At one point today I hit the washroom and the topic of conversation was Dustin Penner. We like the guy, with his “wheat based” talk and self-effacing manner. I think we saw a hint today of what is to come: a trim, more business-like #27 who seemed to be involved every shift. Hey, it’s early but there were some spazz moments from others but Penner stayed the course.
I should also mention that Quinn gave the fans a sense of what he’s like during a mid-practice scrum at center where the F-bomb flew and he was heard to say “stupid people repeat mistakes, so let’s not repeat mistakes” (source: Dan Tencer, I thought he said something slightly different).
- Dustin Penner: What’s that old song about the “Long Tall Texan?” Slim and fit enough to turn Jim Matheson’s head, Penner battled hard in the corners and ripped one shelf to boot. A nice day, have a near-beer.
- Sam Gagner: He looked good with Penner, I’ll say that. Gagner got caught once or twice (I think it was Kytnar once and O’Marra another time) trying to do a solo coming out of his own end which will certainly get the coaching staff’s attention. Beauty player, looks stronger this season.
- Jordan Eberle: He looks small, smaller than Nilsson. Was the third wheel on the top line but battled hard along the wall and (as Louise mentioned) his footspeed has improved.
- Marc Pouliot: Played a good game but didn’t do much offensively until he scored his patented “Leaf penalty-shot” backhand goal in the shootout. Looked just okay on the dot iirc but that line (JFJ-Poo-Stortini) looked good to me.
- Zack Stortini: Played like he belonged in the NHL today, determined and more than anyone I saw drove to the net with authority (the topic of at least one Quinn monologue on the day). Can he move up the depth chart? Anyone? Anyone aside from Bruce?
- Gilbert Brule: Made a nice pass to Alex Plante for a sweet goal and certainly looked like he belonged in the big league group today.
- Robert Nilsson: Had two “Gilbert Perreault” rushes in which he tried to do it all himself, with predictable results. The gentleman in front of me laughed out loud at one sortie into the offensive zone. Nilsson made his way into the zone, went deep, skated back to the blueline and then lost the puck. It was pretty funny, but not effective.
- Ryan O’Marra: Looked like a different player. Scored a goal, moved his feet everytime he was on the ice and checked hard all through the scrimmage. I don’t know what to say, except maybe he’s healthy for the first time as an Oiler. Big surprise.
- Colin McDonald: Scored on one penalty shot and looked funny on the other when he lost control of the puck, tripped over the goalie’s stick and landed ass over tea kettle. Plenty of try today but he ended up on the wrong side of three big hits.
- Slava Trukhno: Much faster this season, and they had him at center which seemed to fit his style better. He showed the usual quick hands but is a more mature player now.
- Chris Minard: Good hands, he didn’t show a lot today and I don’t really know the difference between this guy and Potulny but he looked fine to me.
- Philippe Cornet: Man he’s got game. He looked very good out there, made plays happen on a line that didn’t feature NHL players. He won’t make the roster this season but did get noticed.
- Milan Kytnar: Looked very good today, I don’t know if they should send him back to junior. Not a lot of scoring opportunity, but forechecked well causing at least one turnover (Gagner) and generally became a pain in the ass for the more skilled men.
- Steve MacIntyre: Big, big man who can’t really show his stuff in this forum unless someone agrees to risk injury during the 2nd day of camp. Looked just okay.
- Riley Emmerson: Big fellow, looks like he could give MacIntyre a run in the reach department. Strong on the wall, that’s about all I can tell you.
- Bryan Lerg: Looked small, couldn’t get much done during the few puck possessions he had today. Showed more last fall.
- Kelly Czuy: Looked faster than I thought he’d be and that’s all I can remember.
Team B blue and G in awhile.