We like to give Ray Shero a hard time sometimes, but watching the complete mismanagement of the Edmonton Oilers makes you appreciate how tough it is to actually build a winner in the NHL.
From 2003 to 2006, the Penguins had a pick in the top three each summer. From 2010 to 2012, the Oilers had the top pick every year. Every year -- and they still look like piss. By the time 2006 came around, at least the Pens were able to compete. Oh, and the Pens were lucky enough to draft two all-planet talents in Crosby and Malkin. But, still, the Oilers are terrible.
Get a goalie, man.
Still kind of difficult to get a feel on the Penguins right now. They are winning, which is great, but...
Stat to Remember
The combined record of the teams the Pens have beaten:
A trip to the 1-6 Flyers on Thursday awaits. LOL.
A little over 3 minutes into the game, the Pens were on the board. Crosby’s pass to Dupuis setting up the goal won’t be on his career highlight reels, but it was just too good. 1-0.
Oilers goalie Jason LaBarbera looked insanely uncomfortable. After a couple of stoppages in play, the teams bowled through the next 6:07 without a whistle. The best chance through that whole thing was Justin Schultz sneaking in to go one-on-one against MAF, but MAF poke-checked the puck out of there.
Harry Zolnierczyk was playing like a son of a bitch. He stepped on the puck and fell, which was hilarious. Visions of Chris Bourque dancing in our heads.
The first period was winding down when Ryan Smyth put his hand on the puck, so the Pens were jumping on the power play. But that only lasted 20 seconds because Malkin tripped up Boyd Gordon.
The play went down to the Pens’ zone. The Oilers threw an extra man on the ice during a delayed penalty call, and it became a fire drill. Orpik was jammed about something at the end of all that, but the Oilers still were gonna have a PP going into the second.
Here's probably why:
The Oilers came out in the second like they had watched a good Tom Hanks movie during intermission. The Pens killed off everything they had to, but then the Oilers scored anyway with some bullshit. 1-1.
The Oilers were back in the business. They got the next good chance in the game, but MAF made a big save on Taylor Hall then lost his mask.
Not too much action after that.
But then Crosby did this:
The zone rush led to LaBarbera fumbling another puck and Kunitz whacking home the trash. 2-1.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins might off himself at some point this season.
Later, Andrew Ference lost a skate blade, and the officials just whistled the play dead. The fact that players are even losing their blades in the first place is so bizarre. Plus, Andrew Ference sucks.
Just like they did at the beginning of the period, the Oilers tied the game up again on some bullshit. 2-2.
Vitale drew a late penalty, and the Pens jumped on the PP. That was killed at the beginning of the third.
Still hard to believe Chuck Kobasew is in the Penguins top 6 right now. Whatever.
The Penguins started to shift the momentum early in the third with two good shifts from the first line. Crosby was the catalyst for some ridiculous chance for Dupuis.
It was all board play for a while until Andrew Ference made the fatal mistake of getting his stick up on Crosby:
The Pens wasted no time after that on the power play. Martin fanned on a shot, but it went right to Malkin. He buried it. Malkin's first career goal against the Oilers. He has now scored against every NHL franchise. 3-2.
For the next 13 minutes, here is what happened:1. Oilers enter the Penguins’ zone.
2. Penguins take the puck away from them and move the other way. In fact, after the Malkin goal, there was only one shot on goal between both teams.
The Penguins’ defense is so systematic, it is disgusting. Maatta made a couple of outstanding player, one to shutdown Yakjoke and break up a cross-ice pass on an Oilers odd-man break.
It would have been nice to see someone end Ryan Smyth's NHL career, but you can't have it all. A Twitter account was apparently started last night that tracks how many times Ryan Smyth falls down.
Then Eberle pulled this move to buy the Oilers some extra time after an icing.
The Oilers pulled their goalie, and Crosby just missed the empty net.
-- The Pens still aren't missing Letang.
-- Pics: AP/Getty