Friday, September 30, 2011

Post-Game: Exhibition Game #7 Oilers 4 Wild 3 (SO)

Scoring Summary
1st Period

2nd Period
MIN Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Kyle Brodziak) 0:37

EDM Anton Lander (penalty shot) 6:57

3rd Period
MIN Mikko Koivu (PP) (Marek Zidlicky) 0:47
MIN Devin Setoguchi (PP) (Mikko Koivu, Marek Zidlicky) 5:44
EDM Linus Omark 1 (Assists: Anton Lander 1) 13:38
EDM Ryan Jones 1 (Assists: Jeff Petry 1, Linus Omark 1) 14:05

OT Period

Shootout Summary Clock Team Description
Minnesota Wild MIN Mikko Koivu shootout saved

Edmonton Oilers EDM Linus Omark shootout saved

Minnesota Wild MIN Pierre-Marc Bouchard shootout saved

Edmonton Oilers EDM Anton Lander shootout goal

Minnesota Wild MIN Devin Setoguchi shootout saved

Summary1st Period
Penalty Summary Time Team Penalty Players
2:14 Edmonton hooking - 2 min L. Omark drawn by P. Bouchard
8:45 Minnesota puck over glass - 2 min D. Heatley
15:45 Minnesota tripping - 2 min J. Falk drawn by G. Brule

2nd Period
Penalty Summary Time Team Penalty Players
1:30 Minnesota boarding - 5 min E. Nystrom drawn by T. Fedun served by C. Wellman
1:30 Minnesota game misconduct - 10 min E. Nystrom drawn by T. Fedun
1:30 Edmonton roughing - 2 min T. Peckham drawn by E. Nystrom
4:45 Edmonton holding - 2 min A. Lander drawn by M. Zidlicky
6:57 Minnesota hooking M. Zidlicky drawn by A. Lander
11:06 Edmonton holding - 2 min R. Keller drawn by D. Setoguchi
13:52 Minnesota hooking - 2 min N. Johnson drawn by A. Hemsky
15:51 Edmonton unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min D. Hordichuk drawn by K. Brodziak
15:51 Minnesota unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min K. Brodziak drawn by D. Hordichuk
16:06 Minnesota interference - 2 min G. Latendresse drawn by R. Jones
19:45 Edmonton holding - 2 min A. Lander drawn by M. Koivu

3rd Period
Penalty Summary Time Team Penalty Players
2:59 Minnesota hooking - 2 min G. Latendresse drawn by A. Lander
4:44 Edmonton holding - 2 min A. Lander drawn by N. Schultz
12:40 Minnesota fighting - 5 min B. Bulmer drawn by L. Petrell
12:40 Edmonton fighting - 5 min L. Petrell drawn by B. Bulmer
14:50 Minnesota holding - 2 min G. Zanon drawn by A. Hemsky
18:22 Edmonton cross checking - 2 min G. Brule drawn by D. Setoguchi

OT Period

Shots On Goal - Oilers 38 Wild 25

Game Notes:
- A very gutsy game from the Oilers tonight. Lots of hustle, lots of try, they really gutted this game out, especially considering they played more than half the game with 3 defenseman and 1 forward playing defense. A real yeoman effort from Tom Gilbert, who played over 33 minutes tonight, which is a real long night. Theo Peckham got in over 27 minutes, while Jeff Petry finished over 25 minutes. Ryan Keller also dropped back on D and played over 24 minutes tonight. These are the types of things that will make Oilers fans proud this year. They have shown a penchant of not quitting, which is all part of the growing process. They had all kinds of reasons to bail on this game but they didn't. Its a shame what happened to Taylor Fedun tonight. He was having an outstandnig training camp and was in the conversation to be one of seven defenseman to start the year with the Oilers. But one play on a bang bang icing call and he is out indefinitely with a fractured femur. It'll be a long road to recovery for him and its a damn shame. Smid and Chorney did not finish the game either. Dubnyk played alright stood tall on most shots, but others sifted through him. It was his weakest effort of the preseason but only because his other games were stellar. He was solid in the shootout. The Oilers lost the special teams battle, a common theme from last year. Once the preseason is over and the filtering of players in and out stop, they can focus on schemes and personnel. Another test for the Oilers Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Player of the Game:
- Anton Lander's name was all over the score sheet, some bad, some good, but he had the ultimate effect on the hockey game. Scored on a penalty shot in the 2nd, won a clean faceoff that allowed Linus Omark to snipe one and scored the only shootout goal. He also took 3 aggressive penalties of which the Wild scored on 2 of those penalties. So, it was a very uneven game for Lander, but his will to win is undeniable. He was very much a key cog in the victory tonight. Honorable mention to Linus Omark, he made plays when the chips were down as well. Peckham, Petry, Gilbert and Keller also deserve an HM for keeping the backend together long enough to pull a victory out.

Goat of the Game:
- Gilbert Brule. I hate to keep picking on the kid, but this game would have never made it to overtime if Brule would have been entirely out of the play. He took a cross-checking penalty just as Lennart Petrell was deflecting a Darcy Hordichuk shot over Backstrom's shoulder. It was just an unfortunate play all around. Brule played hard tonight, very in your face, but a play like that against a better team would have cost you a point in the regular season.

Next Game - Oilers vs. Canucks 8PM MT Vancouver on CBC

Pre-Game: Exhibition Game #7 Oilers vs. Wild

The Oilers are back at it tonight as they take on the Minnesota Wild. The Oilers have won 3 in a row coming into this game after beating Phoenix 3-2 on Tuesday night. The Oilers will try to continue their ways of being tough on the puck and being stout defensively. The Oilers are down to 32 players on the roster after cutting 3 players on Thursday. Two more games left in the preseason and then they start playing the game for real, tonight and Saturday night in Vancouver.




Game Time - 6 PM MT Minnesota @

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oilers Cuts from Thursday Sept 29

The Oilers assigned three players to Oklahoma City today.

Yann Danis G - Will have to clear waivers, which is expected tomorrow. Danis got into a half a game while the Oilers were busy putting Khabibulin and Dubnyk to the test, early and often. Something tells me Danis will get another shot this year with the Oilers. I don't think the Oilers' goaltending is as set in stone as a lot of people think it might be.

Colten Teubert D - Didn't get into a game because he got his nose caved in the first game of the rookie tourney. Its unfortunate that Teubert dealt with injury this preseason as I'm sure he was chomping at the bit to show the Oilers' brass what he had to offer. Teubert will have to continue his audition in OKC. Teubert may get a call if some of the current Oiler roughhousers on D struggle or get hurt.

Antti Tyrvainen LW - Had himself a decent preseason. The fact that he stuck around this long is a feather in his cap. I believe he has a 4th liner future with someone in the NHL if he sticks it out. May be back if some of the 4th liners on the Oilers stop being tough or get injured.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Where Do We Go From Here

Now that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has established that his game does translate at some level in pros, its time for his critics (myself included) to eat some crow. I had no doubt that his hockey sense and his vision would be on showcase in the NHL, its whether or not when push comes to shove and things get hairy out there, would he and the team as a whole, have the resilience to respond, either physically or on the scoreboard.

The Oilers are going to have to hurt teams on the scoreboard. They don't have enough team muscle to go mano a mano and hand out retribution. The Oilers are going to go full Detroit Red Wings on us, and try to hurt 'em on the powerplay. We'll see how that plays out for our young Oilers.

The thing that has impressed me about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is he has brought his full arsenal of tools from Red Deer and has applied them all to his game in the NHL so far this preseason. From positional play, to stripping pucks from behind, to puck commander and distributor, the only thing left for him to show off is his sneaky quick wrist shot. Its rare that a player can bring all of skills quickly from juniors right into the NHL. The Hall-RNH-Eberle will be a petri dish line that all of the NHL will watch closely to see if 3 younger, smaller but highly skilled linemates can not only survive but thrive in today's NHL. If its something that can find a way to sustain the test of time, it will likely be duplicated all over the NHL.

Oilers fans abroad, will bear witness to an experiment that could take over the NHL, move away from the lead footed neanderthals that clog up all kinds of space all over the ice and much like the '80s, bring skill, speed and youth back to the forefront.

Put your goggles on boys, it will be one helluvan experiment to behold.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Post-Game: Exhibition Game #6 Oilers 3 Coyotes 2

Scoring Summary

1st Period

EDM Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Taylor Hall, Jeff Petry) 17:50

2nd Period

EDM Taylor Hall (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tom Gilbert) 1:10

EDM Taylor Hall (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle) 13:49

PHO Ray Whitney (PP) (Daymond Langkow, Patrick O'Sullivan) 18:13

3rd Period

PHO Shane Doan (PP) (Patrick O'Sullivan, Daymond Langkow) 14:31

Penalty Summary

1st Period

PHO Oliver Ekman-Larsson 2min Holding 16:33

2nd Period

PHO Derek Morris 2min Slashing 4:17

EDM Eric Belanger 2min High-Sticking 13:57

EDM Tom Gilbert 2min Interference 17:58

3rd Period

PHO Adrien Aucoin 2min Cross-Checking 9:11

EDM Taylor Hall 2min Tripping 11:26

EDM Antti Tyrvainen 2min Tripping 13:46

PHO Ray Whitney 2min Boarding 18:03

Shots - Phoenix 20 Edmonton 32

Game Notes:

- It was the Hall and Nugent-Hopkins show tonight. They showed great chemistry together, and fed off of each others' abilities all night. Hall played well off the puck tonight, looking like a pure goal scorer. This game was a no hitter tonight and it was a preseason game so a longer look will be an order to make sure they can make things happen game in and game out. The biggest test will be how they handle physicality and how they respond to it. Someone will be looking to take their heads off at some point this season. How they handle it will tell us where they are at. I felt safer with the Hall-RNH-Eberle line than any other line tonight, they did a great job protecting the puck and backing each other up. I'm sure Tom Renney felt more than safe with them as well. It's hard not to get giddy about tonight after the show the kids put on, but you can something evolving here. But it was only one game and it was a preseason game. The tougher tests are coming. Khabibulin had himself another solid outing. Didn't have much of a chance on either goal, but battled and stopped the ones that matter. Light night for him with only 20 shots. Big time kudos to the defense and the centers supporting them in the defensive zone. Its amazing what happens when you have 4 centers in the lineup that can check their hats. less shots against. The only concern I have is the Oilers really petered out in the third period. Maybe Phoenix woke up, or less urgency to score, either way something of concern. A young team will need to develop a killer instinct. There is little doubt in my mind now, the kids will drag the Oilers as far as they can, after that, thats where they will lay. It just goes to show what the Oilers had and what they are about to have are miles apart in terms of ability and hockey sense.

Player of the Game:

Taylor Hall. He was mesmerizing tonight. He did everything with power and speed tonight. Either taking the puck to the net or releasing one-time lasers. He was the gamebreaker tonight. Offensively uncontainable. Only other person to consider is Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who was doing the dealing for Hall tonight.

Goat of the Game:

Ladislav Smid. This was a tough one, because no one was flat out brutal tonight but there were some plays that made you go hmmm. I'm not sure what Smid was doing on the first goal of the game. It looked like he was going for a line change but the problem was that the puck was still in his zone and more importantly his man was alone in front the net alone. It was an easy deposit for Ryan Whitney and a blown coverage for sure. I didn't get the number of Smid's partner on that play but he may have been even at more fault on the play.

Next Game - Friday Sept 30 2011 Oilers at Wild 6 PM MT @

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pre-Game: Exhibtion Game #6 Oilers vs Coyotes

The Oilers come into this game feeling good about themselves. After sweeping the Flames on the weekend, the Coyotes come to town. The Oilers will have to maintain a new found attitude of playing hard on the puck and keeping pucks out of their net. Ales Hemsky will likely see his first game action of the preseason. He will likely play with Ryan Smyth and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oilers cut 12 players on Monday, leaving the Oilers with the Oilers with 35 players. The Oilers have to get down to 23 players by next week, meaning more cuts are coming and/or players headed for injured reserve. Khabibulin to likely get the start and play the whole game.




Game Time - 7PM MT Rexall Place @

Oilers Cuts from Monday Sept 26

The Oilers cut 11 players today sending them to Oklahoma City and sent one back to junior.

Ryan Lowery D - I consider Lowery fortunate that he got himself a contract with the Oilers organization. While he does have some tools as a swift, puck-moving Dman, he also shoots right, something the OKC team is neck deep in at the moment on the back end. Lowery should be able to help OKC move the puck out of their end.

Olivier Roy G - Played well in the chances in got into, positionally sound. Roy is likely slated for Stockton in the ECHL considering Dubnyk and Khabibulin will be with the big club and Danis and LeNeveu will be with OKC. Roy might get some time in OKC this year, depending on how the other goaltenders play this year.

Philippe Cornet LW - Cornet got a better look at training camp this year than I thought he would. He acquitted himself well as an up and down winger who kept the puck moving forward. Will likely play a bottom 6 role in OKC.

Tanner House C/RW - House got in a couple of games, did ok. House will benefit from the experience coming in OKC. Will be relied upon in a depth role in OKC.

Chris Vandevelde C - Vandevelde came in and left as expected. He played alright in the preseason. Needs more experience. He can play in his own end alright enough, but doesn't piss a drop offensively.

Alex Plante D - Plante is getting piledrived down the depth chart, with the acquisitions of Fedun, Teubert and now Lowery, along with Helmer, he will be coming from a long way back to get back to the Oilers. May have been his last training camp with the Oilers.

Milan Kyntar RW - Kyntar was injured for all of training camp. Will likely start in Stockton on his way back up through the ranks.

Curtis Hamilton LW - Showed well in the rookie tourney, and played OK in the preseason in the last couple of games he got into. Big bodied, power forward will likely get a 2nd or 3rd line role in OKC, with some sporadic callups to the bigs.

Ryan Martindale C - Martindale has yet to earn himself a contract. He'll get a decent chance to get one and play in OKC, but if I was to hedge my bets, I would be on him playing in Ottawa for the 67s this year. We'll see how that plays out.

Tyler Pitlick C - Pitlick had himself a good rookie tourney and a decent preseason. He just needs experience in playing with the pros. The Oilers would be wise to keep the experiment of playing at center for the time being. The Oilers org needs a RH shooting center and he fits the bill there. Pitlick might get another look with the big club later in the year.

Kiril Tulupov D - Tulupov has yet to earn himself a contract with the Oilers. His audition will continue in OKC. He showed himself to be a agile skater and a punishing hitter. I think he could find himself a nice North American pro career for himself, if he sticks it out and shows off his wares.

Martin Marincin D - Marincin is headed back to Prince George (WHL). I thought Marincin was good enough to begin plying his trade in OKC this year. I think Tulupov may have taken his spot forcing the Oilers to put Marincin back in the Dub. It won't hurt Marincin to head back to Prince George and dominate down there. But the glut of RH Dmen OKC will have becomes even more crowded down there as Marincin was only one of two players that shot left along with Chorney.

Owen Nolan

So I had an interesting conversation today and Dangerman brought up a great idea (not my idea at all but I like it).
Owen Nolan was cut from Vancouver this morning, and I am wondering if Tambellini makes a call to his agent. This is a guy that can easily play on the 3rd line with MPS and Belanger, he would bring much needed grit, experience and an ability to score. (He had a beauty against the Oilers the other day)

****Read More****

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Post-Game: Exhibition Game #5 Oilers 3 Flames 0

Scoring Summary
1st Period

2nd Period
EDM Shawn Horcoff 1 (Linus Omark, Magnus Paajarvi) 4:08
EDM Linus Omark 1 (PP) (Jordan Eberle, Taylor Fedun) 13:55
EDM Jordan Eberle 1 (PP) (Taylor Fedun , Corey Potter) 18:48

3rd Period

Penalty Summary
1st Period
4:00 Edmonton too many men on ice - 2 min Bench served by D. Hordichuk
15:19 Edmonton hooking - 2 min C. Potter drawn by L. Bouma
15:39 Calgary interference with goaltender - 2 min D. Moss drawn by D. Dubnyk

2nd Period
4:36 Edmonton holding the stick - 2 min T. Peckham drawn by T. Kostopoulos
9:13 Edmonton hooking - 2 min L. Smid drawn by A. Tanguay
13:00 Calgary holding - 2 min M. Stajan drawn by D. Hordichuk
15:41 Calgary hooking - 2 min S. Baertschi drawn by L. Smid
16:13 Edmonton interference with goaltender - 2 min S. Horcoff drawn by M. Kiprusoff
17:34 Calgary tripping - 2 min O. Jokinen drawn by C. Potter

3rd Period
0:40 Calgary hooking - 2 min C. Glencross drawn by C. Potter
9:08 Calgary tripping - 2 min C. Butler drawn by J. Eberle
10:33 Edmonton holding - 2 min G. Brule drawn by J. Henry
13:17 Edmonton interference - 2 min G. Brule drawn by C. Bancks

Shots - Oilers 27 Flames 30

Game Notes:
- The Oilers "B" team looked real strong tonight. Scorers scored, checkers checked, defenders defended, goaltenders goaltended. Just a good overall team game. The defense look real good tonight, keeping the play in front of them, distributing the puck smartly, and thwarting many goal line stands in front of Dubnyk. Corey Potter did his best Ryan Whitney impersonation just keeping things out of harms way, while doing a good job of distributing the puck. Taylor Fedun impressed much the same way Potter did. The power play looked sharp tonight, doing a good job of breaking down the Flames' PK all night. The Oilers continue the theme of being tough on puck against the Flames, something Tom Renney is trying to drill in their heads, its starting to show some progress now. Omark and Eberle led the charge offensively. Best game of the preseason for Omark. Did a good job moving the puck along and finding a soft spot in the D to get himself a goal. It was a big game for Omark as he was on the brink of being shipped out, they may have to look elsewhere for the time being. Nice snipe by Eberle as well tonight, coming off the half wall.

Player of the Game:
- Devan Dubnyk. Can't really go with anybody else since the win might not have happened if he didn't have an outstanding first half of the game. Dubnyk is passing every test thus far, getting a shutout in his first full game, and looking real large in the net. Two things I have noticed in Dubnyk's improvement, his stamina looks good early on, and he's not giving up on pucks, which are two things that go hand in hand. Dubnyk and Khabibulin could potentially be rock solid if they don't have face 40 shots a night early on. The better the defense in front of him play collectively, the fresher the goaltending will be later in the year. Maybe they won't be burned out by December this year. Eberle and Omark deserve honorable mentions here.

Goat of the Game:
- Gilbert Brule. I don't want to pick on the guy, because I really want the kid to succeed, but he is having a tough time finding his niche as an NHL player. Took a couple of dumb penalties in the 3rd period that could have cost the team if they weren't playing so well. Brule is a player that has to understand that its his versatility that will ultimately lead to his survival in the NHL. Problem is he all hockey skill and very little hockey sense. Until he starts to become a student of the game, he won't be able understand how it should be played.

Next Game - Oilers vs. Coyotes 7PM MT Rexall Place on

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pre-Game: Exhibition Game #5 Oilers vs. Flames

The Oilers head to Calgary to finish off the back to back set against the Flames. The Oilers coming off a 2-1 win in Edmonton on some late game heroics from Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The Oilers iced a battle laden lineup than the one that faced the Canucks. It will be interesting to see if they go with a more vanilla lineup this time around.




Interesting lineup. Not a lot of goal scoring ability outside the first line and Eberle. I think its Omark's time to sink or swim. He needs to produce something tonight or he might end up at the bottom of the lineup next time. Dubnyk should be getting a full game tonight, should be interesting to see how he holds up, he should be busy. I would like to see Brule get a chance with Eberle. I don't think the Oilers view Brule as any more than a 4th liner. I'd be surprised if the Oilers can pull out a win with this lineup. A pairing of Barker and Plante is a recipe for disaster. Nice to see Fedun get a look on the backend. Some players are probably getting their last look this preseason as its time to get the roster down to a manageable number. OKC should be starting to fill out its team shortly.

Game Time - 6PM MT on Sportsnet West from Calgary.

Post-Game: Exhibition Game #4 Oilers 2 Flames 1

Scoring Summary
1st Period

2nd Period
CGY Rene Bourque (Derek Smith, Max Reinhart) 8:17
EDM Ryan Jones 1 (shorthanded) (Andy Sutton) 19:52

3rd Period
EDM Taylor Hall 1 (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins)18:43

Penalty Summary
0:26 Edmonton tripping - 2 min N. Khabibulin drawn by P. Byron served by R. Martindale
10:59 Calgary tripping - 2 min A. Babchuk drawn by J. Green
12:48 Edmonton interference - 2 min R. Keller drawn by J. Henry

2nd Period
8:50 Calgary tripping - 2 min B. Walter drawn by T. Pitlick
12:13 Calgary tripping - 2 min S. Baertschi drawn by R. Nugent-Hopkins
18:52 Edmonton unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min C. Barker

3rd Period
13:20 Calgary too many men on ice - 2 min Bench served by G. Desbiens

Shots on Goal Calgary 17 Edmonton 29

Game Notes:
- This was a hard, contested game, had a lot of feel similar to the game against Vancouver on Thursday. Not a lot of room to move and not a lot of sustained pressure at either end. Defensively the Oilers were solid, minus a couple of puckhandling brain cramps. Did well to get into shooting lanes, they blocked a lot of shots, limiting the Flames to just 17 shots on goal. Nugent-Hopkins and Hall didn't have a lot of chemistry throughout the game, but did hook up on the winner as Nugent-Hopkins hurled a shot towards the net that hit Hall, in which Hall showed nice hand-eye coordination by batting off his shins into the net. I'm don't think the Nuge and Hall have natural chemstry in that they both want the pucks on their sticks. Both will have to learn to play off the puck in order for them as a unit can be effective. Pitlick and Hartikainen both brought elements to party that was missing in the loss to Vancouver. Just being in the battle, coming out with some puck and pressing the action towards the net. Strong game for of them. The Oilers power play is something that is under construction. It looks like the scheme is solid, just a matter of getting the right personnel on the ice at the same time. As preseaon goes on, hopefully more set units are established.

Player of the Game:
- Nikolai Khabibulin has himself a nice bounce back game tonight. He whiffed on the Bourque goal but was flawless the rest of the way. He battled hard, throwing limbs at pucks, just trying to keep the puck out of the net. Good on Habby for not going out with a whimper. Life of a goaltender, its all about the next game, next period, next shot....Khabibulin still has a lot to prove in order to convince the coaches and fans that he still has it, but tonight was a move in the right direction.

Goat of the Game:
- It pains me to do it, but Anton Lander had himself an uneven game. He was pretty reliable for the most, but created little offensively and coughed up the puck to Sven Baertschi, that gave him a five alarm, point blank chance that Khabibulin stoned him on. If I was scoring the battle between Nugent-Hopkins and Lander, I would have Nugent-Hopkins ahead on points as of now. Although with an injury to Sam Gagner tonight, who did not finish the game, may change the outlook of that battle.

Next Game - Oilers at Flames 6PM MT on Sportnet West

Pre-Game: Exhibition Game #4 Oilers vs. Flames

After the last game against the Canucks, coach Tom Renney was less than pleased with the Oilers performance. A lack of puck battle and a lack of going to the hard areas of the ice led to the loss against the Canucks. Tonight, I get the feeling there will be a need for grit, jam, tenacity, whatever you want to call it, will be iced. Lander and Hartikainen will likely get back into the lineup. Khabibulin likely to start in goal in effort to "find himself". I would suggest there should be a bigger commitment to "wanting the puck" from everyone playing tonight.

The Flames come in 1-1 on the preseason, only having played the Canucks thus far. The Flames have a naturally bigger lineup so it should pose another good test for the Oilers in their evolution to become grittier.

I will post the lineup once it becomes available.




Interesting line combos. Hall gets his first look with Nugent-Hopkins, having Hartikainen with them will help as he can retrieve some pucks. Pitlick gets another look at the wing, I'm not sure thats the right thing to do with Pitlick, but there he is. I still think he should get more looks at center as they have a definite need for shooting RH centers. Keller and Gagner could have some mojo going as long as Gagner continues his shooting of the puck. The D pairings have some good things going on. They seem to have paired a puck mover with a tough stay at home type. Its definitely the way to go. With the amount of stay at home types the Oilers will likely have on the team this year, they will likely have to flirt with playing a forward on the point on the PP. Paajarvi will likely get first dibs on that, I think Hall may get some looks back there as well.

Game Time - 6 PM MT @ Rexall Place

Friday, September 23, 2011

Oiler Cuts from Friday Sept 23

The Oilers today sent 5 players to Oklahoma City, 2 players to juniors and brought one player aboard and assigned him to OKC.

David LeNeveu G - Got into a half a game at the Joey Moss Cup. Played OK. Was signed to an AHL contract in the summer. Is essentially insurance in case Olivier Roy isn't ready to play in OKC this year.

Cameron Abney RW - Abney got a few looks at the rookie tourney, didn't get much of any with the big club. Abney is an enforcer type that will likely split time in OKC and in Stockton.

Mark Arcobello C - Arcobello is a player that cut his teeth in Stockton last year and ended up getting himself a pro contract. OKC will be looking to a him for some veteran leadership and some occasional scoring.

Johan Motin D - Didn't get a look in with the Oilers and likely won't get much of a look with OKC either. He's so far down the depth chart, they'll have to dial long distance in order to find him. Likely will get some games in Stockton and disappear into the sunset.

Hunter Tremblay LW - Got into the Joey Moss game and the game against Chicago in Saskatoon. Didn't play poorly but didn't stand out either. A project for the OKC staff to try and jump start. Like Arcobello, parlayed his play into a pro contract. He comes from the University of New Brunswick.

Travis Ewanyk C - Had a shoulder injury that kept him out of the rookie tourney as well as training camp. Will go back to the Edmonton Oil Kings where he will continue to ply his trade as a checking line center.

Drew Czerwonka LW - Czerwonka has very much a Kelly Buchburger type game to him. Long on try, but short on hockey sense. He heads back to Kootenay where he should be a solid contributor to that team. Had himself a decent rookie tourney.

Ryan Lowery D - The Oilers added Ryan Lowery to the organization today. He will fight for a gig in OKC to start with, may see some time in Stockton. Had a decent rookie tourney. The Oilers do have a need for waterbug, mobile, puck moving Dmen. But the OKC team is backside deep in right handed shooting Dmen.

RH DMen for OKC
Petry (maybe but doubtful)

LH Dmen for OKC
Marincin (maybe but likely)

There is a serious imbalance there.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Post Game: Exhibition Game #3 Canucks 2 Oilers 1

Scoring Summary
1st Period
VAN Owen Nolan (PP) (Mark Mancari, Andrew Ebbett) 12:42

2nd Period
VAN Mike Duco (SH) (Alexander Sulzer) 19:07
EDM Jordan Eberle 1 (PP) (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tom Gilbert) 19:24

3rd Period
No Scoring

Shots - Vancouver 27 Edmonton 22

Penalty Summary
1st Period
0:52 Edmonton fighting - 5 min T. Peckham drawn by A. Volpatti
0:52 Vancouver fighting - 5 min A. Volpatti drawn by T. Peckham
3:07 Edmonton fighting - 5 min D. Hordichuk drawn by T. Fedoruk
3:07 Vancouver fighting - 5 min T. Fedoruk drawn by D. Hordichuk
10:17 Edmonton fighting - 5 min A. Plante drawn by S. Pinizzotto
10:17 Vancouver fighting - 5 min S. Pinizzotto drawn by A. Plante
10:36 Edmonton tripping - 2 min T. Hall drawn by C. Hodgson
11:26 Edmonton high-sticking - 2 min T. Gilbert drawn by O. Nolan
14:46 Edmonton holding - 2 min J. Petry drawn by V. Oreskovich
18:55 Vancouver holding - 2 min A. Sulzer drawn by M. Paajarvi
19:52 Edmonton misconduct - 10 min T. Peckham drawn by M. Duco
19:52 Vancouver roughing - 2 min M. Duco drawn by T. Peckham served by J. Schroeder
19:52 Vancouver roughing - 2 min M. Duco drawn by T. Peckham
19:52 Edmonton roughing - 2 min R. Smyth drawn by M. Duco

2nd Period
8:25 Edmonton holding - 2 min T. House drawn by A. Sulzer
11:34 Vancouver hooking - 2 min A. Roussel drawn by M. Paajarvi
18:16 Vancouver unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min T. Fedoruk

3rd Period
3:00 Vancouver fighting - 5 min T. Fedoruk drawn by D. Hordichuk
3:00 Edmonton fighting - 5 min D. Hordichuk drawn by T. Fedoruk
3:00 Edmonton slashing - 2 min D. Hordichuk drawn by T. Fedoruk served by L. Omark
15:29 Vancouver roughing - 2 min R. Parent drawn by L. Omark

Game Notes:
Welp, overall, this game was a dog. It was like watching a Minnesota Wild game in the middle of December. There was a lot happening and miles were being skated, but there was no flow and no chemistry. Smyth-RNH-Eberle was probably the best line on the Oilers but it was a far cry from the line that played in Saskatoon against the Hawks. The Canucks won most of the board battles, got in shooting lanes and never allowed the cycle to happen. The only way the Oilers were going to score on this night was off the rush. Paajarvi and Hall were doing there best off the rush but to no avail. This game should serve as a lesson to all Oiler employess and observers, no matter how much skill you have, someone needs to do the heavy lifting. Someone needs to win board battles, someone needs to take a hit to make a play, someone needs to outmuscle someone else. All the puck magic in the world won't matter if you don't have the puck. These are the areas where the Oilers need to continue to get better in, either through players individual wanting to do so or through change in personnel. Essentially, if these guys won't or can't do it, get someone in here who can and will.

Player of the Game:
- Devan Dubnyk. Only gave up one goal, in half a game on a tap in on a 5 on 3 disadvantage. Faced 19 shots. He looks poised and slightly quicker than he did last year. Perhaps understanding he needed to improve stamina to challenge for the starters gig. He looks slimmed down and less prone to wearing. He'll need a longer look, but through 2 games, so far so good, and right now, odds on favorite to start opening night.

Goat of the Game:
- Taylor Chorney. Chorney allowed the tap in for Owen Nolan on the opening goal. I know 5 on 3s are tough at the best of times, but its a play where you really need to bear down and cover the passing lane, especially one thats directed at the net. I thought Chorney and Plante as a pairing had a tough night. Often getting forechecked hard and coughing up the puck as an end result.

Next Game: Saturday Sept 24 2011 Flames at Oilers 6 PM MT on

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pre-Game: Exhibition Game #3 Oilers vs. Canucks

One step closer to when the games start to matter for fans and most veteran players. For some players this is the time when it does matter. Another game for Anton Lander or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to impress. Or for someone like Nikolai Khabibulin to prove he still has it. Exhibition games are more of a time for evaluating players than evaluating team. However it is a time for coaches to break out their crystal ball and get a feel for what their team will look like.

The battle of defense is surely one to keep an eye on. Andy Sutton should be getting a look either tonight or Saturday and he'll get a chance to show his wares to Edmonton. Hopefully we get some sort of updates on Whitney, Hemsky, Horcoff and Gagner as they have yet to hit the ice in game action as of yet. As the games start rolling down, the picture will start getting more clear. Tonight will just be another piece of the puzzle as the 2011-2012 version of the Edmonton Oilers will slowly be unveiled.

I will post the lineup and line combos as soon as they become available.




Game Time - 7 PM MT Rexall Place on TSN.

Oilers Cuts From Wednesday Sept 21

The Oilers sent 4 more players back to junior today.

Tyler Bunz - Showed very well for himself. Right from the rookie tourney to playing against the pros. Bunz has a Carey Price kinda thing going for him. He mixes positionally sound with athletic reflexes. I look forward to seeing him with Medicine Hat, and hopefully back here in Edmonton as part of Team Canada at the World Junior Tourney.

David Musil - Musil had a pretty non-descript showing. He did OK, nothing too flashy about his game. He going to have to get meaner and tougher or develop an offensive side to his game if he wants to survive and thrive at the next level. I will say he is a physical speciman. He is headed back to the Vancouver Giants.

Jeremie Blain - Much like Musil, a pretty non-descript showing. Didn't show much offensively, didn't show much defensively. This is his year to take his offensive game to another level. He has poise with the puck, but almost to the point where he is playing the game from a recliner. I look for some offensive numbers out of him this year. He is headed back to Acadie-Bathurst of the QMJHL.

Brandon Davidson - I was hoping for more ruggedness and poise from Davidson. Instead, got more chasing of the puck and some sloppy puck distribution. The fact that Marincin is still here and Davidson is not is a sign. Ultimately, I think Marincin will be joining Davidson back in the Dub, in which case the Oilers will have their eyes peeled for another LH Dman, or Marincin surprises and finishes strong and gets that contract to play in the AHL. Either way, I'm a little surprised Davidson is heading back to Regina. I was expecting for him to stick with OKC.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post Game: Exhibition Game #2 Oilers 4 Wild 3

Scoring Summary
1st Period
MIN Jared Spurgeon 1 (Unassisted) 2:03
MIN Jarod Palmer 1 (PP) (Kyle Brodziak, Brett Bulmer) 14:49
MIN Pierre-Marc Bouchard 1 (Guillaume Latendresse, Matt Cullen) 18:35

2nd Period
EDM Anton Lander 1 (Martin Marincin, Magnus Paajarvi) 4:52
EDM Magnus Paajarvi 1 (Anton Lander, Linus Omark) 13:58
EDM Antti Tyrvainen 1 (Taylor Fedun) 15:54

3rd Period
MIN Jared Spurgeon 2 (PP) (Matt Cullen) 18:14

Check Out Heazues' rundown of the Oilers/Wild game.

Post Game: Exhibition Game #1 Oilers 4 Blackhawks 2

1st Period
2nd Period
EDM Ryan Smyth 1 (Nugent-Hopkins, Chorney) PP 00:36
EDM Josh Green 1 (Hamilton, Davidson) 06:37
CHI Rostislav Olesz 1 (Unassisted) 10:15
Chi Jamal Mayers 1 (McNeill, Beach) 16:31
3rd Period
EDM Jordan Eberle 1 (Smyth) 16:34
EDM Josh Green 2 (Unassisted) 19:56 EN

Game Notes
- The Oilers won a hard fought game, played well by both teams. Chicago had a lot of sustained pressure but the defense played well and never buckled. Smid was feisty, Peckham played tough, Petry did an excellant job managing the game from the backend. Davidson, Potter and Chorney did yeoman's work on the backend as well. Smyth-RNH-Eberle really showed well, its a line that lacks a long range shooter, but one that could thrive off of the cycle. Josh Green had himself a nice game with a couple of tallies. Good on him for having a nice showing after bouncing around the last few years. Dubnyk adn Roy both played well, really buckled down when they needed to to preserve the win. This team had a nice blend of skill and battlers, and it all came together for this win. It will be initeresting to see how they take two teams and make it into one big club and one minor league club. I think some decisions might be made that will be surprising.

Player of the Game:
- I'm going with Ryan Smyth. Smyth's board work really made the Smyth-RNH-Eberle line really tick. His board work opens up the lanes for Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle to roll through the seems looking for an opening. I'm guessing Tom Renney is very intrigued with this line going forward. Smyth had himself a goal and an assist.

Goat of the Game:
- Gilbert Brule. Brule had a decent game. He hustled and read the plays better than I have ever seen him do so. But that pass that setup the first goal for the Hawks was ugly. He essentially gift wrapped it, sending the puck in front of the net where only a Blackhawk player was standing. Tom Renney must have been doing a "facepalm" on that play.

Next Game - Oilers vs. Canucks 7 PM MT on TSN

Oilers Cuts from Monday Sept 19

The Oilers 9 players back to their respective teams on Monday.

Martin Gernat - going to the Edmonton Oil Kings where he will have an opportunity to be a major contributor there. He had his ups and downs during the rookie tourney but overall has some tools that can be developed.

Kristians Pelss - Also headed back to the Edmonton Oil Kings. He's a player that needs to show more battle and offensive flair to have a shot in the pros. He'll get a chance to be a major block on an up and coming Oil King team.

Tobias Rieder - He'll get a chance to contribute to a Kitchener Ranger team that should be pretty good this year. Rieder showed well at the rookie tourney, showing off a quick release, and showing well on the puck battles.

Colin Smith - Didn't show enough offensive pizzazz for his small stature, but was impressed with his overall game. Needed to show more of a playmaking ability to open some eyes. Not sure where he is headed.

Chase Schaber - Showed well at the propect tourney, battled hard, scored a goal, showed a solid, all around game. Gritty player. Should get another look at pros at some point.

Brett Ferguson - Needed to show more to turn some heads. Not enough offense, not enough grit, two things he needed to show to get himself noticed.

Wes Vannieuwenhuizen - He played tough, but didn't play smart. Chased the play too much instead of reading and reacting. A basic stay at home Dman.

Tyler Schmidt - Tough kid that needs to be either a gamebreaker offensively or a responsible, stay st home Dman type. Didn't show much of either at the tourney. Needs to be more responsible with the puck.

Toni Rajala - Disappointing tourney for Rajala. Generated very little offensively. Heading back to Finland to work on strength. Hopefully, we see him back at the tourney this time next year.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pre-Game: Exhibition Game #1 Oilers vs. Black Hawks

I've decided to cover this game since covering two games at the same time is a little tough. I'll dedicate a good amount of time watching this game. We know that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play with Ryan Smyth and Jordan Eberle. I'm really curious to see how Nugent-Hopkins in his first real pro game. Tyler Bunz will get half a game here. It sounds like more of the "names" will get in the game in Edmonton against the Wild.

Split squad games drive me bananas in baseball, so you can imagine I'm not fond of two games in one night in hockey. Not a lot of time to evaluate and watch whats going on. Essentially, you just gotta take it all in through osmosis.

I will try to post more as the lineups for both games become available.




Oilers vs. Black Hawks @ Saskatoon Game Time 7PM MT
Oilers vs. Wild @ Edmonton Game Time 7 PM MT

Both games available on

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Post Game: Joey Moss Cup Team Blue 5 Team White 3

Team Blue Goal Scorers:
Tyrvainen (EN)

Team White Goal Scorers:


Random Musings:
-Ryan Smyth had some really good jump today, looks very agile heading into training camp.
-Jeff Petry looks poised to take on a big role this year. He was shooting the puck and making things happen at both ends of the ice. He has all the tools to be something special. Looked very poised today.
-Kiril Tulupov looked like he really wanted to be noticed. He was the only one finishing his checks strong. We'll see how he looks in some real competitive games. He can go hammer on some other teams' players.
-Taylor Hall looked rusty, was skating miles but couldn't finish much of anything. Got stripped on the winner by Team Blue. Still the wow factor in his game. Gamebreaker.
-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was like a stealth rogue out there. Not much offensively, but a pick pocket extraordinaire. His ability to backtrack plays might be the icebreaker on whether or not he stays with the big club.
-Jordan Eberle had the dangles early, ringing one of the crossbar that could have broke TSN once again. I'm surprised Eberle, Hall and Lander as a line didn't do more damage.
-Teemu Hartikainen had himself a nice goal in tight going roof. He is going to make it very difficult for the Oilers to send him to OKC. By rights, he probably should be with the big club.
-OKC eventual players, Petrell, House, and Keller, all of them strong games, scoring goals on nice snipes with quick realeases. OKC might not be that bad off offensively after all.

Pre-Game: Joey Moss Cup Line Combos


23 Linus Omark - 93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - 91 Magnus Paajarvi
28 Ryan Jones - 68 Tyler Pitlick - 46 Ryan Keller
75 Antti Tyrvainen - 67 Gilbert Brule - 51 Philippe Cornet
16 Darcy Hordichuk - 42 Ryan O'Marra - 37 Lennert Petrell

13 Cam Barker - 77 Tom Gilbert
41 Taylor Chorney - 86 Kirill Tulupov
87 David Musil - 81 Taylor Fedun
78 Martin Gernat - 48 Alex Plante

30 Olivier Roy
38 David LeNeveu


4 Taylor Hall - 57 Anton Lander - 14 Jordan Eberle
94 Ryan Smyth - 20 Eric Belanger - 56 Teemu Hartikainen
55 Ben Eager - 54 Chris VandeVelde - 61 Tobias Rieder
60 Tanner House - 66 Ryan Martindale - TBA

5 Ladislav Smid - 24 Theo Peckham
25 Andy Sutton - 44 Corey Potter
80 Martin Marincin - 88 Brandon Davidson
82 Jeremie Blain - 58 Jeff Petry

34 Yann Danis
1 Tyler Bunz

* - Lineups are tentative and subject to change.

Courtesy of

The Good - Pitlick is setup to succeed with a playmaker like Keller, he should get some good shooting looks. Its a good idea to break Barker in with Gilbert, break him slowly, but he'll likely have to swim in the deep end this year. Hall and Lander could develop some good pitch and catch chemistry. Sutton and Potter has some nice dimension as a pair.

The Bad - Omark-RNH-Paajarvi could be destined for disaster, but could also dominate, Paajarvi will have to be outstanding off the puck. Smyth-Belanger-Hartikainen have the looks of good grinding line, but they will be asked to score here. Brule is going to have a tough time generating much with Tyrvainen and Cornet. Smid and Peckham, that will be an interesting pairing, one that could drown in the deep end.

Joey Moss Cup starts @ 2PM. Will be streamed online at

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Oilers Rookie Camp Recap 2011

57 Lander, Anton C 2 3 0 3 +1 0 2 0 0 0 1 8 .375
75 Tyrvainen, Antti LW 3 1 2 3 0 7 0 1 0 0 0 4 .250
70 Hamilton, Curtis LW 3 1 1 2 +2 4 0 0 0 0 0 5 .200
59 Smith, Colin C 3 0 2 2 +3 6 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
72 Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan C 2 0 2 2 +2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 .000
71 Czerwonka, Drew LW 3 1 0 1 +2 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 .111
45 Lowery, Ryan D 2 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 .333
51 Cornet, Philippe LW 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 .200
68 Pitlick, Tyler C 2 1 0 1 +1 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 .200
76 Schaber, Chase C 2 1 0 1 +1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 .250
78 Gernat, Martin D 2 1 0 1 +1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 .167
80 Marincin, Martin D 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .250
61 Rieder, Tobias C 3 0 1 1 +1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 .000
63 Pelss, Kristians LW 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 .000
73 Abney, Cameron RW 2 0 1 1 +1 5 0 1 0 0 0 3 .000
66 Martindale, Ryan C 2 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
79 Ferguson, Brett LW 2 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000
81 Fedun, Taylor D 2 0 0 0 +1 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
82 Blain, Jeremie D 2 0 0 0 +1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000
85 Schmidt, Tyler D 2 0 0 0 +3 10 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
87 Musil, David D 2 0 0 0 +3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
88 Davidson, Brandon D 2 0 0 0 +1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
90 Vannieuwenhuizen, WesD 2 0 0 0 +1 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
92 Rajala, Toni RW 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
1 Bunz, Tyler G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
30 Roy, Olivier G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
50 Brown, Adam G 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
84 Teubert, Colten D 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
64 Kytnar, Milan C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
69 Ewanyk, Travis C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

TOTALS: - 3 12 10 22 +25 61 3 4 0 0 2 87 .138

1 Bunz, Tyler 1 60:00 1 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 23 1.000
30 Roy, Olivier 1 60:00 1 0 0 0 0 2 2.00 22 .917
50 Brown, Adam 1 60:00 0 1 0 0 0 4 4.00 25 .862


Anton Lander A - Had a strong showing at the rookie tourney. Two-way play was expected and delivered for the most part. He showed a surprisingly, quick release and more of an offensive acumen than even I was expecting. Looked very strong on the faceoff dot.

Antti Tyrvainen B+ - He had himself a decent rookie camp. Hit some bodies, chipped in some points. Had stretches of totally disappearing, but for the most part, came as advertised. Looks to have the agititor in him.

Curtis Hamilton B - Had a strong first game then faded throughout the tourney. I believe he was playing partially hurt after the first game. More cerebral than I was expecting, but less physical than I was hoping, could have had something to do with playing hurt. All in all, has a penchant for finding an open lane. Hamilton and Nugent-Hopkins did show some nice chemisty and something that should be revisited in the future.

Colin Smith B- - Smith was OK for the tourney. A solid puck carrier, but with limited size and not an overpowering offensive game, will be hardpressed to find a niche in the pro game. However, with a +3 rating, he was on the right side of the puck most times. He needs to cut down on the needless goaltender interference penalties.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins A- - The Nuge had himself up and down tourney. Against the Canucks squad, he was dominate, making sublime passes all over the joint. Against the Jets, he had a tough time trying to find space and lanes to create plays. He is a great protector and distributor of the puck, much like an outstanding quarterback would. On to the next level for The Nuge.

Drew Czerwonka B+ - Czerwonka expeded my expectations in this tourney. He is a tireless worker and always seems to find himself on the right side of the puck. Much like his predecessor, Kelly Buchburger, long on try, short on puck skills. He would be wise to find that path to the pros.

Ryan Lowery B- - Diminutive Dman had a pretty non-descript camp. He scored on a sifter from the point. One thing I will say about him is, he is able to get his shots through from the point, a problem that a lot of the other Dmen struggled with.

Philippe Cornet B- - Cornet stood out for the amount he was creating around the net. Cornet and Lander had decent chemistry together. Cornet is a player that is trying to find a niche in the pro game. Not sure of he enough offense in those hands to be that type of player.

Tyler Pitlick A- - Pitlick had himself a strong game against the Flames. Showing off his sniping abilities. Against the Jets, it was a game he needed to knock of the rust after not playing in over six months. Pitlick is an important piece to the Oilers organization, either has a two-way sniping center or a crash, bang winger. He is an extremely versatile piece.

Chase Schaber B+ - I thought he was the most effective of the walkons in this camp. He has a decent nose for the net and plays with a chippiness to his game to get under the other team's skin. Not afraid to back things up. Someone to keep an eye on into the future.

Martin Gernat B - Gernat's overall skills are pretty impressive, big body, smooth skater. The mental part of his game is still pretty raw and what he needs is just experience. Essentially just learning how to be on the right side of the puck, and understanding the reading of plays. The Oilers may have uncovered a hidden gem here.

Martin Marincin A- - Marincin was the most polished Dman at this tourney for the Oilers. His smooth skating, decision making, long reach was on full display. He may have played himself into the conversation to start the year in OKC and not go back to Prince George.

Tobias Rieder B - Had a tourney much like Phillipe Cornet did. Since they were linemates with Lander, I guess that shouldn't be surprising. Rieder has some nice skills, shoots the puck well, and is a pretty explosive skater. Showed alright for his first rookie camp. He needs experience to learn how to breakdown plays.

Kristians Pelss C - I thought Pelss was outplayed by the majority of the forwards here, including some of the walkons. He had a primetime opportunity playing with Nugent-Hopkins and Hamilton, just didn't make the most of it. Back to the drawing board, here's to hoping he has a solid year with the Oil Kings.

Cameron Abney C - Overall a pretty uneventful tourney from Abney. Had himself an entertaining scrap with Sawyer Hennay from the Canucks. Other than that, not much happening from Abney. Not sure where his future will be taking him.

Ryan Martindale C+ - I'll give Martindale some slight ups for his try and wanting to make an impact on the game physically. I don't think he was particularly effective at it, eventually hurting himself and ending his tourney. Martindale has a lot of skilled tools, but the Oilers must be wondering what to do with him.

Brett Ferguson C- - Its too bad Ferguson didn't have a better showing. I thought his agitation/tenacious play would have been his calling card here, but it just never materialized. I'm guessing the next stop for him will be the CIS since he is out of junior options.

Taylor Fedun B+ - Fedun has soemthing that current Oilers Dmen are currently lacking. Mobility and a willingness to shoot the puck. Fedun impressed me with his ability to jump into plays. Didn't have anything to show for it in the tourney, but his skillset sure did stand out.

Jeremie Blain D - I thought Blain was pretty meh through the tourney, to the point where I thought he should have paid to get into the games. He was more of a spectator in the games, more than I think anyone wanted to see. He has to develop a sense of wanting the puck more and being engaged into the games and the battles. Its not enough to just stand around looking like you are covering an area when all you are doing is standing around.

Tyler Schmidt C - Schmidt had his ups and downs in this tourney. He was +3 which tied the team lead, and he is one game kid. His downfalls were, holding the puck too long in danger areas and just not recognizing whats about to happen. Schmidt is someone who could impress someone down the line, but it wasn't at this tourney.

David Musil C+ - Was much like Schmidt, he was +3, meaning he must have been doing something right, but I was pretty uninspired with his play. He is a physical speciman. Big man with great mobility, but still has a lot to learn about the game. His PK work needs a lot of work, needs to use his stick better in this situation. Also realize that you don't play man to man on the penalty kill. Musil, to me, is a real project.

Brandon Davidson C+ - I was hoping better from Davidson. Defensively he was OK, offensively he was subpar. Really had issues with puck management, which forced him into chasing the play. If rookie camp was the indicator, I would be keeping Marincin to play in OKC and Davidson would be heading back to juniors.

Wes Vannieuwenhuizen D - He must be tired, because he did a lot of chasing of the play. He's a game kid but his hockey IQ is subpar. Good luck to him ins his future endeavors.

Toni Rajala C- - For a guy coming into main camp, he needed to show more. He'll get more chances to show his wares, but he needs to make himself more noticable with his speed and playmaking abilities.

Colten Teubert C - Rookie tourney was cut short for him. One fight and one broken nose later, that was the end of that. Hopefully he will be healthy enough to show his wares at big camp. He has a lot to prove.

Olivier Roy B+ - Roy was solid in his start, both goals he had little chance on (both tap ins). He was square to the shooter and made the save he needed to when the game was still tight. I'm hoping he gets at least a half a game with the big club during pre-season.

Tyler Bunz A+ - He was perfect in his start. He looked like Carey Price playing goal from the seat of his couch. Was calm, cool and collective. Positional was strong, reflexes were quick, just an excellant hybrid goaltender.

Adam Brown B- - Was at the mercy of his defense that kept coughing up the puck and poor positional play. Brown looked like a carbon copy of Roy. He did alright and I think somewhere down the line should get a crack at another pro shot.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Oilers Training Camp 2011/2012 Season

Forwards# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place

73 Cameron Abney 6' 5" 200 23 May 1991 20 Aldergrove, BC, CAN
62 Mark Arcobello 5' 9" 165 12 Aug 1988 23 Milford, CT, USA
20 Eric Belanger 5' 11" 185 16 Dec 1977 33 Sherbrooke, QC, CAN
67 Gilbert Brule 5' 11" 186 1 Jan 1987 24 Edmonton, AB, CAN
51 Philippe Cornet 6' 0" 196 28 Mar 1990 21 Val-Senneville, QC, CAN
55 Ben Eager 6' 2" 235 22 Jan 1984 27 Ottawa, ON, CAN
14 Jordan Eberle 6' 0" 185 15 May 1990 21 Regina, SK, CAN
89 Sam Gagner 5' 11" 191 10 Aug 1989 22 London, ON, CAN
12 Josh Green 6' 3" 218 16 Nov 1977 33 Camrose, AB, CAN
4 Taylor Hall 6' 1" 194 14 Nov 1991 19 Calgary, AB, CAN
70 Curtis Hamilton 6' 2" 206 4 Dec 1991 19 Tacoma, WA, USA
56 Teemu Hartikainen6' 1" 215 3 May 1990 21 Kuopio, FIN
83 Ales Hemsky "A" 6' 0" 184 13 Aug 1983 28 Pardubice, CZE
10 Shawn Horcoff "C"6' 1" 208 17 Sep 1978 32 Trail, BC, CAN
16 Darcy Hordichuk 6' 1" 211 10 Aug 1980 31 Kamsack, SK, CAN
60 Tanner House 6' 1" 195 27 Apr 1986 25 Cochrane, AB, CAN
28 Ryan Jones 6' 1" 205 14 Jun 1984 27 Chatham, ON, CAN
46 Ryan Keller 5' 10" 196 6 Jan 1984 27 Saskatoon, SK, CAN
64 Milan Kytnar 6' 0" 190 19 May 1989 22 Topolcany, SVK
57 Anton Lander 6' 0" 194 24 Apr 1991 20 Sundsvall, SWE
72 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins6' 0" 171 12 Apr 1993 18 Burnaby, BC, CAN
42 Ryan O'Marra 6' 2" 220 9 Jun 1987 24 Tokyo, JPN
23 Linus Omark 5' 10" 174 5 Feb 1987 24 Overtornea, SWE
91 Magnus Paajarvi 6' 3" 200 12 Apr 1991 20 Norrkoping, SWE
37 Lennart Petrell 6' 3" 198 13 Apr 1984 27 Helsinki, FIN
68 Tyler Pitlick 6' 2" 195 1 Nov 1991 19 Minneapolis, MN, USA
92 Toni Rajala 5' 10" 163 29 Mar 1991 20 Parkano, FIN
94 Ryan Smyth 6' 2" 192 21 Feb 1976 35 Banff, AB, CAN
65 Hunter Tremblay 5' 11" 185 15 Jan 1986 25 Timmins, ON, CAN
75 Antti Tyrvainen 5' 10" 198 3 Apr 1989 22 Seinajoki, FIN
54 Chris VandeVelde 6' 2" 190 15 Mar 1987 24 Moorhead, MN, USA
Defencemen# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
13 Cam Barker 6' 3" 215 4 Apr 1986 25 Winnipeg, MB, CAN
41 Taylor Chorney 6' 0" 193 27 Apr 1987 24 Thunder Bay, ON, CAN
81 Taylor Fedun 6' 0" 190 4 Jun 1988 23 Edmonton, AB, CAN
77 Tom Gilbert 6' 3" 206 10 Jan 1983 28 Bloomington, MN, USA
80 Martin Marincin 6' 5" 196 18 Feb 1992 19 Kosice, SVK
39 Johan Motin 6' 2" 220 10 Oct 1989 21 Karlskoga, SWE
24 Theo Peckham 6' 2" 234 10 Nov 1987 23 Richmond Hill, ON, CAN
58 Jeff Petry 6' 3" 196 9 Dec 1987 23 Ann Arbor, MI, USA
48 Alex Plante 6' 4" 230 9 May 1989 22 Brandon, MB, CAN
44 Corey Potter 6' 3" 206 5 Jan 1984 27 Lansing, MI, USA
5 Ladislav Smid 6' 3" 226 1 Feb 1986 25 Frydlant, CZE
25 Andy Sutton 6' 6" 245 10 Mar 1975 36 Kingston, ON, CAN
84 Colten Teubert 6' 4" 195 8 Mar 1990 21 White Rock, BC, CAN
6 Ryan Whitney "A" 6' 3" 210 19 Feb 1983 28 Boston, MA, USA
Goalies# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
34 Yann Danis 6' 0" 185 21 Jun 1981 30 Lafontaine, QC, CAN
40 Devan Dubnyk 6' 6" 202 4 May 1986 25 Regina, SK, CAN
35 Nikolai Khabibulin6' 1" 206 13 Jan 1973 38 Sverdlovsk, RUS
30 Olivier Roy 6' 0" 180 12 Jul 1991 20 Amqui, QC, CAN

Traning camp battles to watch for:
- Does Nugent-Hopkins make the team or not? If he does, its because he beat the likes of Anton Lander and Gilbert Brule for a center spot. I think Gagner, Horcoff and Belanger are a given to be the other 3 centers.
- I think Hartikainen, Omark and Brule are in a battle for a bottom 6 winger spot. If Paajarvi, Jones and Eager are 3 of the 4 bottom six wingers than one of those three will get the other spot, one will get the pressbox and the last one will get OKC.
- There will be a defense battle between Petry, Potter, Chorney. Petry and Potter have the upper hand because they shoot right. Gilbert is the only other Dman on the big club roster that shoots right. I think its Petry's spot to lose but if Potter outperforms them both, than I believe the spot will be his. The other 6 Dmen (Whitney, Gilbert, Barker, Smid, Peckham, Sutton) are pretty much written in stone. They would have play extremely poorly to not make the team.
- And then there is the goaltending battle. People around town seem to think that there is no battle, that Khabibulin and Dubnyk will, without doubt, be on the club on opening night. I hope that if Danis outplays them both that he gets handed the reigns. This is one spot where contracts be damned, play the best guy. I felt bad for Gerber last year, he was by far the best option, but he didn't have the high end contract, nor was he part of the "plan". I hope its different this year. I want the best option for the Oilers winning games, playing in between the pipes.

It should be an exciting and intriguing training camp.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Building a team from the ground up.

So the MSM has been spouting something that is driving me insane. They keep saying that the Oilers are building the team the "right way". I completely disagree.

Oh I understand that they are gathering as many high picks as they can and they are trying to groom as many players as they can but what they haven't done is build the structure of the team first and then focus on upgrades.

See, my idea of a properly built team is to start with a play maker, power forward and a sniper/shooter on every line. Yes I mean every line including the 4th line. No I don't mean that the 4th line needs to be considered a scoring line but every player should be a competent player as well as having a specific role. This is the best way to institute a proper system and allows guys to slide up and down the lineup with out screwing everything else up in the process.

Once the STRUCTURE is set, THEN the team can start looking to upgrade on the players they have on the roster. It makes it easier to draft & groom players for specific roles with out trying to force them into roles they don't really fit into just to keep a "good player" in the system. (yes I am thinking about the Pitlick experiment of having him play the wing.)

*Anger alert* If you are sensitive about the new kids in the system stop reading now!

If you are ok with some controversy click here

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Post Game: Rookie Game Flames 4 Oilers 3

Period 1
Calgary Flames - Sven Baertschi (powerplay) (Patrick Holland, Max Reinhart) 7:34
Calgary Flames - Dustin Sylvester (Greg Nemisz) 14:21

Period 2
Edmonton Oilers - Tyler Pitlick (Curtis Hamilton, Antti Tyrvainen) 8:23

Period 3
Calgary Flames - Sven Baertschi (powerplay) (James Martin) 6:06
Edmonton Oilers - Anton Lander (Tobias Rieder) 10:20
Calgary Flames - Lance Bouma (Roman Horak) 10:44
Edmonton Oilers - Martin Marincin (unassisted) 11:39

Period 1
Edmonton Oilers - Colin Smith - (Goalie Interference), 2 min, 3:29
Edmonton Oilers - Antti Tyrvainen - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 5:34
Calgary Flames - Turner Elson - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 5:34
Edmonton Oilers - Curtis Hamilton - (Hooking), 2 min, 6:11
Edmonton Oilers - Tyler Schmidt - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 12:59
Calgary Flames - Lance Bouma - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 12:59
Calgary Flames - Turner Elson - (Interference), 2 min, 14:56
Edmonton Oilers - Brett Ferguson - (Delay of Game), 2 min, 17:54

Period 2
Calgary Flames - Joey Leach - (Roughing), 2 min, 2:01
Calgary Flames - Patrick Holland - (Too Many Men Bench Minor), 2 min, 9:31
Edmonton Oilers - Wes Vannieuwenhuizen - (Interference), 2 min, 12:19
Calgary Flames - Peter Kosterman - (Holding), 2 min, 15:57
Calgary Flames - Patrick Holland - (Goalie Interference), 2 min, 18:29

Period 3
Edmonton Oilers - Tyler Pitlick - (Cross Checking), 2 min, 5:18
Calgary Flames - Carter Bancks - (Picking up Puck), 2 min, 13:33
Edmonton Oilers - Curtis Hamilton - (Slashing), 2 min, 13:45
Edmonton Oilers - Colin Smith - (Goalie Interference), 2 min, 14:35

Edmonton Oilers 7 10 7 24
Calgary Flames 14 5 10 29

Hard fought, well contested game. The Oilers fought uphill all night and came up short in the end. Adam Brown played well early in goal, but eventually succombed to the onslaught, the defense did him no favors tonight. The forwards collectively were quiet tonight, not a lot of sustained pressure until the goaltender was pulled at the end. Calgary held the majority of the play and are full marks for the win. Sven Baerschi looked very dangerous all night, scoring a pair. I wonder how Nugent-Hopkins would have faired in a game like this. He either would have been the difference maker the Oilers needed or got swallowed up like the rest of the Oilers did for the majority of the game. His puckhandling might have been able to create some space out there. At any rate, there were lots of passengers tonight and not enough pulling the cart.

Player of the Game:
- I'm going to go with Tyler Pitlick on this one. Scored on a bomb from the slot, had a nice apple on the marincin goal even though it didn't show up on the scoresheet. Did yeoman's work on the defensive end. The Oilers are really going to need his shooting in the future, even moreso than his hitting. Hopefully the center experiment works out because the Oilers are really going to need it. Honorable mentions to Marincin and Lander.

Goat of the Game:
- Anyone on the Oilers defense outside of Marincin. They were brutal tonight and just flat out, not ready for Calgary's forcheck. I'm going to single out Tyler Schmidt for GOTG. He got stripped of the puck on the eventual winner, lost many board battles, and like most of the Dmen tonight, was chasing the puck all over the ice. Vannuieuwenhuizen (chasing the man), Davidson (poor puck protection), Blain (spectator), Musil (someone tell him you don't play man to man on the PK!), they all had their issues tonight.

Next Game: Exhibition Game Tues Sept 20, 2011 vs. Chicago Black Hawks

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pre-Game: Rookie Game Oilers vs. Flames

Hamilton - Nugent-Hopkins - Pelss
Cornet - Lander - Rieder
Tyrvainen - Martindale - Czerwonka
Rajala - Schaber - Pitlick
Abney - Smith - Ferguson

Vannieuwenhuizen - Schmidt
Davidson - Blain
Gernat - Lowery
Marincin - Teubert
Musil - Fedun

Adam Brown likely to start in goal.

Adam Brown will likely get the start in goal. It will be interesting to see how he does after really solid performances from Roy and Bunz. Brown has backstopped some very good Kelowna teams, so he comes in with some background. Nugent-Hopkins will likely get the night off unless injuries are catching up to the team. Martindale did not finish the game last night, so we'll have to see how that unfolds. Lander, Cornet, Abney, Marincin and Musil will all likely draw back in for tonight.

The Flames really don't have much in terms of high end prospects. They have Sven Bartschi, their first round pick from last year. Max Reinhart, Greg Nemisz and Ryan Howse, are a few of the others to look out for. Oil King netminder Laurent Broissoit is also on the team and may get the start.

Game Time - 8:30MT @

Post Game: Rookie Game Oilers 2 Jets 0

Period 1
Edmonton Oilers - Chase Schaber (unassisted) 2:57
Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Lowery (powerplay) (Kristians Pelss, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) 8:30

Period 2
(no scoring)
Period 3
(no scoring)

Period 1
Winnipeg Jets - Eric ODell - (Roughing), 2 min, 7:34
Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Martindale - (Roughing), 2 min, 7:34
Winnipeg Jets - Eric ODell - (Unsportsmanlike Conduct), 2 min, 7:34
Winnipeg Jets - Eric ODell - (Hooking), 2 min, 12:11
Edmonton Oilers - Taylor Fedun - (Interference), 2 min, 17:15

Period 2
Winnipeg Jets - Jordan Depape - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 5:07
Edmonton Oilers - Brett Ferguson - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 5:07
Edmonton Oilers - Brandon Davidson - (Holding), 2 min, 16:25

Period 3
Edmonton Oilers - Wes Vannieuwenhuizen - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 2:02
Winnipeg Jets - Cody Sol - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 2:02
Winnipeg Jets - John Albert - (Tripping), 2 min, 4:24
Winnipeg Jets - Ivan Telegin - (Slashing), 2 min, 11:57

Shots 1 2 3 TOTAL
Edmonton Oilers 9 7 10 26
Winnipeg Jets 7 11 5 23

Team play was fantastic tonight. And when it wasn't, Tyler Bunz was there to vacuum everything up. The legs got heavier as the game went on but they played smart and kept things to the outside. Lots of big hits early, Martindale and Schaber were throwing big hits early and Gernat had a big hit late. The Oilers used physicality and good stick positioning to keep the Jets at bay. The offensive chances for the Oilers really waned as the game went on. The Oilers would be wise to keep an eye on Taylor Fedun when main camp starts. Fedun is a smooth skating, puckmoving, RH power shot, all traits that the Oiler team could use. He could be a useful callup at some point during the season.

Player of the game:
- Tyler Bunz was a forcefield. The only thing he didn't stop was a shot off of a highstick. Bunz was solid positionally as well as having very good side to side lateral movement. His glove hand was fast tonight. The Jets just had no answer for him. A "feather in his hat" type performance from him.

Goat of the game:
- Tough to find a goat tonight. I was hoping to see more from Brett Ferguson tonight. He had a tough time keeping up to the pace and had one of the ugliest fights I have seen in some time. Just a lot of flubbed passes and a lack of physicality from him which is usually a staple in his game.

Next game - Wed Sept 14, 2011 8:30PM MT on

The case for trading Gagner

Sam Gagner's time on the Oilers may be fast coming to a close. With the addition of RNH there is once again too many small forwards on this team and considering a smart team should be building each line with a power forward, a playmaker and a shooter I dont see where Gagner fits for too much longer. This is compounded with the centers that are coming up. Pitlick comes to mind, Lander, RNH etc... there are centers there that fill roles much better than Gagner has shown HE can.

Now I have had conversations where it was put forth that Gagner could be placed on the wing, but I have my doubts as to how effective he would be long term when the sophmores are bigger, more skilled and already tuned to play the wing.

If they are going to keep with the idea that there can only be one playmaker on any line, then there will eventualy be a decision made between keeping Hemsky and Gagner. There are plenty of arguments for keeping both/either but the thing that stands out the most for me is that Hemsky is simply a better fit due to his speed and experience. He isnt all that old and in theory have plenty still left in the tank.

Somewhere in the short term that Gagner has been an Oiler, he has lost his ability to think on the fly and react to any given situation. That was his biggest asset coming out of junior so if he doesnt have that, what does he really have that compliments the Oilers? His faceoffs are horrible, he cannot play on the third line as a shutdown forward, too small to play on the fourth line and honestly he is being passed on the depth chart by upcoming centers simply because they have the tools that are going to fit long term with the young core they are building right now.

Now of course this is all useless if Hemsky cannot get healthy again. If that is the case they will have no choice but to move him when his value is the highest and at least for the moment Gagner has a place on the wing. I still think that there will be better options in the long term but it would buy him more time to find a niche in which to define his game.

I personally think that Hemsky is going to win this battle over the long haul simply due to his flashy play and ability to simply make crazy insane plays that nobody see's coming.

Until next time.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pre-Game: Rookie Game Oilers vs. Jets

Hamilton - Nugent-Hopkins - Pelss
Cornet - Lander - Rieder
Tyrvainen - Martindale - Czerwonka
Rajala - Schaber - Pitlick
Abney - Smith - Ferguson

Vannieuwenhuizen - Schmidt
Davidson - Blain
Gernat - Lowery
Marincin - Teubert
Musil - Fedun

Bunz likely to start in goal.

Teubert is out for the rest of the tourney with a broken nose. He had it broken in a fight on Wednesday with Adam Polusek of the Canucks squad. Likely to get our first look at players such as Pitlick, Rajala, Davidson, Blain and Bunz.

One thing I have noticed about this years Oilers rookies is the amount of prospects the Oilers have with better all around games. Players that can play a variety of roles on a different amount of lines. This bodes well for the future. The current Oilers team has the the high end talent, it just lacks depth....well, the depth is coming, especially at forward.

The Jets rookies should pose more of a battle than the Canucks rookies did. Mark Scheifele is a stick wizard on the other side, so the defense will get a better test.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Post Game: Rookie Game Oilers 7 Canucks 2

Period 1
Vancouver Canucks - Darren Archibald (Nicklas Jensen) 9:09
Edmonton Oilers - Curtis Hamilton (unassisted) 9:48

Period 2
Edmonton Oilers - Philippe Cornet (unassisted) 1:13
Edmonton Oilers - Anton Lander (powerplay) (unassisted) 9:13
Edmonton Oilers - Martin Gernat (unassisted) 9:32
Edmonton Oilers - Anton Lander (powerplay) (Cameron Abney, Antti Tyrvainen) 14:04
Edmonton Oilers - Antti Tyrvainen (Colin Smith, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins) 14:48
Edmonton Oilers - Drew Czerwonka (Colin Smith) 17:36

Period 3
Vancouver Canucks - Jordan Schroeder (Darren Archibald) 17:49

Period 1
Edmonton Oilers - Antti Tyrvainen - (Elbowing), 2 min, 2:08
Edmonton Oilers - Colin Smith - (Roughing), 2 min, 6:19

Period 2
Vancouver Canucks - Bill Sweatt - (Interference), 2 min, 8:31
Vancouver Canucks - Anton Rodin - (High Sticking), 2 min, 12:57
Edmonton Oilers - Cameron Abney - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 14:06
Vancouver Canucks - Sawyer Hannay - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 14:06

Period 3
Edmonton Oilers - Colten Teubert - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 0:19
Vancouver Canucks - Adam Polasek - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 0:19
Vancouver Canucks - Michael Curtis - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 2:56
Edmonton Oilers - Tyler Schmidt - (Fighting Major), 5 min, 2:56
Vancouver Canucks - Yann Sauve - (Delay of Game), 2 min, 14:27
Edmonton Oilers - Ryan Martindale - (Roughing), 2 min, 18:38

Shots 1 2 3 TOTAL
Edmonton Oilers 9 19 9 37
Vancouver Canucks 8 10 6 24

- Hard to evaluate this game when the Oilers rookies outclassed the Canucks rookies badly. Oilers had solid goaltending from Roy and the Canucks got shabby goaltending from Honzik. Many players contributed to the win, very few passengers tonight. Took a bit for the Oilers to get their legs going but in the 2nd period the floodgates opened. Just a very workmanlike effort from the Oilers tonight. Their team game was fantastic. They were just dominant.

Player of the game: (Anton Lander)
- I'm going with Anton Lander even though Nugent-Hopkins did have sublime vision tonight. Lander was on the right side of the puck all night and pounced on his opportunities. Exactly how I see him playing once he puts on the Oiler jersey full time.

Goat of the game: (Kristians Pelss)
- Haven't been a big fan of his game since he has shown up in North America. He's kind of a passive, perimeter player that pounces on chances. I'm not a big fan of that type of player and I'm sure the Oilers aren't either. He created next to nothing on a night when everyone was getting into the act.

Next game - Tuesday Night vs. the Jets rookies. 8:30PM MT

Pre-Game: Rookie Game Oilers vs. Canucks

Hamilton - Nugent-Hopkins - Pelss
Cornet - Lander - Rieder
Tyrvainen - Martindale - Czerwonka
Rajala - Schaber - Pitlick
Abney - Smith - Ferguson

Vannieuwenhuizen - Schmidt
Davidson - Blain
Gernat - Lowery
Marincin - Teubert
Musil - Fedun

Roy to start in goal

Pitlick looks to be featured as a banger on the wing. Not sure why they would they would showcase the likes of Schaber and Smith over Pitlick, Rieder and even Ferguson at center. A real lack of RH shots at forward makes for very difficult for making any kind of line combos. The RH shots at forward I see are Pitlick, Smith and Abney. So much for trying to find a power play. Hamilton-RNH-Pelss should see some success, that line has good dimension. Lander and Rieder could have nice chemistry as well.

Marincin and Teubert should have some success as a pair. Blain and Davidson has good dimension. The pairings in general are pretty solid.

Time to get cracking!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Gilbert Brule Experiment

What to do with the guy that almost everyone has written off. Injury prone, lacks hockey sense, but has a pleathora of talent in that smallish, explosive frame. The question is what to do with him now that he seems healthy out of the gate? Some thoughts are plug him on the fourth line with low expectations and run into anything that moves. Or....what if he you can create a line that has Smyth-Brule-Hemsky together? You have the Netcrasher-Shooter-Playmaker tandem that I am fond of. As well as it gives Hemsky a one-timer shot option in Brule that has been lacking for some time now. The only question is can Brule check his hat enough to outproduce his lack of defense?

Check out these line combos:

Hall-Horcoff-Eberle (Sc1)
Smyth-Brule-Hemsky (Sc2)
Paajarvi-Belanger-Jones (Chk)
Hartikainen-Lander-Eager (Eng)
Omark Gagner Hordichuk

First off, for this to work something has to happen to one of Omark or Gagner. Neither will like much being a healthy scratch, both aren't robust enough to be a 4th liner, but good teams have good depth, its a matter of buying in. Second, does Brule feel comfortable enough to be thrust back into a scoring role? It plagued him a lot last year and its a matter of finding comfort in being a two-way straight up shooter a la Jarret Stoll. Like I said above, I'm more worried about his defensive assignments. But if the other three centers are Horcoff, Belanger and Lander, all three above average defensively, it may give Brule's line an opportunity to exploit some matchups.

It's something that should warrant some opportunity in the pre-season, because I am worried about Gagner's ability to be a straight up shooter on that line.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oilers Depth Chart: September 2011 Edition

The Big Club:

Smyth Gagner Hemsky
Hall Horcoff Eberle
Paajarvi Belanger Jones
Eager Lander Brule
Omark Hordichuk

Whitney Gilbert
Barker Petry
Sutton Smid



Rajala Petrell House
Hamilton Pitlick Keller
Hartikainen O'Marra Green
Tyrvainen Vandevelde Lord
Tremblay Arcobello

Helmer Potter
Chorney Teubert
Davidson Plante



Forwards - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be an interesting case study in the preseason. I believe if he does not blow the doors off the place, he should go back to Red Deer. I have a feeling Oiler management disagrees with me, meaning one of the other 14 forwards will lose their gig.....I have Jones over Omark just for the fact the Oilers will need PKers. Jones fits the bill and plays an overall safer game....The forwards as a whole look good. Very deep on the wings, still lacking at center, but getting there. Putting Pitlick at center and grooming him there will go a long way to fixing some problems in the future....OKC looks solid on forward. Not the the high end scorers like last year, but deeper and more gritty. OKC should enjoy some old school hockey this year.

Defense - Still missing Whitney's defense partner that would improve the Oilers ten-fold. If Whitney's ankle still gives him trouble, that would make the hole deeper.... Petry on the 2nd pairing might be a bit ambitious, but I think he has the best blend of offense and defense to make it work. Playing with a vet like Barker may also help him out. It's Petry's time to make it work and stick for good. Shoot the puck!.....Sutton and Smid on the 3rd pair is what it is. Allowing them to be trial and error without throwing them into the deep end....OKC has some nice options to go to if some Dmen get injured or don't work out. Potter, Teubert, Davidson, potentially even Helmer could get some action this year with the big club. Potter is a player that could make the club out of camp, especially if Petry falters.

Goaltending - As told by the depth chart, you can see how I feel about Khabibulin. Doing jail time couldn't have been good for his conditioning and he's already starting behind the 8-ball. He has to flat out play well in the preseason, or else he is likely done and the Oilers will start running through cheaper and better options. Dubnyk will likely get the first crack and then Danis. Dubnyk needs to work on conditioning and shore up those cracks that effect his game in spurts that puts his team behind. The Oilers are a team that isn't good enough to afford bad goaltending at any time. I do believe the Oilers could be running through a pleathora of goaltenders this year.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oilers Top 20 Prospects 2011

Here is my rundown of the Top 20 Prospects for 2011. I do a list based on a blend of importance and value to the Edmonton Oilers.

1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins C - The class of the list and a player with the highest of upside and potential. Ceiling - First line playmaking center.

2. Jeff Petry D - A Dman that is more than capable to be solid at both ends of the ice. When he identifies how to use his shot, he will increase his offense ten-fold. Ceiling - First pairing two-way Dman.

3. Oscar Klefbom D - A Dman that is almost a polar opposite of Petry. He knows how to use his shot, but needs to work on how to work in his own zone. All will come with experience, a willingness to learn and a good attitude. Ceiling - First pairing two-way Dman.

4. Anton Lander C - Is destined to be a 3rd line center. He has the work ethic, the drive and the leadership to do so. Could potentially be a 2nd liner in with the right line combination. Ceiling - 2nd line shooting center.

5. Tyler Pitlick C - Position will determine his value. He is far more valuable if he can turn out to be a center than a winger. The Oilers have a need for a RH shooting center and he fits the bill. Also has value as a punishing on the forecheck type winger. Versatile player. Ceiling - 2nd line shooting center

6. Martin Marincin D - It will be interesting to see where he starts the year. At this stage of the game his offensive side has emerged more than his defensive side which is surprising. He might benefit from another year in junior. Ceiling - Middle pairing Dman.

7. Curtis Hamilton LW - If Curtis Hamilton is 7th on your prospect depth chart, you have a deep prospect pool. Hamilton will be a jack of all trades winger, score a little, check a little, be tough to play against. Ceiling - 2nd line grinding winger.

8. Linus Omark LW - Omark is an interesting case study. His year could really go either way. Shoot for the moon or straight in the dumpster. I still think he would benefit from understanding the importance of being a depth player/sub player. If he struggles early, the coaching staff could struggle with him. Ceiling - 2nd line playmaking winger.

9. Olivier Roy G - Its a big year for Roy. If he ends up in OKC to end the year, thats good, if he ends up in Stockton to end the year, thats bad. Roy needs to establish himself fairly quickly as the Oilers now have a dearth of goaltenders to run through if anyone falls off the tracks. Ceiling - Potential starting goaltender.

10. Tyler Bunz G - One of the goaltenders that wil be hot on Roy's heels chasing him for a job in the pros in the future. Bunz will be heading back to junior this year, but possibly could get a chance to star for Canada on the U20 team. Ceiling - Potential starting goaltender

11. Ryan Martindale C - I feel he will be lower next year, but as of now, he does have high potential. Martindale has some fence mending to do with Oilers staff regarding work ethic and desire. Has nice offensive flair at the junior level. Ceiling - 2nd line playmaking/shooting center.

12. Teemu Hartikainen LW - Grinder type winger that battles hard for the puck. Has some modest offensive skill that counterbalances his defensive game. Will have an NHL career as and up and down winger. Ceiling - 3rd line grinding winger.

13. Jeremie Blain D - Had an impressive half a year in the QMJHL. Modest offensively, modest defensively. Not overly tough, but more of a puck mover. Overall a pretty non-descript game. Ceiling - Middle pairing Dman.

14. Colten Teubert D - Tough, defensive minded defenseman. Working on trying to bring some offense since arriving in OKC. Has a ways to go, but is on track to arrive in the NHL some time in the future. Ceiling - Bottom pairing Dman.

15. David Musil D - Kind of in the same boat as Teubert. Big and tough but still trying to find an offensive dimension to his game. He has great tools for a big man, just a matter of trying to develop his mental skills. Ceiling - Bottom pairing Dman.

16. Brandon Davidson D - A meat and potatoes type Dman. Not as tough as Teubert and Musil but comes with a hint more offensive potential. Will be a serviceable Dman throughout his career. Ceiling - Bottom pairing Dman.

17. Toni Rajala LW - A forgotten prospect after heading back to Finland after a solid year in Brandon, "have wheels will travel" is the motto for Rajala. Dynamic speed to go with a gifted offensive skill set. Not much grit to his game. Ceiling - 2nd line playmaking winger.

18. Samu Perhonen G - Big, lanky, athletic goaltender that has a nice frame to become a solid goaltender. Still very raw and unproven though. Will have to make many necessary steps before being in the big show. Ceiling - Potential starting goaltender.

19. Antti Tyrvainen LW - Crash and bang type winger. Some call him tough, others call him dirty. Either way, he is a player that will make an impact on the game. Has some decent offensive skills as well. Ceiling - 4th line banging winger.

20. Travis Ewanyk C - Tenacious, checking line center. Loves to be lined up against the other team's best. Rare for a junior player to relish in such a role. Has a long road to get to the pros and needs to continue to develop and improve each year. Ceiling - 4th line center.

Final thought - The Oilers can really use some right handing shooting forwards in the future. Only Pitlick shoots right. It will be tough to run a power play without it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Edmonton Oilers Rookie Camp Roster 2011/2012

Forwards (17)# Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
73 Cameron Abney 6' 5" 200 23 May 1991 20 Aldergrove, BC, CAN
51 Philippe Cornet 6' 0" 196 28 Mar 1990 21 Val-Senneville, QC, CAN
71 Drew Czerwonka 6' 2" 194 1 Jul 1992 19 Wolseley, SK, CAN
69 Travis Ewanyk 6' 1" 176 29 Mar 1993 18 North Vancouver, BC, CAN
79 Brett Ferguson* 6' 0" 185 6 MAR 1990 21 Vibank, SK, CAN
70 Curtis Hamilton 6' 2" 206 4 Dec 1991 19 Tacoma, WA, USA
64 Milan Kytnar 6' 0" 190 19 May 1989 22 Topolcany, SVK
57 Anton Lander 6' 0" 194 24 Apr 1991 20 Sundsvall, SWE
66 Ryan Martindale 6' 3" 183 27 Oct 1991 19 Oshawa, ON, CAN
72 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 6' 0" 171 12 Apr 1993 18 Burnaby, BC, CAN
63 Kristians Pelss 5' 11" 175 9 Sep 1992 18 Preili, LVA
68 Tyler Pitlick 6' 2" 195 1 Nov 1991 19 Minneapolis, MN, USA
92 Toni Rajala 5' 10" 163 29 Mar 1991 20 Parkano, FIN
61 Tobias Rieder 5' 10" 180 10 Jan 1993 18 Landshut, DEU
76 CHASE SCHABER* 6' 0" 194 3 Jan 1991 20 Red Deer, AB, CAN
59 COLIN SMITH* 5' 10" 157 20 JUN 1993 18 EDMONTON, AB, CAN
75 Antti Tyrvainen 5' 10" 198 3 Apr 1989 22 Seinajoki, FIN
Defencemen (9)# Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
82 Jeremie Blain 6' 3" 195 19 Mar 1992 19 Le Moyne, QC, CAN
88 Brandon Davidson 6' 1" 202 21 Aug 1991 20 Lethbridge, AB, CAN
81 Taylor Fedun 6' 0" 190 4 Jun 1988 23 Edmonton, AB, CAN
78 Martin Gernat 6' 5" 187 11 Apr 1993 18 Slovakia
45 RYAN LOWERY* 5' 11" 189 6 Sep 1988 22 Inverness, IL, USA
80 Martin Marincin 6' 5" 196 18 Feb 1992 19 Kosice, SVK
87 David Musil 6' 3" 196 9 Apr 1993 18 Calgary, AB, CAN
85 TYLER SCHMIDT* 6' 1" 211 13 APR 1990 21 WINNIPEG, MB, CAN
84 Colten Teubert 6' 4" 195 8 Mar 1990 21 White Rock, BC, CAN
90 WES VANNIEUWENHUIZEN*6' 3" 205 20 Apr 1992 19 Chilliwack, BC, CAN
Goaltenders (3)# Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
50 Adam Brown* 5'10" 165 12 Oct 1991 19 Yorba Linda, CA, USA
1 Tyler Bunz 6' 2" 203 11 Feb 1992 19 Regina, SK, CAN
30 Olivier Roy 6' 0" 180 12 Jul 1991 20 Amqui, QC, CAN
* Training camp invite

Forwards - Obviously, all eyes will be on Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He's going to have to go through all the progressions (ie. rookie camp, training camp and exhibition games, first 9 games of the regular season) in order to be a mainstay on the Oilers this year....Other forwards to keep an eye on are Anton Lander, Tyler Pitlick and Curtis Hamilton. All three of them will be getting there first taste of North American pro hockey. It will be interesting to see how they are utilized by the organization, how they adapt and how long will it be before they are mainstays on the Oilers....Happy to see Brett Ferguson get a shot. "The Nuge's" teammate in Red Deer brings a feisty defnsive center style that could potentially get him a pro contract somewhere down the line....Ryan Martindale is a player yet to endear himself with the Oiler staff. He had a solid year for the 67s, we'll get a chance to see how he's progressed after having a rough go in his first rookie camp....Interesting to see Toni Rajala's name on this list. Speedy winger is a darkhorse to make some noise at camp.

Defense - Happy to see Colten Teubert's name on this list, he'll have a great opportunity to shine during rookie camp and show his wares to the masses....I wonder how much Marincin and Gernat will get a chance to play together, could be a reuniting of the twin towers....Blain is getting some buzz about a strong half-year in the Q. We'll get a chance to see how his game translates to the pros....David Musil, I'm very lukewarm to him. It will be interesting to see how his first pro camp goes. If the rookie camp games turn into a gong show like they usually do, he might have a chance to make a mark....Brandon Davidson will get a chance to continue to impress, he has a good shot of playing full-time in OKC this year.

Goaltending - Bunz and Roy will battle tooth and nail with each other. Both see opportunity to be "the next one" in line for the startets' gig. Should be interesting to see how they one up each other....Adam Brown is a solid choice to bring in as a 3rd goaltender. Backstopped some strong Kelowna teams in the past. He brings some credentials, is a battler and will push Roy and Bunz to emerge, a definite darkhorse to surprise.