“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best…….,” and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.” A. A. Milne
I tolerate summer, that’s the truth. Spring is far better, full of hope and new growth and the long lost warmth of the sun. Fall is my favorite season, with the colors of the river valley and the brisk air a welcome reminder of the best season of all: Hockey season. We are here. Welcome back, friend.
OILERS IN EDMONTON ROSTER TONIGHT
- Patrick Maroon—Connor McDavid—Ryan Strome. Big opportunity, big pressure.
- Joey Laleggia—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins—Jesse Puljujarvi. Giant push for two young wingers.
- Iiro Pakarinen—Mark Letestu—Zack Kassian. Potential 4line.
- Ryan Hamilton—Josh Currie/Grayson Downing—Patrick Russell. AHL 2line?
- Darnell Nurse—Eric Gryba. Opening night third pair.
- Caleb Jones—Ethan Bear. A curious opening night pair, there is opportunity here.
- William Lagesson—Mark Fayne. Fascinating pair, Fayne could get some NHL games this year.
- Cam Talbot (Edward Pasquale). Talbot looks to repeat a brilliant season.
OILERS IN CALGARY ROSTER TONIGHT
- Milan Lucic—Leon Draisaitl—Drake Caggiula. Giant chance for Caggiula.
- Jujhar Khaira—Chris Kelly—Kailer Yamamoto. A nice push for all three men.
- Mitch Callahan—Brad Malone—Ty Rattie. Rattie starts here. Where is he opening night?
- Evan Polei/Braden Christoffer—Joe Gambardella—Greg Chase. Let ’em know you’re there!
- Oscar Klefbom—Adam Larsson. Opening night first pair.
- Yohann Auvitu—Dillon Simpson. A nice showcase game for both men.
- Keegan Lowe—Ziyat Paigin. I am curious as to why this isn’t the second pair in Edmonton.
- Laurent Brossoit (Nick Ellis). This is Brossoit’s time, Ellis is on deck.
Players getting a push tonight that might seem out of time include Joey Laleggia, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Dillon Simpson. Now, that could be due to injuries or rest for more established players (Jussi Jokinen, Matt Benning) heading into the exhibition season. If you see something fabulous from one of these four men, that’s a very good arrow.
The Oilers are not balanced and that brings the idea of a training camp deal into play. Players getting a push are being evaluated, but that works both ways. No idea what it would look like but something to keep in mind. I’m looking for Jesse Puljujarvi to have a good night and would love to see any of the depth defensemen step up. You know, Caleb Jones is in an NHL pre-season game and in a feature role. Sometimes magic.