I covered tonight's tilt vs the Wild for David Staples' grading project. I kind of wish I hadn't. MacT shortened his bench early as not only did MacIntyre not fight, neither did Boogard. Boogieman at least drew a penalty for his 2:26 on ice. More on MacIntyre later. Overall, not a game the Oilers really looked like they wanted to win.
Smid, 5: 2 hits and was otherwise involved physically, he also dropped the gloves with Sheppard and did fairly well. 1 shot block. With 15:10 of icetime, he was pretty much the standard definition of "average bottom half defenceman." He was on the ice for Clutterbuck's goal, which wasn't really his fault, but still. He made a nice play on Vielleux in the second period, separating him from the puck in the corner with a hard hit and coming out with it.
Horcoff, 6: 22:43 of icetime was more than anybody not wearing #37 for the Oilers or #3 for the Wild. Plenty of PK time which he did fairly well with, 2:55 of PP time which was pretty uniformly sucky. I had 2 pluses against his name, one for a nice delaying tactic on a first-period Minny PP, and the other for a great defensive play on Nolan in the second. Needed to score (ideally on the power play) for a 7, but was good in his own end: the only goal against he was on the ice for was a 5-3 when the game was already out of reach. When your best player is a 6 though, there's problems.
Cogliano, 5: He used his speed to get open and had a couple of good chances (one of which even resulted in a shot on goal) and was otherwise fairly tenacious, but lots of flash and no fire. He was on the ice for Bouchard's goal but wasn't really involved; that one was all on the D. He got 1:58 of PP time in the first, but very little down the stretch. He soaked up a nasty hit from Koivu, courtesy of Pouliot, shortly after his one really good chance, but came back apparently none the worse for wear.
Moreau, 3: the one time he really stood out, it wasn't for a good reason - he made a terrible giveaway in the first. Other than that, he skated around, was -2 (but -1 came from a D giveaway he had nothing to do with), 0 shots, 2 hits, took a penalty "sending a message" in the third that wound up in that 5-3, and was not terribly effective on the forecheck. Still, 3:55 of fairly decent PK time. (Edit: from a 4 to a 3, Dennis reminded me that it was a bad pass from #18 that led to Souray bobbling the puck and a GA.)
Potulny, 4: fairly unnoticeable in 9:49 of icetime. He moved up and down the wings, had a couple of missed shots, one decent forecheck, and that was it. Could have been a strong 3 or a weak 5.
Staios, 6: 7:49 of penaltykill time - did he even leave the ice? 21:09 total, he was -1 for Clutterbuck's goal. 0 everything else, shots hits blocks. (0 blocks? Puckmagnet Steve? Wow.) Would be a 5 if his PK hadn't been so good.
Cole, 5: He was skating hard early, but seemed to slow down a bit later on. The Minny D did a good job containing him, and did nothing at all with his 3:21 of power play time. In the third period, made a horrible mistake, giving the puck away to Bouchard at the blue line. He got bailed out by a good save by Roloson. Later, he couldn't play D with Grebeshkov and Burns scored on a gimmie from Koivu. Overall, not a great game by the big man.
Penner, 5: One plus (the play that resulted in his assist on Reddox's goal), one minus (offensive zone holding penalty). He did a good job of being big in front of the net on the power play, but with no point shots that didn't help much. Only 13:11 of icetime, he got shuffled around a bit and saw his time cut from 6 to 4 to 3 minutes period to period. He did have two shots with two missed, and even a hit.
MacIntyre, n/s: no rating for 1:13 in two shifts, both in the first period.
Grebeshkov, 5: led the Oilers in icetime, including 5:55 of decent penalty killing. He made some good breakout passes. He also missed three backdoor plays, two of which led to goals and one of which was off the post. 5 instead of a 4 because his blast from near the blueline led to Reddox's goal, and because of his PK time and 4 blocked shots led both teams. High event game for a high minutes player.
Souray, 4: 4 shots, none of them great (the one he really got away was unscreened). The hit on Clutterbuck that led to a crosschecking penalty was undisciplined, although understandable. He filled Weller in quite nicely in the third and was otherwise fairly nasty. But his brutal mishandling of the puck (he looked off-balance, but he needs to not be) led directly to Bouchard's goal, and that was when the Wild really clamped down. Not a game to remember for big #44. Exposed on the power play, he couldn't get the rocket off and couldn't get open for a wrister either. (Edit: he mishandled the puck as a result of a bad pass from Moreau. Still not really a game to remember and I'm still not fond of that Clutterbuck penalty.)
Brodziak, 3: two hits was the highlight of his game. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't good either, outside the faceoff circle (67% of 9). He was complicit in the Clutterbuck goal. No shots, none blocked, and no missed shots, he never really got set up on the cycle - usually his strong point. MacT probably agreed with me, as Brodziak only played 46 seconds of even strength time in the third.
Brule, 4: -1 (Clutterbuck's goal), 0 shots, one blocked, two hits, one shotblock. He shuffled around a bit too, and was equally ineffective with every linemate. Not much else to say.
Visnovsky, 5: He made some great passes up the middle, the usual Vis-passes, and managed to get 3 shots on net. Looked like a pylon on the Kolanos goal, he usually manages to stop Miettinen before the pass is even made, and he sure didn't help out his D partner Souray on the Bouchard goal. He was usually his crafty self, but like Souray, just couldn't seem to get a shooting lane on the power play - not good with 4:50 of PP time.
Gilbert, 5: He didn't make any brutal plays, but no great ones either. Backdoor play didn't seem to be there for him tonight, but he did make a great play in the second on a 4-4 to keep the puck in, showing some plain doggedness.
Pouliot, 4: Quiet 12 minutes of ice, including 3:04 on the power play. 3 shots, including a great wraparound chance, and he tried to be physical. He should have seen Cogs in a vulnerable position before he tried ramming Koivu through the boards though - almost an anti-hit.
Reddox, 6: 16:07 of icetime, MacTavish had him playing everywhere. He had some quality PK time, the goal, and 3 shots and a hit. He even won his faceoff.
Gagner, 3: He and Cole are supposed to be 4-4 wolves, not sheep. A deserved -2 on the night, he didn't make any brutal mistakes but he didn't make any great plays either. He did have a few cycles with Cogliano and Cole, which is more than the rest of the Oilers can say, but if they don't find the back of the net it doesn't matter. Double minor was unfortunate, but he should have better control of his stick. No shots, 2 giveaways.
Roloson, 5: while it's hard to really fault him for any of the goals, and he made some good saves, he didn't make any game-saving saves. All the goals came off great Minny plays (two directly following brutal Oilers giveaways and one on a 3-5 PK). Maybe a 6, probably not a 4. So, 5.