One Dozen Impressions

It’s one game 1 (and 2) of pre-season but we’re ready to make the call on the 11-12 Oilers: lots of help up front, a defense with the Jimmy Legs, and the goaltending relying almost exclusively on a young man with a total of 54 NHL games.

It was a blur watching two games played at the same time, but the talent and weakness of the current Oilers is obvious. Some quick impressions:

  1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: I’ve said this since summer but he should make this team. The Oilers can talk all they want about sending him back, the last #1 overall forward who didn’t play the next season in the NHL was back in the days of the Iron Curtain.Delightful talent in that he can do so many things at such a young age.
  2. Ryan Smyth: Appears to have turned back the clock. He’s quicker at 35 than some of these guys are at 25, and with his experience and skill this guy is primed for a excellent season.
  3. Jordan Eberle: He might be perfect.
  4. Taylor Hall: He didn’t play with the best linemates and was still all over the ice creating.I think I’ll call him “Chance” because he gets so many. He can do it alone, and there aren’t many you can say that about in the NHL.
  5. Magnus Paajarvi: Got off to a fast start last year too, I find myself wishing he’d save some of this for the regular season. I think he’s going to be an excellent NHL player.
  6. Teemu Hartikainen: Riddle me this, Batman: how you gonna keep him on the farm?
  7. Anton Lander: May force a trade. He’s pretty damn close to ready if not ready.
  8. Nikolai Khabibulin: MVP.
  9. Devan Dubnyk: He looks confident and ready. Good thing too, because I think his backup is going to be Yann Danis by December.
  10. David Musil: Survived his first NHL pre-season game. It means a lot, because next season he’ll have that experience under his belt. I’m telling you, he’s on a fast train. If he could improve his footspeed I think Musil has a chance to make next year’s team.
  11. Theo Peckham: What a fun player. Exploded opponents every which way, he should be in the next X-Men movie.
  12. Tom Gilbert: Thank God and Greyhound for Tommy Gilbert. He might be the best despised defensemen in Oil Country since Paul Coffey.

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