For the second consecutive preseason home game, Oiler fans and Tom Renney must have felt like they were in a time warp. And not the cool type of time warp/machine that Marty McFly got to use in Back to the Future. Last night was a trip down memory lane that many never want to see again, or at least not regularly.
On Tuesday we saw Nikolai Khabibulin fighting the puck.
Sure, it was only a preseason game, but it’s a trend we’ve seen in Edmonton for over a year.
Last night the Oilers didn’t shoot the puck, and outside of dropping the gloves early, they didn’t seem ready to play.
Sure, it was only a preseason game, but it’s a trend we’ve seen in Edmonton for the past five seasons.
For stretches the Oilers controlled the puck, threw it around like they knew what they were doing, but rarely did it result in shots on goal or scoring chances.
Outside of Tyler Pitlick, the other eight forwards will more than likely make up the top-three lines on opening night, but last night they could barely muster any quality chances against an AHL lineup.
They didn’t drive to the net consistently.
They passed instead of shooting when they were in a good shooting lane.
Outside of a nifty pass from Nugent-Hopkins to Eberle, they kept the puck on the perimeter during the PP.
They stood still too often on the PP.
Sure, it was only a preseason game, but you’ve seen this movie at Rexall Place frequently the past few seasons.
Renney has seen this before and he wasn’t impressed.
"It’s not rocket science when it comes to scoring. You have to get to the hard places, and we didn’t do that enough."
I did a quick glance at some of last season’s post-game comments from Renney, and he used a variation of that line at least ten times by my count. It likely was more, but the point is, while this group of forwards have another year of experience, excluding RNH, they exhibited the same bad habits again last night.
Linus Omark was invisible, except for meanlessly running a Canuck at the end of the game. I didn’t expect this team to learn how to be more consistent over the summer, but these two home games have been a harsh reminder of how far this team needs to go before they become competitive.
STARTS AT HOME
Last season the Oilers accumulated 32 points of a possible 82 at Rexall. The eight playoff teams registered 59, 55, 48, 54, 56, 49, 53 and 48. In 2010 the Oilers were a bit better picking up 40 home points, but the playoff teams were better as well racking up 62, 62, 63, 60, 56, 50, 51 and 51.
The Oilers need to be better in many areas, but it’s imperative that they learn to show up and be consistent at home.
Sure, it was only a preseason game, but dominating at home as been an issue the past few seasons.
Renney trimmed his roster down to 48 players today, sending five guys to OKC:
And they sent two more players back to junior.
Travis Ewanyk is back with the Edmonton Oil Kings, and Drew Czerwonka heads to Kootenay. Ewanyk requires shoulder surgery and his likely out until the New Year.
Ryan Lowery has signed a minor-league deal with OKC. He won’t be eligible to play in Edmonton, unless he signs an NHL contract in the future, but he’ll be in their system.
A SINCERE THANK YOU
Thanks to all of you for your kind words, well-wishes and words of advice on how to survive in marriage. I did chuckle at some of the guesses as to what Sir Bronte was hinting at. The comments made watching the Oiler game much more enjoyable last night.
Thanks again, and screw you Brownlee…