Small victories are big steps. The Edmonton Oilers have some maturation on defense and youngsters learning on the job in Edmonton and in Oklahoma. As with all of these things, you never know about specific players but (as they say) if you throw enough on the wall some will stick.
The Oilers fanbase would have loved Jim Dorey. Seriously. He played the game in black and white with red rising every time his skates cut through the ice. The great thing about the olden days was if the game sucked or the home team was horrible, a good bench clearing brawl could make things more interesting.
One of those might be fun, right? Theo runs over some Minnesota pepperpot and it’s game on. That doesn’t happen anymore because the actual players don’t fight and the fights that do happen are pretty much booked in advance.
The development of the blue continues tonight, with all of Petry, Peckham, Teubert and Potter trying to grab the rope and climb. Oilers are going to enter the summer with an uncertain depth chart that has Ladislav Smid, Tom Gilbert and Ryan Whitney (when healthy) as actual NHL players. Steve Tambellini did find Potter, but Tom Renney’s memory banks get a big assist on the goal. I don’t know that any of the men trying to establish themselves can be counted on next year in a major role, but would guess that Jeff Petry is the closest among the kids.
Ales Hemsky is getting a lot of attention lately. Matty has an article up about him and there seems to be blood in the water. Every time you read “Ales Hemsky” lately the words “left practice early” are sure to follow. It’s become quite an item, but the smart bet is to ignore the gossip and get 83 straightened around and scoring. A one or two year deal seems wise, I wonder if the Oilers are still thinking about it or if it’s all about the trade.
Matty does say that the Oilers would be looking for a defenseman in return, meaning Nashville is in the mix along with (as Jim Matheson mentioned) Detroit and Los Angeles. Maybe this is the year they get Voynov from the coast.
I don’t have much to say about the game tonight. Hope the kids do something special and no one gets hurt. Two points would be very good, but don’t count on it. Sometimes it is best to have the faith of a child and to look for small victories. Remember that meeting a long time ago where the season ticket base told the Oilers to fix it, get it right?
If they knew then what they know now, would they say that same thing?
Keep those reports coming on the WJ kids. Interesting insight on the group, you can read the comments section over the last few days or stay tuned and I’ll have a post offering your words on them around the end of the round robin.