was +2.
Pouliot, 5: curious that he got no power play time later in the game, since 10/27/26 weren't doing much and the kid line weren't any better. Drove the net with authority and was physical enough, 2 credited hits. 1 shot, 1 blocked shot, 1 giveaway.
Reddox, 4: he didn't show much of that "pop" MacTavish was talking about earlier this year, although he was skating he didn't produce much. Got pulled off so Cole could double-shift a few times. He was -1, although I don't think he had much to do with the goal against (that was pretty much all Horcoff).
Gagner, 6: his faceoffs are improving, at least, 70% last night. While he was on that dang ol power play for 0 points, he had a few chances on his 3 shots. Incredibly, he was credited with two hits, although I missed both. Saw the one he made on Grebeshkov though. Needed a point for stronger 6 or a 7.
Roloson, 6: he played well enough to win, one 5 alarm save with Comrie in close after Gagner took Grebs down by mistake.
Both teams tried desperately to let the other side win, but as the sportscasters say, "something had to give." I'm just happy I didn't have to watch an overtime of more of the same, or a shootout where somebody put it into the wrong net or something. Not really a game to remember for anybody involved.