A sunny October Sunday afternoon was the setting for the Calgary Hitmen’s home opener. This team is usually a powerhouse in the WHL and up at the top of the standings. Last year however, the Hitmen found themselves at the bottom of the WHL and now this Calgary Hitmen team is another year older and another year wiser. Their current roster has 2 NHL drafted players, Brooks Macek drafted by Detroit and Victor Rask drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes. The majority of their players are 2012 draft eligible and this is the start of the season that may decide their fates. The team must be in some ways worried that they don’t have a mix of younger players (they only have 1 younger player) on their roster, but I’m sure they’ll never tell you that.
Oilers lose to Canucks 4-1
Pre-season or not, going into a game against the Vancouver Canucks, the Oilers were the underdogs. This Edmonton Oilers team younger less experienced and already decimated by injuries. Last night following the game against the Minnesota Wild, young defenceman Taylor Fedun had emergency surgery on his femur bone. Fedun is expected to be in the hospital for a number of weeks, and will be looking at a long recovery but Fedun by all accounts, is a fighter and will return. Eric Nystrom delivered the hit, and personally delivered apologies to Fedun in his hospital room. Nystrom has been tweeting apologies as well; the play did not appear to have an intention to injure and is one that you would expect to see throughout the season.
Oilers Beat Wild 4-3 in Shootout
The Edmonton Oilers have one game remaining in their pre-season schedule, but are already running out of players due to injury. This was no easy battle for the Oilers, behind 3-1 thanks to two Wild power play goals in the third, but managed to find the back of the net twice in time to tie the game before the end of regulation time. The extra five minutes would solve nothing, and neither team would accumulate many shots on net; both goaltenders had their work cut out for them. Through the shootout, it was a sweet Swede who made the day for the Oilers.
Oilers Beat Coyotes 3-2
The Edmonton Oilers continue to impress their fans through the pre-season, despite the fact that these games still mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has continued his point streak and has scored his first goal at the NHL level(ish), and looks to have some real chemistry with sophomores’ Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
Jason Gregor of the Team 1260 and Oilers Nation and ex-Oiler Jason Strudwick have a fantastic relationship. I say fantastic because Jason Strudwick is one funny man, and Oilers fans often get to enjoy his laugh and tales on the Jason Gregor show on Friday afternoons, and randomly as Strudwick’s schedule permits.
This off season, Strudwick did not sign another contract with the Oilers or any other hockey team, just yet. The biggest reason why is parenthood. After years of struggles with infertility and waiting on adoption lists and because of Gregor’s relationship, Gregor has penned an excellent piece on where the Strudwicks have come from and where they are now. Currently, the couple are discussing a season in Europe, but in the meantime, Strudwick is enjoying his new family and this wonderful opportunity he has to spend with them. The Strudwicks’ story is an excellent read for anyone who has children, is considering them or is struggling with fertility issues.
We’ve craved the family unit for so long and now to finally have it seems surreal
Oilers beat Flames 3-0
The Edmonton Oilers came up victorious in a home and home series with the Calgary Flames this weekend, much to the delight of Oilers fans. When was the last time anyone was able to say that? Sure it’s just pre-season and these games don’t count, but following injury updates that were far from positive and new injury news for Sam Gagner, many fans will take pleasure where they can get it.
Oilers Beat Flames 2-1
The battle of Alberta, pre-season style kicked off a back to back game weekend Saturday night in Edmonton. The Oilers were both winners and losers however, beating the Flames on the scoreboard, but losing yet another player to injury.
In a pre-season that has been filled with far more injuries than any Oilers fan would like to see thanks to concussions to both Colten Teubert and Ben Eager Oilers fans need to acknowledge another injury that has been far too long healing. It is not only Oilers’ fans and likely coaching staff that would have liked to have seen Ryan Whitney back to 100% following the defenceman’s December 28, 2010 injury and subsequent surgery, but also Ryan Whitney himself.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal has written another piece on the slow recovery time Whitney is seeing, and the unhappiness that Whitney is now feeling
“I was planning all summer to be ready for camp. The foot is improving but it is taking longer than I thought it would. It is frustrating. I know it’ll get there (ability to play without discomfort), but when? Nobody can give me an answer, and it’s not the trainers (responsibility). Nobody can do that,” he said.
Oilers fall to Canucks 2-1
This wasn’t the game that Oilers fans were expecting. As the day progressed, excitement built. This was the first televised game of the 2011 pre-season, and on TSN no less. The Oilers’ roster was announced and there were very few surprises. Once the Canucks roster was announced, people clamored to look up NHL rules; don’t teams have to dress a certain number of veterans?
There are many safety devices in our modern age that can feel a little inconvenient at times. In fact, I know a few professional drivers who refuse to wear seatbelts. Yes, in 2011. They have had multiple tickets, but that doesn’t faze them.
When helmets came to be a rule in the NHL there was some hesitation and some that weren’t on board with the idea but eventually everyone had to adapt. There have been other safety measures that have been brought in, but for some reason, visors have yet to be made mandatory.
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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