GDT: Oilers vs. Coyotes – Pre-season Game 4 – 2010-09-29 @ 7:00 PM – SNET1 (SHAW 355/360, TELUS 678)
So the Oilers are 3-0 so far, heading into this one. Can they keep their record perfect tonight? I sure as hell hope so, as Trogdor and I are going to the game tonight (thank you, OG77). Tonight we’ll get our first pre-season taste of Magnus Paajarvi on the top line with Ales Hemsky, and Sam Gagner. I have to admit… I’m pretty excited about this. Both of these guys play a pretty similar game, but from what I’ve seen, Paajarvi also brings a good ability to snipe as well. I thought the two would make a great powerplay complement for that reason, so let’s see how things work for them over an entire game.
Liam Reddox and Ryan Jones seem to be in a battle for that last slot on the wing with Colin Fraser and Zack Stortini, and tonight they’ll have a bit of a tête-à-tête. My money is on Reddox to come out on top by the start of the season. Word is, Tom Renney is pretty keen on Reddox, however management has a lot of love for Jones. In the end, the player that Renney wants is the player that stays. I just think it’s impossible to deny the heart Liam has shown right now along with an incomprehensible sudden ability to bowl people over with that small frame.
The second line of Penner-Cogliano-Brule has quietly been good as well, so look for a strong game from the trio.
I haven’t seen the Coyotes line-up just yet, but they are 4-2 so far this pre-season (they are coming off 2 straight losses, however). I really hope that they give the Oilers a run for their money, as amidst all the optimism and flash of these young kids, this team has barely been tested. Even the normally sweaty Khabibulin barely sipped one of his sweat beads in the last game.
This one is a tough one to call, but being that I’m at the game and I’m hoping for a good one, I’ll say 4-3 Oil in OT.
Edmonton Oilers Projected Line-up
Phoenix Coyotes Projected Line-up
FORWARDS: Mikkel Boedker, Eric Belanger, Paul Bissonnette, Vernon Fiddler, Lauri Korpikoski, Petr Prucha, Taylor Pyatt, Lee Stempniak, Viktor Tikhonov, Kyle Turris, Scottie Upshall, Kyle Wellwood.
DEFENSEMEN: Adrian Aucoin, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Maxim Goncharov, Derek Morris, David Schlemko, Keith Yandle.
GOALIES: Ilya Bryzgalov, Jason LaBarbera.
It’s a different experience being at the game. You catch things you don’t see on TV, but you miss a lot of other stuff. It looked like a game where the bubble guys came out to play. In particular Giroux and Jones stood out a bit for me. Jones was a thorn in the Coyotes side and drew a penalty playing that way. Giroux looked good for most of the night, at least in the offensive zone. He isn’t a guy that can seemingly do much aside from shoot pucks in the net, however… although that is definitely a good talent to have. But the NHL game requires more from all players.
Paajarvi seemed to turn over the puck quite a bit tonight from what I saw, trying too much. But from what I understand, he also drew several penalties with his shiftiness and quickness.
Petiot again seemed to have a stand out game, and even wallpapered someone just in front of Trogdor and I. I loved seeing Plante drop Kyle Turris, even though he took a penalty.. but it was a nice show of strength there anyways. Chorney probably shocked all of us with his big open ice hit and then fighting the first person he saw after being blind-sided.
Gerber.. well, I thought he was scary to watch. Wanders too much for me, and didn’t really inspire confidence as I hoped he would. Speculation, BTW, is that the Oilers have now made their choice for backup. Guys like Rishaug and Gregor figure we won’t see more JDD or Dubnyk this pre-season as they don’t want to showcase them for a waiver claim. I’m not sure if they meant Deslauriers in particular only, or what. But we’ll see.
Next up, Calgary on Friday. The game is at 7:00 on Sportsnet One and I will be there again.
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