By Michael Russo
No question the Wild dominated, but it’s clear the life has been sucked out of these Oilers with Tuesday’s trade of Ryan Smyth.
Oil coach Craig MacTavish was asked after the game if he felt the Oilers had given up. He said, “I don’t … yet.”
They didn’t even show up though, other than, as Marian Gaborik said, “Run around.” That was largely due to the most effective eight shifts in Derek Boogaard’s history.
This guy is inside their heads. He’s injured three Oilers in four games, and he just created havoc tonight, drawing three power plays, including Gaborik’s 5-on-3 goal to make it 2-0 and put the game in a stranglehold.
Boogey told me the other day that when he checked and hurt Ladislav Smid Sunday, MacTavish screamed at him on and on that he was probably going to get a raise for the hit. Boogaard ignored it, and finally assistant coach Mario Tremblay went to the end of the bench to shut MacT up.
I asked Boogey if MacT “talked” to him tonight. He said, amusingly, “He said a couple things, but I couldn’t really hear what he was saying. He was mumbling.”
MacT complimented Boogaard after the game, saying, “He didn’t play very many minutes, but he could have been a star.”
I find it humorous that this team is so distracted by Boogaard since Georges Laraque wanted to come back here for 500K less than he got from Phoenix.
To other stuff:
– What can you say about Josh Harding? Poised kid. Three wins — two shutouts, one shootout. This team’s goaltending is a huge asset right now, despite a ridiculous email I got from a reader tonight (sorry, but you won’t be getting a reply because I don’t know where to start).
– Dominic Moore played a very strong game. Won 7 of 10 draws. 3 takeaways. 3 shots. +2. Could have set up a goal if Boogey didn’t swing and miss.
– Demitra and Gaborik are good. Four goals, five points, 39 points in their last 14 games. I have a feeling one will be named captain tomorrow. Jacques was weird when I asked today about it.
How about Vancouver winning with four minutes left? Wild was third in the conference for about thirty minutes.
Anyways, 4:45 wakeup call and the press box is started to sway (not kidding). Considering this entire franchise is crumbling, the building could be, too. Time to leave.