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.
The Edmonton Oilers kicked off pre-season with split squad games in Edmonton against the Minnesota Wild and in Saskatoon against the Chicago Blackhawks. Both games were streamed online, but both games had technical difficulties, even after the games were over. As fantastic as technology is, it’s funny how it still disappoints. At this time an archived version of the games is not available.
Ben Eager was expected to play tonight in Edmonton against the Minnesota Wild, but plans have changed. According to 630 ched’s Dan Tencer, Eager is out with injury. “Ben Eager was originally supposed to play against Minnesota tonight. He’s been removed due to injury. Renney wouldn’t elaborate past that,” tweets Tencer.
The Oilers have not mentioned anything further concerning Eager’s injury, but Eager was hit into the boards at Sunday’s Joey Moss cup it what was really the game’s only hit by Russian defenceman Kirill Tulupov. Tulupov was not signed by his 2006 draft team, the New Jersey Devils, and is hoping to crack the Oilers’ roster. It is not a certainty that Eager sustained his injury from this hit, but it is of course the first thing that comes to mind.
Eager signed a 3 year, $3.3 million contact with the Edmonton Oilers on July 1st this summer, and was brought in to help add size, experience and strenth to the Oilers’ lineup. Hopefully this is a minor discomfort and Eager will be back in the lineup before the regular season starts.
The Edmonton Oilers are faced with new challenges this year, as well as returning old ones. The old challenges include goaltending and defence while the new challenges include who will play centre when it looks like the Oilers are well stocked.
For many Edmonton Oilers’ fans, the pre-season has truly begun once the annual Joey Moss Cup game rolls around.
Joey Moss is a constant fixture in the Oilers’ dressing room and face of the Edmonton Oilers. Players have come and gone, but Joey Moss has remained. Moss joined the Oilers in 1986 thanks to Wayne Gretzky, who was at the time dating Joey’s sister, Vicki Moss. Every year the Edmonton Oilers play an inter-squad game in Joey’s honour, raising funds for various charities and allowing Oilers’ fans a chance to see many of the Oilers’ prospects, players and camp invitees.
Today is a big day for the Edmonton Oilers because today is the first day of training camp. There are a few Oilers and prospects that are not on the ice due to various injuries and it is also captain Shawn Horcoff’s birthday. If nothing else, truly this has to be the surest sign that the hockey season is days away. The Oilers’ today were divided into 3 teams, A, B and C to take part in various on-ice drills. With so many people at camp on day one, including the injured, the Oilers’ brass will have their work cut out for them to start making cuts.
“Every game against Calgary is a big game” Philippe Cornet wearing an ‘A’ told Edmonton Oilers’ Tom Gazzola from the bench prior to the game. I find it interesting that the Oilers’ prospects buy into the Alberta rivalry so soon, in fact before they even reach the big club. However, I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t care if it’s Calgary firemen vs. Edmonton in a chili cook-off contest, in my world, Edmonton needs to win every time. So, imagine how that carries forward at least for me when it comes to the Oilers versus the Flames, even the baby Oilers. That is why I went to bed with a broken heart Wednesday night.
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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