December 3, 2011
O'Marra heeds Oilers' call
By DEREK VAN DIEST, QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Ryan O’Marra wasn’t expecting a phone call from the Edmonton Oilers.
But with a number of injures up front and some of their regular call-ups hurt down on the farm, O’Marra was given an opportunity to fill a spot on the Oilers fourth line.
He was in the lineup for his second game as the Oilers played host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.
“I was actually about to barbecue with my roommates when I got the call,” O’Marra said. “Actually at first, I was worried that they were calling me because I didn’t leave my credit card number for incidentals at the hotel because we had just gotten back from a road trip. But that wasn’t the case. It’s always a good feeling when you get called up.”
Acquired in the trade that sent Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders in 2005, O’Marra had four goals and four assists in 20 games with the Oklahoma City Barons this season.
He suited up in 21 games for the Oilers last season, scoring a goal an adding four assists.
“It’s another opportunity to try and show you belong in this league and they made the right choice in calling me up,” O’Marra said. “Each game you just have to keep progressing and try to force their hand so I can stay longer.”
O’Marra, 24, was selected by the Islanders in the first round — 15th overall — of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
He’s become a key component in the Barons success this season.
“Things are going really well,” he said. “I’m playing the same role I’ve always been playing, first out on the penalty-kill and on for important face-off situations. I’m trying to play strong defensively and physically. I’ve been able to get a few more points this year. I think that’s a factor in our team’s success. We’ve been really deep this year, we’ve been getting secondary scoring which is great and that’s helped me a lot.”
TALK TO THE AGENT
Derick Brassard was not interesting in discussing the latest rambling by his agent Allan Walsh.
On Thursday, Walsh lashed out at Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel for making Brassard a healthy scratch against the Calgary Flames that night.
“The coach (Arniel) has a history of burying players and using them as scapegoats to mask his own lack of success on the ice,” Walsh wrote in a news release. “Derick has been singled out, almost from the very beginning of the season, to be the fall guy in case things don’t go well. The Columbus organization cares about Derick and has been good to him, but at some point, one has to say, enough is enough.”
Brassard was selected by the Blue Jackets in the first round — sixth overall — of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He had two goals and two assists in 18 games heading into Friday’s contest against the Oilers with a team-worst minus-11 rating.
Brassard was in the lineup because Jeff Carter suffered a leg injury in the Blue Jackets win over Calgary on Thursday.
QUICK OUT OF THE GATE
Jordan Eberle’s goal in the first period came shortly after the opening face-off, but it was nowhere near the quickest goal ever scored by the Oilers to start a game.
Wayne Gretzky scored eight seconds into a contest in New York against the Rangers on Dec. 14, 1983.
Eberle scored 21 seconds into Friday’s contest, converting a cross-ice pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
The Oilers have also given up a goal eight seconds into a game, as Tim Kerr pulled off the feat for the Philadelphia Flyers on March 7, 1989.
The Oilers’ quickest goal from the start of a period was scored by Glenn Anderson on March 17, 1984, converting six seconds into the third period in a 9-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Darcy Hordichuk had been itching to pick a fight heading into the Oilers current home stand having yet to drop the gloves for his new team.
On Friday, Hordichuk fought for the second time in two games as he exchanged blows with Jared Boll towards the end of the first period. Hordichuk won the bout, knocking Boll down with a left hand. Earlier in the period, Hordichuk was trying to convince Derek Dorsett to drop the gloves. The Blue Jackets winger, who went on to score his team’s second goal declined the offer.
After Hordichuk knocked down Boll, he skated by the Blue Jackets bench on the way to the dressing room and told Dorsett he was next, earning an unsportsmanlike penalty in the process.