Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks - Oilers 4, Hawks 2

Now it's hockey season. Doesn't it feel good? Some thoughts coming away from the first pre-season game

  • Big Brother Toews just might have a future in this league. Young David...well, it beats a junior year of college, doesn't it?
  • On to some of the new guys. First up: Ray Emery. Razor looked good on a few scrambles in close, but was fooled on the two goals on shots originating from long distance, which speaks to him not having his angles fully down and relying on his instincts and athleticism. For his sake, those angles better come back soon, because Alex Salak looked solid and positively huge in the crease in the second half of the game, but that size did him in on the late Eberle goal, as the puck found the in-between area.
  • So Rostislav Olesz just might be able to play. He had fantastic chemistry with Toews all night as he's reported to have had so far in camp. From my vantage point, he looks to have very good instincts away from the puck, and puts himself in a position to be found. Again, Toews clearly has something to do with that, as does facing off against Oiler bums (present and future), but Viktor Stalberg just still can't seem to find it. If Rusty is just slightly above "a guy", it helps with scoring depth tremendously.
  • Leddy looked good except when engaging in physical battles, and he and Montador look more than capable of running a second power play unit. Montador is very paitent with the puck in that situation.
  • Sami Lepisto looked fine, making sound decisions and boasting a fair amount of mobility. If Montador and Lepisto are the third pairing breaking camp, that about as good a compliment to the blue line depth that can be paid.
  • For being the heir apparent to the 2nd line center position, Ben Smith was pretty invisible, wasn't he Jesse?
  • John Scott is still fucking atrocious.
  • Glad to see the clown shoes still fit.
  • Mark McNeill and Brandon Saad stood out as far as the rookies are concerned. Saad seemed to relish opportunities to use his body to sheild the puck and take it to the hard areas of the ice, and McNeill made a nice play on the Mayers goal. Kyle Beach is still trying to get more than 2 braincells to fire simultaneously as this is being written.