This is Steve Staios. For a while he played right wing with the Atlanta Thrashers. In Edmonton, he's known as a stay-at-home defenseman. Pretty soon, he might be known as a goalie.
Should the injury situation in Edmonton get so bad that the Oilers find a few man games go missing between their goalies, suit Staios up, he's definitely ready.
All joking aside, in a heartbreaking loss to the Ottawa Senators, Staios was amazing. Outside of the fact he was plus/minus -+3 in a three goals for effort, he had two assists and blocked five shots.
In the second period of Tuesdays game, Oiler goalie Jeff Deslaurier made five saves. I can't recall the last time a player had as many or more saves in one stretch than his goalie did.
The crazy part is, Staios wasn't alone in the "I can't believe they were so good" category.
Simply put, Dustin Penner dominated and astonishingly, he didn't have more to show for it than one goal. Remember, how it wasn't that long ago, Oilers fans were ready to send Penner packing because he could never seem to score that "one goal?"
In all of last season Penner had 17 goals. This year, in 18 games, he has 11. That's on pace for a 50 goal season and only six goals shy of last year. It would be unreal to think he won't hit that mark, even if he slows to a snails pace.
To Penner's credit, there seem to be no signs of slowing. When Penner had the puck last night, and often even when he didn't, he was making things happen. He's been the one shining light in the Oilers' many shut-out losses and he just seems to be getting better and sees this as his time to be a great hockey player.
If the Oilers can get two more seasons out of him similar to what this season is shaping up to be, we'll all owe Kevin Lowe a big glass of "what were we smokin' to have doubted you" juice. It's still early, but a huge base of fans have never been more happy to be wrong.
Even more, considering the Oilers had a crop of AHL'ers in Oiler uniforms last night, they did what a good road team needed to do to get the win. Despite the fact that Edmonton lost, it's about the most positive type of loss a team can have, kicking off this five game road trip with three out of a possible four points.
If the Oilers' missing players start popping back into place, tough decisions might be coming. Furthermore, if the Oilers are lucky, Edmonton will have earned enough points to have kept themselves in contention. Great news for a team just itching to actually play the roster it had planned to ice from the start of the year.
Of course if the latest play of Liam Reddox, Ryan Potulny, and Taylor Chorney have anything to say about it, that opening roster might be a tad different than what was expected.
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