SUN Hockey Pool

Promising new trio in play

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

As a unit, they were one of the best for the Edmonton Oilers in the preseason.

Saturday, Patrick O'Sullivan, Mike Comrie and Ryan Stone once again made a good impression when the puck dropped for real.

"We had some good shifts," said O'Sullivan. "We also had some shifts where we got caught in our own end. But overall, I think the chemistry is building and we're starting to get used to each other away from the puck.

"I think that stuff sometimes takes a little longer to happen, but I think we're starting to get that part of it down and we're going to continue to work in practice at that stuff and get better."

Comrie and O'Sullivan are expected to provide offence for the line, while Stone's job is to run over as many opponents as possible, creating room for the other two on the ice.

Stone did his part physically, which included sending Flames defenceman Mark Giordano head-first over the Oilers' bench late in the second period.

"That's something he's got to do," O'Sullivan said. "He's got to be physical. He drew at least one penalty in the game. He goes to the net hard and when you do that, you're going to upset the other team. For him, it's going to surprise some people, because he hasn't played in the NHL all that much. He's a good guy to have on your team."

While the line did create a number of chances, they did, at times have issues in their own end. On a couple of occasions they were hemmed in their own zone for an extended period of time.

"It looks like they were trying to switch off a few times, him and Comrie as to who does down low coverage," said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn.

"We have to get that figured out. They got stuck out there for that 15-minute shift in the second period, where we thought we were going to have to pump oxygen to the whole lot of them by the time they got off. But that's what happens when you switch around and don't really know quite what you're supposed to do.

"Overall, I think they were pretty good.

"I think that shift kind of killed one of our players, though, (Comrie), who didn't play for much of the rest of the night. His play fell off and a lot of times you blow the tank when you get caught out there in a bad spot and then you can't seem to pull that reserve up."

DEREK.VANDIEST@SUNMEDIA.CA


Photos