The Oklahoma City Barons lost by two goals last night, and it ended with fans shrugging their shoulders, giving a healthy “we’ll get them next time.” On the same evening the Edmonton Oilers lost by one goal after a third period where fans again cried themselves to sleep. Change is probably a good thing, and probably a great thing if you’re Edmonton.
Two important callups were made today that effect both the Oilers and the Barons. Both are relatively interesting to dissect
The Oilers sent defender Brandon Davudson back to the farm while Anton Lander finally gets the recall we all believed that he had earned.
Let’s start with Anton Lander.
When the season began it appeared that Lander would be the number one center callup, but has been passed over by players like Bogdan Yakimov. My hockey red light went off, and I assumed as many did that the Edmonton Oilers might just be done with Anton Lander. More than two months later, and a change in coaches, suddenly Lander is back in the good graces of the NHL. Try on 27 points in 26 AHL games on for size and see how that feels. There’s room for growth, and when it comes to Lander, there’s room for him in the Oilers lineup nightly.
To say that he is the heart and soul of this Barons squad is probably underselling his importance. He IS Barons hockey at the moment – hard working, diligent, well-respected, overcoming hurdles, goodness when the rest of the team is oozing badness – this callup should have taken place a month ago.
Lander remains a jack-of-all-trades, and is the swiss army knife player that the Oilers certainly could use. A trip to Dallas, where things always get sideways, means the NHL Oilers will need a good player to insert in specific situations. Nelson / MacT no doubt will get a chance to do that with Lander.
With the Lander callup (and the return of the Jones’ twins to the ECHL a day ago) this brings the Barons forward group to eleven. That means that a callup is coming from ECHL or perhaps an emergency PTO is signed. The team plays tomorrow.
Brandon Davidson, like Lander, is a fantastic workhorse of a defender. Even in four games where he wasn’t entirely awful, he found ways to stick out in a good way. He will probably return to OKC, and continue to take large chunks of TOI while increasing his presence in the eyes of the Oilers faithful. He’s a good defender, I just know it.
The Barons now have seven healthy defenders, a great number this time of year. And leading in to the holidays OKC hopes to round out the weekend with back-to-back wins against Rockford. Davidson certainly will help that cause.