Game 2 Quick HitterJune 7, 2006
I would imagine that if I were coaching a team and I had lost my #1 goaltender in the previous game forcing me to rely on someone who hasn’t played in over two months, my pre-game notes to the team might read something like this:
– Protect your netminder
– Do not give up odd man rushes (see above)
– Do not go for the big hit in the neutral zone when you could prevent odd man rushes (see above)
– Try not to make wild passes to the high slot from behind the opponents goal, which could be picked off by said opposition, and create an odd man rush (see above)
– Do not take dumb penalties and put your team down a man (see above)
And yet, it seems that the Oilers forgot that Roli the Goalie wasn’t still in net, and played with reckless abandon. It’s fun to watch, until you look at the score and realize that you’ve given up five big ones (to your zero, because your players seem so hellbent on doing all the things you should have told them not to do that they’re forgetting to shoot the damn puck). Then you have to send big #27 to go out and goon it up for the last few minutes.
A few interesting quotes from the pregame minutes.
Mark Messier stating that it should be Carolina’s job to take away Edmonton’s will to continue. Losing your goalie is bad, but if the Hurricanes could make the Oilers believe that it would be too hard to come back, they could effectively win the series tonight. Through two periods, Edmonton still looked in it. Cam Ward stood on his head again tonight (I’m still not converted, but I’m leaning), but it wasn’t until the third that Edmonton took on the face of a resigned team. It will be interesting to see if there is any life in them back at home.
Coach MacT said in a pregame interview that Markkanen might not be the guy to win (steal) games for the team, but he probably wouldn’t need to be that guy the way the Oilers could play. After watching Game 1, this meant one thing. As Game 2 came to a close, it meant something completely different. Either way, he’s right.
Game 3 in Edmonton on Saturday. How many more hockey games do we get to see this season?