You know what those delicately glazed cakey wonders means... TIMBITS!
1. I was starting to get pretty nervous about this Penner character already. First two periods he struck me a lot like Lupul did, which is to say hardly at all. Slow, waiting for the play to come to him, weak wide wristers. Then, I started seeing what he brings. In the third he started using that massive body for good! Or sexy evil! Heck, we cycled the puck last year almost constantly, I don't remember any Oiler ever winning one of those battles along the boards. Suddenly we got a guy who can go chase it when the puck slides aimlessly from a failed Hemmer move through the middle, or a super hard completely wide Horcoff snap shot.
2. Roli! 3 posts aside (we got 2, so like, c'mon), he was looking hot tracking pucks through traffic and when something did come at him, he generally sucked it into himself the way Greener does with a Tito's taco. That was nice to see. And he won a shootout! I didn't know he could do that! But man did he get caught cheating on the tying shot, huh? I saw that he was sneaking a peek at some answers written inside that glovehand, and at one point he unrolled a laminated sheet of answers from his mouth ala Chevy Chase in Spies Like Us.
3. So, was that an A I saw on Souray's jersey? Quite the leadership there with a minute left. One other knock on the man, I don't think anyone cares how hard you can shoot at the boards. It seems he's been reading the seventy four tome series of novels the Edmonton media has written about his "howitzer" rather than practicing his aim. That being said I was pretty disappointed with the Pits. I've wanted him on the team since his draft year and he had a lackluster, uneven game. He seemed like the rookie out there, on a night when Gilbert was shining jumping up into the crease and relative rookie Greene was knocking Thornton off the puck with ease, Pitkanen was throwing weird tentative passes to no one in particular and was slow making decisions in his end. Plus side? I think those jitters come with the new defence partners, they'll dissolve in the next couple games. That and his dump and chase plays were a delight!
4. Last criticism, power play. The first power play looked great, every one after looked like a bunch of lost boys. No. Neither Corey nor Corey. Even sadder. Even sadder than the Corey's current lives. What worried me was that they were running the exact same plays as last years terrible poo stain of a PP. Yes, keep passing to Souray, they'll never guess he's gonna shoot it. They just cycle way on the outside of the zone, no one moving into the slot or either face off circle, passing and not skating. Oh they'll collapse after the shot, but why not suck the D up to the telegraphed Souray shot, and try a cross seam pass? Half the time Souray was shooting it there wasn't even a Penner in the way! Horcoff tipped more shots than Penner did! I'm saying this once and never again, imagine if Smyth has been in front on any of those Souray shots... shawing!
5. News flash, the youngsters were great. Friggin hell! It was like the old Murphy-Gelinas-Graves youngsters just givin her out there. I think this ushers in a new era of fourth line thinking. It seems that the fourth line has long been made up of defensive minded grinders who can get out, bang, and not cost the team a goal. No longer. With the new NHL and the need to develop from within the ranks, AND the insane amount of young players stepping straight in and contributing, why not give those skill guys the fourth line. If the fourth line is gonna be a liability one way or another, I'd rather see a fast skating bunch of rooks free wheeling and making a mistake than waiting to see which tough heart on his sleeve guy trip on his own blueline.
6. You know how you're not in the pre-season anymore? There weren't any career ending injuries doled out by big dumb guys trying to make teams!
Finally, Happy Birthday to Greener! I regret that I can't make it to the big party. You're a good friend and I hope you have a great birthday! Many happy returns and here's the gayest cake I could find, you ole gay-wad you!