Last night the Edmonton Oilers lost in a 5-3 tilt vs. the Calgary Flames. The highlight of the game, featured above, was the physical presence of Jean-Francois Jacques. I’m still not quite sure if he really connected on much during the fight, but as an Oilers fan, it’s nice to see the effort and performance of JF Jacques last night. Last night marked 3 consecutive preseason losses for the Oilers.
Overall, it was a somewhat bizarre night in terms of the officiating, but I am not going to jump on the bandwagon and say too much about that–except that it was good night to practice our PK which did fare pretty well. It’s certainly understandable that the amount of time the Oilers spent on the PK did seem to sap any momentum that we had generated during the first period.
Here’s some thoughts on individual players last night:
Robert Nilsson–Many will note that Nilsson may not have had a stellar night in terms of making the big splash that he needs to impress Pat Quinn. However, Nilsson stood out in that he did not seem to making any glaring errors and was one of the few Oilers who reliably connected on their passes. To Oilers fans, Nilsson can be especially frustrating as there often seems to be a disconnect between his potential and the performance that he delivers on the ice. So far, Nilsson’s had a lacklustre preseason during a time where many feel that he needs to impress. However, he may not play the way that we would like to see him, but it’s also easy to forget that he’s a player that even when unnoticeable, it’s also because he doesn’t often make too glarring of mistakes either.
Dustin Penner–If he can keep this type of performance up, he will catapult himself from MacT’s doghouse to Pat Quinn’s penthouse. In terms of his size, he may not play particularly aggressive, but he’s a tough player to deal with in front of the other team’s net. Overall, great effort from Penner and he looked good on both ends of the ice to my eye.
Ryan Stone–Though he didn’t have the presence of his previous 3 games, he seemed to put in a good physical effort and was fairly reliable. Already, many are starting to question his foot speed. With Patrick O’Sullivan faring quite poorly at the faceoff circle, it’s not hard to appreciate why that line was not as much of a threat as previous games.
Ales Hemsky–He’s been unremarkable during the preseason with only flashes of his old self. I’m not too worried about Hemsky, but it would be nice to see a little more from him even during the preseason.
Shawn Horcoff–He definitely seemed to have an off night–both on the draw and otherwise. The turn over on the power play was hard to watch though Grebeshkov was partly to blame.
Ethan Moreau–From what I recall, his line played a fair amount of time vs. Calgary’s fourth line (Jaffray). This line was clearly not effective, though Brennan made a very good case for himself–to be sent down. Moreau looked to be slow to back check which I believe lead to a few goals against.
Smid/Strudwich–In terms of defense, this was a scary line to watch–if you’re an Oilers fan that is… Seeing them on the ice against Iginla was a concern too.
JFJ–Great effort out of Jacques tonight. I’m not sure if Quinn’s really planning on playing him on the top line–though he didn’t look too out of place, or if he’s just trying to see what more JFJ can offer. In terms of LW options, he does look like he has something to offer whether that be 3LW or perhaps some shifts in the top six vs larger teams, we’ll have to see…