Friday, October 23, 2009

Game 8 recap

A word of warning: reading this game summary may cause nausea. There were highlights and lowlights, the sum of which resulted in a blown 3 goal lead and a 6-4 loss.

It was a roller coaster in Edmonton last night. After establishing a 4-1 lead the Jackets gave up 5 consecutive goals to lose 6-4 to the Oilers. Huselius (2), Torres and Chimera had goals for Columbus. Voracek (0-2-2, +2) was the best forward on the ice for the Jackets.

For Edmonton it was the Dustin Penner Show. Jason Chimera scored a goal at 11:52 into the 2nd period to make it 4-1 Jackets. Only 17 seconds later Penner scored to make it 4-2. Penner (2-3-5, +3) also scored the game tying goal at 6:04 in the third. It was a Power Play goal for the Oilers, one of three on the night. The league's best PK went 4-7.

Gagne, Penner (2), Hemsky, Visnovsky & Nilsson (empty net) had the tallies for Edmonton. Tonight was the first night the Penner-Hemsky-Gagne line played together. They combined for 4g-9a-13p, +7. Edmonton Coach Pat Quinn on the grouping:

"That was a pretty good line tonight," Quinn said. "All three of them were
excellent. They played against that Rick Nash unit
most of the night and seemed to relish in the challenge. I think it helped them
stay sharp. I'm really proud of the way we stuck together as a team and came
back. It was a pretty good result at the end of the night but I don't know if I
want to do that roller coaster every night."

Lack of physicality, turnovers in the neutral zone, and big juicy rebounds doomed the CBJ. While Edmonton may not be as physical as say, Calgary, they are a Western Canada-style team, especially now under Pat Quinn, and their accompanying physical style of play was not matched by the Jackets. Nash had zero points, zero shots on goal, and was a -3. His failure to spot and cover Gagne coming into the slot during the first minute of the game led to the Oilers early first goal. It was not a good game for the Captain, but he was certainly not alone on that front. Forwards could be seen taking their time to come back to the defensive zone affording odd mad opportunities for the Oilers.

Garon looked steady for the first half of the game, including a stretch of a PK where he fought off multiple shots after losing his stick. But as the game wore on the rebounds came out farther and farther and played a role in the Oilers comeback.

While it all ended poorly for the Jackets, the way in which they built their 4-1 lead was impressive. As mentioned above, Voracek was a beast tonight. He was using a combination of speed and strength that only Nash has shown capable of doing until now. His ability to muscle his way to the deep parts of the offensive zone led to two goals, both notched by Huselius. Both Torres' and Chimera's goals came off of hard work keeping the puck in the zone and going hard to the net. They really were well earned goals.

Nash summed it up after the game:

"We really shot ourselves in the foot," Nash said. "We had that game, up 4-1 on
the road. We should definitely have won that. Our power play wasn't very
We have to get over this one quick. We'll move on. It's a long

By all means, let's move on.

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