Edmonton Oilers 3-2 Minnesota Wild
Minnesota clearly showed signs of life tonight, playing hard, but not finding the back of the net. One can't blame this loss on a lack of effort, but rather a lack of talent. The Wild simply aren't good enough, don't have enough finishers, and desperately need someone to come in and put the puck in the back of the net.
The loss can't be pinned on Josh Harding. He performed an adequate job, making 28 saves (26 in the first two periods). The Wild simply don't have the big guns to put a team away when they have the lead. Edmonton, however, did exactly that in the third period. After Tom Gilbert put the Oilers ahead with under 5:00 remaining in the second, Edmonton went into lockdown mode. They only attempted three shots in the third period, while stopping the Wild's 18 in the final frame.
Jacques Lemaire and Stephane Veilleux both indicated that they were happy with the effort tonight, and said that if they continue to play that way, things will work out.
Mikko Koivu however, didn't seem so optimistic:
“We had a good game, but we can’t be happy with it. We needed these points as much as they did, but there’s nothing else we can do. It was a good effort by the whole team, but we were short by one goal.”
Maybe this effort will end up resulting in more goals, but all too often, we've seen this team flounder in the offensive zone, and the fans are sick of hearing that things will work themselves out. We need action.
Hockey Wilderness Three Stars
Dwayne Roloson (45 shots, 43 saves)
- Liam Reddox (2 A)
- Ales Hemsky (1 G)
Questions to Answer
- Can the Wild rebound from last night? The offense was putting pucks on net, and the power play looked good in the first period, but again, they couldn't finish it out.
- Will they provide any sense of offense at all? 45 shots, but only 2 goals. That's only half the problem.
- Will Craig Weller try to get payback? Nope, he didn't seem to try anything. Tough to get payback with only 5:04 TOI.
- Biggest impact tonight, Horcoff or Hemsky? Hemsky got a goal, Horcoff an assist. Both were a +2.
- Does a loss tonight send them into a downward spiral to the trade deadline? It was a better effort, so let's hope not.
- Minnesota outshot Edmonton 18-3 in the third period.
- The Oilers are now 19-0-2 when leading after two periods.
- The Oilers moved into a tie with Anaheim for seventh place.
The Game In Pictures