Oilers at Flyers, G67 ’10-’11

That’s Bobby Clarke going around Gregg Sheppard in (I believe) the 1974 SC finals. That would make the goaler Gilles Gilbert, in a “changing of the guard” for the powerhouse Bruins.

Tom Renney has been critical of Sam Gagner in the past (after stating in TC he wouldn’t be publicly critical of any player) so it’s nice to see something positive from the coach. This season, it looks to me as though Andrew Cogliano has passed Gagner in some important areas in the estimation of coach Renney.

So when he says “what I like about Sam now is how his game is rounding out. He’s one of those guys who understands how to play with and without the puck, what transition looks like. He has his head around that” it can only be considered good news.

I remain convinced the Oilers will trade one or the other eventually, and am not convinced the organization will make the right choice. Renney’s words are encouraging, though.

Alex Giroux made a good impression in his first Oiler game the other night, but for me the real news is the impressive number of potential callups who are on the farm. Colin McDonald, Teemu Hartikainen and Brad Moran are still down in OKC hoping for a call, and the Baron blueline has seen lots of action with the Oilers.

So far this season, callups Linus Omark, Liam Reddox, Jeff Petry, Alex Giroux, Shawn Belle, Ryan O’Marra, Taylor Chorney, Martin Gerber, Richard Petiot and Alex Plante (I think that’s everyone) have helped the cause. That’s a long list, and far superior to what was available to previous Oilers teams.

I suspect the Oilers will be wearing their ass for a hat after tonight’s game. An angry Flyers team has been taking it on the chin and there’s plenty of skill to take advantage of the own zone chaos the Oilers bring to every town. Likely the same for tomorrow night.

So, with that as the backdrop, anything within two goals of the Flyers tonight should be considered acceptable.

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