After just posting a piece on how the Edmonton Oilers should give Gilbert Brule one more shot to see what he can do while Sam Gagner is out, Anton Lander continues to make it almost impossible for this coaching staff to keep him out of the starting lineup against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The young Swede and Linus Omark led the way with a goal and a helper each but it was Lander who put the game away with the shootout winner and gave the Oilers a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild.
The game was marred by an ugly incident early in the second period, when young Oilers defenceman Taylor Fedun was sent into the end boards by Wild forward Eric Nystrom, on what was going to be an obvious icing call. The play left the 23 year old Edmonton native screaming in pain behind the Edmonton goal and ended with him leaving the playing surface via stretcher. Nystrom was assessed a boarding major and game misconduct for the incident but the Minnesota forward will certainly be facing further discipline from Brendan Shanahan and the league office.
- The strong play from Anton Lander continues as the young man was all over the ice. He scored on two penalty shots, he won faceoffs, he took three minor penalties...he did a bit of everything. This kid has earned a look and the injury to Gagner makes it a lot easier to do.
- Good to see another strong effort from Omark. Obviously, the flashy forward was bored early on in camp because he has turned his game up a notch or two in his last two outings. He is back to being the puck hound he was last season and the points have started to pile up because of it.
- With the D taking a beating, veteran Tom Gilbert did yeoman's work on the night playing a ridiculous 33:09. While Gilbert isn't everyone's cup of tea, no one can debate his willingness to do whatever the coaching staff asks of him.
- Devan Dubynk actually looked good in the shootout. This was easily the worst outing of the pre-season for the young goaltender but it was nice to see him change his approach in the shootout. He made himself a big target on all three attempts and, not surprisingly, he stopped them all. If he can do the same thing during the regular season, Edmonton will be a force in the skills competition.
- Lennart Petrell was alright with Lander and Omark but he changed the tide in the third when he dropped the gloves with Brett Bulmer. The feisty Finnish forward seems like he has earned a spot to start the season.
- Ryan Jones continues to score big goals for this club. No matter the opposition, if this team needs a goal you could put money on Jones getting the job done for the Oilers.
- Injuries to Ladislav Smid (shoulder) and Taylor Chorney (knee) coupled with the devastating injury to Fedun, leaves Edmonton with only six healthy defenceman. Not exactly what a team with little to no depth on the backend needs heading into the start of the season. It may be time for Steve Tambellini to pick up the phone and bring in some help.
- The word after the game is that rookie Taylor Fedun suffered a complex fracture in his right femur. This will bring an end to what was starting to look like a promising season for the Edmonton native. Lets hope the young man can recover and continue his playing career. It was a terrible thing to witness and I am glad it was on a crappy streaming broadcast...not exactly something I really want to watch in HD.
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