HOLEY KHABBY!!!

Jason Gregor
September 21 2011 12:57AM

The fans at Rexall might have set a preseason record for the earliest BOOOOOOO of the season, when they voiced their displeasure after Nikolai Khabibulin allowed a 3rd goal only 18:35 into the first period. Khabibulin allowed three goals on seven shots, and while you can't blame him on the first one, we've seen this horror movie before.

He needs to stop the puck.

You could point to a rookie pinch by Martin Marincin that gave the Wild a 2-on-1 that Pierre-Marc Bouchard roofed upstairs for the 3rd goal, but Khabibulin was way too deep in his crease on the shot. There are no excuses for how he played. His only saving grace was that it was a preseason game.

He looked rusty, but unlike previous years I'm not certain he will get the chance to play his way into tip-top shape. Devan Dubnyk is right behind, or right beside, him on the depth chart, and Tom Renney doesn't have the luxury of allowing the Bulin Wall to get his game together brick-by-brick. Khabibulin needs to have his foundation in place during his next two preseason performances or he won't, or shouldn't, be starting on October 9th against the Penguins.

Khabibulin had the worst SV% of any starting goalie last year; an embarrassing .890% to go along with a pathetic 3.40 GAA. His SV% was even worse than Brian Elliott, Dan Ellis and Peter Budaj. Brian freaking Elliott was better than him.

Dubnyk played behind the same porous defense and inexperienced forwards, yet he managed a respectable .916 SV% and 2.71 GAA. Last night junior goalie, Tyler Bunz, relieved Khabibulin halfway through the second frame and stopped the first ten shots he faced. He stopped 10 of 11 and looked much more comfortable than Khabibulin.

You can say it was only a preseason game, but at what point does Renney stop waiting for Khabibulin to find his game. Maybe he can't find it? Maybe he doesn't have it anymore? 

It sounds like Yann Danis and David LeNeveu will split the game on Thursday, so that leaves five more preseason tilts. Will the Oilers give Khabibulin three full starts and Dubnyk two? Dubnyk said he was hoping to start one game this coming weekend and then one next weekend, but if he is playing better maybe he gets the extra start?

I've always said you can't take too much out of the first preseason game, but normally I'm talking about some young rookie who scored two goals and people think he's ready for the Show. In Khabibulin's case, we've all seen two years of sub-par hockey from him, and last night's effort only increased the doubt in the mind of Oiler fans.

I wonder if that same doubt is creeping into the psyche of the coaching staff?

SWEDES SHINE 

While Magnus Paajarvi, Anton Lander and Linus Omark didn't look this good last night, the "Tre Kroner Konnection" had a great first game together. They combined for two goals, three assists, ten shots, three hits, three takeaways and they averaged 19:15 of icetime. They all looked dangerous at different times, and I'm sure Renney would like to give them another chance to play together very soon.

Paajarvi and Lander were clearly the best of the three, and what I liked most about Lander was his post-game reaction. He was legitimately annoyed that they lost. He hates losing and he couldn't hide it. It's nice to see a guy who cares that much. Paajarvi told me that Lander hates losing more than anyone he's ever played with, and that's the exact type of attitude the Oilers need.

I still think Lander will start the season in the AHL, but if he play like this when the opposition ices a veteran team then he might force Renney to make a tough decision.

I also like Antti Tyrvainen's game. He only played 8:54, but I noticed him often. He showed a nice touch on his goal and he isn't afraid to go in the corners. He's another guy who needs to keep getting noticed as the games become more competitive, but so far so good.

I thought Kirill Tulupov played okay, considering his young D partner, Martin Marincin, really struggled early. Tulupov might earn himself a two-way contract in the next few weeks. Marincin is not strong enough to play in the AHL this year. He didn't gain enough strength this off-season, and I won't be surprised if the Oiler elect to have him train in Edmonton rather than back home in the Czech next summer. I don't think he was able to train enough, or get the proper guidance necessary to gain muscle and strength properly.

Sending Marincin back to junior means his contract won't count towards the 50 contract cap, and that could open up a spot for Tulupov.

SASKATOON

The feed for the Oilers/Hawks game kept buffering every three seconds so I wasn't able to watch it, but I got some reports from guys there and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins looked more than comfortable in his first preseason game. He assisted on Ryan Smyth's opening goal, missed an open net and generated quite a few chances. One person within the organization gave him a B+ ranking.

Smyth played like it was 2007 and mixed in a few saucer passes for fun. He told me at the morning skate he hadn't been this excited for a preseason game in a decade, and, despite his age, he wants to show Renney he can still be a go-to guy.

Josh Green potted a pair of goals, and while he's destined to start the season in OKC, more for his leadership than anything, he clearly doesn't want to get sent down without a fight. I'm guessing we see Green re-called as an injury replacement at some point during the season. He could fill a void for five to ten games.

QUICK HITS

  • The Oilers will keep at least 15 D-men until Saturday, unless Renney wants to play a guy in three straight games. Ryan Whitney, Colten Teubert and Andy Sutton are in camp, but none are likely to play until Sunday at the earliest. There will be some cuts tomorrow, because they only have two ice slots scheduled. They won't cram 27 or 28 guys into each session.
     
  • I thought Bunz looked solid once again, and if he goes back to Medicine Hat and doesn't have a slow start I'm certain he'll suit up for Canada at the WJC in Edmonton/Calgary this Christmas.
     
  • Hopefully on Saturday night the Internet feed for the Oilers/Flames game won't be as inconsistent as it was last night. You can watch Thursday's game on TSN and Sunday's game in Calgary on Sportsnet.
     
  • Which players did you like last night? Who didn't you like?  
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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Yourmomthinksimhot
September 21 2011, 01:15AM
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I like Khabby, he played a HUGE part in helping us watch Hall and Nugent-Hopkins play for the oil over the next twenty years. Paajarvi..... looked.....UNREAL.

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#2 Starving Student
September 21 2011, 01:25AM
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The Swedish Connection was amazing, Omark pushed on the forecheck and drove the net hard. Paajarvi looked just as fast as ever and Lander looked great (wouldn't hesitate to get his name crested on my white retro if he was a lock).

Taylor Fedun looked good, another great player coming out of the NCAA route (Petry lite?).

I really liked Barker's willingness to let bombs fly from the point; however at one point in the third, the Swedes were being crowded and Barker was no where to be found. I'd expect someone with a chip on his shoulder to step up against his former team.

Thank god for Belanger, a center who can finally win draws.

Jonesy looked like he was out of place playing along side Hall.

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#3 Brandon
September 21 2011, 01:29AM
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I liked the Smyth-RNH-Eberle line. To me they seemed as dangerous as the Sweden line.

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#4 Daniel
September 21 2011, 02:53AM
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Petry looked incredible in the first half of the game in Toon Town. Played in the first period predominantly with Chorney, and was an absolute force. He was covering his side of the ice incredibly well, throwing the body, moving the puck with ease, and when a centre allowed him to, often shifting over to help out Chorney, who was clearly struggling in his own end.

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#5 Walter Sobchak
September 21 2011, 03:06AM
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I can't see Khabby being the Oiler's starter. If the Oiler's management and coach's are as serious about winning as they say they are, then we will know opening day.

I never got to watch the game in Saskatoon, but Eberle,Smyth and RNH in there post game interviews all say they have some good chemistry going on.

I hope politics don't play a part in this years Oiler's team. If Lander is good enough to make the team then he should, as well as RNH.

If it means dealing Hemsky and moving Gagner to the wing because Hopkins or Lander are better, then the Oilers should do it. IMO

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#6 TonyT
September 21 2011, 03:35AM
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This is a BIG if (obviously pre-season, yada x3), but if the top 4 Oiler centreman CLEARLY does not include Shawn Horcoff, what then?

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#7 pelhem grenville
September 21 2011, 04:42AM
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...holy buffering batman that was one difficult way to watch two pre-season hockey games...almost as difficult as watching our goalie and hearing the boo-birds too...he'll get the v. Penguins start with the 'real' team in front of him BUT...

more importantly...can Lander stay up? should he stay up? that would put RNH back in junior right now and create a problem for Horcoff AND Brule ... 67 played well ... i saw him win a few faceoffs through the buffering nightmare ...can he? could he start in OKC ? is there a rule /reason why he can't ?

if he can he can become interchangeable with Lander as time dictates or injuries happen...Lander has a skill set that i'm surprised at (not really) but he's been playing serious hockey with men for quite some time, he's been a 19 year old captain of his SEL team...it was only the small ice and north american game style that i was concerned with that he might need to learn more about but he looks comfortable, not out of place at all so why would you break up that line now ...

p.s. what's with the brunette in the line of swedish dames anyway ... was that one of those "what's wrong with this picture" things?

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#8 Walter Sobchak
September 21 2011, 05:21AM
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@pelhem grenville

Like you would kick her outa bed for eatin crackers!

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Khabby was Khorrid

Tre Kroner line was awesome

D still brutal tho

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#10 mayorpoop
September 21 2011, 06:55AM
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didn't watch the edmonton feed, was more interested in watching RNH.

his puck pursuit was terrfic. he did not look out of place at all in his first pre-season game.

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#11 GXL
September 21 2011, 07:38AM
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Martindale and Hartikinaen also stood out as players that did well for the amount of ice they got. Their forechecking cause plenty of turn overs. Was disappointed in hamilton's play. Would like to see a pitlick - martindale - Hamilton line combo as the third.

GXL

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#12 shanetrain
September 21 2011, 07:44AM
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Hemsky + for a 1/2 Dman has to happen A.S.A.P

Forwards are set for a loooong time without him.

How do you send Lander to the A. Really?

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#13 Clyde Frog
September 21 2011, 07:45AM
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Eberle's shot was a rocket right to the inner post from a stick angle that froze the goalie straight-up.

If he can continue shooting lasers with that quick release I expect his production to take a nice step forward this year.

Of course its preseason, but it was just nice to see the Oiler's developing players that score with one shot off the rush.

Also is not sad that illegal internet TV streamers can get smoother and prettier streams up than the NHL?

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#14 Ken
September 21 2011, 07:49AM
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Smith,hartikinaen,eberleRNH all looked great. My rough count was that RNH won about 60percent of his face-offs.Also had a nifty takeaway from behind ala datsyk

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#15 PutzStew
September 21 2011, 07:51AM
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Baker impressed. Seemed very calm and controlled. He might not put out big points this year but if he helps stabilize the back end then it has to be considered a success. If Musil continues playing like this he has to be given a chance to play on the big team instead of being sent to back to junior. He hasn't looked out if place yet and sure doesn't play like an 18 year old. Didn't watch the Chicago game but those two gave me some hope about the defense.

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#16 Zed
September 21 2011, 07:52AM
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I believe Khabby will have a Roli-esque year.

This believe is from the same part of my brain that says I'm a millionare with 6 playboy bunnies living with me.

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#17 Dog Train
September 21 2011, 07:55AM
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I was at in the game in Saskatoon, and I have to say that Dubnyk was awesome. I also really liked Lennart Petrell and Ryan O'Marra's game. They were working hard all night long.

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#18 michael
September 21 2011, 08:02AM
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Lets assume for a minute the NK gets a mulligan for the performance he put on last night. At what point does Renny stop offering NK the chance to cut our throats with a .890% goaltending? At game 10? at game 20? At game 40? Is is likely that NK will be sent to OKC for a reconditioning stint? I would almost bet on it. Amidst all the positives I think NK is our biggest negative. Is he done? We'll see by the end of the preseason.I give Bulin 4 more starts and let him play with atleast 60% of the D in each game that you think will start the season and see what he gives you then. Its not even so much as he lets goals in that bothers me is the when he lets those goal in. Grant Fuhr used to have a 4.00+ GAA most seasons. But he never gave you the goal that killed you. Bulin always it seems (IMO) gives up the goal that kills us. Timing is half the issue. he gets a mulligan for lat night. But he only has one or two more of those left before I see him packing his bags for OKC.

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#19 The Saint
September 21 2011, 08:07AM
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"Khabibulin was way too deep in his crease on the shot"...

Maybe Khabby wasn't comfortable stepping outside of a confined space that looks and feels a little like a cell.....still too soon? ;)

Center position looks promising with RNH & Lander.

Love how upset Lander was after the game, can't wait to see this kid grow with the organization and become a leader on the team.

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#20 Archaeologuy
September 21 2011, 08:12AM
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It's killing me that I didnt get to watch either game. Killing me.

Omark will still be my goat this year, even if he makes me work at hating on him.

The battle between RNH and Lander could be epic this year, but the implications for how good this team could be down the road are welcomed to think about.

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#21 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 21 2011, 08:18AM
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I didn't get a chance to watch the game. I got ice-level tickets to the Jets game at the last minute. The praise for the Swedes is really encouraging! Even if Lander plays his ass off and lands in the A, it never hurts to give the other bubble players (higher up on the depth chart) a little bit of a scare as far as job security is concerned.

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#22 mayorpoop
September 21 2011, 08:28AM
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@Archaeologuy

when and if you do get to watch the saskatoon game RNH will impress. Offensively slick yes, but the defensive side is what made me happy. We don't have datsuyk on our team but we do a clone of.

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#23 smiliegirl15
September 21 2011, 08:32AM
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Love for Lander!!!

I was at the game last night. Lander worked hard all night. Omark worked pretty hard to get the puck and keep it in the Wild's zone. The three of them were a great line together. I love how after the game Paajarvi said it didn't matter that Lander's english wasn't so good out on the ice because he speaks hockey.

I will have to see RNH and Lander on the same team before I say Lander should stay over RNH, but Lander made a pretty solid case last night.

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#24 Archaeologuy
September 21 2011, 08:38AM
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@mayorpoop

That's what I cant wait to see.

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#25 FastOil
September 21 2011, 08:39AM
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I am not surprised Khabi struggled. A guy his age has to train hard in the off season to stay competitive, especially an oft-injured guy.

Seems like he might have been otherwise occupied.

Dubs is going to have to carry the load methinks. I am sure he will do fine.

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#26 Oilcruzer
September 21 2011, 08:56AM
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Watched a lot of the final period of the toon game as it wasn't skipping. The feed was the scoreboard feed, ha! RNH shot of him in the box for 10 seconds while Chicago is on the power play, while play was on... What the...

Roy was solid. Didnt see DD.

I thought Marincin looked fantastic for his NHL first game, in a very fast game, against the likes of Chicago. I expect much less for a first year D. The two Ryans and Eberle were in early season form.

Kudos to Saskatoon. Oilers should play a couple regular season games there.

Shabbybulin will be 3 on depth chart by December if he doesn't show that the team can depend on him. Nothing but NOTHING deflates a team faster than a goalie who doesn't stop the puck.

I'll say it again. You can't create confidence and a winning attitude if your skaters are ticked at the goalie. It sucks the energy out of the entire team. No one will say it, but watch the looks from skater to skater after... It's a "really?" look, and then the heads look away.

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#27 Oilcruzer
September 21 2011, 09:00AM
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Tyler Bunz going back to the Hat today

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#28 Pronger's Wife
September 21 2011, 09:01AM
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I'm really hoping that RNH sticks with the Oil this year and is not sent back to junior. Sure, 95% of 18 year olds will benefit from at least another year in junior, but RNH isn't in that 95% of 18 year old hockey prospects.

He obviously had the pedigree to be the top draft eligible 18 year old in the world, and don't see him benefiting from playing another year against younger, smaller players in junior.

If in the next couple of weeks he clearly looks out of place in the NHL, sure, send him down. But if last night is any indication of his poise and hockey smarts in his first NHL exhibition game, I don't see it as beneficial to send him back down. Special players like him excel when challenged to continually adapt and improve. I don't think his size is going to be an issue either. I might be way off here, but I think time will tell that I'm not.

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#29 borisnikov
September 21 2011, 09:04AM
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A thought on Omark... I was at the game. We were sitting in row 15 just ahead of the goal line in the Minny end (1st and 3rd). Even though all 7 goals were scored in the far end any time the play was close to us in the 1st and 3rd one thing always stood out to me. Omark may be diminutive but he is an absolute killer with the puck down low and on the wall. Minny had some large D out there in Stoner, Falk, Bulmer and Prosser (take with a grain of salt because I realize 3 young and destined for the minors or junior and Stoner is a tweener) and they had a hell of a time with Omark even when his feet weren't moving. He is so strong on his feet and on the puck. He has the makings of a real beauty.

One other thing, Tyler Cuma was drafted right after Eberle in '08. THANK GOD WE PICKED EBERLE. Cuma was beaten wide, in horrible fashion, several times last night. He is awful. I can't see how he will ever be an NHL d-man.

Edit: Garbagebulin is definately going to be my goat for the year. Just Awful.

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#30 Spaceman Spiff
September 21 2011, 09:17AM
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I realize that cutting Khabby some slack puts me in the minority of posters here, but I'll do it anyway.

It's only the preseason, Gregor. Heck, your article notes that about three times.

So either you cut the dude some slack and realize that it's Sept. 21 and there's a lot of row to hoe between now and the start of the season ... or you fly off the handle and judge a guy who had, shall we say, kind of a rough off-season, to say the least. But you can't have it both ways.

The preseason is exactly the time for bad passes, bad shots and bad goals - especially early in the preseason like last night most definitely was.

I realize that we all hate Khabby's contract and if we had a chance for a do-over, we would have found a way to convince Rolli to re-sign here, but it didn't happen. But let's lose our sense of perspective here.

It's the preseason.

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I'm curious about Tulupov. I'm rooting for him strictly based on his hits compilations on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVr63X-6Eoc

The reality to me is that he's not mobile enough to play in the NHL any time soon. And what makes his chance of getting a deal with the Oilers even worse is Pitlick. Even if Marincin returns to the W, Pitlick is likely going to OKC. He'll have the last contract spot for the Oil.

Marincin is not strong enough but plenty skilled and smart on the ice. If he plays like he did in the 2nd and 3rd of last night's game, the Oilers will be making another tough decision. Tambo may have to trade some AHL contracts for very late round picks to make room for some of these guys.

I'm pumped!

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#32 Minor Corection
September 21 2011, 09:25AM
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"and I won't be surprised if the Oiler elect to have him train in Edmonton rather than back home in the Czech next summer."

Note that Martin Marincin was born in Slovakia.

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#33 freeze
September 21 2011, 09:27AM
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I was on the corner (sec 124) so I missed lots of the action at the other end but Khabby was horrendous. No one on the D really stood out and they seemed to have a hard time keeping the puck in the O zone. Hall and Jones had some nice rushes but seemed to get hemmed into their own zone a little too often. Sure is nice to see a centre be above 60% for a change.

I liked the Swedish connection as well. MPS played a strong game and it seemed like he attacked more with Lander there to cover on the D side. Omark is a beast along the wall and showed good grit. The only downside to this line was the amount of penalties they took.

PP looked awful. Too slow moving the puck and they seemed to telegraph every play. Breakouts were also horrendous. Hopefully that is just preseason rust....

Some great hits out there too. Hordichuk, Jones and Tyrvainen had some good ones. Damn, that Kassian kid is massive. I was shocked how small Hordichuk looked in comparison.

I didn't notice the lower lines as much although Pitlick did catch my eye a few times where I had to look up his number. Probably a good sign. He isn't ready but hopefully takes a step forward in the A.

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#34 Oilcruzer
September 21 2011, 09:28AM
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@Spaceman Spiff

Yes it's preseason. But it doesn't look good either. A 20 year pro shouldn't be making rookie positional errors.

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#35 @OilerFanatic
September 21 2011, 09:33AM
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Bulin wall should start the year in OKC until/if ever he gets his game back...

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#36 Pronger's Wife
September 21 2011, 09:41AM
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This time I'll comment on topic. I've lost any faith in Bulin to be the last line of defense any more. How many times has he let in the first shot of the game? He must hold an NHL record for that. Sure, its pre-season but it's also pre-season for Dubnyk who looked a whole lot better than Bulin.

Not sure what we can do with him, but is anybody else intrigued by the thought of getting Schneider out of Vancouver to run a tandem with Dubnyk? This would likely never happen, but two guys vying for the starting position of an up and coming young team should bode well for the team, no?

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#37 Shredder
September 21 2011, 09:41AM
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Well I'm happy to say I've reacquainted myself with heroin beer and game dogs...you gotta eat like a king if you want to win a cup. Before I say what I noticed, I just have to say it was AWESOME to be back in Rexall. Man, oh man, I missed that place.

From what I heard, and what I saw in the highlights, the RNH-Eberle-Smyth line was a dominant force last night in Saskatoon. That and Josh Green. I'm excited to hear about Eberle hopping right into mid-season form like that...I wasn't expecting a huge jump in production this year from him, but he's certainly showing he has the potential.

As for what I saw in Rexall: -The coach didn't seem to have the Oilers ready to go right off the bat. They needed a bit of time to get going and I saw a much more NHL-ready team in the Wild dominate the Oilers in the first period. Once the Oilers got going, they were unstoppable, but you'd think you'd want your players ready to go before puck drop...not after.

-Hall was again a scoring chance machine...but I didn't see a ton of chemistry with him, Belanger and Jones. Hall created a number of good chances just because he's Hall and that's what he does. He was robbed on a couple.

-Jones looked like he wants to keep up the scoring pace he did last year when he drove hard to the net. Good to see.

-It was said already but...the swedish sensation line was incredible. Paajarvi had a little rust to shake off, but he was still a dominant force out there. Lander is a stud, and out played Omark to a large degree. If that's going to be our 3rd line this year, I'm going to be happy. I want RNH to make the team, but it will be tough to outbattle Lander.

-Khabibulin...come on man, make a save. I don't need to say much here as you all have already, but at least Bunz looked good...he made hard saves look easy, and I have to believe he'll be a stud goalie in the NHL sooner rather than later.

-It didn't take me long to notice that, with the exception of Gilbert, I did not like seeing the Oilers dmen with the puck in our own zone...bad decisions for passes up the ice, not the best coverage. There were a few good plays from a few of them, but I cringed every time a forward passed it back. Barker looked OK, more so in the offensive zone though...he's got a bullet but it's not too accurate. He likes to shoot though.

-Bottom 6 forwards seemed a bit invisible to me, except for Tyrvainen (sp?)...he liked to hit, drive the net, and get involved.

-Hordichuk didn't look like a better hockey player than any of the rookies who will get sent down, but he did win some battles on the board, and he layed out the biggest hit of the game...then he fought a much bigger guy to defend the hit. I like that.

-Concession staff were all rookies tonight too! Those little B@$^@$ took 15 minutes to do a 30 second job...make a sandwich...all they did was take a bun, put some meat and coleslaw on it and close the bun. It ended up making me miss Lander's goal and the first 8 minutes of the 2nd period...I was fuming...until we tied it up, then I was ecstatic.

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#38 fuzzy muppet
September 21 2011, 09:46AM
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At this point, I hope Khabibulin just retires.

I know the cap hit stays, but at least it will free up a contract and they can bring in a veteran goalie that can actually STOP pucks.

I know it's early, but if Sam Gagner doesn't rip it up out of the gates this year, he's as good as gone by the deadline. RNH duplicates his skillset and appears to already play a better two way game.

Lander is ready too and his attitude of hating losing is something this team needs much more of.

Forward depth is ridiculous, defense not so much.

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#39 freeze
September 21 2011, 09:47AM
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@Shredder

I agree on the concession staff! One guy seemed baffled by nachos. Also, the beer guy in our section ID'd me three times! I know I look young for 33 but yeesh.

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#40 fuzzy muppet
September 21 2011, 09:53AM
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Pronger's Wife wrote:

This time I'll comment on topic. I've lost any faith in Bulin to be the last line of defense any more. How many times has he let in the first shot of the game? He must hold an NHL record for that. Sure, its pre-season but it's also pre-season for Dubnyk who looked a whole lot better than Bulin.

Not sure what we can do with him, but is anybody else intrigued by the thought of getting Schneider out of Vancouver to run a tandem with Dubnyk? This would likely never happen, but two guys vying for the starting position of an up and coming young team should bode well for the team, no?

Imagine how the players ON THE ICE feel about it.

They have to play a perfect game knowing that they have zero help behind them. That pressure is too much to deal with.

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#41 vetinari
September 21 2011, 09:53AM
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I was at the Saskatoon split squad last night and Chicago dominated the first 15 minutes but Dub held them scoreless. For the Oilers, the first line was Smyth-RNH-Eberle, and frankly, they were the most creatively minded and consistent... RNH looked solid and my money is on him getting at least a 9 game look for the regular season if not more... Hartikainen was banging bodies everywhere and strangely, Petrell stood out in his 2 way game and blocking shots in a preseason game... for Chicago, J. Toews, Mayers and Leddy looked ready to go for the season.

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#42 Steve
September 21 2011, 09:59AM
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I don't think you are giving enough credit to Omark on that Swedish line. He was great protecting and controlling the puck in the corners. I am amazed at his ability to constantly come out with the puck against defencemen twice his size.

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#43 Harlie
September 21 2011, 10:31AM
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our poor MVP! This year he cant stop the puck. The year before, or was it the year before that, he couldn't keep hydrated enough to stand in the net. He has been by far the worst signing on Steve Tambellini's tenure.

And for Steve to call Khabby our MVP that one year. Fricken laughable!

~ Have another Scotch on the rocks, Steve! Khabby is pourin. And don't forget the Gatorade for the hangover the next morning. Maybe pick up a case of it from Costco and give your MVP a few for his fridge, sounds like he needs some. ~

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#44 Walter Sobchak
September 21 2011, 10:32AM
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@Archaeologuy

Arch you would have been pleased with Omarks game last night, that line looked very good!

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#47 Dman09
September 21 2011, 10:47AM
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Well from what I got to see and only the toon game, wait..... man whoever was in charge of the online side of the production needs to be slapped. it was so painful nonstop in and out buffering, constantly crossing audio, not to mention the volume was up and down all over the place. I thought watching the first prospects game was painful because of the comentary but this took it to a whole new level.

Anyway...... I thought that Harski was a force out on the ice and was in my opinion the best player. This guy keeps proving that he needs to be on the big team sooner rather than later. Also,RNH out of place... No way in hell that guy looked good really good especially with Smyth and Eberle. This guys isn't going anywhere and you can write that down. Good solid goaltending was a pleasure to see for once.

Wish I could have watched the other game, hopefully the oilers will post it.

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#48 Archaeologuy
September 21 2011, 10:50AM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Arch you would have been pleased with Omarks game last night, that line looked very good!

I fear you are correct, but I made the call a long time ago for Omark to be my goat this season. I cant back away now.

Things I like about Omark: He has determination and creativity with the puck like few Oilers have had in recent years

Things I dont like: Scores goals at a pace of 1 every 10 games played. Not enough finish. Very over-hyped for a guy who is unquestionably the 3rd best RW on the team.

If he has a good season it will be hard for me to keep up the ire, but it will be my duty to try.

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#49 Dman09
September 21 2011, 10:54AM
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fuzzy muppet wrote:

At this point, I hope Khabibulin just retires.

I know the cap hit stays, but at least it will free up a contract and they can bring in a veteran goalie that can actually STOP pucks.

I know it's early, but if Sam Gagner doesn't rip it up out of the gates this year, he's as good as gone by the deadline. RNH duplicates his skillset and appears to already play a better two way game.

Lander is ready too and his attitude of hating losing is something this team needs much more of.

Forward depth is ridiculous, defense not so much.

Ya i disagree, if Gagner doesn't come out flying I think they need to move him to the wing. 50 points a year and almost every year. The guy just shouldn't be at center.

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#50 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
September 21 2011, 10:55AM
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Archaeologuy wrote:

I fear you are correct, but I made the call a long time ago for Omark to be my goat this season. I cant back away now.

Things I like about Omark: He has determination and creativity with the puck like few Oilers have had in recent years

Things I dont like: Scores goals at a pace of 1 every 10 games played. Not enough finish. Very over-hyped for a guy who is unquestionably the 3rd best RW on the team.

If he has a good season it will be hard for me to keep up the ire, but it will be my duty to try.

Spoken like a true citizen of the nation! Props to you for sticking to your guns.

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