PHOENIX JETS 0
By definition, early preseason games are weird, and any first interpretations based on three periods are going to be hasty and wrong, swingly wildly out of proportion like some sort of berserk Geiger Counter: "Danny Syvret coughs up the puck! The Oilers D is doomed!", "Alexei Mikhnov scores! Put the fucking 'C' on his sweater!"
Based on tonight's game, you might even conclude that Devan Dubnyk is a sexual demon between the pipes, Laddy Smid is a keeper, and that Patrick Thoresen (who?) is destined to be our second line centre of the future. Good games all, but the real deal of an early preseason tilt is to see who's extra-bad (we were pretty dead on about Cory Cross last year) and out of place while keeping a mindful eye on some question marks (et tu Jani Rita?).
By all accounts, Alexei Mikhnov shook off some of his rookie game listlessness and rust and potted 3 points, including his first NHL goal, making the Oilers 2007 scouting staff look like a bunch of wizards. On the backend, Devan Dubnyk got his first NHL shutout in his first NHL game, and he even had to earn it by stopping about 20 Shane Doan shots. Perhaps more importantly, Daniel Tjarnqvist, Ladislav Smid and Dan Hejda were also solid. Good times. But yes, some hedging; it's only one game against a thin Phoenix "B" team so you can't read too much into it.
- write this on a small piece of paper for future water cooler chat reference: Tjarnqvist = "Tsharn-qwist," Dan Hejda = "Hyedya" (I think) and Ladislav Smid ="Schmeed"
- nice to visit with our prairie brethren in Winnipeg's, er, MTS Centre (remember the good ol' days when a hockey rink was simply known as a "coliseum"?)
- I never thought of Winnipeg as being an Oilers-friendly town, but the crowd was 100 per cent cheering for the Oilers. Funny what a Cup run can do -- then again, who could cheer for the Phoenix Coyotes, least of all, any self-respecting Winnipegger? I want them to get a NHL team just for the fact that they booed Mike Comrie.
- it took Rod Phillips about ten seconds to confuse the Phoenix Coyotes with the Winnipeg Jets, a team that hasn't played in over a decade. Some things are comfortable marker stones of a summer passing to fall, whether it be falling leaves, having to wear wool sweaters, or hot mugs of coffee on cool mornings. For me, it's the sound of Rod Phillips having a brain aneurysm trying to pronounce names like "Vyacheslav Trukhno"
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Posted by mike w at 7:25 PM