FLAMES TRAINING CAMP
|Arbitrate This! Calgary's Scott Nichol gives Edmonton captain Jason Smith a rough ride. The veteran Flame squad had their way with their provincial rivals in a 6-5 victory.
Training Camp Notes
Calgary Flames 6 Edmonton Oilers 5
September 29th, 2002
After floundering with rookie laden lineups earlier in the pre-season the Flames fairly overwhelmed the Oilers last night even if the 6-5 final was closer than it should have been.
The Oilers dressed 11 players with five games or less of NHL experience, generated only 14 shots but scored on a series of Grade A opportunities gifted to them by the gaffes of the home team.
Otherwise, the rink was definitely tilted towards the Oiler end.
Some notes on a selected few:
Roman Turek - with four goals against on the first seven shots the verdict should be grim but three of the markers were of the point blank variety, created by individual gaffes from his teammates. The other goal came when Jason Chimera built up a full head of steam from centre ice before unleashing a bullet from the top of the faceoff circle. Stoppable but not a cinch either. Just one of those nights.
Marc Savard - A typical game for Savard, on the ice for the first six goals, three for and three against. But we'll give him credit for passion and creativity this night even if Edmonton's opening shorthanded goal was a direct result of him vacating his post, allowing Shawn Horcoff to walk in on Turek from the slot. And Savard's look of frustration as he headed back to the bench was confirmation. A beautiful goal to tie the game 3-3 though, dipsy doodling around an Edmonton defender, cutting to the centre of the ice and ripping a wrist shot off the post and in. Add three assists as well. And a minus one rating.
Craig Conroy and Jarome Iginla - You can't help but review these two together as they seemed to have the puck on a string between them all night. Along with Ladislav Kohn, their line hemmed the Oilers in the offensive zone for entire shifts. Incredibly, the dynamic duo ended up minus two on the evening. Iginla's marker in the first period was a thing of beauty.
Ladislav Kohn - got the dream assignment of being the third man on the Conroy/Iginla line and looked at home before tying the game in the third period with a nice effort. But he won't survive the return of Dean McAmmond.
Robyn Regehr - Regehr has been working on an increased all-around presence throughout the pre-season and was finally rewarded with a goal and an assist along with six shots. Teamed with Toni Lydman on the night.
Scott Nichol - The ludicrous sight of Nichol, hiding the puck in the Edmonton zone on a penalty kill while surrounded by three Oilers beating on him as his teammates rushed off for a short-handed line change, pretty much explains why you can pencil him into the starting lineup on opening night. The Oilers also drew a penalty on the play.
Jordan Leopold - A better all around effort tonight but burned badly on a classic rookie mistake on the fifth Oiler goal, following Ales Hemsky across the crease and leaving Mike Comrie with an open net. With Steve Montador gone to the AHL, however, Leopold only has to beat diminutive Micki Dupont for a roster spot.
Mattias Johansson - More blocked shots on the penalty kill. Nothing fancy. Created nothing offensively though. For his penalty killing skills alone he should end up with a roster spot.
Jamie MacLennan - Daniel Cleary's deflection of a point shot as an Oiler power play was ending was the only shot to beat him. But only faced six shots in a half game of work.
Denis Gauthier - splattered Hemsky and Daniel Cleary on different shifts before Mike Grier tried to jump him but Gauthier got a haymaker of a shot into Grier's face in the opening seconds of the tussle. In other words, an ordinary game for Gauthier.
Jamie Wright - one of many grinders playing with energy this night and scores the game winner while springing the trap, forcing an Oiler defender into a low percentage pass that resulted in an open road to the net.
Chuck Kobasew - Industrious but was better in his last game. Should easily be on the team on opening night though as he continues to play a mature all-around game, which belies his age.
Martin Gelinas - scored the opener with some good work and is everything he was advertised to be. A solid NHL player.