The Commissioner, Joey Moss, got the 6000 fans fired up with an energized rendition of O Canada and we finally got to see some scrimmaging in Oiler camp.
The teams were as follows:
Magnus Paajarvi/Andrew Cogliano/Alex Giroux
Dustin Penner/Sam Gagner/Jordan Eberle
Ryan Jones/Tyler Pitlick/Linus Omark
Zack Stortini/Ryan O’Marra/Greg Stewart
Ryan Whitney/Jeff Petry
Jim Vandermeer/Richard Petiot
Taylor Chorney/Alex Plante
Taylor Hall/Shawn Horcoff/Ales Hemsky
Gilbert Brule/Colin Fraser/Colin McDonald
Ben Ondrus/Chris Vande Velde/Teemu Hartikainen
Liam Reddox/Brad Moran/Cameron Abney
Tom Gilbert/Johan Motin
Kurtis Foster/Ladislav Smid
Shawn Belle/Theo Peckham
There weren’t many chances in the first period. Colin McDonald had the best chance when he ripped a slapper off the short-side post past Gerber, but other than that neither goalie had to make a quality save.
NOTES FROM THE FIRST PERIOD.
- Linus Omark isn’t afraid to try things. He tried to deflect the puck over his head, but Dubnyk scooped it out of mid air. Later Omark got too fancy in his own zone, trying to dance around a forechecker. He’ll need to realize quickly that won’t fly in the NHL.
- Ales Hemsky takes a rare penalty, but team white does nothing on the PP.
- Lowetide’s post regarding Ryan O’Marra starts a debate in the pressbox. Ryan Rishaug politely disagrees. We both agree that O’Marra’s conditioning looks questionable.
- A hit. McDonald runs into Richard Petiot, and gets his stick up a bit.
- You can tell this is the first real scrimmage for the players, as they are very sloppy.
NOTES FROM SECOND
- Liam Reddox with a great burst of speed down the right side, cuts to the middle, goes around Jeff Petry but fans on the shot. Next shift out Reddox controls the puck down low. Next shift he backchecks and breaks up the rush. Reddox gives you his best effort every shift. He can kill penalties, and he will work his ass off. I think he’ll push Ryan Jones for a spot on the team.
- Martin Gerber leaves after facing 12 shots. Devan Dubnyk faced only 6 in his 23 minutes.
- Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I find it interesting that Dubnyk got the start for team blue, while Deslauriers came off the bench. I think the backup job is Dubnyk’s to lose.
- Deslauriers faces five shots in his first five minutes.
- O’Marra takes a penalty with 30 seconds left in the period. Team blue starts the PP with Brule, Fraser, and McDonald. Blue starts the 3rd with a :30 PP. Horcoff’s line with Foster and Smid start.
NOTES FROM THE THIRD
- Foster finally gives the crowd something to cheer about as he one-times a bullet from the point. Hemsky with a nice saucer pass, and Hall get the assists. O’Marra’s penalty expired one second earlier, so no PP goal, but Foster’s shot looks almost as hard as Sheldon Souray’s. I think Foster gets it away quicker than Souray.
- Paajarvi with a great cross-ice pass to Cogliano and he rips it off the cross bar. Those two have had some chemistry from the beginning of camp and I bet Renney will try them in a few exhibition games.
- Foster takes a one-minute roughing penalty on Omark. Earlier in the shift Omark made a sick cross-ice-saucer pass from the right hashmarks to a pinching Petiot.
- Horcoff knocks the bouncing puck faway from Gagner, races in shorthanded and slides a backhand home and team blue leads 2-0. Tom Gilbert must have yelled out, "number 77" to the ref, because he somehow gets an assist on the play.
- Team Blue lighting up Roy in the 3rd, as a great three-way passing play from Hemsky-to-Horcoff-to-Hall, and the first overall pick slides it past a stretched out Roy.
- On this next shift Hall takes a Horcoff pass in full flight down the left side, does a quick little toe drag in front of Whitney and snaps one off Roy’s shoulder. Hall has looked more comfortable with every shift. Just like the rookie tournament, and first day of camp he looked nervous at the start, which is understandable considering he is 18, and progressively got better.
- Final score 3-0. Final shots 23-18 in favour of team blue. Deslaurier stops all 12 shots, while Roy allowed three goals on 11 shots. He didn’t allow a soft goal, and really didn’t have much of a chance on any of the them.
LINEUP FOR TOMORROW???
The players who will play in Vancouver tomorrow will skate at nine at Rexall Place. Hall will not play in Vancouver, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. No way were the Oilers going to let him play his first game v. an NHL team on the road especially when Thursday’s game is live on TSN.
I do know that Horcoff will centre Eberle and Giroux tomorrow. Dubnyk and Gerber will be the goalies. We will find out the rest of the lineup tomorrow morning.
Nikolai Khabibulin is close to playing. Right now it seems more mental than physical for him. Renney will see how Khabibulin feels Thursday morning before making a decision on when he plays. He might wait a few more days before putting him in between the pipes.