Game Notes G8: Warren Foegele elevated to Oilers’ top line ahead of Heritage Classic
Photo credit:Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
By Zach Laing29 days ago
For Warren Foegele, an early season of hard work is getting noticed.
He opened the season on the same third line he finished last year on, but by game three, he was elevated to the second line when the Edmonton Oilers took on the Nashville Predators. He more than made the most of it, scoring a goal and adding an assist.
On Saturday afternoon, when the skates hit the ice at Commonwealth Stadium, Foegele was skating alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the Oilers’ top line.
“He’s a bit of a bull,” said Leon Draisaitl on Saturday of Foegele’s game. “He skates really well, he does things the right way, and he does them hard.
“There’s lots to like about his game. He’s obviously maybe the only guy on our team who is off to a pretty good start. We need him to keep that going.”
Foegele’s game this year is one that’s built off of last season. With his lunch pail in hand, last year, he scored at the highest 5v5 rate of his career with 2.09 points per hour and was shooting the puck at a career-high rate, too. Never shy of the dirty areas, Foegele’s now starting to show off a tremendous release on his shot, too.
“He’s somebody that is skating well, he’s creating havoc on the forecheck, he’s shooting the puck,” said Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft on Saturday. “It’s no accident he’s having some success because he’s going to hard areas; he’s finding himself in hard areas in order to find success.
“It’s a credit to him, he’s a very hard working person. I’m happy for him, because for a long time he’s been fighting for the movement up the lineup, and deserves everything he’s getting.”
- Road teams have won 19 of 37 outdoor games to date. The Oilers are 1-1 in such games, falling 4-3 to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2003 Heritage Classic, then beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 in the 2016 edition.
- Commonwealth Stadium will become the fifth venue to host multiple outdoor games, following Edgewood Tahoe Resort (2), Fenway Park (2), Heinz Field (2) and Yankee Stadium (2). In the new year, MetLife Stadium will join the said list.
- For the NHL’s ice crew to build the ice, they had to use a staggering 350 gallons of paint to cover the surface. The 300-ton, 53-foot-long refrigeration unit the NHL owns to construct the outdoor ice sure had lots of work to do.
- 12 Oilers skaters have appeared in previous outdoor games: Connor Brown, Cody Ceci, Mattias Ekholm and Zach Hyman, each playing in two. Nine Calgary players have such experience, with Nazem Kadri having played in four. Mikael Backlund is the only player for the Flames to represent them in two outdoor games.
- The Oilers and Flames have squared off in 263 regular season games, including when Calgary was in Atlanta. Calgary, however, holds a 33-point edge over the Oilers with a 131-107-25 record for 287 standings points. The Oilers, meanwhile, have gone 113-122-28 for 254 standings points.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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