It’s here! It’s really really here! The Oilers rookies mark the beginning of another wonderful year of Oilers hockey. I’m all in on this season, missed last year so much it hurt and despite my advanced years there’s no good reason for me to hold back. With the Flames getting a new dictator this morning, tonight’s game marks the beginning of man versus beast hockey.
Let’s get this party started!
- Line 1: Miller-Roy-Kessy: I like the combination of Miller and Roy, less thrilled about the addition of Kessy. That’s one of those “maybe he can play with skill” ideas and we know how they turn out. Still, if you’re going to do it this is the game to try.
- Line 2: Ewanyk-Abney-Houck: This is their muscle line, Ewanyk is an energy guy who’ll run anything, Abney’s an enforcer and Houck plays a physical game with skill.
- Line 3: Schaber-Baddock-Bickie: I’m not sure there’s a player on this line, but Baddock did some nice things with the Oil Kings in limited minutes.
- Line 4: Chase-Khaira-Fyten: I think–and could be wrong–this line ends up doing the most damage. There’s no dud on the line and Fyten is a pro hockey player.
- Pairing 1: Nurse-Klefbom: Lordy. Lordy lordy lordy. As distressing as the forwards look tonight, that’s a big part of Edmonton’s future on the top pairing. Klefbom may be the best player on the ice throughout this tournament.
- Pairing 2: Gernat-Musil: Bruce McCurdy mentioned to me a week or so ago that he had hoped to see this pairing on the Oil Kings, but it never happened. He finally gets his wish at the rookie tournament.
- Pairing 3: Davidson-Leach: Tough guy Leach will get a lot of work (if MacT’s in the building he’ll probably play forward starting in the second period) and Davidson should thrive in this climate.
- Pairing 4: Marincin-Betker: Marincin must have slept in this morning or something, he’s way better than this. One guesses he’ll end up playing with Davidson as the evening rolls along.
- Goalie: Tyler Bunz: I honestly don’t know how much he’ll play, but would expect that he gets most of this game and Saturday’s game too.