The Team Canada World Juniors camp invitations have been announced and only 3 players from last year’s silver medal winning team will be returning. This group of players features no real surprises, but definitely a large number of talented players.
Edmonton Oilers’ prospect goaltender Tyler Bunz is on the list as is Edmonton Oil Kings defencemen Mark Pysyk. Both are Edmonton natives who are hoping to represent their country in their home town.
Aaron Vickers of NHL.com has some comments from Team Canada head of scouting Kevin Prendergast:
I think the skill factor overall (is higher),” Prendergast said. “We have a lot of skilled defensemen. Not near as big as we were last year, but we have good players back there. We’re young up front compared to where we were last year, but you look at these kids, you look at their stats, where they were drafted in the (NHL) draft, they were in NHL camps for a while. They understand what they have to bring when they get here.
“If I held my breath every time that Taylor Hall went flying into the net, I’d have brain problems… Maybe I do anyway but he’s relentless and he’s a reckless type of player and those are hard people to defend. As long as he keeps missing those posts, I’m alright with that.” That was Edmonton Oilers’ head coach Tom Renney following the Oilers 9-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks November 19th. Unfortunately for Renney, I don’t think that he’s as fine with Hall’s “reckless” play today. Following a disappointing 5-2 Oilers loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Taylor Hall has undergone an MRI.
Oilers beat Wild 4-2
This win was a very long time coming. The Oilers had not won their past 17 outings to St. Paul Minnesota; the last win was Jan 16th, 2007. Of course the Oilers have a similar losing streak in Dallas, and it is still fairly recently that the Oilers have broke a Nashville losing streak, but still this was truly a momentous day in the life of many an Oiler fan. Of course Tom Renney would be so calm following this game, saying “It’s just another win.”
“Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I am thankful for family and so much more including being back in the lineup tomorrow and pretzel M&M’s.” That was a tweet that Oiler fans and media alike were happy to read yesterday afternoon from Ryan Whitey.
Whitney was out of the game since December 28th, 2010 due to an ankle injury and then didn’t play another game until October 18th this season. Unfortunately for Whitney, he suffered a knee injury his fourth game in on October 25th. A month later, Whitney is said to return to the Oilers lineup.
This could be the second year in a row that an Edmonton Oiler goaltender prospect may be in net for Team Canada at the World Juniors tournament. Last year, Roy played the opening game for Team Canada and two other important preliminary games but struggled with consistency. Mark Visentin was Team Canada’s second goaltender who would start 4 games, and was the goaltender the team relied on through the final game. This year, it is Medicine Hat Tiger’s netminder Tyler Bunz who is on the radar for Team Canada.
The Edmonton Oilers are off to their best start in years it would seem, but just how good? The last two seasons were of course 30th place, and this team looks as though it just might make the playoffs. Ultimately, it’s interesting to see just where improvements have come from.
Oilers beat the Predators 6-2
The fun Oilers team came out to play against the Nashville Predators, but this about face only keeps fans and likely coaching staff guessing on a daily basis. After the Oilers were outmuscled by the Dallas Stars, Taylor Chorney was re-assigned to Oklahoma City and Alex Plante was recalled. At the same time, Magnus Paajarvi and Ben Eager drew back into the lineup while Darcy Hordichuk and Lennart Petrell were healthy scratches. And of course, Devan Dubnyk got his seventh start of the season.
Oilers lose 4-1 to Stars
Why the Oilers seem to have so many arenas, as of the last few years, where the team just cannot seem to find a win I can’t say. The last time the Oilers had a win in Dallas was Saturday December 5th, a 3-2 shootout win. The last regulation win was a 2-0 victory… December 8th, 2006. According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet “Oilers powerplay desperately needs a D-man who can shoot/run it. Another loss in Dallas runs record here to 5-26-2-2 lifetime.”
According to a couple of Swedish newspapers, ex-Oiler Jason Strudwick has signed with Södertälje SK (SSK) of the Swedish 2nd League, Hockey Allsvenskan.
Strudwick is a new father and when there were not any offers that were a good fit for him and his family through the off season it looked as though Strudwick would take this season off. However, with as far as I can tell, a season ending injury to veteran Stefan Bemström, Strudwick’s presence is needed on the team’s blue line.
Edmonton Oilers’ captain Shawn Horcoff was the guest on after hours with Scott Oakes and Kevin Weekes Saturday night. Horcoff discusses that talent on his team, answers tweeted questions from fans and discusses his team’s chances to make the playoffs this season.
About Oil Patch
Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
Oil Patch focuses on the Edmonton Oilers, the Edmonton Oil Kings, The Oklahoma City Barons and Team Canada Hockey with game coverage, news updates, speculation and interviews.
Although the Oilers have had a difficult past decade… or three, here at Oil Patch, the future looks bright.
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