by Lisa McRitchie on 12/23/11 at 04:29 AM ET
This was the perfect game for 2011 1st round Swedish defenceman draft pick Oscar Klefbom to see his NHL team, the Edmonton Oilers, play live. Klefbom and several members of the Sweden U20 team took in an NHL game in the same building they will play in Friday night while facing Team Canada in another preliminary game and what a game it was. According to Dan Tencer of 630 Ched, several of the players caught onto the energy of the arena and participated in the fist pump cam.
If you’re not sure about what the fist pump cam is, you’re not alone and unfortunately this is the best explanation video I could find.
Wild vs Oilers game highlights
Those who expected this game to go much like the other two times the Wild have visited Edmonton were pleasantly surprised Thursday night. The Oilers played without Ales Hemsky who is suffering from flu and yet somehow managed to dominate the Wild. There are several fans who feel that Hemsky’s absence is the reason for the Oilers play, but as the Detroit Red Wings are rumoured to be interested in Hemsky and there are several Red Wings fans who may read this, I will stick to saying that Hemsky is an offensive player who would be a welcomed addition to most any team.
Jordan Eberle provided half of the Oilers goals, scoring 2 goals on the night. This was Eberle’s second two goal game of the year and one can’t help but hope that a hat-trick isn’t that far behind.
The lone Wild goal came from who else, but Danny Heatley. Despite the steady stream of boos directed at the man who spurred Edmonton’s interest, Heatley always seems to find the back of the net and make an impact on the scoresheet in Edmonton. This time, Heatley robbed Oilers’ netminder Nikolai Khabibulin of a shutout.
Lennart Petrell, who drew in for the ailing Ales Hemsky scored his third goal of the NHL, but this one was short handed. Unfortunately for Petrell, he also made his mark in another way. Petrell was ejected from the game following this third period hit on Marek Zidlicky. GIF credit to CJ Fogler.
Petrell will receive at least a call from Brendan Shanahan and will likely receive his first NHL suspension.
Ladislav Smid and Taylor Hall both took stingers in this game. Although Hall left the ice one leg, he did finish the game using both. Hall took a shot from Oilers’ defenceman Jeff Petry off of the foot, but after just a few minutes was able to return to the ice. Smid, the team leader in blocked shots didn’t leave the bench.
Following the game in an interview with Sportsnet commentator Gene Principe, Smid talked about blocking shots in a game. “It’s painful for a bit, but after that first pain it feels great. I think that we showed lots of character today.” Smid went on to say “You can’t really be mentally prepared for that. We try not to think about it, you see the open guy and you try to do whatever it takes to keep it out of the net.” Smid definitely does whatever he can to keep the puck out of the Oilers’ net, and was a big piece in the Oilers’ victory. “We’ve waited so long for a big victory and it feels even better to beat Minnesota. They’re number one in the conference so it feels really good.”
This must have been head coach Tom Renney’s easiest and happiest post game media address in far too long.
This was the Oilers last home game on 2011, as they now leave Rexall Place to the World Juniors tournament. The Oilers’ next game will be Boxing Day in Vancouver. Merry Christmas Oilers’ fans!
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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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