THE GOLDEN BEARS (ROOKIES G4)

Last chance Texaco for many rookies tonight, as tomorrow morning the attention will turn to the big roster and pre-season. It’s one final chance for the kids outside ‘The Three’ to show management and coaches their stuff and do something memorable. The Oilers rookies versus the Golden Bears is a unique game in hockey—it is NOT an exhibition game or hockey’s version of flag football—and it will be worth watching.

OILERS PROJECTED LINEUP

  • L1: Cole Sanford 3GP, 0-2-2—Connor McDavid 1GP, 1-1-2—Anton Slepyshev 3GP, 1-0-1.
  • L2: Josh Winquist, 3GP, 4-1-5—Leon Draisaitl, 3GP, 2-3-5—Braden Christoffer, 3GP, 3-1-4.
  • L3: Cole Linaker 2GP, 0-0-0—Alexis Loiseau 2GP, 2-2-4—Rihards Bukarts 3GP, 0-0-0.
  • L4: Connor Rankin 3GP, 2-0-2—Kyle Platzer 3GP, 1-2-3—Greg Chase 2GP, 0-2-2.

A fun lineup with plenty of talent sprinkled onto every unit. Cole Sanford has been (to my eye) a little behind but sometimes that comes from playing with lesser linemates. He’s in a feature role this evening and should shine. Slepyshev has looked good to me, after getting past a perimeter opening period in Penticton.

Leon gets the two most productive wingers at this camp for the 2line and Alexis Loiseau—coming off a fantastic final game in the Okanagan—looks to have a quieter game ahead on the 3line. Fourth line is going to be physical and could be effective—all three of these prospects has something that makes them intriguing.

  • D1: Darnell Nurse 2GP, 1-0-1—Joey Laleggia 2GP, 1-2-3.
  • D2: Ben Betker 3GP, 0-0-0—Loik Leveille 2GP, 0-1-1.
  • D3: Caleb Jones 2GP, 0-0-0— Ethan Bear 2GP, 0-0-0.
  • G1: Eetu Laurikainen (?)

The Oilers only effective pairing during the tournament will get a feature role tonight, and as it turns out the other four defensemen tonight are prospects who need to show more in order to leave the tournament on an up note (or perhaps get a few more days with the big team in main camp).

All have issues to my eye, be it coverage gaps, happy feet or slow reaction. Laurikainen had a splendid outing and a poor one, he’ll need to play well tonight because the Golden Bears are a talented team.

PROTECTING MCDAVID

Because the Oilers are the Oilers—they are an easy target for media due to a decade of losing—framing an issue is extremely effective. Recently, we’ve seen the “the Oilers don’t have anyone to protect McDavid” drum is being hammered far and wide and it’s worth a quick note.

First, you bet, the Oilers have to establish that it isn’t open season on their young center. Many ways to do it, beginning with ‘keep your head up’ and making sure the power play is effective and a deterrent (nothing pisses of another team like two power-play goals in short order, stops the running around very well). Second, the Oilers may in time find themselves an effective complementary type who can help in this area by keeping up and playing the role of policeman. They are rare and you can’t put McDavid in stasis until that player is found, and running enforcers with that kind of skill will be embarrassing for all.

The Islanders ran John Tavaras as a rookie with Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo, so did run a slower winger (Moulson) but didn’t have a nuclear deterrent on the line. The Oilers may run Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell in some games this season, that’s probably similar to the Islanders handling of Tavares (although Purcell is significantly older than Moulson was at the time).

NHL teams are always trying to find a Milan Lucic (Montreal found one in John Ferguson, he was hired to protect Jean Beliveau—who was 32 at the time!) but the truth is this: We may go Connor McDavid’s entire career without seeing that player line up on his wing.

This is us. The Edmonton Oilers are an easy target for opposition media and for opposition teams. Best to take McDavid’s strengths—sweet, beautiful skill—and use those things to shut everyone up with goals, wins and the playoffs.

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151 Responses to "THE GOLDEN BEARS (ROOKIES G4)"

  1. delooper says:

    Bukarts is on the 3rd and 4th lines?

  2. commonfan14 says:

    If only our generational player could have been a hulking beast who combined crazy skill with enormous bigness. Then we’d never have to worry about him getting hurt.

    Sadly, there hasn’t been an indestructible force like that since Lindros and…

    Wait, what was my point again?

  3. Czar says:

    I’m looking forward to Christoffer getting those sweet feeds from Drai. I thought the kid was brought in for his physical play,12 fights last year, but what a surprise so far.

  4. Lowetide says:

    commonfan14:
    If only our generational player could have been a hulking beast who combined crazy skill with enormous bigness.Then we’d never have to worry about him getting hurt.

    Sadly, there hasn’t been an indestructible force like that since Lindros and…

    Wait, what was my point again?

    I think McDavid embiggens everything.

  5. Lowetide says:

    Leafs invite Mark Fraser to camp on a PTO. Meaning they got Teemu Hartikainen for free. AND Cam Abney!

  6. sliderule says:

    Connor has to take a lesson from Hall.

    The injuries Hall has suffered have been when he is going for the puck or waiting for it to come to him.

    The hits while “hockey people” said they were good hits were all interference as he hadn’t touched the puck.

    The hits Hall suffered were almost identical to Virtanen’s hit as Connor hadn’t touched the puck.

    Oiler coaches have to tell Connor that the predatory hit will come when you don’t expect them.

  7. Ducey says:

    Lowetide:
    Leafs invite Mark Fraser to camp on a PTO. Meaning they got Teemu Hartikainen for free. AND Cam Abney!

    Wow. Further evidence of the genius of Lou Lam, Shanahan, and the other 28 guys they have in management.

  8. frjohnk says:

    Lowetide:
    Leafs invite Mark Fraser to camp on a PTO. Meaning they got Teemu Hartikainen for free. AND Cam Abney!

    A 3 for 0 trade!

  9. Lowetide says:

    Sliderule: I think that’s a great point, but nothing teaches like experience. It isn’t (imo) a matter of if McDavid gets hurt, it’s when. There’s no way to avoid injury in the NHL while also playing as much as he will.

  10. Real_Hockey_Fan says:

    One of my worrys about the Oilers is there lack of grit. Can’t understand why they got rid of a gritty guy like Boyd Gordon. The NHL is a rough league and you need some guys with grit! That’s why I can’t wait to see Darnell Nurse on the Oilers! Not a gritty sounding name but someone whose got some grit and can rough up opponents am I write? I know some of you fellas like to count the corgis but I’ll stick to calculating gritness thank you very much!

  11. Czar says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan,

    That’s why I don’t mind the addition of Gryba, he even sounds gritty.

  12. G Money says:

    That McSomething kid better show us some skills tonight if he wants to have a shot at sticking with the big club.

  13. Woodguy says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan:
    One of my worrys about the Oilers is there lack of grit. Can’t understand why they got rid of a gritty guy like Boyd Gordon. The NHL is a rough league and you need some guys with grit! That’s why I can’t wait to see Darnell Nurse on the Oilers! Not a gritty sounding name but someone whose got some grit and can rough up opponents am I write? I know some of you fellas like to count the corgis but I’ll stick to calculating gritness thank you very much!

    Your spelling mistakes are too perfect.

    Try again.

    Invoke Spector, that will help with the illusion.

  14. G Money says:

    This is us. The Edmonton Oilers are an easy target for opposition media and for opposition teams. Best to take McDavid’s strengths—sweet, beautiful skill—and use those things to shut everyone up with goals, wins and the playoffs.

    Ah, LT. Some of your turns of phrase are just out of this world.

  15. frjohnk says:

    G Money:
    That McSomething kid better show us some skills tonight if he wants to have a shot at sticking with the big club.

    Yeah, Last 2 games in the rookie tournament, 0 goals, 0 assists.

    Also had 0 grits.

  16. Ducey says:

    sliderule:
    Connor has to take a lesson from Hall.

    The injuries Hall has suffered have been when he is going for the puck or waiting for it to come to him.

    The hits while “hockey people” said they were good hits were all interference as he hadn’t touched the puck.

    The hits Hall suffered were almost identical to Virtanen’s hit as Connorhadn’t touched the puck.

    Oiler coaches have to tell Connor that the predatory hit will come when you don’t expect them.

    Lots of Hall’s injuries have been freak things – running into the goal post, getting hit in warmup, sliding into the boards, falling awkwardly after a fight, getting slashed on the ankle, and getting hit with a shot. Only three of his injuries were caused by hits. I am not sure any were of the head down Eric Lindros variety.

    No coach is going to tell CMD how to avoid a hit. He has elite vision and people have been running him since he was 10. He only likely got hit in the tournament as he didn’t understand that it was a real hockey game instead of another scrimmage.

  17. G Money says:

    frjohnk: Yeah, Last 2 games in the rookie tournament, 0 goals, 0 assists.

    Also had 0 grits.

    Yup. And if I’m doing my math right, that means his grits/60 is even lower than that, because YOU’RE DIVIDING BY 60!!!

    P.S. Hey Padre – not sure if you’ve seen it, but I changed the format of NerdAlert so it was easier to find old articles. The new format looks much better when a picture is attached to each article. I haven’t yet got pics set up for everything, but I did a bit of ‘doctoring’ to get a good one for your guest column, and its now one of my favourites!

  18. Lowetide says:

    Grits are hard to make this far north. They don’t keep their shape.

  19. LOObird says:

    Will they be streaming the game? I thought with it being at rexall that they may televise instead.

  20. Lowetide says:

    LOObird:
    Will they be streaming the game? I thought with it being at rexall that they may televise instead.

    Stream
    http://oilers.nhl.com/

  21. jp says:

    Lowetide:
    Leafs invite Mark Fraser to camp on a PTO. Meaning they got Teemu Hartikainen for free. AND Cam Abney!

    My blood ran cold for half a second there thinking you’d said the Oilers invited Fraser on a PTO.

  22. T0ML says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW2xzbrKEXA

    Ill leave this here ….. as it may be more reliable than the oilers stream ………………. I am so ready and hope im home from work and can crack a beer………………..or two ……….. or four ………..

  23. frjohnk says:

    G Money: Yup.And if I’m doing my math right, that means his grits/60 is even lower than that, because YOU’RE DIVIDING BY 60!!!

    P.S. Hey Padre – not sure if you’ve seen it, but I changed the format of NerdAlert so it was easier to find old articles.The new format looks much better when a picture is attached to each article.I haven’t yet got pics set up for everything, but I did a bit of ‘doctoring’ to get a good one for your guest column, and its now one of my favourites!

    I just checked it out.

    Love it. Father Johns Medicine “For Goals due to Shots”

    Absolute mint!

  24. John Chambers says:

    Hypothetically, what do you think Gazdic’s boxcars would look like if he flanked McDavid and Purcell all season.

    My guess is 11-20-31 over 82 but the Corgis wouldn’t be pretty.

  25. Lowetide says:

    John Chambers:
    Hypothetically, what do you think Gazdic’s boxcars would look like if he flanked McDavid and Purcell all season.

    My guess is 11-20-31 over 82 but the Corgis wouldn’t be pretty.

    I’ll say 1-44-45, with 44 second assists.

  26. MOAR WINZ PLEEZ says:

    just got my tickets! first chance to see McDavid live, from the nosebleeds mid you but i’m still excited…

  27. G Money says:

    Lowetide: I’ll say 1-44-45, with 44 second assists.

    Oh come on! That is totally unfair to the big guy! He had two goals in each of his last two seasons WITHOUT McDavid.

    4-44-48.

  28. book¡je says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan:
    One of my worrys about the Oilers is there lack of grit. Can’t understand why they got rid of a gritty guy like Boyd Gordon. The NHL is a rough league and you need some guys with grit! That’s why I can’t wait to see Darnell Nurse on the Oilers! Not a gritty sounding name but someone whose got some grit and can rough up opponents am I write? I know some of you fellas like to count the corgis but I’ll stick to calculating gritness thank you very much!

    I think it’s time for me to retire. I can’t top this. It’s perfect satire.

  29. John Chambers says:

    G Money: Oh come on!That is totally unfair to the big guy!He had two goals in each of his last two seasons WITHOUT McDavid.

    4-44-48.

    There have got to be a few more tap-in’s (and many that should’ve been tap-in’s).

    I wasn’t yet a sentient being when Semenko played with 99 but I can’t imagine that this is too far a departure from that same strategy.

  30. stephen sheps says:

    G Money:
    This is us. The Edmonton Oilers are an easy target for opposition media and for opposition teams. Best to take McDavid’s strengths—sweet, beautiful skill—and use those things to shut everyone up with goals, wins and the playoffs.

    Ah, LT.Some of your turns of phrase are just out of this world.

    couldn’t agree more, both in terms of the sentiment and the beauty of the phrase.

    Lowetide:
    Grits are hard to make this far north. They don’t keep their shape.

    also they’re kinda gross even when made right (speaking as someone who has tried as much southern cooking as possible since I moved down here… Tennessee BBQ = amazing, whiskey too… grits not so much)

  31. speeds says:

    Lowetide, from the article:NHL teams are always trying to find a Milan Lucic (Montreal found one in John Ferguson, he was hired to protect Jean Beliveau—who was 32 at the time!) but the truth is this: We may go Connor McDavid’s entire career without seeing that player line up on his wing.

    So I don’t need to make a spreadsheet with Lucic and Seabrook making 13M next year?

  32. sliderule says:

    Ducey,

    The two hits I remember were Hamonic and Sarich.

    Hamonic and Hall race for puck and Hamonic throws a shoulder into him and Hall goes head first into boards.I thought he was done.

    Hall waiting along the boards for a pass when Sarich runs from blue and hits him just before or after puck arrives.Hall concussed and could have been career ending.

    I don’t think either of those hits would happen to Hall today as he has learned about predatory hits.

    I don’t accept that coaches can’t prepare players to avoid these predators.

  33. Water Fire says:

    Gazzer 20 points with McD. 20 G 0A, all banked in off him when Connor tells him to just go to the front of the net after their first shift.

  34. stephen sheps says:

    Oddly enough, the Goons for McDavid debate made the latest puck daddy power rankings. Lambert handled the debate pretty well.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/puck-daddy-power-rankings–hired-goons-for-connor-mcdavid–bruins-discord-220306913.html

  35. RexLibris says:

    John Chambers: There have got to be a few more tap-in’s (and many that should’ve been tap-in’s).

    I wasn’t yet a sentient being when Semenko played with 99 but I can’t imagine that this is too far a departure from that same strategy.

    Read Semenko’s Looking Out for #1.

    His hockey autobiography.

    I think there’s a chapter about when he scored.

    It’s actually a pretty nice read, although probably harder to find than a self-respecting Canucks fan now as it’s been out of print for some time.

    He has some great stories about playing with Anderson, Gretzky, Messier and Lowe.

    One of my favourites is when he had off-season knee surgery and was rehabbing.

    Sather called him in the fall to see how he was healing.

    Slats: “Hey Dave, how’s the knee, are you running alright?”

    Semenko: “Yeah, Slats. It’s good, except…”

    Slats: “Except what?”

    Semenko: “Except every time I run into the wind it blows out my cigarette.”

    Slats: *click*

  36. Real_Hockey_Fan says:

    Hey fellas if any of you are on the Twitter I just started an account. If you could spare a follow it would be much appreciated!

    @real_hockey_fan

  37. RexLibris says:

    sliderule:
    Ducey,

    The two hits I remember were Hamonic and Sarich.

    Hamonic and Hall race for puck and Hamonic throws a shoulder into him and Hall goes head first into boards.I thought he was done.

    Hall waiting along the boards for a pass when Sarich runs from blue and hits him just before or after puck arrives.Hall concussed and could have been career ending.

    I don’t think either of those hits would happen to Hall today as he has learned about predatory hits.

    I don’t accept that coaches can’t prepare players to avoid these predators.

    Funny you mention that.

    I was thinking the other day, McDavid is going to get hit coming back for the puck.

    He’s going to be standing at the side boards, head down to collect a pass in his feet and someone will line him up, either standing or as he turns to move forward.

    That’s the common way new guys get hit in the NHL because they aren’t used to so little time and space.

    My hope is that the coaches tell him not to put himself in that position and if he finds himself there, look the hell up! Ignore the damned puck and watch for the incoming ape.

    I’ve no concerns about him skating with the puck because he never looks down. My worry is when he stops moving, because then guys can catch him.

    If they had defensemen who could make passes in stride, then I’d be less concerned, but there are some d-men on this team who habitually pass it to where the player is rather than where he is going.

  38. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide:
    Leafs invite Mark Fraser to camp on a PTO. Meaning they got Teemu Hartikainen for free. AND Cam Abney!

    Oddly, Fraser had a pretty good analytics run from 09-11 with NJD (for a player of his type at any rate).

    Maybe LL remembers… who am I kidding… he remembers everything.

    ———-
    Just popping in to note that I think it is great McCarron found an AHL contract. Good for him. Always liked him.

    Too bad he couldn’t find the range at all in his final year… always seemed to progress year over year until he hit the end of the road.

  39. Hammers says:

    Is it possible McD , Gaz , Ebs , RNH , Hall and Yak , Leon with Pouliot , Lander . Trade Purcell early.

  40. Hammers says:

    Hammers:
    Is it possible McD , Gaz , Ebs , RNH , Halland Yak , Leon with Pouliot , Lander . Trade Purcell early.

    Or you could try inflating Purcells points before trading .

  41. Woodguy says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan:
    Hey fellas if any of you are on the Twitter I just started an account. If you could spare a follow it would be much appreciated!

    @real_hockey_fan

    The same day Tyler de-activated his account?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm

  42. RexLibris says:

    Woodguy: The same day Tyler de-activated his account?

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm

    Like I said.

    Conspiracy!

    No such thing as a coincidence.

  43. RexLibris says:

    One of my new favourite online comics.

    For those of us who straddle the sporting and gaming generations: http://www.loadingartist.com/comic/waste-of-time/

  44. Lowetide says:

    Woodguy is going to heaven and hell 🙂

  45. Woodguy says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan:
    Hey fellas if any of you are on the Twitter I just started an account. If you could spare a follow it would be much appreciated!

    @real_hockey_fan

    This is my favorite tweet:

    Real Hockey Fan ‏@real_hockey_fan Sep 15
    @dstaples @BruceMcCurdy Oleksiak is a lock as North America’s number 1 D am I right?

    Gotta be RiversQ or close.

  46. Woodguy says:

    Real_Hockey_Fan:
    Hey fellas if any of you are on the Twitter I just started an account. If you could spare a follow it would be much appreciated!

    @real_hockey_fan

    Your twitter account is pure gold.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  47. RexLibris says:

    Lowetide:
    Woodguy is going to heaven and hell

    Any Oiler fan from 1979 to present has already been through both.

    Pearly gates and rivers of sulphurous inferno have nothing left to offer.

  48. Mr DeBakey says:

    Let go Bears!!!
    Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs!

  49. Pouzar says:

    McDavid cam? Seriously?

  50. LOObird says:

    They won’t be doing this McDavid cam every time he’s on the ice right? Right!?

  51. B S says:

    Someone tell them to turn off that f!@#ing McDavid cam. It’s getting in the way of watching him play actual hockey.

  52. Younger Oil says:

    Fuck the McDavid cam.

    I’d prefer to see the whole game as opposed to another camera angle of a player you can already see taking up a quarter of the screen.

  53. Woodguy says:

    Ugh, Bear.

    Not good.

  54. Pouzar says:

    Younger Oil:
    Fuck the McDavid cam.

    I’d prefer to see the whole game as opposed to another camera angle of a playeryou can already see taking up a quarter of the screen.

    Terrible idea.

  55. Younger Oil says:

    Wait, does that mean the McDavid cam is on the jumbo tron at Rexall too? That is awful, McDavid would hate that as well I’m sure.

  56. B S says:

    That might be the only time Nurse has been knocked on his ass all year.

  57. Mr DeBakey says:

    Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs!

  58. Woodguy says:

    Bear again.

    Man.

  59. Woodguy says:

    Haven’t seen the McDavidcam on the youtube feed from earlier in the thread.

    Just started watching a couple minutes ago though……

  60. Centre of attention says:

    Chase 10 mins in the box. Think its his last strike with the coaches?

  61. Pouzar says:

    Woodguy:
    Haven’t seen the McDavidcam on the youtube feed from earlier in the thread.

    Just started watching a couple minutes ago though……

    Wasn’t on last shift.

  62. Mr DeBakey says:

    Woodguy:
    Bear again.

    Man.

    He’s conflicted, that’s all

  63. LostBoy says:

    That Draisaitl dude can pass the puck.

  64. B S says:

    Woodguy,

    wasn’t on last time he had a shift. I assume they got the message.

  65. Younger Oil says:

    Woodguy:
    Haven’t seen the McDavidcam on the youtube feed from earlier in the thread.

    Just started watching a couple minutes ago though……

    It might have just been on the first shift, hopefully it was the first and only time.

    Should be able to rewind during a break if you want to see it.

  66. Centre of attention says:

    So close! McDavid doing the Foresburg!

  67. Woodguy says:

    SIGN SIEMENS!!!!!!!!!

  68. B S says:

    Holy crap!, that was beautiful on all accounts. Pass, deke, save.

  69. G Money says:

    Not #NiceBearThough.

    McDavid doesn’t score on a brilliant individual sortie.

    Bust.

  70. Centre of attention says:

    Drai from Christopher and McDavid!

  71. T0ML says:

    DR DRAIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!

  72. Woodguy says:

    Nice quick touch pass by Christoffer.

    McDavid brings new meaning to “rocket skates”

  73. leadfarmer says:

    Colborne!!!!!

  74. Younger Oil says:

    Kind of a big question, but was wondering what the consensus was. Rank these teams from best to worst:

    -Golden Bears
    -Great WHL team
    -Good ECHL team
    -Bad AHL team
    -Oilers prospects team

  75. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The mcdavid cam is ridiculous…

    but you got to remember we are watching a stream of the same feed they use for the jumbotron in the rink.

    that’s a feed that has always been full of extraneous garbage.

  76. Centre of attention says:

    Bear with a weak give away AGAIN!

  77. Oil2Oilers says:

    Which # is McDavid I can’t find him, I wish they had an isolation cam so I could see him ~ said every sad one of us watching Youtube feed hockey in mid September.

    Caleb Jones look like one of those players, normally defenders, that have always been the best player on his team. So he always had the puck and did not have to learn the finer points of the game. I believe around here well call this the Tom Potti disease. I am glad he is going to the W and specifically Portland because he has some great skills that need molding.

  78. Centre of attention says:

    Nurse bobbling the puck on the line looks really bad….such a simple task and hes struggling.

  79. T0ML says:

    FRENCH GUY!!!!!

    2-1 Edm, nice goal!, 0-2-2 for McJesus

  80. John Chambers says:

    Younger Oil:
    Kind of a big question, but was wondering what the consensus was. Rank these teams from best to worst:

    -Golden Bears
    -Great WHL team
    -Good ECHL team
    -Bad AHL team
    -Oilers prospects team

    Bad AHL team
    Good ECHL team
    Oilers prospects team (this year)
    Golden Bears
    Great WHL team

    It’s all about age and experience

  81. John Chambers says:

    Centre of attention:
    Nurse bobbling the puck on the line looks really bad….such a simple task and hes struggling.

    I was going to say – better not be counting on Darnell Nurse as your powerplay quarterback.

  82. Pouzar says:

    Slepy PP magnet!

  83. Mr DeBakey says:

    Younger Oil: Golden Bears
    -Great WHL team
    -Good ECHL team
    -Bad AHL team
    -Oilers prospects team

    AHL
    ECHL
    Bears
    Rookies
    WHL

    This isn’t your usual Rookies team.
    CHL clubs were at one time forbidden to play CIS teams, bad for the brand.

  84. Pouzar says:

    Slepy-shov

    SIGH

  85. Real_Hockey_Fan says:

    Woodguy,

    Hey your confusing me. If I was going to pretend to be someone who visits this blog I’d chose someone less obvious. Anyway loving the McDavid cam!!!

  86. G Money says:

    I think we need to cut Bear some slack. This is his family – or at least his family tree – he’s playing.

  87. B S says:

    Bears
    Rookies
    AHL
    WHL

    Not sure on ECHL, but I’ve seen bad AHL hockey and it’s definitely worse than either side of what we’re seeing tonight (slower, less skilled).

  88. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Watching Betker this week… He seems to shoot more than I expected. Not hammer toss slap shots mind you, but shots all the same.

    He clearly needs a lot of work, but I wonder if he’s got better offensive/keep the play alive instincts than his boxcars indicate.

    I so wish the CHL had shot counters.

  89. John Chambers says:

    I foresee McDavid being responsible for a lot of giveaways over the first half of the season until he learns that every pass needs to be a hard one in the NHL.

    Talented as he is, a couple of veteran wingers would serve him well.

  90. G Money says:

    The feed is playing Cornershop!?!?!

  91. Woodguy says:

    John Chambers: Bad AHL team
    Good ECHL team
    Oilers prospects team (this year)
    Golden Bears
    Great WHL team

    It’s all about age and experience

    Bad AHL
    Alberta Golden Bears
    Oilers rookies
    ECHL
    WHL

    Every player on the Bears played as a 20 year old in the CHL.

    That’s better than an ECHL team.

    The Bears aren’t your average CIS team.

    If the Oiler rookies had better Dmen past Nurse and Joey Leggs it would be them in 2nd.

    McDavid and DrySaddle make its really, really close.

  92. Pouzar says:

    Man Drai is going to be a beast in the NHL when he gets his “Super” man strength.

  93. G Money says:

    Nice carry-in by Sam Gagner.

  94. Mr DeBakey says:

    Let go Bears!!!
    Clap-Clap
    Clap Clap Clap
    Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs!

  95. Pouzar says:

    Dirty Drai.

  96. geowal says:

    Legs!

  97. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    My allegiance always takes a beating during this yearly matchup. Life-long Oilers devotee, UofA alum…

    Go Team!

  98. geowal says:

    left!

  99. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    G Money:
    I think we need to cut Bear some slack. This is his family – or at least his family tree – he’s playing.

    Plus he can be forgiven if his mind is on the changing of the seasons and getting enough mutated walleye out of the North Saskatchewan to sustain him over what might be a long winter.

  100. John Chambers says:

    Woodguy: Bad AHL
    Alberta Golden Bears
    Oilers rookies
    ECHL
    WHL

    Every player on the Bears played as a 20 year old in the CHL.

    That’s better than an ECHL team.

    The Bears aren’t your average CIS team.

    If the Oiler rookies had better Dmen past Nurse and Joey Leggs it would be them in 2nd.

    McDavid and DrySaddle make its really, really close.

    Agreed on the Oilers D, but I think you’re undervaluing AA hockey.

    ECHL guys for the most part have played 4 years of NCAA div 1 or have previously player Euro Pro. NCAA div 1 is better hockey than CIS.

    The Oilers are a tough team to slot because you have veritable NHL soon-to-be stars in McDavid and Nurse as well as kids like Bear and Jones.

  101. Barcs says:

    Don’t know how that didn’t go in, but nice hands there from Chase.

  102. Mr DeBakey says:

    Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs!

  103. Younger Oil says:

    Leveille to my eye has looked much better than Bear and Jones, he did in Pentiction as well IMO.

  104. Mr DeBakey says:

    C’mon you Bears!!!
    Clap-Clap, Clap Clap Clap

    Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs! Beah-errrs!

  105. Oil2Oilers says:

    Did Leon get an inch taller, a foot wider and 40lbs more of ass during the off season? I remember him as a tank not an air craft carrier.

  106. Woodguy says:

    John Chambers: Agreed on the Oilers D, but I think you’re undervaluing AA hockey.

    ECHL guys for the most part have played 4 years of NCAA div 1 or have previously player Euro Pro. NCAA div 1 is better hockey than CIS.

    The Oilers are a tough team to slot because you have veritable NHL soon-to-be stars in McDavid and Nurse as well as kids like Bear and Jones.

    I think you are under estimating the Bears.

    I agree that NCAA is better than CIS, but the Bears have destroyed CIS for years and years.

    You have to be pretty good to play in the WHL at 20.

    Most 19 year olds get cut loose since teams are only allowed to play 3 20 year olds at any given time.

    Granted these are players who are generally not good enough to play AHL whereas some ECHLers are, but the Bears being full of players who played 20 year old CHL is significant.

  107. Younger Oil says:

    The only times the Bears are getting sustained pressure in the OZ is when Bear and Jones have been on the ice.

    I know they are the youngest D on the team though so it’s understandable.

  108. G Money says:

    Draisaitl is just a monster.

  109. B S says:

    Woodguy: I think you are under estimating the Bears.

    I agree that NCAA is better than CIS, but the Bears have destroyed CIS for years and years.

    Bears have destroyed NCAA in exhibition games too. They are exceptionally good.

  110. Pouzar says:

    I think Drai’s skating looks much improved.

  111. Lloyd B. says:

    Woodguy: Bad AHL
    Alberta Golden Bears
    Oilers rookies
    ECHL
    WHL

    Every player on the Bears played as a 20 year old in the CHL.

    That’s better than an ECHL team.

    The Bears aren’t your average CIS team.

    If the Oiler rookies had better Dmen past Nurse and Joey Leggs it would be them in 2nd.

    McDavid and DrySaddle make its really, really close.

    I agree with your take on the levels of play. I’ve asked this before here but why do CIS players not get more love at the draft. Or at least with rookie tryouts? NHL teams appear to have gone crazy with NCAA players but are not mining the CIS at all. i’m confused.

  112. Pouzar says:

    LL just destroyed some AGB in the dzone before that goal. Very impressive.

  113. geowal says:

    Watching the fans on the jumbotron from home feels odd.

  114. wheatnoil says:

    Just tuned in for the 3rd period.

    Draisaitl is something else.

    Also, this is a great show-case for the Bears… great chance for 14,000+ to see how good of a team they are.

  115. Centre of attention says:

    Sanford from CMD! Ohhhhh Baby!

  116. Pouzar says:

    McDreamy.

  117. Younger Oil says:

    Feed crap out for anyone else?

  118. Woodguy says:

    Lloyd B.: I agree with your take on the levels of play. I’ve asked this before here but why do CISplayers not get more love at the draft. Or at least with rookie tryouts? NHL teams appear to have gone crazy with NCAA players but are not mining the CIS at all. i’m confused.

    Age.

    Most CIS players are in their early-mid 20’s.

    Most of the top 10 Bear scorers last year were 23 and 24.

    They’ve gone through the CHL or Junior A already and are at the point of their lives where they turn hockey into a conduit for an education. They can’t get a good AHL contract, so they go to school. (or choose school over minor pro)

    Most NCAA players that are drafted are actually drafted before they get to NCAA (Hanfin is an rare exception) since the NHL draft players in their 17 year old year.

    Most NCAA players come from USHL or Junior A across Canada and are drafted out of the USHL and Junior A before going to school.

  119. G Money says:

    Connor McDreamy. Streamer NoStreamy.

  120. striatic says:

    Younger Oil,

    Yep.

    McDavid broke the streams.

  121. Pouzar says:

    Younger Oil:
    Feed crap out for anyone else?

    Yes. Missed the Slepy goal.

  122. wheatnoil says:

    Pouzar: Yes. Missed the Slepy goal.

    Maybe the goal was too enigmatically Russian?

  123. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    Aaaaaaaaand out of whiskey. Good game. Thursday is stupid.

  124. striatic says:

    LaLeggia again very, very good.

    Really interested in following his performance in Bakersfield.

  125. Cahoon says:

    wheatnoil: Maybe the goal was too enigmatically Russian?

    That is the funniest thing I’ve read all day!

  126. TheGreatMcMutato says:

    McMoney and Blitzkrieg first two stars.

    #nicepairthough

  127. Lloyd B. says:

    Woodguy,

    Thanks for that explanation. Age is a reasonable explanation. BUT…. O my Gawd…What a tough racket… Washed up at 23 !!

    At that age I was just finding out who I was and what I thought I wanted to do with my life. ( I was very good at what I was doing at then. ) Turns out, that time in my life was an incredibly mis-guided path to what direction life actually had in store. Color me a CIS hockey player!!

  128. Pouzar says:

    McDreamy backchecking action

    https://vine.co/v/eUJnIaxxxLa

  129. Sugar Reijo says:

    – Drai and McDavid are going to be fun to watch for a long, long time.

    – Liked what I saw from Cristoffer again.

    – Same as in Penticton, Loiseau disappears for long stretches but when he gets a sniff he has some serious skill.

    – I’ll bet the player Chiarelli references when he sees Chase is Marchand.

    – I was a bit disappointed in Nurse tonight. Something just seemed…off.

  130. oilswell says:

    Pouzar:
    McDreamy backchecking action

    https://vine.co/v/eUJnIaxxxLa

    Any skating coaches here? On that clip it almost seemed to me that his power declined towards top speed and he could find a higher gear with an adjustment. Probably tired but he skated up ice pretty good after IIRC.

  131. Snowman says:

    After watching tonight, I can honestly say I think there is about a 0.0001% Drai is sent down. Guy is legit. He had a tonne of great strips and take aways, skating was good, passing was ridiculous, impossible to push of the puck. He seemed like he was playing Chess and everyone else was playing checkers a couple of times. He is a wonderful, wonderful player.

    Also Mcdavid’s speed is really something you have to see. I’ve watched him a few times now and I am always surprised by it. It looks so effortless and yet somehow he is just flying.

  132. RexLibris says:

    Snowman:
    After watching tonight, I can honestly say I think there is about a 0.0001% Drai is sent down. Guy is legit. He had a tonne of great strips and take aways, skating was good, passing was ridiculous, impossible to push of the puck. He seemed like he was playing Chess and everyone else was playing checkers a couple of times. He is a wonderful, wonderful player.

    Also Mcdavid’s speed is really something you have to see. I’ve watched him a few times now and I am always surprised by it. It looks so effortless and yet somehow he is just flying.

    In the Penticton Prospects article I wrote for FN my write-up on McDavid was that he isn’t so much a player you watch as one you experience.

    I was challenged on that point (not surprisingly) and had to explain it.

    I stand by that statement, though, that he is a player one experiences because while you hear that he is skilled and fast, you have to actually see just how incredibly fast he actually is to really understand it. Or how the puck just always seems to follow him around, like he is skating towards where it is going to go.

    Some pretty good players have had that knack in the past.

  133. Zelepukin says:

    Snowman:
    After watching tonight, I can honestly say I think there is about a 0.0001% Drai is sent down. Guy is legit. He had a tonne of great strips and take aways, skating was good, passing was ridiculous, impossible to push of the puck. He seemed like he was playing Chess and everyone else was playing checkers a couple of times. He is a wonderful, wonderful player.

    Also Mcdavid’s speed is really something you have to see. I’ve watched him a few times now and I am always surprised by it. It looks so effortless and yet somehow he is just flying.

    RexLibris: In the Penticton Prospects article I wrote for FN my write-up on McDavid was that he isn’t so much a player you watch as one you experience.

    I was challenged on that point (not surprisingly) and had to explain it.

    I stand by that statement, though, that he is a player one experiences because while you hear that he is skilled and fast, you have to actually see just how incredibly fast he actually is to really understand it. Or how the puck just always seems to follow him around, like he is skating towards where it is going to go.

    Some pretty good players have had that knack in the past.

    Truth. There is no chance in hell Drai doesn’t make the club. His passing alone is just amazing. To think that in 1-2 years we could be running 3 scoring lines, centered by potentially 3 of the best passers in the league, is ridiculous. I don’t see why we wouldn’t.

    I can’t agree more with McD’s skating. There was one shift in the second where it really highlighted what we all are half expecting; our defense not being able to get McD the puck, thus wasting his skill set. It was a long shift probably a min and half and McD didn’t get a touch until the last 10sec and yet he still blew by the D down the boards and created a scoring opportunity.

  134. Lowetide says:

    Just got back from the game. I’ll have a post up tomorrow in anticipation of the final TC roster, but a few notes on tonight’s contest will come up. One thing I did want to post here: The Golden Bears are amazing forecheckers. Absolutely fabulous to watch them play, really enjoyed it.

    Nurse and Laleggia handled it pretty well (although that pairing gave up a goal against) but the three kids were chaos incorporated and poor Ben Betker is going to have whiplash. Part of TC is to show these young draft picks how far they have to go and imo tonight’s game was a far better indication for the kids than Penticton.

    I’d still sign Leveille btw. He deals with chaos well ala M-A Bergeron.

  135. wheatnoil says:

    Lowetide: I’d still sign Leveille btw. He deals with chaos well ala M-A Bergeron.

    Looks like he made it to main camp. One of two invites not cut tonight (Sanford the other) if my math is right.

  136. Monkas29 says:

    They should look to pick up strong ufa defenseman next year when nikitin is off the books, or at least when ference only has 1 year left. Let it ride till real quality D are available.

  137. spoiler says:

    wheatnoil: Looks like he made it to main camp. One of two invites not cut tonight (Sanford the other) if my math is right.

    I’m a little surprised at Sanford. He has talent and showed good finish on the McLovin’it feed, but doesn’t seem to win many battles to my eye.

  138. Monkas29 says:

    The only reason Purcell should get 2nd line minutes is an attempt to make him trade worthy. As is he is too soft and doesn’t produce nearly enough.

  139. Lowetide says:

    spoiler: I’m a little surprised at Sanford. He has talent and showed good finish on the McLovin’it feed, but doesn’t seem to win many battles to my eye.

    I saw him good tonight, he’s a pretty good skater and dogged on the forecheck. Plus he has very good hands.

  140. spoiler says:

    Drai really did have a very fine game. Again.

    According to the broadcast, the thing he worked on the most this summer was his shot. He’s an assassin. Pure killer.

    Handled the GB forecheck better than any other player out there, including the Anointed One.

    He strikes me as a real leader, like he’s willing to put a team on his back. Always using his brain to anticipate plays. Gets deep behind his own net, carries the puck as much as possible, draws players and hits to find or release the open man…

    Maybe that leadership comes from him being everything to the team when he played for Germany (and to an extent PA), but his focus and determination and confidence are still quite impressive. He looks very comfortable out there. Granted this is a level he has mastered.

    I know it would have been great to see Bennett play with his long time buddy McDavid, if we had drafted differently, but I’m not convinced Bennett would be more useful to this team. Drai’s potential is pretty mind-blowing itself and might be higher than RNH’s.

    Rom made a good call back in the day. I am really enjoying watching this player. Might be some kind of Toews/Kopitar hybrid. Super valuable playoff player when time and space go all boa constrictor.

    Liking Slappy too. Slepyshev looks like he’s the so-called prototypical North American player to my eye. Gritty, hard working, battles, uses his body lots. Would like to see him get his shot unleashed more though.

  141. spoiler says:

    Lowetide,

    I’m a little surprised, but not a lot, lol. He does have some things.

  142. jake70 says:

    Anyone hear Friedman on PTS yesterday? He was on as phone guest – talked Oilers with McCown and the McDavid buzz. Interesting tidbit – Friedman is vacationing in Hawaii this summer, someone recognized him and approached him and complained that McDavid will not be on national US television until March 2016 and asked if Elliot could do anything about it. I just thought of Bettman’s look when the “ball” guy looked up and said it was the Oilers with the magic 4 numbers. LOL.

  143. jake70 says:

    Oh and in the same segment, Friedman confirmed how angry some teams were that Oilers got the pick.

  144. meanashell11 says:

    Fuck’em

  145. slopitch says:

    Drai and CMD were fantastic last night. What a fun game to watch. CMD is obvious because he’s a highlight reel but Drai really made some good subtle plays that stood out to me. I really like how effective he is in the neutral zone. Id almost rather see him in the AHL for 20 games as a C then bother playing wing but I suppose either is fine long term. I was stunned many times how often CMD seemed to be wide open. He thinks and skates the game at a different speed.

    Liked Sleppy tons. He’s a battler who uses his body well.

    Defense is so important in todays game. The Oilers were much better with Nurse and JL on the ice vs the other pairings. Nurse was ok but didnt have his best game.

  146. Pouzar says:

    slopitch:
    Drai and CMD were fantastic last night. What a fun game to watch. CMD is obvious because he’s a highlight reel but Drai really made some good subtle plays that stood out to me. I really like how effective he is in the neutral zone. Id almost rather see him in the AHL for 20 games as a C then bother playing wing but I suppose either is fine long term. I was stunned many times how often CMD seemed to be wide open. He thinks and skates the game at a different speed.

    Liked Sleppy tons. He’s a battler who uses his body well.

    Defense is so important in todays game. The Oilers were much better with Nurse and JL on the ice vs the other pairings. Nurse was ok but didnt have his best game.

    Spot on imo.
    The Nurse /Leggs pair had the puck moving in the right direction.
    Drai is a beauty.
    Was McDreamy playing at 75% effort? That would be scary cause AGB are no joke.

    Were you at the game?

  147. slopitch says:

    Pouzar,

    Ya I was. Made an extra effort to cheer for Bears goals. Was fun to watch hockey again. You?

  148. Pouzar says:

    slopitch:
    Pouzar,

    Ya I was. Made an extra effort to cheer for Bears goals. Was fun to watch hockey again. You?

    I wish.

    Living in da Peg.

    Will be goin to the Sep 25 game at MTS

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