I never play so well in the first game of a season.
-Linus Omark on his play versus Pittsburgh on Sunday. (Edmonton Journal, 11 OCT 2011)
After Sunday’s thrilling victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, you’d think I’d be hard pressed to be irritated about too much in the near future.
According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, there’s a likely chance Linus Omark will be getting the pine treatment. More likely, he’ll be getting the press box treatment.
Not one good reason follows the jump.
If you’d like to keep Omark off the ice, that’s fine. I’ll wait for you to get it out of your system.
When you look at who played when on Sunday, you’ll see that most everyone got a good chunk of ice time respective to their roles on the team. The defence had plenty of opportunity to not fold like a cheap card table, and they held up nicely. There’s one name that catches your eye if you look at the time-on-ice numbers. If you didn’t notice, I’ll give you a hint.
I’m not against Hordichuk being on the ice on the 4LW slot if he plays fourth line minutes and can hold himself. The problems tend to show up when Hordichuk is playing less than a minute a game and we get to hear some nonsense about Linus Omark needing to sit down. If Darcy Hordichuk’s role is to play about a minute per game on this team, that ought to be one effective minute. Omark played just under twelve minutes on Sunday, and while there are clear issues in his defence, this isn’t nearly a good enough reason to banish him to the pressbox if Hordichuk is going to play fifty-nine seconds.
Thursday’s game against the Wild may see Lennart Petrell play in his first regular season game as an Oiler, and that’s great news. It’s even better news if Petrell’s presence in the lineup doesn’t come at the expense of Omark.
Had Omark’s shootout goal found twine on Sunday, we likely wouldn’t be having this chat.
If Hordichuk is dressed for Thursday’s game (especially if he plays less than a minute) and Omark is not, clearly something is amiss.
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