Mark Arcobello, champion of the under dog, played hist first NHL game last night in Edmonton against the Dallas Stars. The game ended at the hands of Jaromir Jagr in overtime, and it earned Mark one amazing story to tell family and friends for the rest of his life. Despite his presence on the top line, he made mistakes, but kept his head just above the water line to stay alive. With word that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was ready to return, the Edmonton Oilers have sent Arcobello back to the AHL farm team.
Of his performance last night, Bruce McCurdy at the Cult of Hockey gave his grade (a 4), and made some perfect commentary (to which I agree):
Played over 18 minutes in his NHL debut, an impressive total. Had his moments, but also his struggles, with a couple of turnovers and some fairly iffy defensive zone play. Interesting to compare his Corsi (+9/-16 for a net -7, lowest on the team) to that of Hall (+19/-16), who somehow managed to be in on 10 extra Oilers shot attempts while Arcobello wasn’t around. Blocked a couple of shots, contributed peripherally to a couple of scoring chances. A pedestrian 3/10=30% in his first taste of NHL-level faceoffs.
Markobello will suit back up with his teammates in Oklahoma City for what will likely be a pair of rough and tumble games between the Grand Rapids Griffins at home. The team, the fans, the city welcome Mark back. You made us proud.