Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Preseason: Oilers @ Canucks.
MattM and I attended this evening's game at GM Place. While it was a decent game overall, the 1-2-2 that the Canucks employed after they took the lead made for a pretty dull finish. A few comments:
- We dressed an awfully young lineup and it showed. With the exception of Strudwick, even the legitimate NHLer's were only second and third year Pro's (37, 77, 12, 13, 67, 51, 46). Once the Canucks took the lead the team really deflated.
- The Powerplay had some nice puck movement and I'll be interested to see how the 37-77 pairing fairs on the second unit.
- PDO mentioned it over at PJO's , and I have to agree, Colin McDonald is a MacT type player. Every time he picked up the puck he moved it up ice with both speed and power. He also wasn't afraid to put pucks on the net. So much so that by the end of the night Matt and I were referring to weak shots from the outside as "McDonald's".
- Trukhno by my eye had a rather up and down game. He showed considerable passing skill and an ability to operate in tight. However, he was noticeably slow and often turned the puck over needlessly (while not under a lot of pressure). I liked what I saw from him but I'm not as impressed as others in the Oilogosphere. I think his game is a long way from 'NHL ready'.
- Bryan Young was not as good as MattM or I expected. After one full year in the 'A' we thought that his game would have a bit more polish. He had pretty much the inverse of 'calm feet'.
- Matt Roy hasn't changed one bit. I noticed on two separate occasions that he turned his back on his forecheckers. The guy showed some grit but he's just not an NHL defenseman.
- Strudwick was solid and hardly noticeable. I think he's a good fit for the 6/7 spot. I do however also think that Smid's job is safe.
- Gilbert Brule put together a very solid game. He played with a lot of energy and his checking style is nearly identical to the recently departed number 14 (he takes those quick short strides just before laying his shoulder into his target). He doesn't however have the obvious flaws in Torres' game: puck handling, agility (Torres has good top speed but doesn't move well side to side), and shot. I was very impressed with this kid, at just 21 years old I think he's set the bar for the 12th F spot.
- Kyle Brodziak looked like a man amongst boys. His skating has improved and he doesn't seem to have regressed from the Brodziak we saw late last season. I think he was the best Oiler forward.
- Jordan Eberle was a boy amongst men. You can see the talent but he's just not there yet.
- Not really much to say, Gibby and Grebs were feeling each other out and had pretty poor games. Sesito, Spurgeon, Young, Taylor, Benson looked out of place and will be cut soon. Stortini played the pest role perfectly and Potulny had his moments but was overshadowed by Brule.
- Roloson was playing with a lot of fire and I was very impressed with his gamesmanship.