The most interesting moment for me today was a late game sequence where RNH was chasing Taylor Hall who had the puck on the powerplay. There’s a lot of determination in Hall at that point in the game, but the young center was up for the challenge and contributed to a turnover.
In a game like this one–no contact except for the wonky Russian–it is very difficult to project any of these kids into a real game. Having said all of that, I did come away with some impressions on several of the players today.
- Hall-Eberle: They really do play well together and I wonder if the duo is this generation’s Gretzky-to-Kurri (no pressure lol). Eberle is ridiculous, just a sublime talent and Hall is all motor and the human chance machine. Both looked a little rusty, but lots of chances and I can’t wait to see them play another team.
- Paajarvi-Omark: I don’t know that they used their center very well, but they clearly have chemistry too. RNH–like Gagner–seemed to be in the middle of Lost in Translation most of the night (maybe the scene where Bill Murray sings Roxy Music) but the Swedes did damage on several sorties. If coach Renney can’t see Omark’s skill we’re in trouble for the rest of the ’10s. Best undersized corner man since Johnny McKenzie.
- Jeff Petry: Midnight without lights or high noon in the center of town, no one can tell me this guy is the 7th best defender in the group. A key player for the Edmonton Oilers, beginning this fall.
- Curtis Hamilton: Had an early breakaway (startling, I didn’t know he was playing) and did a couple of things but this won’t be his year to shine at main camp.
- Corey Potter: Played the sorties well, knows the angles and seems to have a little better footspeed than someone like Petiot. I think he played with Lowery, that tandem did some good things.
- Ryan Smyth: I’d forgotten just how much he can control play by slowing the tempo and waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. How they decided he wasn’t worth signing in 2006 summer is one of the great mysteries. Did you hear the cheers? Music!
- Phil Cornet: He showed well I thought, seemed to be involved in the offensive end a few times. He reminds me a little of Trukhno in that he gets noticed early in TC, fades and then doesn’t do much in the AHL. Hopefully he’ll have some sustain.
- Teemu Hartikainen: Man he’s going to push Omark if it comes down to that. I felt he had some very good shifts with Smyth and that tandem might get another look during pre-season. How do you hold this man back? I’m not sure you do.
- Kirill Tulupov: I loved the Eager belt, not so much the Hall mauling. I’m not certain he owns the brains God gave him but fear and a sense of the moment don’t appear to be in the vocabulary. I’ll bet money they give him a contract.
- Tyler Pitlick: Seems to have better legs now that the rookie camp is done, I thought he made an impact at several times during the game.
- Gilbert Brule: You can see why a team would be attracted to his skill set, and this game works for him on a lot of levels. One of them is shooting, he’s a born shooter. I don’t know what his future holds, but if he plays that way during preseason the Oilers can find him a home.
- Lennert Petrell: I thought he’d do more, but he did score a goal and marked his man well a few times (against Hall specifically a couple of times).
- Tanner House: Nice goal, he seemed to be aggressive on the forecheck a couple of times.
- Anton Lander: Tough slot to play in, I thought he moved the play forward at times but also made the wrong decision with the puck several times. To be expected.
- RNH: I thought he was very good on the PK, not just the Hall item above but at other times too. Won some faceoffs, directly caused turnovers at times. I mentioned yesterday n Nation Radio that when Ken Hitchcock talked about Datsyuk I thought he was nuts, but you can see his point. He’s just a kid, but has a nice range of skills.
- David Musil: I thought he was fine, seemed to stand up at the line well and coverage was good for the most part. Got an assist I think, but more impressive for me was the ability to move the puck up quickly and efficiently. Good day.
- Martin Marincin: I was very impressed with him. Look, he’s young and gangly, but that big stick of his is very effective and makes passes difficult for opposition forwards down low. I really like him a lot, moreso after today.
- Ryan Martindale: They need to sign him. Martindale is a big guy and he certainly will need to improve in areas but those hands with that size is too good to pass up.
- Antti Tyrvainen: Plays with an edge, lots of try and seemed to be around the puck a lot. Certainly looked good to me, in fact many of the kids who played in the rookie tournament in Penticton looked good. Probably a reflection of the extra week’s work.
Those were my scribbled notes, let me know your thoughts on the game and if I missed anyone and you’d like my opinion don’t hesitate to ask.