Training camp is under way and the first preseason game was last night in Edmonton and Saskatoon. Split squads played the Hawks in Saskatoon and the Wild in Edmonton. Toonville saw the Nuge, Smyth and Eberle while Edmonton was treated to the Swedish line and Hall. I was at the Edmonton game so I cannot say how well the other split squad played but they nevertheless won the game 4-2. By all accounts, Dubnyk played quite well.
At least one of our goalies had a good game last night because it was a dreadful 30 minutes of action for the one and only, Mr. Nikolai Khabibulin. Three goals on seven shots in the first period. We can give him a pass on the first goal that deflected off one of the defenders (Marincin I believe) but the other two were ugly.
Some quick thoughts from the game:
- Musil and Marincin struggled along with most of the defense. Try-out kid Tupulov had some shaky moments but you can see there is talent there but wow is it raw. I would like to see the Oilers sign him to Oklahoma and see if they can work out the rawness.
- Taylor Hall picked up where he left off last season. He had several first rate chances and easily could have scored a hatty. Bad penalty late in the game led to the winning goal by the Wild. D'oh!!
- The Swedish meatballs line played very good together. Lander, Paajarvi and Omark obviously have chemistry and it'll be interesting to see if they play on a line together.
- Will Lander make the team? With that game, yes. However, it is more dependent on whether Nugent-Hopkins makes the team out of training camp and stays up. Lander will at the very least be one of the first call-ups and should play half the year with the Oilers.
- Hordichuk? I thought he knew how to fight.
- Belanger can win faceoffs, except the one that led to the winning goal (oopsie)!