Despite many games, there have been a number of things to talk about when it comes to the Edmonton Oilers this week. The Edmonton Oilers are about to complete their first week of the 2011-12 NHL season. In that first week, 2 games played, and one player out due to injury. This is not exactly the start that the team or the fans would like to see. Some things are getting better, some things need more time, and it seems that some things never change. A change in the next game that would be most welcomed, would be two points in regulation. Against the Vancouver Canucks, and with the current Oilers’ roster, that may be a tall order.
The Edmonton Oilers’ right winger Ales Hemsky left last night’s game against the Minnesota Wild in the first period with a sore shoulder. Following the game, coach Tom Renney said “This isn’t fatal. He’ll come back and he’ll play and things will be fine. It’s just one of those things. He’s not afraid of anything and when you put yourself in harm’s way as opposed to find yourself in harm’s way harm comes. And that happens to Hemmer but you have to love that he’s ready to compete and that’s huge for our veteran players to do that because they’re the first players to get called out if they don’t. And certainly we don’t have to worry about that with Hemmer.”
Fans expected an update this morning. As the hours passed, concerns grew. Then, as I was writing this update I had to start all over again thanks to an update that came through.
Oilers Lose 2-1 to Wild in Shootout
January 16th, 2007 was the last time the Oilers won in St. Paul Minnesota. Coincidentally, Ryan Smyth was in the Oilers lineup and perhaps the mullet’s return to St. Paul as an Oiler could have turned things around for the club. Oilers fans will have to wait until next time, but in the meantime a shootout loss is a respectable resolution to this game. Well, unless like me you were fine with ties and don’t care much for this third point business.
The Edmonton Oilers’ successful series Oil Change will be back for a second season this fall but this time on Sportsnet and Edmonton’s Citytv. The first episode will be on Citytv Edmonton Friday, Oct. 21 at 8pm MST and then again on Sportsnet West Sunday, Oct. 23 at 11pm MST. This promo features comments from Taylor Chorney lost today on waivers to the St. Louis Blues and a sneak peak at what the Oilers’ think tank discussed during the off-season.
EDIT: After submitting questions to Aquila Productions, the people who bring you Oil Change, there are currently no plans to sell the series on DVD but you can watch past episodes on the Oilers website. For those of you in the US, yes, the NHL network will also air the show
Yesterday the Edmonton Oilers placed Taylor Chorney on waivers for the purpose of re-assignment to Oklahoma City, but St. Louis Blues have picked up the young defenceman and placed Carlo Colaiacovo on injured reserve.
This frees up a contract for the Oilers, but without seeing someone they are excited about on waivers, the team is not likely to pick anyone up. Trades are always an option, so long as the team is willing to move something or someone in return.
The Edmonton Oilers today placed defenceman Taylor Chorney on waivers for the purpose of re-assignment to the Oklahoma City Barons of the AHL. This move likely indicates that Ryan Whitney is not too far off from returning to the Oilers’ lineup. Currently Whitney is listed as day to day, but the Oilers do not play another game until Thursday night in Minnesota.
Oilers beat Penguins 2-1 in shootout
This game was more than just a home opener in Oil Country. This was the season opener, the first game as Oilers for the newly acquired Oilers, the first NHL game for Anton Lander and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and of course the return of Ryan Smyth.
The Edmonton Oilers took to Jasper this week for a little team building and training upon the completion of the pre-season. Thanks to various tweets we have an idea of what the bus ride and week was like. At the same time, the Oilers’ lines have been shuffled for opening night and will continue to change until Tom Renney sees something he likes.
The Edmonton Oilers face several challenges in the coming season. The team is still/already riddled with injuries, don’t appear to have complete confidence in their goaltending, and the defence is still quite young and is easily the most identifiable weakness of the roster. While the Oilers appear good up front, that will depend upon the sophomores avoiding the dreaded second year slumps.
Minor Updates and Musings
The Edmonton Oilers may not be as short on defenceman opening night as was previously believed. According to the Oilers website, “Both Ryan Whitney and Ladislav Smid are progressing and could potentially shock Oil Country by playing vs. the Penguins, but Taylor Chorney is certainly ready to go.” If Whitney feels ready to play, the team trainer clears him, and the coaching staff puts Whitney into the lineup, it will not be a problem because Whitney has been on the team’s injured reserve listing since his injury last December. As such, the defenceman has been on the IR for much longer than the required week. For Smid to play he cannot have been placed on the IR on Wednesday but the Oilers’ website has not been updated to indicate which players have been placed on IR. So, it will be a surprise to Oil Country if Smid plays and if he doesn’t.
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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