Oilers-Blue Jackets Recap: Return of Roli the Goalie

Martin MaleAnalyst INovember 26, 2007

IconThe Edmonton Oilers were home on Monday night to face the Columbus Blue Jackets. It was the 6th game of the six game home-stand. The Oilers needed a victory to make it a .500 home-stand. Dwayne Roloson and Pascal LeClaire started in goal for their teams. There are three ex-Oilers playing for the Blue Jackets with Jason Chimera, Michael Peca and Jan Hejda.

The first shot of the game went to the Oilers only 30 seconds into the game as Raffi Torres went flying down the left wing and fired a shot from the circle. The Jackets came back with Nikolai Zherdev setting up Chimera in the slot and his blast was held by Roloson.

The Jackets came close at 2:30 as Rick Nash took a pass and powered his way to the net and got a shot off that gave Roloson some problems. The Oilers came right back and Sanderson sent a cross ice pass to Brodziak and his shot trickled through LeClaire and rolled into the net.

1-0 Oilers at 3:37

The Oilers continued the pressure and Ales Hemsky found an open Steve Staios across the ice and his blast was kicked away by LeClaire. The Oilers got the first power play opportunity of the game with 7:56 gone as Jared Boll was called for interference. The Oilers did very little on the man advantage until 30 seconds were left and Andrew Cogliano took a pass from Sanderson but his shot was easily saved.

The teams then exchanged some end to end action with both defenses keeping the shots to the outside. Marty Reasoner was then called for holding at 13:27 giving the Blue Jackets their first power play of the game. 37 seconds into the power play, Peca sent Nash in on a breakaway and he was tripped from behind and awarded a penalty shot. Nash came in on his penalty shot and his quick shot goes wide. Off the ensuing face-off, Fedorov won the draw right back to Peca who passed across to Ron Hainsey and his blast from the point beat Roloson.

1-1  at 14:10

The Blue Jackets continued the pressure after the goal and Peca took a shot from the slot that handcuffed Roloson but he managed to clear it away. The Oilers returned the favor and they came right back and Sam Gagner found an open Shawn Horcoff and his shot went off the post. He had LeClaire beaten on that shot but not the post. 

At 16:58 while the Oilers continued the pressure, Geoff Sanderson was called for slashing. The Blue Jackets had a hard time getting anything going on the power play and the best chances actually went to the Oilers as Kyle Brodziak had 2 shots that gave LeClaire some problems. With ten seconds left in the penalty the Oilers were called for too many men on the ice.

The Oilers killed the short 2 man disadvantage. The Oilers killed the rest of the period shorthanded and the period finished still tied at 1 goal apiece. Shots were 9-7 for Columbus in the first period.

Columbus started the second period with :48 left on the power play. The Oilers did a good job of killing off the penalty. The Oilers then had 2 good shifts of pressure and Curtis Glencross was called for slashing giving the Oilers there second power play of the game. The Oilers were buzzing all over the Jackets and Robert Nilsson just missed the net with a great move. The Oilers continued to press and Torres missed the net on a big rebound. The Oilers had some good chances on the power play but didn’t get the reward the deserved as the Jackets killed the penalty.

After all the pressure Pascal LeClaire came up injured and had to be replaced by Frederick Norrena. Again the teams went end to end with neither team to break through the fortress the defenses were putting up. With just under 8 minutes gone the Jackets had a great chance as Boll’s shot gave Roloson all sorts of problems and then Boll put the rebound over the empty net.

The Oilers finally broke the Blue Jackets pressure and came back with Cogliano setting up Smid at the point and his shot was deflected wide. Rick Nash then brought the Jackets back and a great back pass found Russell open but the puck rolled before he could get the shot off. Ladislav Smid was checked on the play by Jody Shelley and was slow getting to the Oiler bench. Norrena then made his best save since replacing LeClaire as Alan Rourke took a pass and wired a shot.

Dwayne Roloson made his best save of the game with just under 8 minutes to go. A point shot by Ron Hainsey deflected off a defenders skate and forced Roloson into the splits to keep the puck out of the net. With just under 6 minutes to go Jarret Stoll was called for tripping. The call was made by the back side official and it was a horrible call as the hit was a legal check. Stoll also ended up getting an additional 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct because of his additional yapping at the ref.

1 minute in the 4 minute power play and Cogliano had a great chance as he got a break away from the Jackets blue-line and Norrena made a great blocker save and as the puck flew to the open net, Hainsey cleared it off the line. The Jackets came right back and Roloson made a big save off first Nash then Zherdev. The video officials took a look at the Cogliano shot at the next stop in play and while it looked in to me the officials determined that it didn’t completely cross the line.

Cogliano then stole the puck again and took more time off the clock as he took the puck deep into the Columbus zone. The Jackets finally got a good chance as Chimera broke in on the left side and his shot forced Roloson into a big pad save. The Oilers killed the double penalty with no damaged and the period ended still tied at 1 goal apiece.

The Oilers started the third period with some good pressure and hitting and a point shot by Smid was kicked to the corner by Norrena. 2:30 gone and the best hit of the night went to Boll but unfortunately it was against his teammate Shelley as Pitkanen ducked out of the way.

The teams continued to exchange chances as the pace picked up. With just over 5 minutes gone the Oilers were on their turn at possession and Rostislav Klesla was called for interference. The Oilers had possession in the Jackets zone for almost the entire 2 minutes but were unable to get any clean shots at the net. Finally with 10 seconds left in the power play, Shawn Horcoff moved in on the left side and blasted a shot that Norrena was sharp on.

The Blue Jackets came back shortly after the penalty kill as Zherdev blasted a shot that was blocked by Staios. The Oiler broke out immediately and a great pass from Nilsson was deflected by Cogliano in front by Norrena. No chance for the goalie on that one.

2-1 Oiler at 9:27

The Oiler continued the pressure with Gagner, Horcoff and Hemsky but were unable to inflict further damage. Columbus came back with Nash getting a good chance as he flew by Staios and a quick shot almost beat Roloson. A quick counter attack by the Oilers gave the line of Cogliano, Penner and Nilsson another chance. The speed of that line is incredible and it gave the Blue Jackets problems all game.

Columbus again threatened with 4 minutes to go and as Zherdev was about to unload he was hooked by Stoll. The Jackets continued on the delayed penalty for an additional 30 seconds before the Oilers were able to get possession of the puck and stop the play. The Oilers had killed 4 of 5 penalties in the game and really needed a big kill late in the game.

Columbus had some good possession and puck movement for the first minute. Steve Staios was called for shooting the puck over the glass with 1:01 left in Stoll’s penalty so Columbus will have a 5 on 3 advantage. The big kill that was needed became even bigger. The Jackets got possession off the face-off and some good puck movement allowed Vyborny to set up Nash in close and Roloson made a big save.

The Oilers killed Stoll’s penalty and the Jackets continued to press. Some frantic action in front of Roloson looked sure to even the game but Roloson made two big saves. Columbus pulled the goalie with a minute left and won a face-off deep in the Oiler zone. Horcoff then made a great diving block to prevent a point shot. Columbus then crashed the net with Manny Malhotra and Nash having good chances but Roloson stood tall and kept the puck out. The Oilers were then able to bang the puck by Peca at the blue-line and Hemsky picked up the puck 2 on 1 with Horcoff. He neatly deked Klesla and skated in alone on the empty net where he made no mistake.

3-1 Oilers

The last 16 seconds ticked off the clock and the Oilers had the victory.

The goal-tending controversy that was brewing after Mathieu Garon had started four of five games and had looked great in the process is over. #1 goaltender Dwayne Roloson claimed his job again with two big games in a row resulting in two victories and some stellar play. The Oiler penalty killers did a good job again tonight allowing only one goal on seven chances. The Oiler now travel to Colorado to meet the Avalanche on Wednesday.