Y'know, I know how this is going to sound, but...maybe this whole trip - the wins, I mean - was just another "fool's gold" stretch. I say that because the Canucks played an uncharacteristically weak game and we won, barely. And the Flames probably should've won, but we won, barely. And the Oilers put in by far their weakest effort of this young season against us and we won. And the Jets came to play and embarrassed us.
What gets me about this loss is that everyone (except Babs, and Jimmy) can and probably will brush it off, given what an otherwise "great" road trip this was. "Everyone has an off-night. You can't win 'em all." blah blah blah
Best Forward: Tomas Tatar. He was everywhere. It's safe to say that he'll play in every game from here on out, barring a slump or an injury. Honorable mention goes to Darren Helm, who kicked off the scoring and showed us that yes, he's back.
Worst Forward: Dan Cleary, for obvious reasons. True, the fact that very simply does not belong on this team always gets him extra criticism, but he also managed to be completely invisible on a night when nearly every player on the team looked very good. Honorable mention goes to Mikael Samuelsson, who likewise should not be on this team, and who likewise played very ineffectively.
Best Defenseman: Jakub Kindl. Jakub had a beast of a game. He shot the puck constantly, powerfully, and accurately, and played very well on defense. He's got the rare gift of consistently being able to get pucks through a crowd. He's also got a deceptively powerful shot. Honorable mention goes to Danny DeKeyser, who continues to play most ably on the first pairing.
Worst Defenseman: Brendan Smith. In a game that the Red Wings dominated, Smith had a visibly bad performance. He took three unnecessary penalties, all of them stupid and two of them because he was out of position; he was the single Red Wing to take a penalty in this game, and he contributed absolutely nothing on offense. Honorable mention goes to Kyle Quincey, who had a typically iffy game. I felt a momentary rush of excitement when it appeared that he had been injured. This was terrible, and I felt a bit guilty afterward, but the simple fact is that he's not a very good defenseman. The good news about this contest was that he managed to get a few shots on the goalie; generally he misses by a wide margin.
Most Effective Line: Andersson, Tatar, and Abdelkader. These guys looked very good. The Oilers simply had no answer for them.
Least Effective Line: Alfredsson, Cleary, and Weiss. Alfredsson played very well, and Weiss continues to improve. Cleary, however, continues to be horrible. He struggles to generate even the slightest bit of offense, and is unable even to play a grinding role.
MVP: Jakub Kindl. The reasons are pretty obvious.
Goat: Brendan Smith. The reasons for this are likewise obvious.
Overall Grade: A. This was a dominant performance with no apparent downsides. Petr Mrazek was barely tested, and appeared thoroughly bored throughout the game. The Oilers were thoroughly beaten, spending most of the game chasing the Red Wings. If there was any criticism that could be directed at the team for this game, it was the ineffectiveness of the power play. Still, it's hard to complain at all after such an absolute drubbing of the opposition.