by Lisa McRitchie on 10/29/12 at 11:45 PM ET
This was not the start they had hoped for, but it is what the Edmonton Oil Kings got. Instead of picking up right where they had finished last season, the team has suffered through its share of ups and downs. Now however, the team may be turning things around.
Despite losing Martin Gernat early in the season to a shoulder injury and a small handful of players to the AHL, this Oil Kings team looks a lot like last year’s. And so just why the team struggled for wins against teams such as the Calgary Hitmen especially, no one could say.
But, with a winning weekend behind them, and a long road trip ahead, the Oil Kings want for nothing more than another franchise record winning streak.
With the upcoming road trip, head coach Derek Laxdal hopes that this will also be a team bonding experience. But for new addition Edgars Kulda of Latvia, that’s something he’s already trying to do on the ice; mainly by standing up for his teammates.
“It’s a good sport for our hockey club and for him to come over all of the way from Europe and get involved and be a physical player, that’s definitely something that he can add to his game it’s only going to help us down the stretch” Laxdal said of Kulda.
Having someone add more physical play to the Oil King’s game will be a good thing. With all of the skilled and talented players on the team this season, various players will appear to be targets throughout the year.
Edmonton Oiler prospects currently playing on the Oil Kings Travis Ewanyk, Mitch Moroz and with the exception of Martin Gernat (injured) have not forgotten that they still need to earn that next step. Both Ewanyk and Moroz are currently plus players at +4 each. Both have 3 goals but it is 2012 second round pick Moroz who takes the lead in points with his 6 assists.
The Oil King prospects will continue to receive the support and training assistance of the Edmonton Oilers’ staff simply because they share the same building. And it probably doesn’t hurt that the Oilers staff have a little more time on their hands; we can’t forget about the support staff affected by this year’s lockout.
Should there be NHL training camps this season, there may be players pulled to join their NHL club. But should training camps coincide with World Junior training camps, or even the Subway Series, the Edmonton Oil Kings could be the most affected club in the WHL. After all, the team is sending 7 players and their head coach to games 5 and 6 in Vancouver and Victoria November 14 and 15th. But who are we kidding, if one thing is clear it is that there are not going to be training camps in mid November. The beginning of December though, there is a small possibility there.
Whether it is the drop of the mercury, the falling of snow or that the reality of the NHL lockout is settling in, attendance at Oil Kings games has been increasing. And as with last season, it’s a beautiful thing to see a winning Edmonton team.
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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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