Showing posts with label Linus Omark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linus Omark. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Just Don't Feel Bad, It's Just That Time Of Year

Watching tonight's game had me thinking about players being cut. I remember being cut from teams. It sucks. It hurts. 

But you move on to whatever lies next and hopefully you realize that it was you that failed to make the team, not the coaches. Some players have to clear waivers, while some don't, and sometimes that makes decisions complicated. 

Hockey is a production based sport and if you're not standing out and contributing, you don't survive. Simple as that. Coach Eakins really seems to be attracted to the stand out players that push their own limits. He really doesn't care about the past or veteran status or the name on the jersey. He cares about the now. 

Linus Omark was the latest victim of not being a standout for the right reasons. Eakins hated the fact Omark tried to do everything himself and he didn't rely on his line mates like he should. The kid has skill, but he just can't seem to follow a game plan. His style hasn't really changed since joining the Oilers, and either has his yearly exit from training camp to anywhere but Edmonton. I had high hopes for him. Those hopes are long gone. 

The next on the waiver wire you would think to be is Ryan Jones. He just seems like he's always a step behind. We have all seen Ryan flying on his A game. We've seen him be his best. Where did he go?

Did Jones not prepare himself enough this summer? Did he do enough on ice work? Did his second surgery hinder his training?

At the end of the day, if he's cut and put on waivers, who will he blame? He clearly has the tools to do the job.

So as camp is winding down and the kids that don't require waivers like Nurse, Pitlick and Fedun go to their respected teams, they must remember what it took to get them this far and to apply that next training camp. They still have more chances. It's not the end of the world. 

The vet players however. Well... you might have blown your last chance. 

-WRITTEN BY A NOT SAD SMOKIN' RAY BURNT


Monday, September 23, 2013

Tyler Pitlick Earns One More Shot, As Do Others

Coach Dallas Eakins had high praise when talking about Tyler Pitlick after tonight's 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. 


Pitlick had a team high 6 hits and he played a very sound and solid game. He really stood out tonight and added a beautiful assist to the mix. With 15:13 of playing time, he made every minute count. Good on him considering he's pretty much has been a wash so far in his short Oilers career. I don't know where this version came from, but I like it. 


Jesse Joensuu also had a good game. He scored his third goal of the preseason because he drove to the net and really played a hard fought game. He's also earning the coaches praise.


Anton Belov makes good choices. He just seems really smart with the puck and I'm really starting to like him. I really liked his quick release with the puck and he picked up an assist due to that. I'd imagine he looks even better in another game or two. Good signing so far. 


After the blunder by Dubnyk, he was solid. No reason to knock him. Accidents happen and that goal against was just that. A mistake. No big deal. He was great for the rest of the game, just not that 2 seconds of it. 


Will Acton and Taylor Fedun both had decent games as well. Acton scored the game winner and Fedun played a real calm and cool defensive game. Both will get another chance to impress. 


Mark Arcobello had a team high 5 shots and played well enough. I'm not convinced he's done enough for a roster spot, but he sure is putting in a effort to do so. 


Boyd Gordon was 67% on faceoffs. That in my opinion, was all he really did tonight. I expected him to be better. 


Phil Larsen had a good game. He had 5 blocked shots and picked up an assist. He's making a very strong case to make the team too. Tough decisions for coach Eakins. 


Maybe Yakupov needs a night off? He's played in every game and tonight he looked like he could use a rest. Mind you, he was playing with Omark (bad tonight) and Gordon (so-so). 


The one guy who did blow it? Linus Omark. In a game where he needed to be a factor, he wasn't. Not even playing with Yakupov. I fear he may have blown his last chance and once again he will be with the Barons. 


In a game where guys needed to step up, some did, and some didn't. 


-WRITTEN A HAPPY SMOKIN' RAY BURNT-

Saturday, September 14, 2013

'This & That from Oilers Training Camp'



Having tried to glean information from the Oilers on their interest or lack of in regards to players and or their development has not been easy. Some of what I am going to share is information that each one of us has had access to hear via the MSM or even the interviews from the coaches themselves. Some information comes from being closely around the Oilers brass for a couple days, some comes from personal one on one conversations from those closely associated with the players or some comes from the players themselves away from the ice.

Having said all that, take the information for what you think it is worth. No need asking me who said what, cause if I did hear directly from 'unnamed' person, out of respect for them, it would be unfair to expose their name or names. If you think I am being another EKLUND wannabe, you definitely have not read many of my blogs over the years and or followed me very much on twitter. Having followed closely the Oilers organization quite closely these past 5 years and prospects as well has afforded me unique opportunities and I am not going to do anything to put anything like that in jeopardy. If you think I am way off, so be it! Let time be the judge before you rip apart the messenger.

TIDBITS FROM CAMP:
I will highlight in red anything that was information that i received on perspective players leading into saturday's night split-squad games in Edmonton and Calgary. If it is not highlighted it will be my perspective and or views.

CAMERON ABNEY
Unfortunately for Cam, this could be the beginning of the end. His off ice work while good, has not been great and his progress has been stalled while other potential players are about to supplant him if things don't change ASAP. My take on Abney will be, this is his final year to prove himself. He will either be traded or released at the end of season most likely

WILL ACTON 
 Was hardly recognizable on the ice these past couple days but is that always a bad thing? It could turn out to be his best chance. Will be in a fight with Lander for that 4th line spot. Is not slotted into OKC's plans in their line combo's currently but that could change drastically should he falter in the opportunities given.

MARK ARCOBELLO
A decent showing with skilled players Yakupov and Omark could prove to be his best chance. His outcome from the game in Edmonton Saturday night could either elevate him into the opening night lineup or actually see him with a ticket back to OKC after a few pre-season games. Is currently slotted into the Barons #1 Centre slot and MacT has been very direct that he wants players to play in OKC around the same role they would play should they be playing for the Oilers. Maybe one line higher but no more.

MIKE BROWN  
Grows a stache like nobodies business but will that be enough. Will be the 13th or 14th forward going into the season. Plays exactly the game he knows how to play and knows how to use gamesmanship which is extremely important for the role he fills.

GREGORY CHASE 
Hits well, is relentless and has a scoring touch too. Did I mention he is a agitator and likes it too? The Oilers are very high on Chase and have been pleased with what he has shown them this camp so far. Not every jr player gets to play even in a scrimmage let alone game action. If he continues to develop this year back in jr, his path and future looks bright with the Oilers.

JORDAN EBERLE
Sick skills and looks to really have his shot back. His minor injury last season really hindered his shot. This year I would expect his shooting % goes back up. Will be interesting to see who he is paired with in the early regular season games.


TAYLOR HALL  
Had his good and bad moments playing in the centre pivot position. It will take time to adjust but Hall is a world class player and at the very worst it is highly likely he will fill the team need better by playing centre for up to 5 games then playing left wing and leaving this team extremely weak down the middle. RNH hs confidence in Taylor, why shouldn't we? Taylor is learning what needs to be done in that centre pivot spot from good mentors in his coach Action and RNH himself. If we all recall, he did mention last year if the team did try him at centre he didn't want it to be a 2 or 3 game stint but given some time to really try it out. My guess? He will play a minimum of 10 games at centre and then be evaluated after that.

CURTIS HAMILTON
Time is running out for Curtis and his injuries have likely been his greatest downfall to really exhibiting what his true value is to the Oilers. His off ice work was said to have improved last development camp but now we missed seeing what progress could have taken place by, no on ice action. If not this year, then the next Curtis will likely be on the outside looking in. Only thing that saves him is a big year in OKC IMO.

RYAN HAMILTON
A big tough, determined player that Dallas Eakins really appreciates has brought him to Edmonton on the basis he will push the bottom 6 forwards and or at worst play the power forward role in OKC, Most likely in the end will be a call up for bottom 6 winger role in Edmonton this season.


JUJHAR KHAIRA  
Will be monitored very closely this year and Oilers want to be cautious with him but are excited about his future with the organization. Debate is on if he reports to OKC or ends up in WHL with Everett. Likely he goes to WHL but some of that decision will be who gets assigned to OKC with other players from camp, bets are he goes to WHL.

ANTON LANDER 
Anton is pencilled into a 2nd line role in OKC to open the season but only Lander can change that destiny. Concerns are more about his confidence and Oilers would like to see him less concerned with points and more on just playing the same game, shift in and shift out. If he finds his game in pre-season, he starts in Edmonton, if not, other options are considered.

RYAN MARTINDALE  
His all around game is coming around but it looks more and more everyday he will have to decide to become a role player in a 4th or 3rd line tops role. Would be great if he accepted he may not have the Hockey sense to be a elite skill guy at pro level. Is pencilled in as 3rd line centre in OKC to start the year.

LINUS OMARK 
While the last regime was not happy with what they saw in Omark, this new regime is very happy with his potential. Dallas has great respect for his skills and wants to provide a prime opportunity for him to show himself well. It is still a win-win for both sides no matter how this comes down. If Linus can show even just ok, defensively he will get a shot, if he shows what he did in the past without the puck, he won't be in Edmonton past the pre-season games. OKC would be happy with 1 more year of Omark and when the year is completed he is a UFA who can go and try his own luck. I wouldn't count Omark out and don't forget, it's not his toughness that is in question, it is his ability to cover his defensive role.

DAVID PERRON 
Perron is a interesting player. this guy has a lot of Yakupov in him when it comes to life and the game of hockey. He almost eats, breaths and lives hockey. Really love the fact he lines up so perfectly on his off wing just like Yakupov. If these two can have some chemistry, it may provide for some interesting hockey. David has no concerns going to the tough area's of the ice and does not mind some rough play.  Perron appears to really like the red carpet treatment he has received and you can tell by his actions he loves he is in hockey country.

TYLER PITLICK  
Like so many before him, Tyler is about to fall off the face of the hockey world really quick, if he can not be consistent with his play. Almost makes you wonder what happened somewhere. Was there something others knew that made him available at 31st OV at the draft. I think the injuries and confidence is what has stalled his major growth. He still has time to prove himself to the Oilers brass but time is starting to run out. He needs a strong year in OKC if he stands to even have a fighting chance. Will likely only get 1 or 2 pre-season games and then get assigned to OKC.

MARCO ROY  
Roy has looked good to date but at scrimmage on a line with speed and against bigger, quicker players he has realized pretty quick, he isn't in the CHL anymore. Marco has performed above expectations and a good showing back in Jr should go a long way into his growth development. There look to be some high praises of his game with oilers brass.

NAIL YAKUPOV  
Honestly, upon tweeting about the scrimmages, I was not trying to follow Yakupov very much but anytime he is on the ice, he draws the attention of every fan too him. He has become the newest darling of the fans and girls are going crazy over this cute Russian. His game seems to even have another step since last season and with some confidence behind him the limits are endless. There is no way this organization will be even considering a trade of this player unless something were to breakdown in their relationship. Nail's best game is when he is confident and given opportunities to rise to the occasion. One thing that was noticeable in the scrimmage is his relentless pursuit of the puck when the other team had it. Let's hope that spills over to the early pre-season games and becomes a contagious habit. If Omark ever stood a chance to make the Oilers, it will be because Yakupov elevates his game.

ANTON BELOV  
Some MSM have pencilled him as the 7th or even 8th d-man in the depth chart, not so sure the Coaches and scouts agree. They are very high on his physical battle for pucks, his passing ability and his skating and see him suited well for the NHL. Just too bad his struggles with Visa have been a pain.

The Oilers are very high on this prospect and will be following his Jr season closely. There are already plans in place to make sure he gets everything he needs to development to the best of his ability. Not sure it's everyone who see's Ben this important but some who are directly involved with him do and he will be given every opportunity to show his A game to this organization.

It is amazing to see the growth in hi game. He is a battler but I don't know if he will ever see much time in the NHL but he continues to defy the odds. At the very worst he is a solid D-man for the AHL. Some of the development staff see nothing but bright future for this young player.


It appears there may be more to Denis coming back to the Oilers then just as a extra d-man. Between his NHL experience, his Russian language and his off ice personality and teachable character, it appears he may be the new mentor they wanted in town with Yakupov to keep the transition smoother with Khabby gone. Don't doubt Khabby's influence that aided Yakupov through the transitions early on.

Tyler is a battler and he likely will get over this but right now he is in for a tough season moving forward. He is the first one to tell you his head is not in the game like it was a couple years ago. Turning pro can do that to you against the next elite level of hockey players. I would still give him 2 more seasons to see if he can continue to develop the mental side of the game. There is no concerns with his athleticism or his positioning, it's all upstairs and that takes time to work on.


Jason is one of those Goalies who is adjusting to the new leg pad size. Didn't know about the change this year? Between the top of the knee and the highest point of the leg in the inner groin area, you have have your pad cover 55% of the area. The rule changed this year to 45%. This means Jason lost 1.5 inches on the length of his pad and it will affect the '5 hole' no matter how you look at it. Lots of confidence in Jason being able to run a string of even p to 10 games in a row if needed. Is considered a high quality back up goalie.


Those were the players that I was able to notice more and or get some more insights into these past couple weeks. Hockey gets back in action tonight and I for one am jacked to get it going! GO OILERS!!

For Oiler and Baron news and 2013/14 NHL draft watch


Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Beginning That Lies Ahead

It's the beginning of the 2013/14 NHL season coming up, and the beloved Edmonton Oilers fans are starting to get giddy. Lots of speculation and opinions having been flying around for some time.

The latest story is the possibility of Sam Gagner as the next Oilers captain. If you've followed me, you'll know I was and am a huge Gagner supporter. I think he'd make a fantastic captain and he would be a good mediator between the different age groups. So if Sam Gagner is the next Oilers captain, I support that decision.

One scenario I'd like to see played out this year? I'd love to see Ryan Smyth wear the C for this last kick at the can. Captain Canada should have a C on his jersey before he retired. This is that chance.

Another story has been who replaces Ryan Nugent-Hopkins if he's not ready to return at the start of the season. Some speculation has Taylor Hall moving to center. That's easily doable for the fact that now with the addition of Linus Omark into the fold, the Oilers can still have the top 6 filled with goal scorers. Doesn't matter if it's Hemsky or Omark, the Oilers can fill the void.

I've also heard the possibility of Marc Arcobello will fill the void left by the RNH injury. He has experience playing with Eberle and Hall and that could be the way the Oilers start their season.

Although, what kind of message does that send to a player? Right now, good enough to play on the first line, but the minute RNH comes back, back to the OKC Barons for Arcobello. I wouldn't want to have to make that decision.

Will the Oilers have three scoring lines? I'd hope not, but it's looking more and more like that's going to happen. It's very possible that we will see a Omark/Gordon/Hemsky line. I just can't imagine a 3rd line as a checking line with Ales Hemsky and Linus Omark on it. Can you?

Of course a top discussion was, will Oscar Klefbom make the team straight out of training camp? The Oilers are very high on him and it's very possible he's a final candidate for the 6th and 7th spot. I'd personally, if he's not quite there, send him down to OKC and let him play big minutes and develop his skill. That decision never hurts the player.

The YoungStars tournament starts in a couple days. I'm excited to see these kids and see what they can do. Lots of new faces and I'm hoping the Oilers show them via webcast like the previous years. Should be fun to watch.

-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY BURNT-

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Linus Omark Returns to the Oilers

In a surprising twist, the Edmonton Oilers have signed Linus Omark to a one year deal.

Omark, if he makes the team, will slot in on the third line with Boyd Gordon and Ales Hemsky.

If not, he's on a two way contract and will play with the OKC Barons.

Interesting move Oilers. Interesting...

-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY BURNT-

Monday, March 5, 2012

Linus Omark Recalled To The Oilers

The flashy swede has been recalled. I'm really interested to see him in the blue & orange again. Has he found that fire inside to keep him around? We will see.

GOILERS!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Don't BS Me. Do We Really Have A Game On Tonight?

What seems like an eternity, game day is finally here. Oilers vs Wild tonight in Minnesota.

There is a couple of stories today for the Oilers that makes this game interesting.

- The obvious. 2nd game of the season. The Oil haven't played since Sunday, and with the shootout win over the Pens, the fans want more. It just took to damn long to get to today.

- Sure does sound like Linus Omark won't play tonight. He's being benched for playing with little fire in the opener. Some say Renney is also pissed off with his shootout attempt.

- Lennart Petrell makes his NHL and Oilers debut tonight. In sure he's buzzing this morning and he's ready to go. He's good defensively and apparently a stud on the penalty kill. I'm interested to see him in action.

- Darcy Hordichuk and his :59 of playing time is in the lineup. WTF? If that's all he's going to play, I'd rather have Omark on the 4th line. Wasn't signing Hordichuk was because he can play 7 minutes a night? Play Hordichuk, or the press box. Pick one Renney.

Hall-Nugent Hopkins-Hemsky
Smyth-Belanger-Eberle
Paajarvi-Horcoff-Jones
Petrell-Lander-Hordichuk

Sutton-Gilbert
Smid-Peckham
Barker-Petry

Khabibulin

-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY-

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oilers Jambalaya's Top 25 Prospects List

I was asked by Derek Zona from the Copper & Blue website to submit my top 25 Edmonton Oilers prospects, or in other words, the guys who have not yet made the team.  Here is the list and rankings that I came up with.  Agree? Dissagree?

Read the article by Derek HERE. Thanks for including my point of view Derek!

1. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C
2. Jeff Petry, D
3. Linus Omark RW
4. Anton Lander, C
5. Oscar Klefbom, D
6. Teemu Hartikainen, LW
7. Martin Marincin, D
8. Curtis Hamilton, LW
9. David Musil, D
10. Tyler Bunz, G
11. Colten Teubert, D
12. Tyler Pitlick, C
13. Dillon Simpson, D
14. Ryan Martindale, C
15. Olivier Roy, G
16. Travis Ewanyk, C
17. Jeremie Blain, D
18. Chris Vande Velde, C
19. Alex Plante, D
20. Ryan O'Marra, C
21. Johan Motin, D
22. Samu Perhonen, G
23. Frans Tuohimaa, G
24. Tobias Rieder, RW
25. Cameron Abney, RW


-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY-

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taylor Hall and Ryan Whitney On Twitter? You Betcha!

Joining Jim Vandermeer (@Jim_Vandermeer), Ryan Jones (@jonesry28), Linus Omark (@limpanomark), Jeff Petry (@petryj), are two new Oilers to join the twitter craze.

Welcome to Taylor Hall (@Hallsy04) and Ryan Whitney (@RyanWhitney6). If you haven`t joined twitter yet, well you should. This is a very cool way to interact with your favorite Oilers players.

While your at it, follow me too for all the Edmonton Oilers updates and news. @OilersJambalaya.

-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN` RAY-

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Future Of The Edmonton Oilers

I`m working today and I`m a little bored. I started thinking this morning about the Oilers and what lies ahead. The more I thought, the more I got fired up. Forget last year and even this year. The future is where it`s at. I know... that has been promised for the last 10 years. But the future is close. Last night watching the Taylor Hall revelation, I couldn`t help but think he`s finally arrived. It`s been a long time since I was sold on a young player so quickly. But how can you not embrace what he represents? The kid wants to be a winner and you know what? I believe him. Combine Hall with the other young players and you get a gnarly young core group to lead this team to Lord Stanley`s cup. Want to know the future? Here it is. Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi, Lander, Dubnyk, Peckham, Teubert, Petry, Vande Velde, Hartikainen, Omark (plus other players not named) and the two 1st round draft picks from 2011. Now if that doesn`t set this team up for years to come, then really.... nothing will.

-WRITTEN BY SMOKIN' RAY-

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Barons In Trouble Offensively; Oilers Call Up Top Point Scorers

Within the last few days, the Oilers have made a couple roster moves involving call ups and call downs. Ryan O'Marra and Shawn Belle were sent down on Sunday and Liam Reddox and Linus Omark were called up to replace them on the Oilers active roster. It's no big secret that Reddox and Omark are the big guns in the Barons offense, but just how much?

Reddox is going to be on his first stint with the Oilers this season. The Barons are 18-14-1-4 so far this season. When Omark was on the team from the start of the season and the two games this last weekend, the Barons are 15-9-1-3. In the 9 games while he was in Edmonton, the Barons were 3-5-0-1. Reddox registered 8 points(3G, 5A) in those games, but they only came in 4 of the games. With Reddox and Omark being the 2nd and 3rd Barons leading goal scorers respectively, their call up takes a huge chunk out of the Barons offense. The Barons have scored 120 goals this season, Omark and Reddox account for 32, or 26.2%, of them. And of the 313 points the Barons players have registered, Omark and Reddox account for 64, or 20.4%, of those. Then, the Barons Power Play, which has had it's struggles at certain times of the season but has come back recently. They're currently 11th in the league. Omark and Reddox have 7 of the 38 PP goals scored by the Barons, 18.4%.

It doesn't end there either. Jeff Petry was called up to the Oilers on Dec 27th. When you add Petry's stats to Reddox's and Omark's numbers, it becomes an even bigger blow to the Barons. Petry's 7 goals bring the percentage up to 32.5%, his 19 points bring that up to 27.1%, and his 2 PP goals take that up to 23.6%.

With the Oilers having a quarter of the Barons offensive production on their active roster right now, it'll be interesting to see how the lines will look and if there are any signings in the future of the Barons. The first line of Giroux-Moran-McDonald will really have to step up to cover any of the loss. Hartikainen is coming along nicely but he's had trouble scoring when Reddox and Omark aren't on the ice too. This weekend will be a huge test for them as they have 3 games in 3 nights. Peoria comes in on Friday and Saturday, and they take on Lake Erie on Sunday.

-Written by Eric Rodgers-

Monday, January 3, 2011

Red Bull? Pfft! We Have The Redd-Ox!

Liam Reddox was recalled earlier today (along with Linus Omark) to play with the Edmonton Oilers for the next couple games (or more?). I know that this is old news as it happened this morning, but this makes me happy for Reddox for two reasons.

1 - He had a great camp and deserved a spot with the team at the start. Even though Ryan Jones did raise the level in his game in the last 15 or so games, he was clearly beaten straight out at camp by Reddox. Reddox finally gets his shot he earned at camp. I say good for him!

2 - The second reason? He went down to OKC and he shut his mouth when sent down. He busted his ass down in OKC and proved he was worthy of being an Oiler. As of right now, only Alex Giroux is beating him on the team in points.

Reddox has scored 18 goals, 15 assists, for 33 points in 37 games. In those 37 games he's taken 143 shots on goal. He dominates games by firing off more shots than any other Barons player. He's a shooting machine and at times, he just can't be stopped. He takes an average of 3.86 shots per game or that's translated to 12.5% of the OKC Barons total shots. He's a +14 and he's been solid on the PK with 4 short handed goals. He's not only proved he was ready at the start of the season, he's proved that he's ready now too. And he's done it with class.

It's a great story that's developed about this little Redd-Ox fellow over the past little while. He's won the hearts of more people than just MacT's. I too like him now. But is there more to this story?

Yes there is. He's on a two way contract, but since he's not an entry level contract guy and he's passed the requirements (games played, years of service, that type of stuff), if and when he gets put back on waivers, he will need to clear them on re-entry waivers. Meaning another team can claim his services and the Oilers get nothing in return. Bum deal. For us only.

I suppose there are only two options where this may lead Reddox and his future with the Oilers.

1 - The Oilers see a future for him with the team for the rest of the season. Maybe they have decided that no matter what, he's going to stick around and finish out the season in E town? Possible.

We do know that someone will have to go when the injured guys are ready if they plan to keep Liam around. Is there a trade on the horizon and room will be made for him with the Oil? That's possible.

Will they waive another player (ie: Jacques) instead of Reddox? Also possible. If they want him to stay, they can arrange it to happen. They can. Multiple scenarios at hand, but is this what they want?

2 - Or the other option. He's here as a quick fix and nothing more. A time filler. He will be put back on waivers and let the chips fall as they may. If he makes it back to OKC then fine. If not, also fine?

Do they know or have confidence that no other team will claim him? Can he clear waivers?

Looking at it from the outside, he does deserve a chance with another team if the Oilers don't want him to stick around. If the Oilers are not willing to give him a shot here long term, maybe a chance with another is possible? Maybe another team is interested?

THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME!!!

What do you see happening to Liam Reddox?

-Written by Smokin' Ray Burnt-

Saturday, December 11, 2010

*THIS* Is Why We're Here - A Guest Post

I'm sure everyone has seen Linus Omark's shootout goal from last night (If you haven't, you can leave your Oilers card at the door). Having gotten to see him play live those 16 times, it felt pretty cool to see someone go and have success at the NHL level. Late last night, another OKC blogger, and someone who's gotten to be a pretty friend that just happened to have season tickets two rows behind mine, put up a pretty awesome post that pretty much sums up my feelings. She also reminded me of why I stick mostly with stats because of how my writing ability still lacks pretty bad. Candace Riley writes A New Ice Age. If you haven't seen it yet, she gives a pretty great recap and adds in pictures that she takes throughout the game. Go and check it out. So without further adieu, here's Candace's post.

---

Not long after Tuesday night's game against Houston, the rumours started running hard and fast about the Oilers calling up a couple Barons players. The likely duo was named as Ryan O'Marra and Linus Omark. The rumour became truth early Wednesday afternoon. They were pulled off the ice during the Barons' outdoor practice and shuttled to Edmonton that afternoon/evening.

They both played in their first game of the season with the Oilers Friday night. Ryan had seen time with the club last season, but this was Linus' first taste of the regular season big show. As it would turn out, one taste wasn't enough, apparently.

Each one registered an assist during the 2nd period of a close game against Tampa Bay. Tampa led on a couple of occasions, but Edmonton fought back to take a 3-2 lead to the 3rd. Steven Stamkos would tie the game for the Lightning early in the 3rd. We arrived home from the Barons win over Manitoba, and we'd see it go to overtime, then finally a shootout.

The Edmonton announcers on Rogers Sportsnet were pretty excited with speculation as to whether or not Oilers coach Tom Renney would put Linus in the shootout. I almost couldn't believe it when they said that, yes, he had made the list of 3. He would shoot third, behind Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall.

Eberle scored on his attempt, and Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Marc Pouliot on his. Taylor Hall would be stopped by Dan Ellis, and the same for Steven Stamkos.

Then, it was Linus' turn. He took a very quick run to the puck, but was stopped by the referee at center ice. Apparently in his excitement, or that of the entire crowd at Rexall Place, he hadn't waited for the whistle to go. On his second go.................................magic.

Already hoarse from the Barons game, Aaron & I both screamed loud enough to doom what was left of our voices, pretty much. JF Jacques was the first player off the bench to grab Linus, and the entire building was so loud I think it was shaking. I know *I* was.......

It finally hit me a little while later................*THIS* is why we're here. The Barons. The fans. To support these guys on whatever journey their career might take them. Sure, I knew it and understood it before. But to be caught in that actual *moment* that takes your breath away.............seeing a guy's dream come true, is just almost too much joy for a heart to bear.

I know Linus didn't want to be here. I know some things were said in interviews early on that may have been.....questionable. Some so-called fans tried to turn it against him.

I. Don't. Care. I understood WHY. And now, tonight, we as fans were able to understand it and live it with him.

Whether they play one game here, or an entire season, they'll always be "ours"....if only for fleeting moments. From then on, all joy and heartbreak will be shared by us all. It's positively heartwrenching to see them go, yet that's all you want for them....is to have their dreams come true.

They may play one game up there, or we may never see them down here again.........NHL superstars and fixtures from then on. Linus may never do another thing in the NHL ever again, and it wouldn't matter. He still can say that he *owned* the night of December 10, 2010.....when he set all hockey related electronic media on fire and kicked it off stage. TOP THAT, he seemed to say.

I watched a player named Rene Corbet score 2 goals in a Stanley Cup final game in early June, 1996 for the Colorado Avalanche. Who, you might ask? It doesn't matter......he was my favorite player, it happened, and I remember it.. And just like tonight..................it was magic.

Linus, should lightning strike and you ever read this......I understand why you didn't want to be here. I accept that with all my heart. And after tonight, I hope I never see you back again. The hockey world belongs to you tonight, if only for this short, fleeting moment. I can only hope you grab it, hold on, and DON'T LET IT GO.

Gratis, Linus...one more time.

---

Be sure to check out Candace's Twitter, @SoonerPenguin. She's a Pens fan, but don't hold it against her. Thanks to Candace for letting me repost this.

Be sure to check out the Barons game starting in about an hour. You can listen on 1000 KTOK or follow along on Twitter, @AHLBarons. Barons will play again tomorrow in Milwaukee at 7 CST/ 6 MST.

Linus Omark / Even Today... Still Fun To Watch

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Linus Omark Interview, Cleaner Translation


Many thanks to Martin Lundén (@dohfOs) for the translation.

Edmonton Oilers prospect Linus Omark recently had a chat with Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet to talk about his time in Oklahoma City Barons and what the future might hold for him.

Something that needs to be taken into account when reading this is that Aftonbladet is the largest tabloid in Sweden. It also writes by far the most crap and I doubt there is any paper that’s taken the expression “there’s no news like bad news” in as much as they have. They are rather known for their focus on the bad parts and trying to make something out of nothing. An example would be one of their latest articles, stating Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter had enough of his own alcoholic son, Brett Sutter, and got rid of him in a trade with Carolina Hurricanes. Well, that’s not exactly what happened now was it?

Article with Linus Omark below, read between the lines and you’ll soon figure out Omark is actually quite positive about his future, not being full of himself. He’s not at all sour – that’s just papers talking for him (and him not being able to express himself good enough when speaking English during interviews).

---

“We would get beaten by some Swedish teams”
Omark on the boring life in the AHL: “Obviously it’s not here you want to be”.
The dream was to play vs. NHL-stars such as Alexander Ovechkin and get to play in Edmonton.
Instead Linus Omark ended up in Oklahoma City Barons where the audience are lured coming using free turkey, fights but not to watch nice plays.

Welcome to the AHL – the league noone wants to play in, that goes for Omark as well.
Ticket sales have been so and so. Even though it’s newly renovated barely 3000 made it to the arena that houses 14000 and something had to be done. For the next game Oklahoma made up their mind: 1 dollar a beer.
Adding to that, all supporters were given a shot to win a 8.8 lbs turkey. All they had to do was to score on an empty net.
- Well yes, people tend to like beer around here, Omark smiles.
How the people feel about turkey remains unsaid but it’s clear the difference between the NHL and the AHL is more then just a letter.
He wanted to play in the NHL and he hoped to be playing for Edmonton.
He ended up playing in the AHL and for Oklahoma. Instead of battling it out with Toronto and Montreal he’s playing the San Antonio Rampage and Rockford Ice Hogs.

Didn’t know anything
- I hardly knew anything about Oklahoma except that it was the location of the Edmonton AHL affiliate. I googled some information before I left.
A couple of weeks later he knows this:
The hockey as easy as possible:
- The game (over here) is a lot stricter then at home or in Russia. They want you to dump the puck into the zone at all times. Here you can play a really simple game and be successful just doing that. I guess you could say we would get beaten by a Swedish team on a big rink.

The game schedule can sometimes be a nightmare:
- We’ve played ten games in fifteen days, once we played three different games in the same amount of days and there are is lot of travelling.
Everyone has the same target: leaving the AHL as quickly as possible.
- Obviously, this is not where I wanted to be. I’m not satisfied being here but you have to accept it and not be depressed about it.
While waiting on the call from Edmonton the only thing he can do is doing his best. So far with great success, recently with five goals in a game and a AHL player of the week award.

Well defined roles
I just continue playing the way I do. Obviously I want to play in the NHL and the positive is that I’m getting used to how things work by playing down here. There are very clear, well defined roles in who’s doing what around here (referring to how it’s different from Sweden and the KHL), some are supposed to fight and others play box play. Mine is to score points.

You’re seen as the player who makes nice plays. How often do you get challenged to fight during games?
- Well, it happens. But I’m not a fighter and I don’t fight. But sometimes there can be up to five fights a game.
How much do you follow Edmonton playing?
- Sure I check if they’ve won and if they would call I’d be really, really happy. But my focus for now has to remain here (and on Oklahoma). What I’m missing the most right now is interest in the team and playing in front of a big crowd.
Have you set yourself a deadline?
- I can see myself staying here for a whole season. I got no plans going home, I want to give this an honest shot.

Next week he’s playing two games on the road on the same amount of days vs. Lake Erie Monsters, 1700 kilometres (1 056.33103 miles) away from Oklahoma.
And yes, hoe about the ticket sales and the turkeys?
Well, there where just 3600 people there, but at least they got to see a Oklahoma win vs. Chicago.

---

Pretty amazing how some things get lost in translation. Thanks again to Martin Lundén. One thing is true though, it's bad that the majority of OKC fans don't come for the hockey. We've got some great players out there that have more than just fighting and skating skills. I was wondering just the other day, of the opening day crowd of 9000, how many people really knew who Linus Omark was? Hopefully we can get some people to convert one of these days.

-Written by -Eric Rodgers-

Linus Omark Speaks... Again

Here is what Omark had to say this time...

(Translated by Google)

Unchecked about the dull life in the AHL: "It's not this man wants to be"
His dream was to be contrasted with NHL stars like Alexander Ovechkin and get a chance in Edmonton.


Instead came Linus Omark in Oklahoma City Barons where the audience enticed with free turkey, but fights with the less finlir.


Welcome to the AHL - the league does not want to stay in, least Omark himself.


Ticket sales had been mildly gone like that. Despite Recent renovations was barely 3000 at the stadium with a capacity of 14 000 and something needed to be done. For the next home game decided to Oklahoma: the price of a beer in the stadium would be one dollar, just under seven dollars.


In addition, all fans would get a chance to win a little over four pounds of turkey. All one had to do was shoot the puck into the goal - also without goalkeeper.


- Yes, people like to drink beer here, "Unchecked smile.


How interest is for the turkey sounds he be gone, definitely, however, that the difference between NHL and AHL is much larger than just one letter.


It was in the NHL and Edmonton, he was hoping to play.


It was in the AHL and Oklahoma, he ended up. Instead of meetings with Toronto and Montreal, he will play against the San Antonio Rampage and the Rockford Ice Hogs.


Did nothing
- I knew nothing about Oklahoma in addition to Edmonton's AHL affiliate was there. I "googled" up some information before I left.


A few weeks later, he knows this:


Hockey is the simplest possible:


- There is much stricter than at home or in Russia. You want the players to dump the puck into the zone at all times. People can play damn easy and be successful. We would have a great strike by Swedish Law on the larger rinks.


Games schedule can be a nightmare:


- We have played ten matches in 15 days, once we played three games in as many days and there are a lot of traveling.


All have the same goal - getting away as soon as possible.


- It's not this man wants to be. I am not happy to be here but you have to accept it and not moping together.


Awaiting the call from Edmonton, he can therefore make just as much as possible. So far with great success, recently became five goals in one match and named this week's player in the AHL.


Predominantly roles
- I run my own game. It's in the NHL, I want to play so the positive is that I will get into it by playing here. It's very distinct roles, some will be fighting for second play-play box. Mine is to make points.


TT: You seen like a finlirare. How often are you challenged to fight during games?


- Enough, it happens but I'm not a fighter and not fighting. But sometimes it can be up to five fights in a match.


TT: How much are you Edmonton's performance?


- Sure, do you tell if they have won and they would call makes me very glad. But my focus must be on this. What I lack now is the public interest in the matches.


TT: Do you see a deadline for themselves?


- I can see myself staying here all season. I have no plans to go home but want to give this a fair chance, "said Omark.


Next week he is playing two away games in as many days against the Lake Erie Monsters - 1700 miles from Oklahoma.


And finally, how did the sale of tickets and the turkeys?


There, 3600 came but they got to see the Oklahoma win against Chicago.


Tobias Osterberg / TT


http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/hockey/internationellt/nhl/ahl/article8139990.ab

TRANSLATED ORIGINAL BELOW


Omark om den trista tillvaron i AHL: ”Det är ju inte här man vill vara”
Drömmen var att ställas mot NHL-stjärnor som Alexander Ovetjkin och få chansen i Edmonton.

I stället hamnade Linus Omark i Oklahoma City Barons där publiken lockas med gratis kalkon, slagsmål men med desto mindre finlir.

Välkommen till AHL – ligan ingen vill stanna kvar i, allra minst Omark själv.

Biljettförsäljningen hade milt sagt gått sådär. Trots en nyrenovering kom knappt 3 000 till arenan som rymmer 14 000 och något behövde göras. Inför nästa hemmamatch bestämde sig Oklahoma: priset på en öl i arenan skulle bli en dollar, knappt sju kronor.

Dessutom, alla supportrarna skulle få chans att vinna en drygt fyra kilo tung kalkon. Allt man behövde göra var att skjuta pucken i mål – dessutom utan målvakt.

– Ja, folk gillar att dricka öl här, säger Omark leende.

Hur intresset är för kalkon låter han vara osagt, klart är dock att skillnaden mellan NHL och AHL är betydligt större än bara en bokstav.

Det var i NHL och Edmonton han hoppades få spela.

Det var i AHL och Oklahoma han hamnade. I stället för möten med Toronto och Montreal ska han spela mot San Antonio Rampage och Rockford Ice Hogs.

Visste ingenting
– Jag visste väl ingenting om Oklahoma förutom att Edmontons farmarlag låg där. Jag "googlade" fram lite information innan jag åkte.

Ett par veckor senare vet han det här:

Hockeyn är enklast möjliga:

– Det är mycket striktare än hemma eller i Ryssland. Man vill att spelarna ska dumpa ned pucken i zon i alla lägen. Här kan man spela jävligt enkelt och bli framgångsrik. Vi skulle få storstryk av svenska lag på större rinkar.

Spelschemat kan vara en mardröm:

– Vi har spelat tio matcher på 15 dagar, en gång spelade vi tre matcher på lika många dagar och det är mycket resande.

Alla har samma mål – ta sig därifrån så snart som möjligt.

– Det är ju inte här man vill vara. Jag är inte nöjd med att vara här men man får acceptera det och inte deppa ihop.

I väntan på samtalet från Edmonton kan han därför bara göra så gott det går. Hittills med stor framgång, nyligen blev det fem mål i en match och utsedd till veckans spelare i AHL.

Utpräglade roller
– Jag kör mitt eget spel. Det är ju i NHL jag vill spela så det positiva är att jag kommer in i det genom att spela här. Det är väldigt utpräglade roller, några ska slåss andra spela box play. Min är att göra poäng.

TT: Du ses ju som en finlirare. Hur ofta blir du utmanad på att slåss under matcher?

– Nog händer det men jag är ingen fighter och slåss inte. Men ibland kan det vara upp till fem slagsmål i en match.

TT: Hur mycket följer du Edmontons resultat?

– Visst kollar man om dom har vunnit och skulle dom ringa blir jag jätteglad. Men mitt fokus måste vara på det här. Det jag saknar nu är publikintresset på matcherna.

TT: Ser du någon deadline för egen del?

– Jag kan se mig själv stanna här hela säsongen. Jag har inga planer på att åka hem utan vill ge det här en ärlig chans, säger Omark.

Nästa vecka spelar han två bortamatcher på lika många dagar mot Lake Erie Monsters – 1 700 kilometer från Oklahoma.

Och slutligen, hur gick det med biljettförsäljningen och kalkonerna?

Sådär, 3 600 kom men de fick i alla fall se Oklahoma vinna mot Chicago.

Tobias Österberg/TT

Monday, November 8, 2010

Making The Call / A Choice Among Choices

It's no secret that Shawn Horcoff was hurt last game. It's no secret either that the Oilers only have 4th liners as backup (including Jacques). So what to do and who to call?

The man that currently stands out is Linus Omark. His 5 goal game yesterday (plus he scored in the shootout) has made him the talk of the hockey world. This is a kid that wants to score goals and it looks to me, like he has something to prove. See below



So now that he's 3rd in the AHL in scoring, is he the automatic call up? Can his AHL game translate to the NHL game quickly? Can he fit right in and produce?

All good questions when considering him being the call up for the Oil. As of right now, he's played 15 games and has 10 goals, 7 assists for 17 points (a team high). He's a +5 and has 40 shots on goal.

So is he the guy you choose?

Looking at the stats page, Alex Giroux (15 points) isn't really all that different in the stats department. But he clearly doesn't have the hype that Omark has right now (or the foot speed). Does that put Omark ahead of Giroux? I would think so. Scratch Giroux off the list.

Now only one other guy on the Oklahoma City Barons has a shot at filling a top 6 position while Horcoff is out. That guy is Liam Reddox. He has the speed, the will and the smarts to fill in. He's less flashy as Omark and he's a few points behind -- Reddox has 7 goals, 6 assists for 13 points and 66 shots -- but since the season started, Reddox has been the most consistent Baron right from the get go. Some nights Reddox fires off 7, 8 even 9 shots at the goalie. Nobody compares in that department. He busts his ass of every game and always seems ready to go. Reddox can play center and wing, can Omark?

Out of Omark and Reddox, who's more ready for the NHL? Obviously you could say Reddox based on his previous NHL experience. Who knows about Omark? He could be? Only one way to find out I suppose.

So if the Oilers do indeed need a fill in for Horcoff, my heart says pick the scrappy kid in Reddox, but my brain says Omark has the hype and that's what the Oilers want to give the fans.

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Barons Game 4 Recap; Barons W-I-N!

Finally, finally, finally, the Barons get a win. After so many failed chances, the Barons were able to score on the PP, score more than one goal in a game, and keep everyone wondering if they would pull it off all the way to the end.

First Period
-God, this period sucked. Just like Friday night, the team started strong and had a couple good chances in the early minutes, but couldn't keep it going. Just over 3 minutes in, Colin McDonald and David Liffiton tried to fight. Liffiton over-commited in his grab and they both tumbled to the ice. No real big hits from either one. The Barons PP woes continued after the Monsters got a Delay of Game penalty and weren't able to convert. Then, to make things worse, after a Hooking call to Mike Carman, the Monsters scored not one, but two shorthanded goals in 1:06. So now, not only could we not score but we were getting scored on. The first goal, I think Gerber could have had. The second, he had his leg extended and Van der Gulik hit it a couple times, but finally was able to lift it over Gerber's leg. And after one, the Barons were down 0-2.

Second Period
-So after the crowd got taken out of the game pretty early, it was tough to get much going. Coach Nelson reworked the lines a little bit, getting them more to how they were in Friday's game. 2:44 into the period though, the Monsters struck again. I can't blame Gerber for this one. I could see the lane perfect from my seat; Liffiton shot from the blue line with 4-5 guys between him and Gerber. A huge screen and Gerber didn't even move until the puck was in the net. That was a tough one. After another PP that they couldn't score on and a fight that didn't result in much between Plante and Zach Cohen, the Barons finally broke through at the 11:25 mark with a shot from Moran that got past Monsters goaltender John Grahame. At the 13:55 mark, the Monsters were called for a Too Many Men penalty. After fully expecting the Monsters to be able to kill this one off as well, Moran proves me wrong after a Giroux shot rebounded and landed right in front of Moran's stick. Moran just tapped the puck into the open net to finally get a PPG for the Barons. The second period would end with a 3-2 Monsters lead.

Third Period
The third period was just a big blur. Very few stoppages. I was starting to lose hope after 15 minutes and there not really being any huge chances so far. Then finally, at the 15:36 mark, Moran gets his hat trick. Not just any old hat trick though. A pure hat trick. How much better can you get for a franchise's first hat trick in history? The crowd was roaring. Down 3-0 and to come back like that was huge. I was fully expecting that the team would just play to hold the tie, and try to get the win in OT. Am I glad I was wrong. Three minutes later, Omark gets a pass from Reddox and beats Grahame. I've never heard 3000 people that loud. Then, to just make things interesting, the ref decides to hand out a boarding penalty to Belle, after letting a lot worse calls go. A 52 second penalty kill to end the game and the team stepped up. The Monsters had one real chance, but Gerber was able to kick it away. The crowd was on it's feet for most of the PK, and only got louder with each clear. 4-3 the final score and the first win for the Barons is in the books!

The Barons hopped on a bus after the game and headed to Houston to cap off their three game set. Preview is coming up.

-Written by Eric Rodgers-

Monday, October 4, 2010

Linus Omark- Are You Kidding Me?

Today the "Swedish Youtube Sensation" Linus Omark was assigned to the Oklahoma City Barons, but not without some serious parting shots. When asked if the thought the organization gave him a fair chance he responded with "I don't want to discuss that" and when asked if he thought the Oilers were the right organization for him he said "I have no comment." Another quote worth noting from him is "It's a little bit different, it's a lot of politics." Maybe it's just me but these comments come as no surprise to me from the player who was drafted in the 4th round and expected a guaranteed spot and the maximum rookie salary(translation needed). I see he didn't learn from what happened with Rob Schremp and Riley Nash.

Some would argue that he is right in his politics comment, but it was said best during the Oilers broadcast on TSN "If Linus Omark is not one of your top 6 forwards then he is a waste of a space else where on your roster." So a question to you Oiler fans, who would you put Omark above in this list: Penner, Hemsky, Eberle, Paajarvi, Hall, Brule? He could make the team ahead of Andrew Cogliano, but what would you then do with Cogs, send him to Oklahoma? He would have to clear waivers first, and I am sure at least 25 of the other 29 teams would put a claim in for him. Maybe it's just me being fed up with players who expect things to be given to them, which I suspect in this case.

It's fine to be disappointed you were cut, but to be this mad after being cut from your first camp isn't exactly the way to win over Oilers fans. I can understand if he was the first of the players sent to Oklahoma City, but the team gave him a fair shot to win a spot over some of the incumbent players, some of it might have to do with his size, I mean we cut Liam Reddox who had a tremendous camp, Omark should thank the Oilers for the opportunity, issue an apology, shut his mouth, and impress the team with his play in the minors, I suspect that none of that will be happening, so thanks for stopping by Linus, see ya in Russia next year.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Roster, Roster, Roster! The New Look Edmonton Oilers

Here is the Oilers roster before the big change. Steve Tambellini had a very busy summer and did quite a lot of work around here.
LAST YEAR OILERS ROSTER

He did some real wonderful stuff like getting rid of the three terrible Oilers from last year, Ethan Moreau, Patrick O'Sullivan and Robert Nilsson.

He managed to re-sign all the Restricted Free Agents that were needed to be signed, except Cogliano. From the reports that I have heard, Cogliano's camp has a contract and they, so far, have not signed. It's completely in their court now. Just sign the damn thing and have a great year to prove them, and us, wrong.

The Oilers still seem hell bent on running the team this year with a bunch of rookies and it's looking more and more like I am wrong. I said that Hall and either Pääjärvi or Eberle would be on the team. It does appear like all three have a legitimate chance of making the team. Training camp should be fun, especially if you throw in Linus Omark. That's four potential rookies on the roster. Can't wait to see what happens.

Tamby signed Martin Gerber for more than just insurance reasons. That is one hell of a deal and a two way contract to boot. Gerber will be called upon more than once this year so this one will end up being a great signing.

I suppose the biggest shocker was the Potulny/Pouliot walking. I was a little shocked that they weren't brought back. I really liked Potulny and I thought he played well enough last year to get another shot this year. I guess it wasn't meant to be.

I never really liked Pouliot, but still didn't think the Oilers would give up on him like they did. He did deserve a real solid chance that MacT never gave him.

Ryan Stone also left and went south (to Calgary). He also played well IMO, and once again, it will be strange to see an ex-Oiler in a fLames (I'm looking at you Glencross) uniform.

Mike Comrie was left to leave as well. The New Mrs. Duff has just signed with the Penguins so good luck to him.

--------------------------------------------------

So let's now take a look at the roster that the Oilers might start the year with.


FORWARDS

Dustin Penner          Sam Gagner        Ales Hemsky
Taylor Hall             Shawn Horcoff      Jordan Eberle
Magnus Pääjärvi  Andrew Cogliano    Gilbert Brule
Ryan Jones               Colin Fraser        Zack Stortini

SPARES: Steve MacIntyre, Linus Omark, Liam Reddox, Alex Giroux

------------------------------------------------------------

DEFENCE

Ryan Whitney      Tom Gilbert
(Souray Trade)   Ladislav Smid
Jim Vandermeer  Kurtis Foster

SPARES: Jason Strudwick, Theo Peckham, Shawn Belle, Taylor Chorney, Jeff Petry, Johan Motin

------------------------------------------------------------

GOALIES

Nikolai Khabibulin
Devan Dubnyk

OKC Barons:
Martin Gerber
Jeff Deslauriers

SPARES: Bryan Pitton (Stockton Thunder), Olivier Roy (Juniors)

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

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