Sunday, September 25, 2011

Exhibition: Oilers 3 Flames 0

Calgary Flames Curtis Glencross tries to score past the Edmonton Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk at the Saddledome in Calgary on Sept. 25, 2011.

The Edmonton Oilers rode the hot hand of goaltender Devan Dubnyk in defeating their provincial rivals for the second striaght night. Dubynk made 30 saves to earn the shutout and lead the Oilers to a 3-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. Linus Omark led the charge with a goal and an assist while Jordan Eberle scored his third goal of the pre-season.
The Good

  1. Another strong performance from Dubynk, as he made a number of crucial stops when the game was still scoreless. He was a wall all night as the Flames were unable to beat him. While he is making a solid case to start opening night, I still think riding him this year would be a huge mistake. The thought process should be to play both guys, if they are on their games. Having them push each other for playing time would be the best case scenario for the club and Dubynk's development. I would rather see him earn it with his play, then because of Nikolai Khabibulin's poor play.
  2. Linus Omark, like his linemates, accomplished nothing and was invisible in the first but that changed in period two. He was buzzing around from the drop of the puck and the result was a three goal middle stanza for the Oilers. The kick shot/pass, he pulled off on Shawn Horcoff's ice breaker, was typical Omark. Always thinking outside the box and being absurdly creative...that is the player I love to watch, not the one that glides around on some nights. His ability to not only move the puck but his movement without the puck, directly resulted in his and Eberle's power play markers. He has to be a mainstay on the power play this season.
  3. As good as Jordan Eberle is in tight with his hands, it is his Sakic-like wrist shot that is down right scary! I have him pegged for 30 goals this season but he just might push the 35+ mark.
  4. Corey Potter played major minutes and did not look out of place at all. Was solid in his own end and moved the puck beautifully on the the power play with young Taylor Fedun.
  5. Lennart Petrell was solid on the penalty kill and was banging bodies all night long. He is making a serious case for earning a fourth line spot and tonight's effort didn't hurt him at all.
The Bad
  1. Nothing I would consider "Bad" but it was another missed chance for Gilbert Brule to make an impression. If anything, the back to back penalties he took in the third seems to solidify the belief that Brule just doesn't get it. If he makes this team out of camp, it will be because of his contract status and not his play.
  2. Cam Barker has yet to impress and having Potter and Fedun on the top power play the last two periods is not a good sign. I was all for the signing of Barker but if Ryan Whitney is unable to go any time soon, Barker will struggle while he finds his way.

Gagner Injury Update

In the post game scrum, Coach Tom Renney was asked for an update on Sam Gagner's injured ankle. The coach said the centre is scheduled to have an MRI sometime on Monday or possibly Tuesday. Not surprising news and I would not expect anything firm on Gagner until Wednesday.

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