The Oilers Big Ticket Items Hit Rexall

I suppose at $1.125 million, Comrie isn't considered a big ticket item. If I had to guess though, a few tickets were sold to Fridays Florida Panthers vs Edmonton Oilers match-up because Comrie looks to be in the line-up and will make his return to Edmonton home ice.

Whether those tickets get purchased to boo Comrie or cheer him remains to be seen, but Comrie is aware he has a lot to prove out on the ice tomorrow and I for one, would put money on him having a big game. I can't remember a time when a player has probably been more motivated to make a good showing infront of his home crowd as Comrie might be for Edmonton.

"There will probably be fans going both ways, hopefully some cheers, but some people will want me to play well to earn back that respect and I obviously know that" said Comrie after another hard practice at Millennium Place on Thursday. Words spoken by a guy who knows performing well is his only option. This won't be new for Comrie who was well are that when he chose to sign with Edmonton in the first place, he was going to be watched closely under the very vocal and sometimes unforgiving Oiler fans. For me, forgive and forget and help the team win; is a better option and with the focus shown by Comrie thus far I expect him to do just that.

Not to be outdone, a few more tickets will be sold Friday because new free agent goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will also make his Edmonton Oiler debut and is anxious to get that first game this season with his new team underway. Unlike Comrie, who's had a chance to play a game in an Edmonton uniform this year; Khabibulin has yet to see game action and from the comments he's made about his start on Friday, he's understandably nervous.

Bulin really wanted to practice with the team a couple times before seeing real official game minutes. This tells me good things and bad. Good that he wants to win no matter what type of game it is and must really hold himself accountable when he might be the cause of a few goals against -- especially if he doesn't feel prepared with new teammates. Bad in that I'm a bit surprised that a goalie of his experience isn't just ready to go from the day training camp gets underway. Most goalies don't want to sit on the sidelines and take it in, they want the action and the pressure of being that man between the pipes.

Needless to say, I also expect Khabibulin to be sharp and if he is, that bodes well for the Oilers who will have had strong performances from all goalies looking at playing for this team in 2009/2010 and for fans who in some cases are still questioning the signing of Khabibulin at his age to a four year deal.

Oiler fans have something to really get behind at Fridays game. Sure it means nothing in the standings, it's against Florida and the team will be icing a plethora of players that won't see NHL action this year, but that won't matter because all eyes will be on numbers 91 and 35. I'm sure they won't dissappoint.

Game Predictions:

Comrie - 1 goal and 1 assist
Khabibulin - 16 saves for no goals allowed in about 30 minutes of game action.


Nicely written, OilersInsider. I agree. I like the newest poll: it shows some thinking outside the box and a recognition that things can change with a new coach.

September 18, 2009 at 12:47 AM comment-delete

Thanks. I won't be surprised to see O'Sullivan in that role which is why I added him to the poll.

Considering how well he did for the U.S. at centre and how defensively repsonsible he is, it makes some sense. His only minus in that department is that he's not known as a strong faceoff guy.

September 18, 2009 at 12:16 PM comment-delete

Well I was a bit off in my predicitions...

Comrie had 4 points not two and Khabibulin 18 saves not 16 in an entire game.

I'll take being wrong on both counts.

September 19, 2009 at 9:10 AM comment-delete

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