This is Cory Schneider.
He played tonight, and with the exception of looking confused after a few Sheldon Souray point shots, or out to lunch on Sam Gagner's moves on the breakway/shootout, was very calm and composed, and played his angles very well.
On some occasions, he was the only thing going for the Canucks. He probably is the best reason why the Canucks stuck around 'til OT where they won it in the shootout.
One day (if he isn't traded before then), he could be the reason the Canucks can afford to trade Bobby Lu the Saviour.
Quote me on this.
It looks as if the Oilers won't be relying as much on the shootout this year for wins. It could be that Garon was just warming up after a long summer... or it's an indication that the Oilers have moved beyond reliance on the shootout as a means to win games.
The powerplay looked deadly tonight even though they scored only one goal. The penalty kill also looked deadly - in the sense that it had trouble keeping the Canucks from driving the net. For the first time this training camp, Peckham looked a step behind, perhaps the sign that he is still a bit away from being ready for the NHL. Chorney, however, looked very smart, despite the questionable call at the end of overtime.
It always seems to me that Visnovsky is in the right place at the right time to one-time the puck. When the season rolls around I will be expecting to see all kinds of goals resulting from his shot or a rebound resulting from his wicked shot.
Last but not least, who is Dan Gendur and why is he scoring goals on us? We need to put the Hans Benson radar on this guy. Seek and destroy.
A few points I would like to make:
(1) Shooting tendencies: Since the shootout was instated, it always seems that Hemsky often shoots over the net wide on the right side.
(2) The wizard without a wand: Robbie Schremp looked very nervous on the shootout. If he gets another chance before (a) getting assigned to Springfield, (b) getting traded, or (c) making the team, look for him to be more controlled in what many rightfully attribute to be Robbie's domain.
(3) Comfortability in the lineup: Gagner looks even better than he did last year at the end of the season. Whether it is making Cory Schneider look foolish or little dangle plays that prevent plays from going offside, Gagner has shown that he can play on any of the top 3 lines with any combination of forwards and feel comfortable. Cole, on the other hand, has looked good but not in any way in-sync with the other Oilers forwards. Hopefully, that happens sooner than later.
(4) Watch out for that tree!: Is it just me, or did the Canucks get a lot bigger over the off season? We're gonna have to dress guys like Strudwick in those games.
(5) Like winning the lottery: The Canucks gambled on a castaway and signed a guy with major AHL success in Wellwood and Krog respectively, and it looks good now. Whether it translates to regular season success is yet to be seen.
(6) Heat seaking missiles: At least that's what the point shots on the Oilers PP looked and sounded like - things going really fast and exploding off of stuff. Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad. Thank you Russell Peters and Kevin Lowe.
New Oilers' nicknames:
Jason Strudwick - STUDwick
Rob Schremp - Lowetide calls him Sugartits, I think Wizard or Bubba Gump would be more befitting
Marc-Antoine Pouliot - Friendly Fire (he needs to stop running into his own team mates)
Lubomir Visnovsky - Mr. Lube