Dallas Eakins: “I read a lot into it. There was some good out there, some bad, some guys we expect more from, some pleasant surprises.” Hockey happens so quickly, and the truth is hopefuls had good and bad things going on in a high event game in Winnipeg. Who did well? Read on.
HEAD TO HEAD
- Phil Larsen over Denis Grebeshkov: Both had chaos in their game this night, and both did some good things. Larsen was a big part of the game story with a sweet pass to Mitchell Moroz for a goal, followed closely by a Larsen goal courtesy a Nail Yakupov pass. I think Grebeshkov leads this battle, but it’s closer than it was one night ago and Larsen is creating value. Value=roster spot.
- Jesse Joensuu over Ryan Hamilton. Joensuu was less impressive in his second game (he fell down a lot) but Hamilton was not good after a terrific game one on the weekend. I still think both probably make it, but Joensuu has the lead.
- Anton Lander over Mark Arcobello. Both were good in the dot, and neither of them really had much to do with the offense, but I think Lander was the better player on the night. Arcobello got folded up like a cheap suit in the offensive zone during puck battles. Lander doesn’t have a lot of edge, but he can battle. I wish he had even a little offense.
I thought Oscar Klefbom had a good night, he played well positionally and rode oncoming wingers out of the play effectively. He also moved the puck up ice smartly and made some nice passes. On the downside he and his D partner left too big a gap for the oncoming rusher early in the game and he was caught running around like the others a few times. A better showing than Penticton, though. One suspects he’s going to be sent out sometime later in the week, but he could surprise.
Tyler Pitlick really had a good game, 3 shots on goal, seemed to be all around the action. I’ve been stubborn on him for a couple of reasons (everyone who SEES him says he’s a player and he has an insanely bad shooting percentage and since the dice have no memory Pitlick will surely improve someday–at least a little!) but last night he played well. Full stop. (Pitlick photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved).
Mitchell Moroz scored a goal! It was a goalmouth item and honestly we have no idea if he’s going to be a good pro, but for this night he was in the right place at the right time and shoveled the puck into the net.
REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS 13-14 (THE OILERS BLUE)
I decided to re-print this to see if we have seen any movement in what reasonable looked like (to me) in the summer. At that time, my pairings were Ference-Schultz, Smid-Petry, Belov-N Schultz with Grebeshkov as the 7th. Potter and Klefbom end up replacing Nick Schultz when he’s traded and I have Larsen in the minors.
It is Potter’s poor luck that he’s injured, but there’s no disputing Larsen has impressed enough to move up the summer depth chart, probably somewhere between Nick Schultz and Grebeshkov in terms of games played. It’s still early–we haven’t seen Belov–but it’s also late. Larsen’s flair for the dramatic–and the fact he caught the eye of the coach–are exactly the kinds of things we look for in training camp. He’ll need to deliver next week when the competition gets stronger, but there’s no doubt he helped himself in Winnipeg.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
- Corey Pronman from ESPN and Hockey Prospectus. We’ll talk about the release of the HP Annual, prospects with a chance to stick around the NHL and the Oilers prospect list–looks a little barren compared to 2010-2012 September.
- Scott Taylor from thehuddle.co. The Jets played well last night, even without their Wheeler line. How good are they? Plus Bombers v Eskimos.
- Ryan Batty from the Copper and Blue. Ryan has some interesting takes on the Nuge contract and who’s staying on the blue in Edmonton.
- Bruce McCurdy from Cult of Hockey. We’ll talk Oiler roster, Eakins press conferences and some Oil Kings.
10am, Team 1260. Twitter @Lowetide_ or 10-1260 texts. Hope you can tune in today!