So as promised, here is the continuation of this morning’s Edmonton Oilers Training Camp – Day 3 post.
Rob Schremp Hockey, Part Deux
So I know many are sick of hearing it, but so far some good things are being said about Rob Schremp at the camp. Jason Gregor has raved about his plays a few times, and Dan Tencer also mentioned on his twitter: “nice performances from Schremp and Potulny to no surprise.” Gregor has commented on a few of Schremp’s slick passes the past couple of days, and one beautiful goal from yesterday. You have to wonder just how far that will carry him in Pat Quinn’s books. Will it be enough? In truth, it’s gotten less and less about Schremp not being able to do the things he needs to do to succeed at the NHL level and become more and more about being in a fight with several other players for a similar role. It seems that he could be a big benefit to the team in a specialist role (powerplay and shoot out), but beyond that, his abilities have yet to really been proven as NHL ready.
An interesting thing to note in the Schremp interview was when Bob Stauffer asked him if the coaches were telling him what he needed to do to make the team. “No not really,” Schremp said, almost awkwardly. “Assistant coaches are good at helping you. I think no one is going to come in here and sit 60 guys down and say ‘this is what you need to do to make our team,’ so I’m no different than anybody else here. But, you can take lessons during the practice when they’re teaching you things. You can tell they’re taking a little bit of time out of their practice to guide you and show you. They’ve been good that way so far in day 2. I think they’re going to help me make this team, I just have to work hard at it.” Not too sure what to make of that, although he does have a point that they can’t sit down 60 guys and tell them each what to do, but some goals/expectations probably would be nice for these guys to go by.
The rest of the interview is actually pretty decent and worth listening to, if you have time. In it, Stauffer skirts gently around the Craig MacTavish man-hate (reverse man-crush) to with Schremp mentioned that he’s happy about the new opportunity and admits that sometimes players just aren’t the right fit for some coaches. He also talks about his off-season training, which he did in London with Sam Gagner, Sam’s dad Dave, and Josh Gratton. He also mentioned the benefit of the coaching change in Springfield to Rob Daum, speaking of how he learned quite a bit from Daum in the 60 days he was there.
The other stand-out (again) was Robert Nilsson. That is great to hear, as he’s been in just about everyone’s doghouse (including mine) and he’s obviously doing all that he can to stay on this roster. He was credited with some nice dangles and crisp passes. Said Jason Gregor, of Nilsson, “Nilsson has been the best player this session by far. He just walked around Dudas and then finished with a nice deke around Dubynk. Making a good first impression will be key for Nilsson, and it is clear that he will need to prove to the coaching staff that he deserves to be in the top six. I’d say he has been the best player overall on day one.”
Devan Dubnyk didn’t allow a goal in the scrimmage (although he wasn’t tested much). Apparently he was quite solid in the practice sessions yesterday as well. He feels like he’s ready to play here. He’s been told he is starting the first pre-season game (against his hometown – booooo – Calgary).
Pat Quinn Interview
We’re going to expect our team to have more offence than we’ve had in the past, it will come out of our structure, but we think we’ve got guys that can put the puck in the net. We can’t have one forward in the 20 goal range, we need to have more than that.
He got drafted because of skill level, and probably the reason he’s not playing is because of that intangible side – how you use those skills – and clearly he hasn’t convince anybody to this point that he’s a National Hockey Leaguer. So it’s still there. Some guys are very gifted as you know. They end up being morning glories all their life and when you drop the puck for a game, they’re not there. So this is a chance for him. Some guys, it dawns on them a little bit later as they develop, if you run out of chances you might be gone, but if you’re still getting chances maybe someday it clicks for you.
Quinn continued on a bit more, generically, about the importance of a player having the intangibles, and hockey sense, and a bit of skill required in order to make the NHL and stay up here (more specifically how the intangibles and hockey sense are much more important than the skill level). It’s a good listen. You can watch the full interview here.
First Pre-season Game Line Up
Tomorrow’s line ups still aren’t available yet, but check back for updates on that. However, Devan Dubnyk will be starting in the pipes. Good to hear! The game is against the Flames tomorrow in their own building, and starts at 7:00 PM. You will be able to catch the game on the Oilers’ home page (streamed), which brings me to my next point…
Oilers to Stream 7 Pre-Season Games
The Oilers first pre-season challenge comes tomorrow, September 15th at Pengrowth Saddledome where they will face division rivals, the Calgary Flames. You can watch that game LIVE right here at edmontonoilers.com.
The pre-season online streaming schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, September 15 at Calgary
Wednesday, September 16 vs. NY Islanders
Friday, September 18 vs. Florida
Saturday, September 19 at Vancouver
Sunday, September 20 vs. NY Islanders (at Saskatoon)
Tuesday, September 23 vs. Calgary
Sunday, September 27 vs. Vancouver
Fantastic news. They did this for us last year. Unfortunately the feed can get pretty choppy, so don’t expect much. By the way, there is only one game not streamed – September 24th against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Winnipeg – and thats because it’s already televised on TSN!
“Because it’s the way it’s always been done”
One last thing for today, even though it’s not completely related to training camp. On Oilers Nation, Robin Brownlee pointed out a Robert Tychkowski article about Pat Quinn seemingly breaking down the division between the rookies and veterans. There are clear barriers between these players, such as rookies having to sit away from the vets on the plane, or the veterans would change in the main dressing room at training camp while the prospects changed down the hall. But Quinn is a man on a mission determined to break those barriers.
He’s already had all the players mixed up together in both the main dressing room and away dressing room. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a vet or a rookie, you just go where you’re either told to or where there’s room. No more cliques. That was one thing that was brought up last year and I wasn’t quite a believer, at first. But there is a clear division in the ranks here, and Quinn is putting a stop to that. They’re all Oilers; there are no “rookies” and “vets”.. they’re all just “Oilers”.
“I wanted our veteran guys and our experienced guys to be around our younger guys and our prospects,” Quinn grandfatherly says. “I want them to learn about our culture and our expectations, what it takes to be a good pro. The only way to do that was to share. We only have the one top room. You might be a kid on the way up, you might be a kid who’s a dependable minor league call up for us, or you’re going to be a guy on this roster. In the meantime, for a week and a half, we are an organization.”
Tychkowski also comments on how no roster spot is guaranteed, even for those who were here last year. Quinn explains, “we say every year that jobs are open and we want you all to feel like (you have a honest shot). If I say that and stick all the rubby-dubs or whatever it is in one room, it becomes false words.”
Is this guy great, or what? I was a big believer in Quinn making a difference here, although I thought that the Oilers not making many off-season moves was a poor decision. However, I’m starting to see slowly that things are really changing here even though some things have stayed the same. I really think Quinn and company can make a big difference here. It’s little things like this that can have a pretty big impact on a team too.
One more off-topic addition, actually. The Edmonton Journal has an article up about Khabibulin, who targets about 60 games for this season. Worth a read. I won’t say much more though, just in case Steve-O accuses me of having a man crush on him again.
That’s it for today, tomorrow the pre-season starts!!! Again, stay tuned for the first game’s line up.
Btw, check Lowetide for updates on training camp that put mine to shame.. great work. How do people find time off work to go to this stuff?