It truly was a "Battle of the Lottery" tonight at Rexall Place. What started tonight as the marque match-up, ended up being just what many anticipated;. a game that neither team wanted to win. You guessed it Oiler fans, the game was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period and deadlocked at 2 after the second. There was no way either team was going to allow their opponent to fall behind by more than one goal. The best way to describe the first two periods is to use the words of Louie DeBrusk, "even stevens."
Fortunately for viewers hockey games consists of three periods and not two. It was only a matter of time before someone decides to take the plunge and gut it out for the team. The stalemate finally surpassed when the Oilers Theo Peckham and Nikolai Khabibulin made the ultimate sacrifice. While being a healthy scratch for the last few weeks, Peckham felt it was in his best interest to take dumb penalties. If Theo's three brain farts wasn't enough, you can always count on Khabby and his signature weak goal. The Canadians simply succumb to the pressure with the end result of two unanswered goals.
The Oilers only have themselves to blame for tonight's lack lustred effort. The only Oilers that decided to show up was an AHL call-up, Hall's spider sense and Horcoff's butt. I suppose the officiating was a little one sided but this time it was the Oilers who were the benefactors. Apparently the officials for tonight's game didn't receive the memo.
It was three periods of bad hockey and poor defensive decisions. How many goals have been scored lately against the Oilers due to untimely pinches by the defenseman. You would think the coaching staff would have solved this by now. The defence wasn't the only culprit, two of the goals against was a result of poor defensive zone coverage by the forwards. There was simply too many Habs parked in front of the net for the defence to handle.
With the Habs up 4-2 late in the period, the two teams swapped goals with the game finishing 5-3. Oiler fans can be consoled in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins continued point streak and Nick Schultz's three assists in five games as an Oiler. Ol' Steve Tambellini has to be feeling pretty good about that trade right now. Let's just hope his luck doesn't run out this Summer.
The Oilers and Habs ended up splitting the season series, with the Canadians earning their first win at Rexall since 2000. It's been a long eleven years for those annoying chanting Habs fans. But don't worry, we'll get the last laugh when the Oilers win the lottery.
I hate losing to the Habs!