Before tonight's game against the Islanders the Oilers made six cuts to their training camp roster, sending Johan Motin, Viacheslav Trukhno, Geoff Paukovich, Colin McDonald and Charles Linglet to Springfield and releasing the guy that came to camp as a favour to Lubomir Visnovsky. None of these cuts come as any surprise and the real story is who wasn't cut. Guys like Jake Taylor, Bryan Young, Ryan O'Marra and Kip Brennan all have to be smiling huge. None of them played tonight so there's no real reason to stick around and yet none of them is on a flight south. It's got to feel good.
As for the game tonight, the Oilers looked pretty poor on the whole but there were a couple of positive performances as well.
Who helped himself? I think Eberle did for sure. Especially in the first two periods he was demonstrating some good vision in the offensive zone and never looked overmatched by the pace of play. He still hasn't faced anything close to a full team of NHL players and if it were up to me he'd be heading back to junior but he certainly helped his cause with tonight's performance. The other group who played well was the Comrie-O'Sullivan-Stone line for a third straight game. Every game Stone gets alongside those two is one more game with two guys that are locks to make the team. If the team were picked today I really do think that Ryan Stone might not only make the top 14F but would even be in the lineup on opening night. That would be a tremendous accomplishment and I must admit that I'm cheering for him.
Who hurt himself? Certainly Dubnyk didn't have his best game. Although Quinn said the battle for 2G isn't over in his press conference I'd think Dubnyk would need to prove he's clearly better in order to win the job. Tonight's performance makes the liklihood of that a distant bell. Although I like the guy, Ryan Potulny didn't stand out and, given his status as "challenger" rather than incumbent he really needed to. Same goes for Minard. Those two are in the same boat as Rob Schremp in that they probably had a real shot a spot with a particularly strong camp and, at least in the games, haven't done a whole lot.
One other note is on the subject of Fernando Pisani. Jim Matheson wrote an article today suggesting that Pisani may be in danger of losing his job. Now, Pisani wasn't particularly good tonight and was pretty dreadful earlier in the pre-season but, as one of the few established NHL veterans and consistently good PK options I'd have to think that his job is pretty much guaranteed. Anything else would be foolish and if there's one thing that Oiler management has proven it's that they're not foo... uh oh.