Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames – Oilers Game

Oilers vs. Flames

Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers will start their season with an opening game vs. the Calgary Flames.  Already, the Calgary Flames have defeated the Vancouver Canucks in their own season opener with a score of 5-3.  After missing the second season for three straight seasons, it’s been a long wait for fans of the Oilers with myself included.  Though I really dislike the Flames as an Oilers fan, I can acknowledge that they’re likely to be a lock on a playoff spot this year and one of the better teams in the West.

Last night, I watched the Pittsburgh Penguins play the New York Rangers.  Of note, John Tortorella had tried a few interesting lines of his own.  Specifically, he used Marian Gaborik on the penalty kill.  Given that the Oilers really only have 2 experienced PK’ers in Shawn Horcoff and Ethan Moreau up front, it will be interesting to see if Patt Quinn tries something like this with Ales Hemsky.  The commentator noted that Gaborik was on the PK to keep the Penguins honest.  Further, I noticed that our former Oiler, Alex Kotalik, was used on the powerplay as a puck moving dman/ shooter from the blueline.  Overall, the Penguins who like the Oilers were fairly weak on faceoffs last season, looked to display some marked improvement in this area if for only one game so far.

Let’s take a look at Edmonton’s lineup:

  • Jacques – Horcoff – Hemsky
    Stone – Comrie – O’Sullivan
    Penner – Brule – Cogliano
    Moreau – Gagner – Stortini
  • Souray – Visnovsky
    Gilbert – Grebeshkov
    Smid – Staios
  • Khabibulin
  • Deslauriers

It seems that Pat Quinn’s broken up the initially speculated top pairing of Souray/Staios.  I think that the Souray/Staios pairing would have had a few concerns.  Initially, I had concerns that the Souray/Staios pairing might be lacking in both speed and passing ability.  As well, Staios seemed to stick out as one of the weaker dmen in terms of top pairings in the Northwest division.  Visnovsky had somewhat of a rough start in the preseason after his long absence due to injury.  So far, he’s shown moments of his old brilliance, but also a fair amount of rust.

Up front, Pat Quinn’s trying to  create artificial roster depth and grit by playing JFJ on the first line and Ryan Stone on the 2nd.  Our bottom six looks pretty strong, but it may come at some expense to our top two lines.  We’ll get our first indication of how these lines stack up vs. the Calgary Flames tonight.  I myself won’t be surprised if we see a more offensively minded player slotted into either one of JFJ or Stone’s positions at various times during the game.

Here’s Calgary’s lineup:

  • Moss – Jokinen – Iginla
    Dawes – Langkow – Bourque
    Glencross – Conroy – Boyd
    Nystrom – Prust – Sjostorom
  • Bouwmeester – Regehr
    Phaneuf – Giordano
    Kronwall – Pardy
  • Kiprusoff
    McElhinney

For starters, let’s hope that we’re not subjected to watching Glencross pot another shorthanded goal.  Like the Oilers, the Flames also have a new coach in Brent Sutter.  Presumably, this means that the Flames will also be attempting to implement a new system.

Update: Oilers 3 – Flames 4

We out -shot, and likely out-played the Calgary Flames only to lose to a bouncing puck, a dman  no where to be found, and a fan on the puck by the Bulin wall in what was otherwise an exciting and competitive game.  Absolutely brutal ending to a great game?  Yes!  So far, I like Quinn hockey though.  Did our PK suck? Yes!  Did Moreau and Staios take stupid penalties?  Yes!  Did we suck on the dot?  Surprsingly not!

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One thought on “Edmonton Oilers vs. Calgary Flames – Oilers Game

  1. Pingback: Edmonton Oilers – Exploring the shot differential puzzle? « Low On Oil

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