Avalanche vs. Oilers [Troll Edition]
Why the fuck did I choose the recap with the team that plays the ugliest hockey in the NHL? Well, this is my last regular season recap. I think I’ll do something a little different. It is no secret that I have a serious issue with Copper N’ Blue. Their condescension for the last few years has been out of control. It started with a comparison of defensive cores (granted the Avs were terrible) but they didn’t even try to accurately capture the players, which nicely fit their preconceived notions.
Regardless. Let’s all review this as a primer (please read and take in every word): http://www.coppernblue.com/2013/9/20/4752578/tbest-young-prospects-lightning-oilers-avalanche-canadiens
So, come with me fellow readers on a journey. A journey into the differences between “paper” and “ice.” A journey to flush out pathetic homerism. I don’t care if this is low hanging fruit; fuck you Hopf.
DISCLAIMER: I am being homerish myself. I am mocking the amount of homerism going on. I don’t want people to take me too seriously here but I will analyze the teams as evenly as I can.
The always “unbiased” Scott Reynolds ranked the Oilers’ and the Avs’ core as thus, I’ll just use the top 6:
I will assume the Oilers’ core is basically the same, if not ranked differently. The Avs have no Hishon or Duchene and you know what fuck it. I will use these rankings even with the Avs not having two of them, I will drop Yakupov because he’s hurt? Scratched? I dunno.
This recap will recap the game but also analyze these cores of these teams. One core is “fantastic” and the other is just “pretty good.” Let’s see if we can test this.
DISCLAIMER 2: I fully expect every player on the Oilers to play hard. Even if they are out of the playoffs, good players play hard every game, like Duchene last year even when the Avs were out of the playoffs.
Quote for thought:
the Colorado Avalanche (Lazy Blogging Community)
Hall: Had a great tip off a Klefbom shot. Man Hall is good. He has Duchene like scariness when he skates up the ice. He might have 500 shots a season if he was on a real team.
Gagner: Had an assist on the power play.
Eberle: Drew a penalty in the first.
Schultz: Played the rover but was ineffective.
MacKinnon: Almost scored on his first shift. Halfway through the period, he was swarmed and then had a 2 on 1 and ripped it off the cross bar. Secondary assist on Johnson’s goal.
Landeskog: Found himself in front, made the move to get Scriven going side to side.
O’Reilly: Non-factor (Ha ha ha)
Barrie: Came into the play on the first goal to help Stastny score. Didn’t get an assist though.
- Avs score first. Mitchell takes the puck in off a turnover, passes to Stastny, who feed Landy in front. Landy tries to go five hole, but Barrie comes in to attack and finally he and Stastny bang at it enough to score. 1-0 Avs
- Edmonton ties it on the Power Play from a nice shot form Perron that hit off Holden’s skate. Smart shot. 1-1
- Avalanche take the lead back on a holy shit goal from Johnson. My god. He skated through the entire fucking Oilers team, through the defenseman’s legs, and through Scrivens’ five-hole. 2-1 Avs.
Other things: Edmonton plays ugly hockey. Carey got robbed. The Oilers defense is not just bad, it’s almost like they’re trying to be this bad.
Quote for thought: Why should Colorado win? Yeah... that's not going to happen.
Hall: Had a great play on Johnson who pressured him perfectly. Almost scored on a 2 on 1. Hall also has an underrated forecheck that, if he had a supporting cast, would be viscous. Imagine him on a San Jose or Columbus forecheck? Woo boy.
RNH: Every entry by RNH into the Avs zone results in a pass to his left to the winger. I can’t tell if this is Eakins’ strategy or what, but it is high ineffective; it neutralizes RNH’s skills.
Eberle: Had some good zone entry, but a non-factor.
Schultz: Defensively he’s in good positioning usually but he looks to always be trying to skate it out offensively, he needs to take a page out of Barrie’s “newly-learned” book and pick and choose his times. Great outlet passes though, however they went to a non-neutral zone strategy team so they went for naught.
MacKinnon: Looked dangerous every time he touches the puck. Even more dangerous than Hall.
Landeskog: Drove possession a bit, but still a non-factor.
O’Reilly: In the latter part of the period he started to steal puck on the forecheck.
Goals: No goals.
Other Things: Holden had a great period; he was robbed by Scrivens. Pretty slow period actually and little happened. Edmonton played a tighter neutral zone trying to capitalize on Avalanche mistakes. The Avs didn’t really make any. Scrivens had a hysterical play where he stopped the puck and slid it back between his legs from outside the crease to his defenseman.
Quote for thought:
Why should Edmonton win? The group is truly fantastic from 1-7. Even if Yakupov, and Nugent-Hopkins still need to prove themselves as elite NHL players, and even if no one Oiler becomes the kind of talent that the Lightning have in Stamkos, the group as a whole just totally outclasses everyone else. Jordan Eberle is a top-line talent. Justin Schultz is already an excellent offensive defenseman and could become an all-situations guy. Sam Gagner is at worst a second-line center. Darnell Nurse is a good bet to play in the top four for a decade. None of these guys are in the top three.
Hall: Puts himself in great scoring position and more or less invited Landy to take a penalty.
RNH: Honestly, he just looks slow. He he has vision like Tavares but Tavares gets in better position. He also gets pushed off the puck really easily.
Eberle: Looks non-existent.
MacKinnon: Stole the puck at the blue line and blue past everyone to get a breakaway. Had a great move but shot it wide.
Landeskog: Got called for a funny interference call on Hall.
O’Reilly: Great defensive period. He is able to adjust his game to a sluggish, trappy game like this when offensive chances are few and far between and drew a penalty to boot.
Barrie: Holy fuck can he score. Gorgeous shot.
- Avalanche score on the Power Play Barrie took a great feed form Johnson, even if it was to Mitchell originally,. He walked the line, stickhandled, and ripped a fore hand in the top right corner. 3-1 Avs.
- Avalanche score again late when McGinn scored off a pretty 3 on 2. O’Reilly took a good low shot, the rebound came out and McGinn was able to get a nice rebound past Scrivens. 4-1 Avs.
Other Things: Landy’s line just went into a 3 man forecheck. I have almost never seen that. Like ever. Perron had a good game. He’s 25 and young. He should be part of their core going forward.
Three Core Whores (To be fair, Edmonton looks absolutely defeated, so the point of this recap was kind of pointless):
3rd Core Whore: O’Reilly. He had two assists, but really his ability to adjust his game to different game styles is brilliant to watch.
2nd Core Whore: Hall. Hands down best talent Edmonton has. I’ll be honest. It’s not even close.
1st Core Whore: MacKinnon. Kid was a force. Absolutely terrifying.
Slower recap than usual, but so was the game. I am just resting for the playoffs, don’t worry.
Vancouver next up.