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Golden Scrap:  Olympic teammates Jarome Iginla and Eric Brewer drop the gloves in Edmonton.

Training Camp Notes
Oilers 4 Flames 3
D'Arcy McGrath
September 30th, 2002

Drama, two nights in a row in the preseason? Maybe the NHL has an idea with the back to back rival match ups in the silly season.

For the second straight night, Alberta's rivals settled in for a sloppy but entertaining hockey game, once again ending with a one goal margin.

Just like last night in Calgary, a strong third period by the homeside was the difference in the Oilers' 4-3 victory on Monday evening.

The game, like its predecessors this month, may have helped to solidify the jobs of some players, while casting doubt on others.


Levente Szuper - Szuper was shaky early, fighting the puck a bit in the Flames net before settling down while the Flames were shorthanded. Overall the Hungarian stopper turned aside 13 of 15 shots through one and a half periods.

Jamie McLennan - No clear goat horns in this one, but McLennan let in the same number of goals (2) with just over half the work (8 shots), in a training camp battle that is likely the least glamorous. The job is likely destined to go to McLennan but neither back up seems willing to claim the prize.


The club's top two lines are falling into forms with many of the key forwards starting to take a larger role of the offensive responsibility and ice time. Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy led the way in ice time with 19:35 and 18:22 respectively. Marc Savard trailed with 17:03. 

Jarome Iginla - Scored his second goal in as many nights, had four shots on goal and a fist fight with Eric Brewer to cap the night off.  

Marc Savard - Maybe a better way to critique the performance of Marc Savard is to look closely at the games in which he doesn't stand out. Trust me ... that's a good thing. Savard logged over ten minutes of five on five action on the night but finished with an even plus minus. He set up rookie Chuck Kobasew's first period goal, but was on the ice for Jiri Dopita's game winner. Overall a fair performance.

Chuck Kobasew - Another typical Kobasew game, his third in a row in the preseason after a fairly slow start. Kobasew, as has been the norm, was fairly invisible on the night with only one first period shot, but typically the shot counted. He and his linemates, Marc Savard and Martin Gelinas continue to click suggesting a possible second line that can produce in Calgary this winter.

Jamie Wright/Mattias Johansson/Chris Clark - The Flames auditioned a possible third line for the season, and had the trio track the Oilers most potent line of the night, Jason Chimera, Dan Cleary and Brian Swanson. They opened to mixed reviews. The Oilers line combined for six points, but did surrender a goal as Chris Clark made it close late. If the Flames can ice a third line that can shut down the opposition, a lot of pressure will be removed from the top two units.

Blair Betts - another quiet but steady night from the "under the radar" rookie. Betts was -1 on the night, as he was on the ice for Dan Cleary's third period goal, but had another great night on the dot, winning 70% of his draws. Can Betts make the team on face off proficiency alone, or will he get snagged by his waiver ineligibility?


With the third last game of the preseason on tap, the Flames chose to give workhorses Denis Gauthier and Derek Morris the night off. As a result the coaching staff pushed rookie Jordan Leopold very hard again, giving the college standout over 20 minutes of ice time for the second time in the preseason. 

Jordan Leopold - If Leopold is going to hang himself, the Flames are providing all the rope he'll ever need sending him over the boards to man the powerplay, play a regular shift and kill penalties. They say that if you direct the puck on net good things can happen, a mandate that Leopold appeared to adopt on the night sending five pucks Tomi Salo's way. He finished the night -1, but was also on the ice for Iginla's powerplay goal. Looks like he'll make the team.

Petr Buzek - Buzek and defence partner Toni Lydman carried the mail for the Flames, both playing over 23 minutes and owning the bragging rights as the squad's only two plus players on the night. Like Leopold, the Flames seem to be pushing Buzek as far as he can be pushed to see what role he can play in Calgary this season. So far ... he's answered the call. He still needs to cut down on his mistakes and work on his consistency, but should their be an injury or two to the Calgary blueline, it looks like Buzek can take on a larger role.

Micki Dupont - with Steve Montador dispatched to the farm the seventh defenceman role has come down to Leopold vs. Micki Dupont. Based on this night, Dupont could be on the next plane east. He finished -2 on the night, finding himself on the ice for both key Edmonton third period goals.

Up Next: Edmonton, Friday.

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