If it wasn’t clear before, it is now: there isn’t enough room for Rob Schremp and Gilbert Brule to make the team. Both are in the running for the fourth line LW slot, but one will get a stall in the locker room while the other will get a ticket to Springfield.
“I don’t think there’s room for both that’s for sure. That will be dependent on them. There are three scenarios that will play out. Both of them being here is the most unlikely. Both of them in Springfield is a possibility, but based on the way they’ve played that seems unlikely. The most likely will be one staying and one going,” said Craig MacTavish.
Judging by the amounts of likely and unlikely in MacTavish’s quote, it is clear he has no front runner right now. Rather, he will let their play decide their fate.
Both have played a pre-season game, and while neither was bad, neither stood out. It would seem that Brule, due to his style, might be a better fit as a 4th line player, but not necessarily according to MacTavish.
“I liked Brule last night. I liked the edge to his game and combined with a high skill level he has good tools. The thing that high-level players need to learn at this level is they need help from their teammates. They’ve got to use their teammates and let them help them both defensively and offensively. In the third period last night he became a bit to individualistic. He played very well in the first and second, but in the third he didn’t use his teammates as much.”
Schremp has lots of offence but struggles with the same problem.
“Robbie likes to hang on to the puck, but he needs to move it quicker to open up some ice for him when he gets it back.”
Many players who dominated offensively in junior struggle with learning how to use their teammates. Both Schremp and Brule were so good in junior that they could beat the opposition without their teammates at times, but that won’t happen now. Schremp will need to improve on this facet quickly if he wishes to stay. He is more of a one-dimensional player than Brule.
It’s obvious the Oilers have seen a change in Schremp’s demeanour and commitment and feel he has earned a long look, but ultimately if he doesn’t put up any points in the pre-season he won’t be here. The advantage Brule has is that he’s quicker and plays with more of an edge, meaning he can be more noticeable without showing up on the score sheet.
If Schremp scores four or five points in the pre-season he will be here regardless of what Brule does. If not, the former London Knight will once again find himself in the minors.
Unlike his first game, Schremp will not be lining up with gifted offensive players tonight. Here’s tonight’s line up:
Lefebvre – Reddox – Schremp
Cole – Horcoff – Hemsky
Moreau – Pisani – Penner
Lerg – Paukovich – McDonald
Souray – Visnovsky
Smid – Wild
Chorney – Peckham
Deslauriers and Garon. Deslaurier will start.
While Schremp doesn’t have the most gifted linemates, expect him to get ample PP time tonight. He will have to show he can run the power-play from the side boards. Watch how Souray and Visnovsky play together—if Charlie Huddy and MacT like the chemistry, those two could play big minutes together in the regular season.
Florida in the minors
Even though the Panthers play the Oilers back-to-back they’re staying in Calgary and busing on game day to Edmonton. I guess they want to set up shop in one place and bus only the guys that are playing to Edmonton. I’m guessing the veterans love the three hour trek down the QE2. And Florida wonders why Jay Bouwmeester only signed a one-year deal…