Friday, September 20, 2013

Oil Kings GDB #1

 Oil Kings vs Calgary Hitmen

The Edmonton Oil Kings drop the puck on the 2013-14 season tonight when they welcome the rival Calgary Hitmen to Rexall Place.  Edmonton wrapped up the preseason with a record of 1-4 after dropping a 7-5 decision to Red Deer last week.  The Oil Kings go into action tonight looking for their franchise's 200th regular season win.  Expect an elongated pregame tonight, as the team will unveil their new black third uniforms, as well as commemorate last season's Eastern Conference title.

New Look:
Along with the new silks, the Oil Kings will have a new look lineup tonight as many players have moved on after last year.  Gone are last season's twenty year olds; TJ Foster, Trevor Cheek, and Dylan Wruck, also moving on are top scorer Michael St. Croix, Stephane Legault, Keegan Lowe, David Musil, Martin Gernat, Travis Ewanyk, and Laurent Brossoit.  Griffin Reinhart is still with the New York Islanders, while Curtis Lazar is still up with the Ottawa Senators.

Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
The Opposition:
Calgary figures to be a top team this year in the WHL's Eastern Conference after finishing with 97 points last season.  The Hitmen were eliminated by the Oil Kings in a hard fought seven game Eastern Conference Championship series.  Leading the Hitmen this year will be familiar names Jaynen Rissling, Brady Brassart and Greg Chase.  Senator draft pick Chris Driedger provides solid goaltending and Jake Virtanen enters his draft season as a top prospect this year.

Last Season's Leaders:

Edm- Curtis Lazar (38)
Cal-  Cody Sylvestor (41)

Edm- Michael St. Croix (92)
Cal- Sylvestor (90)

Edm- Laurent Brossoit (33)
Cal- Chris Driedger (36)

Edm- Keegan Lowe (148)
Cal- Jaynen Rissling (122)
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Up Next: The Oil Kings enjoy a bit of an early break in the schedule, they return to action at home on Wednesday against the Regina Pats.  The season kicks off with a four game homestand for the Kings.  Calgary, meanwhile, has eight days off.  Their next game is their home opener next Saturday night versus Red Deer.

Edm: Griffin Reinhart- New York Islanders (1st, 2012), Henrik Samuelsson- Phoenix Coyotes (1st, 2012), Mitch Moroz- Oilers (2nd, 2012), Curtis Lazar- Ottawa Senators (1st, 2013), Tristan Jarry- Pittsburgh Penguins (2nd, 2013).

Cal:Chris Driedger- Senators (3rd, 2012), Kenton Helgesen- Anaheim Ducks (7th, 2012), Jaynen Rissling- Washington Capitals (7th, 2012), Greg Chase- Oilers (7th, 2013).

Injury Report:

EDM:  #15 Andrew Koep, lower body, TBA

CAL: none
Photo: Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings
Roster Notes: Hitmen forward Pavel Padakin will not play tonight as he serves the final game of his suspension from a pre-season hit.  Brady Brassart is still at pro camp (Tampa Bay).