PS3: Canucks at Oilers

This is Linus (may or may not rhyme with Venus) Omark. In all the commotion over the three kids, Omark’s opportunity to show his stuff has been slow to develop. That apparently ends tonight. Among the lines we’ll see tonight, Omark will play with Gilbert Brule and Dustin Penner on one of the skill lines (the other being Horcoff, Hall and Eberle).

Also reported yesterday: NK will get a start against the Canucks (with Gerber as backup). For those of us who have been wondering about Khabibulin’s ability to play the game after almost a year away, this will be an interesting first step.

A few stories going around that (somewhat) involve the Oilers. Wild backup Josh Harding is injured, meaning there’s a chance the Oilers can offload one of their youngsters in exchange for a depth pick or prospect (or maybe they lose one of the other via waivers). Either way, it makes it even more important that the club makes damn good and sure NK is healthy before moving forward.

Also, Wade Redden is on waivers (among others) and there are defensemen dropping like flies daily across the NHL. What does it mean for Sheldon Souray? Nothing yet, but a deal might be closer. We wait.

Tonight’s lineup courtesy the Oilers website:

  • Horcoff-Hall-Eberle
  • Brule-Penner-Omark
  • Aulin-Giroux-Ondrus
  • Vande Velde-Hartikainen-Stortini
  • Whitney-Petry
  • Vandermeer-Peckham
  • Strudwick-Motin
  • Khabibulin-Gerber

Items I’ll be watching for include the C’s and their FO%; Eberle away from the puck (even this early I think he might get some PK time and be more trustworthy than most rookies), Hartikainen’s foot speed, Aulin overall, Petry’s defensive coverage (buddy has wonderful wheels, hat tip to Guy Flaming who called it long ago), Peckham’s crust level, Khabibulin’s overall performance (“I’ll call Rusty”) and how well his back responds to his first big test. Somewhat interesting that Ondrus is on the 3line while Stortini is on the 4th, plus Vande Velde seems to have turned it on since the real camp started, I wonder if he can impress again and put himself into position for a mid-season callup (which is exactly what happened with Shawn Horcoff one decade ago). Also, we should be on the lookout for another massive roster cut in the next 30 hours (or so). It’ll also be interesting to check who is on the PK tonight.

Fun times.

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