Saturday, 26 February 2011

Edmonton 5 & Lethbridge 2 at Rexall Place

EDMONTON - Two goals in the second period, two more in the third, and a tonne of shots lifted the Edmonton Oil Kings to a 5-2 win over the Hurricanes Saturday night at Rexall Place.

The Edmonton Oil Kings came out of the gate gunning for the Hurricanes in this game. Edmonton jumped into a 1-0 lead when former Hurricane Mark Reners scored on a power play. Brandon Anderson was a busy guy in the Lethbridge goal. Despite giving up one goal he was excellent between the pipes, facing more than 20 Edmonton shots. That would be the only offence in the first period. The Oil Kings out shot Lethbridge a whopping 24-6 as the Hurricanes got off to another flat start.

In the second, the Oil Kings jumped into a two-goal lead very early. Less than two minutes into the period, Kristians Pelss tapped in a rebound off Brandon Anderson to give the home team a 2-0 lead. Before the end of the period, Edmonton would take a 3-0 lead. Adrian Van de Mosselaer tipped home a pass by Anderson to give the Oil Kings a little bit of extra insurance heading into the final period. Edmonton continued to heavily out shoot the Hurricanes 18-6 in the period and 42-12 overall through 40 minutes of play.

In the third, the Hurricanes would break the shutout bid for Edmonton's Laurent Brossoit. Cam Braes scored his team-leading 30th goal of the season on the power play to cut the Oil Kings lead to 3-1, but just a few minutes later Edmonton would get that one back on a delayed Lethbridge penalty call. Michael St. Criox banged home the loose puck and that gave the home team 4-2 lead. The Oil Kings would get one more before the end of the game. Adrian Van de Mosselaer, with a beautiful end-to-end rush put home a rebound past Anderson to make it 5-2 and that's the way this game would end. The Oil Kings would get a little payback after the Hurricanes beat them 6-3 the night before. Vancouver handily out shot Lethbridge 51-21 according to the shot clock anyway. The Oil Kings went 1 for 5 on the power play and the Hurricanes 1 for 3.

The Oil Kings clearly carried the play in terms of time of poessession in the attacking zone in this game and really didn't allow the Hurricanes to get anything going offensively. You have to give Edmonton some credit here too. They responded big time after the loss Friday, especially with their Captain and number one defencemen out of the line-up.

If you can take anything possitive out of this loss, it's the fact that the Hurricanes didn't lose any ground to Prince Albert. The Raiders lost in Medicine Hat Saturday, so with 9 games to for both teams in the regular season, P.A. and Lethbridge remain deadlocked at 55 points and tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes were slow starters again in this game, but weren't able to recover after finding a bit of jump in the third period. They will have to find a way to get out the gate a lot quicker in their remaining games.

The Oil Kings were without the services of their Captain and top defenceman Saturday night. Mark Pysyk was scratched due to an upper body injury he suffered in Lethbridge on Friday. The Oil Kings were missing five regulars Saturday because of injury. The Hurricanes are healthy right now and have been for the last week. One of the longest stretches this season that Lethbridge has had a full line-up without having to sit players due to injury.


The Hurricanes are hoping March comes in like a lion. Lethbridge will head out to B.C. this coming week for three games in four nights starting Wednesday in Chilliwack against the Bruins. On Friday, the Canes' will look for a little payback in Kamloops and then next Saturday they'll drop by Kelowna to take on the Rockets. The Hurricanes return home March 9th to host Moose Jaw. Lethbridge has nine remaining in it's 2010-2011 regular season schedule. Six are on the road and three at home.


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  1. Pat no offence but I was listening to some the game and you made me so mad we were only down 1-0 at one point and PA was up 2-0, and you were already writing off the season and talking about next year, I ended up turning off the radio because of your attitude towards the team. So as it sits today we are still in 8th with PA also losing last night. So dont be all negaitive, sure the Canes didnt play the greatest game and heck we gotta play alot better on the BC trip to stay in the race. That is all.
    GO CANES GO!!!!

  2. Good thing P.A. lost last night as well (that's one of the only times I'd cheer for Medicine Hat) so we're still tied for 8th. I have faith in the boys that they'll make the playoffs, and I'll be rootin' for them on their B.C. road trip. With hard work and determination along with playing smart and simple hockey they can beat anybody! Go Canes Go!

  3. Brook. With all due respect I'm going to disagree with you. You obviously didn't listen to the game well enough. I NEVER wrote the team off like you say. All I mentiond was the fact the Hurricanes should have a strong defence next year lead by Jackson, Johnston, and Oslanski. Never once did I write off the season. In fact I listened back to the game this morning and there are no such comments. My attitude? For me to say the Canes didn't play well is not being negative it's a fact. They were out shot 42-12 after 40 minutes. Even the assistant coach in the post game show said the exact same thing. They they came out flat. It's not negaitve it's simply a fact. It's my job as a broadcaster to give a true account of what's taking place. It's not all roses and balloons.

  4. Hey pat , i listened to the game last night as well and u were not writing off the season at all haha dont get what brooka is talking about u are if anything very possetive about the canes , and sometimes you are just being honest which the average listener appreciates this is junior hockey ! keep up the good work us realists like it !

  5. Unless there is a misprint in my Hurricane's schedule, they have only 3 home games left not 4. If you compare the games left for the Hurricanes with those of the Raiders, PA has a decided edge.
    Canes hit the road for 3 in BC against 3 good tough teams. Of the last 6 games only one is against a team lower in the standings.You can bet that Calgary or Medicine Hat would love to put the nail in the Hurricanes playoff coffin.Even their last weekend is tough with back to back vs the Ice who will likely be battling for that 3rd/4th spot. PA still has 5 easy games 3 vs SC, and one each with Cal and Reg. If the Canes can't win at least 2 of 3 in BC and stay even or pass PA...those weaker opponents for PA will give them an easy path to the playoffs.


  6. Pat, BrookA forgot to mention that he turned off his radio so he could continue to smoke his weed and eat chips.

  7. Thanks TM. You are right. Three home games and six on the road. Typo on my part.

  8. Congratulations to former Cane Brent Seabrook and his winning lottery ticket. Life is roses and balloons.

  9. Pat, listened to the game start to finish last night and I have to seriously disagree with BrookA. You provide honest feedback about the team and players which we appreciate and never once this season have I heard you write them off. Why? Because I think you can see that these guys have it in them to pull off some big victories when things are clicking and that the boys are capable of making the push for that 8th spot. Thanks for all your hard work Pat and look forward to listening on this upcoming road trip. And BrookA...all games have a home and away broadcast so if you don't want to hear insightful information about our team from Pat and Fred, feel free to tune into the other teams broadcasters who don't even know our players names half the time.

  10. Pat, I'd like to ask a couple of questions regarding a couple of Hurricane players and their significance to Coach/GM Preston.

    I noticed Alex Kuviev wasn't in the lineup once again for the Canes. I'm trying to figure how his situation could've been managed any more poorly?? Specifically, I read where an interpreter/teacher was brought in to help him out. I would've thought that this would have been done MUCH earlier in the season (like, August or September!). Second, if the coaching staff thought they might have communication issues with him, why was he brought over? And Third, I doubt Kuviev will be back in a Canes uniform next year if he continues to be benched.

    Personally, I don't care if he doesn't play defense and he doesn't understand that side of the game........he was BY FAR the most exciting and most offensively productive Hurricane in the first two months.

    This is not exactly the same situation as the Mark Reners situation as Reners can at least understand the English language, but both players have been mismanaged in my opinion. Reners is good enough to make the Oil Kings roster, but not good enough for the Canes?

    Benching players for long periods of time and then putting them back in a "one game situation" expecting them to produce is pure mismanagement. If you're going to damage a kid's confidence, you have to build it back up again. Obviously, Kuviev's confidence is low and nobody on this coaching staff has the skills to correct it.

    It doesn't make the organization look good to other Russian juniors when the organization brings a player over here and then treats him the way Kuviev has been treated the past 2 or 3 months. This IS his draft year no??

    I'd be interested in hearing your comments and if you have any insight into either player's situations.

    Thanks and keep up the hard work!

  11. Taking shots at Pat? You should hear the troglodyte PA announcer in Edmonton? Seriously, I'd walk down there and feed him week-old pizza. That's how awful that guy sounded. And I think Pat's way more positive than Chisamore is. Chisamore's great, he ATTACKS guys. I've really enjoyed the radio calls this year.

  12. Well Pat is not going to give you his thoughts on a player. He has already stated that in this post.
    Kuvaev looked like he certainly had all the talent in the world. He loves to score and certainly has a flair for celebrating. However, I do not know of a coach in the WHL that wants a one-dimensional player on their roster as there are two ends to a rink. If you have watched Kuvaev you will have noticed that he is the slowest Hurricane on the ice. He is very slow coming back to the defensive end. They have tried to reach him with a translator and teacher but with very limited success. But Kuvaev has shown very little improvement and is a liability on the ice. Bringing over a Russian is a much bigger gamble than a Swede, Finn or a Swiss player, most of them know the North American game and do have a bit of a handle on English.
    Draft year or not, a player has to show improvement and the willingness to improve. Given the opportunities that Kuvaev had, he has shown neither. Had he continued to improve his game at both ends of the rink, he would be getting regular ice time.

    Just one person's opinion.


  13. Hi Darren. I would certainly like to see Alex play more too. He's a player that certainly has talent, we saw that early on in the season. There's no doubt he's got skill, but there are probably parts of his game that need to be worked on, especially the skating aspect. As far as I know, the interpreter is his teacher he's had since he arrived here that's been working with him from the beginning learning English. I can't argue with you in the sense that back in October he certainly was a fun player to watch when he was paired up with Hood and Sofillas. He just hasn't been the same player. For whatever reason, since Hood and Sofillas got hurt in November and that line was broken up, Kuvaev hasn't been the same player. It would be nice to see him get more ice time and to be honest. I have no idea what the hockey management staff have in mind for Euros next season. I'm sure we'll find out more when this season is over.

    As for Reners, I think he needed a change of scenery. He went to Vancouver for just a couple of weeks and then got traded to Edmonton. He was used sparingly in Vancouver too. In Edmonton, Reners was a healthy scratch for 4 out of the Oil Kings last 5 games before this past weekend. He hasn't played a lot there either accoridng to the media I spoke with from Edmonton.

  14. Reners had 7 points in 7 games when in Edmonton then was made to sit. He scored the Abney goal in Lethbridge on Friday night, scored the first goal in their game on Saturday night and scored twice last night and earned first star honors. It is amazing what can happen when you actually let a guy play.

  15. To's obvious Russian players are more of a gamble, which is why I think Kuvaev has been mismanaged. The organization needed to have his teacher/interpreter over here in Sept/Oct. before they started benching him. It's obvious the benchings have taken all the wind out of his sails. He won't be back and the organization has to take most of the responsibility for that. Put yourself in Kuvaev's position.....out of your country for the first time and don't know the language of the country you're in. How would you deal with the benchings?? I'd close up shop too and head for home!! I mean, he NEVER plays and then when he does, it's for one game as if the coaching staff is going to get a miracle out of one game after sitting him for 5 or 6. That again, is mismanagement. I watch many Hurricane players make mistake after mistake (hello the entire D-core minus Reddington) and yet, they aren't benched for endless amounts of games. Your arguement about Kuvaev being slow doesn't hold water. He can't be great for 2 months and then just lose it because, oh ya, he's slow. Doesn't fly. Trying to teach how to play defense is ridiculous when the kid doesn't speak the language. This isn't a guy who has SOME English ability. He has NO English.....the club needed to realize that in the Summer of '10 when they sought him out not in February '11 after benching him.

    On Reners.....don't look now, but he had two goals against the Hitmen last night and was +3. I realize Pat's in a difficult situation to comment on players (although I appreciate he thoughts on these two), but there's a "why" question that needs to be answered to his statement that Reners needed a change of scenery. It's never a good thing when a young guy that couldn't crack the lineup of a floundering Hurricanes club finds a roster spot on a more talented team (let's just call a spade a spade folks....the Canes have limited talent). I'm really hoping he continues to improve and find success with the Oil Kings.