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Under the Scope: Oilers at Avalanche

by Ryan Dittrick / Edmonton Oilers

Both the Avalanche and Oilers came into Sunday's game looking to conclude the 2010-11 regular season on a high note, following a tough 82-game grind that saw them net 29 and 30th place rankings respectively in the NHL standings. The two teams traded goals throughout the afternoon as neither was able to grasp the lead through the course of 60 minutes.

The game headed to overtime, where a non-call on retiring Avalanche defenceman Adam Foote spurred opportunity at the other end. With Liam Reddox in the box serving a minor penalty for tripping, David Jones pounced on a rebound to end the game and the two teams' seasons with a 4-3 Avalanche victory.

Nikolai Khabibulin returned to the crease, where he stopped 21 of the 25 Colorado shots he faced. The Oilers netminder concludes the season with a 10-32-4 record.

Teemu Hartikainen, Kurtis Foster and Liam Reddox all scored for the Oilers in the loss.

All you need to know and more as we go Under the Scope:

With the Oilers in control early in overtime, Adam Foote began some rough treatment on rookie Teemu Hartikainen as Edmonton pressured. A few punches to the face and holds to prevent the feisty Finn from retrieving the puck enabled the Avalanche to gain control without taking a penalty. Back the other way, Liam Reddox was charged with tripping -- not getting the veteran leeway that the Colorado hero did moments earlier. That penalty sent the Avalanche to the power-play in overtime, where David Jones cashed on a rebound to end the game and both teams' seasons in an instant.

30 Edmonton could only manage a 30% success rate in the faceoff circle today. Chris VandeVelde led his squad with an 8-11, 42% outing.
5 Having already played Dustin Penner in his return to Edmonton, another ex-Oiler faced his former club this afternoon. Shawn Belle (number five for the Avalanche) played 19:13 and was a plus-one in the game.
62 With the overtime loss today, the Oilers conclude the 2010-11 season with 62 points; the exact same point total as a season ago.
25 Edmonton concludes the 2010-11 season having accumulated 25 wins in 82 games. That total matches a franchise low for wins in a season.
1 On Tuesday night in Toronto, Edmonton looks to retain the number one overall selection for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in June.

David Jones
G A P +/- Shots
1 2 3 +1 2

Linus Omark
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 E 2

Adam Foote
G A P +/- Shots
0 0 0 E 0

Peter Budaj
28 25 3 63:57 .893

Nikolai Khabibulin
25 21 4 63:57 .840

Jonas Holos - D

23:28 - 0P, +1 rating

Andrew Cogliano - C

23:02 - 0P, E rating

Edmonton's recent success with the man-advantage carried into Sunday's matinee, as the team scored twice on the power-play vs. Colorado. Kurtis Foster's point blast early in the second period was a tremendous display of puck movement that led to the 2-2 goal. After receiving the puck near the line, Chris VandeVelde and Teemu Hartikainen assembled into the slot area. Foster's seeing-eye bomb escaped the goal-mouth confusion, bulging the twine and putting Edmonton back on even terms. The willingness to work through the tough areas is something to build on as the Oilers head into next season.

Linus Omark concluded his season with another excellent performance vs. Colorado. In his 19:09 of ice-time, Omark collected two assists while constantly providing a threatening attack when in possession of the puck in both ends. In total, Omark concluded the season with five goals and 27 points in his 51 games with the Oilers. Having grown and further developed a well-rounded game, Omark will now return to the Barons in Oklahoma City to help push for a Calder Cup championship.

Partnered with Ladislav Smid, Tom Gilbert made his return to the lineup after having missed the previous three games, snapping his ironman streak at 332 consecutive games played. Gilbert played 19:52 today, all the while reintroducing his calm presence on the backend. Pin-point passes and his intelligent defensive posture helped balance the game and kickstart the scoring attack. Gilbert was one of only four Oilers players who finished the game with a plus-one rating in the 4-3 extra session loss.

Although the Avalanche and Oilers represented the 29 and 30th placed teams in the NHL standings, today's game was certainly not void of emotion. Theo Peckham made sure of that with a second period crunch on Colorado forward Matt Duchene. The skilled centre was driven toward the side-boards by Andrew Cogliano with his head down. Peckham took note by stepping up and erasing Duchene with an intense blow. Erroneously on the play, however, Peckham was assessed a minor for elbowing.

Although Liam Reddox has played a solid checking-line game in his time with the Oilers this season, he was still without a goal.

His second period tally this afternoon was his first in 64 games, with his last coming on Feb. 19, 2009 against the Dallas Stars.

"If you're not going to call that one, then don't call the other one. Erase the tapes and let the teams decide who's going to win the game."

-  Head Coach Tom Renney on the non-call on Adam Foote (and the penalty to Liam Reddox moments later) in overtime.

Joey Moss Cup
September 2011

With the 2010-11 season now having been completed, the Oilers will return to training camp next September and participate in the annual Joey Moss Cup game.

Author: Ryan Dittrick |

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