Linus Omark blames 'politics' for his demotion from Edmonton Oilers to AHL

linusomarksweden.jpgGetting cut from an NHL roster must be like being chosen last in a pickup game of basketball or losing in some reality show, although injuries and good minor league play can change things in ways that video-taped testimonials cannot.

By that analogy, Edmonton Oilers prospect Linus* Omark is the busty reality show diva who throws drinks in people’s faces and cheats on her boyfriend. (Or something like that). The Swedish player isn’t very happy about the team’s decision to demote him to the AHL’s Oklahoma City Barons, as you can see from this story in the Edmonton Journal.

Edmonton Oilers winger Linus Omark has the hands to stickhandle around all manner of mops in a broom closet, but he fired off a shot in the tight quarters of a media mob Monday morning when asked about his impressions of his first NHL training camp.

“It is a little different. There is a lot of politics here,” said the Swede, who didn’t like being one of the Edmonton Oilers’ last eight cuts on Monday.

Is the Oilers organization the best place for Omark at this time in his career?

“No comment,” said the 23-year-old forward, who is in the right place at the wrong time because the Oilers are in a major rebuilding process but want another Swedish player, Magnus Paajarvi, and two hotshot juniors, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle, to play in their top nine.

While Oilers coach Tom Renney is impressed by Omark’s skill and doesn’t have a problem with the Swede speaking his mind, Renney says that the forward needs to improve as a team player and get used to the North American game.

“It’s a 200-by 85-foot rink and you sometimes have to give it up to get it back. You can’t dangle every inch of the ice. That’s the thing he has to understand at the NHL level, but he’s an exciting guy,” said Renney.

“He will play in the NHL.”

So while the Oilers are leading a youth movement, Omark’s NHL career is on pause and he isn’t very happy about it. When you’re rebuilding a roster, sometimes you have to make tough choices and hurt some feelings. We’ll see if Edmonton is making the right choices beginning this week.

* – Please tell me an Oilers blogger has given him a nickname based on Linus from Peanuts? Here’s my submission: “The Security Blanket.” (Although I admit that would work a lot better if he was a smothering, shutdown defenseman.)

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    Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

    Oshie OT goal
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    What a start.

    This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

    This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

    What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

    This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

    There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

    Twice:

    If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

    NOTES:

    Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.

    — Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.

    — Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.

    — This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.

    — Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.

    Video: Wilson delivers late, knee-on-knee hit to Sheary

    Wilson hit
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    Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.

    You can see that incident below:

    Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.

    Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.

    This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.

    In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.

    Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

    Video: Penguins, Caps combine for three goals in 90 seconds

    Oshie goal
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    For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.

    Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.

    In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:

    After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.

    Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

    Beagle
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    Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

    Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: