This is Eddie Joyal. He is in the uniform of the old Edmonton Flyers, a team with a rich hockey history. Actually, Joyal played for the Oil Kings, Flyers and the Oilers in his long and successful career.
I remember him best though as a Los Angeles King. Funny how the mind settles on something, isn’t it? Joyal was best known as a very good offensive player who rarely took a penalty. In that way he was from the Val Fonteyne family, except of course he was a better player than Val Fonteyne.
Joyal came from St. Albert. Career highlights would include scoring a massive goal in the 1964 SCF (the Wings would lose though, to Toronto) and ripping 33 goals for LA in 68-69.
He was part of one of the biggest trades in NHL history (Traded to Philadelphia by Los Angeles with Bill Flett, Jean Potvin and Ross Lonsberry for Bill Lesuk, Jim Johnson and Serge Bernier, January 28, 1972) in a deal that gave the Flyers two of their SC wingers in Lonsberry and Flett.
Joyal is the third former WHA Oiler I’ve used in a GDT, hopefully he’ll bring as much good fortune as Messier and Rusty Patenaude.
As for today, I think this is a pretty important game to watch. In the first two games, we got to see some things that might become home game trends.
- Lots of icetime for the kids against the soft parade
- Hard match by the Horcoff line against tough opponents
- Souray-Greene matched up against tougher than expected opponents
- Pitkanen-Staios getting easier than expected opponents
- Staios not being used as often as thought on PK
- MacT relying heavily on the Reasoner line
- MacT going with the hot hand more than I recall in the past
- MacT rolling three lines more heavily than I recall in the most recent past
Things can change on the road, and I suspect we’ll see lots of wrinkles. Among the things I’ll be watching for are monstrous amounts of icetime for the Horcoff line, the Reasoner line, the Staios tandem and for Tarnstrom-Gilbert to roll out more often against the second toughest opposition in order to shelter the Souray-Greene pairing. I also will be looking to see if that Stoll-Torres-Nilsson line can put up some points and if not how they’ll tear it down. One suspects that if Gagner struggles early he may see the ice for less than 10 minutes.
The “big gulp” is the blueline. They are less predictable than they were in the “let’s all rip the filthy black thing around the rw so Joff can muscle it out that shoud work” 06-07 season but that Souray-Greene tandem is going to be up against Zetterberg for more than a shift tonight and that’s a matchup that must scare everybody.
Looking forward to seeing how the kids do tonight. If Gagner is going to stay all year and if Cogliano is going to be a legit Calder candidate, they need to be successful on the road and in situations where the coach can’t protect them like he can in a home game.