So judging by the highlights, it was the Linus Omark show in San Antonio last night.
Four goals, seven shots, and a bunch of chances. Omark had a slow start to the season; I didn’t think he looked impressive in the preseason and even early on in Oklahoma City. Omark is a self-described "slow starter" but told me he was happy with the chances he was getting and knew the goals were going to start coming. He has three in his last three home games, and of course now has four goals over the first two games of a three-game road trip after picking up just a single assist in the season’s first four games.
As Anton Lander said after a two-goal game by Omark earlier this season, "These kind of nights, you just watch him have fun out there… you try to be open for a one-timer or whatever but tonight he did it all by himself out there."
- After just rolling three alternates early in the year, the Barons finally committed to Anton Lander as captain. It was a tough choice because coach Todd Nelson didn’t know who he was going to have all season; Lander is obviously the Oilers’ fifth centre and he could be recalled tomorrow and stay all year. It was also a hard choice because two obvious candidates (Mark Arcobello and ex-Toronto Marlies captain Ryan Hamilton) have been in Edmonton.
- Corey Potter played the first game of his conditioning stint last night, picking up three shots in the Barons’ 5-4 win.
- I’ve been a loud proponent of starting Oscar Klefbom in the minors for a lot of reasons; after all, he didn’t play much last year and this is first season in North America so there are all sorts of developmental arguments for giving him AHL ice-time. But if he keeps playing the way he has, he’s going to earn a spot with the Oilers.
- This is pure speculation, but I can’t help wondering if Martin Marincin is going to be used as trade bait by the Oilers. With high-end guys like Klefbom and Darnell Nurse in the system, it’s hard to see where he fits in over the long haul, and even in the short term players like Taylor Fedun and Brandon Davidson offer comparable NHL readiness. There is also rookie professional Martin Gernat, who has a very similar skillset but likely less trade value. Marincin is a solid prospect, but to me he just seems like a guy who would have value in a trade but doesn’t stand out enough from the group.
- Once Potter is back, the Oilers will have eight NHL defencemen (unless they waive Potter or Grebeshkov) plus Philip Larsen, Taylor Fedun, Brandon Davidson, Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin. That is a total of 13 guys who could plausibly play NHL minutes this year before we even get to a guy like Brad Hunt who could probably step in as a one-game or two-game callup if it became necessary. Somebody has to go, right?