I DREAMED YOU PAID YOUR DUES IN CANADA

The Edmonton Oilers announced their presence with authority last night with victories up and down the province. I went into the evening looking for goals from the RW’s and most of the major players complied. Kailer Yamamoto scored a dandy, picked up two points and probably earned another game. That’s the deal over the next 10 days for all these bubble players, and for the veterans it’s time to stretch things out, stay healthy, and start feeling good about what each man can bring consistently. We are underway.

CALGARY GAME

THE WHO, BY NUMBERS

  1. No. 8, R Ty Rattie. 0-0-0, -1 13:05. He saw plenty of power-play time (everyone did, it seems) but couldn’t cash. I didn’t see a lot of the Calgary game, but he battled in the offensive zone along the way and kept the puck moving.
  2. No. 15, L Mitch Callahan. 0-0-0, -1 15:06. He played three minutes each on both special teams, showing his range. Uphill to make the big team, but showing an ability to help in multiple ways.
  3. No. 16, L Jujhar Khaira. 1-0-1 15:31. He scored a goal, had multiple chances and continues a strong run early in training camp that began on day one. Khaira is a bubble player who is waiver eligible, and helping his cause. Saw time on PP and PK.
  4. No. 22, C Chris Kelly. 0-0-0 14:49. Two shots, one takeaway and five minutes on the penalty kill. I didn’t see much of him. He was only 41 percent (nine of 22) on the dot.
  5. No. 24, C Brad Malone. 0-0-0 12:51. One shot, 60 percent on the dot (three of five), one blocked shot and over three minutes on the PK. He seems destined for Bakersfield.
  6. No. 27, L Milan Lucic. 0-1-1 +2, 16:00. He looked quicker and under control, although there were a couple of errant passes. Two shots, lots of 5×4 time. He was good.
  7. No. 29, C Leon Draisaitl. 0-1-1 +2, 18:56. He was the best player in the Calgary game. One shot, three takeaways, he was strong on the puck and looked quick to me. He’s a bull with skill, played with some real edge last night. Leon’s a prick, I mean that as a compliment.
  8. No. 41, L Evan Polei. 0-0-0, 7:43. It’s a big compliment to him getting a game in, he had a shot on goal and played his gritty style. I think he could get an NHL contract in the next 12 months.
  9. No. 45, C Joe Gambardella. 0-0-0, 10:31. One shot, one takeaway, he took two penalties on a night when looking at someone funny got you a trip to the box. He got limited time but had good moments. I would like him to be more involved in the game, he has enough speed to insert himself often. Probably just getting a lay of the land.
  10. No. 56, R Kailer Yamamoto. 1-1-2, 15:45. He had two shots, one takeaway and a productive evening. Yamamoto has a lot of skill, something Edmonton needs at his position. He’ll likely get another game. I have been saying since mid-summer the danger with this player is that he eclipses the other hopefuls because of superior skill. We have miles to go, but one of the things Peter Chiarelli has to be thinking about today is the gathering storm around JP and Yamamoto. How can he send the kid down when he shows this kind of skill? What does that do to Puljujarvi, who struggled? Bah.
  11. No. 72, R Greg Chase. 0-0-0, 10:04. He was solid on the forecheck, took care of the puck for the most part and worked hard in the part of the game I saw him.
  12. No. 91, R Drake Caggiula. 2-0-2, +1 15:18. He continued his positive march toward a role as an NHL regular on a skill line. Popped two goals and played a lot on both special teams. This is the game I hoped for Jesse Puljujarvi. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Needs to play a little more safe in the neutral zone.

THE WHO BY NUMBERS, BLUE

  1. No. 6, RD Adam Larsson. 0-1-1 +2, 26:28. Played an insane amount, over 10 minutes on special teams and that’s crazy for preseason. Two shots, one block. He got beaten late by Dillon Dube but looked calm, cool and collected otherwise in the portion of the game I saw.
  2. No. 47, LD Keegan Lowe. 0-0-0, 17:29. One hit, one block and over four minutes on the penalty kill. He was listed as third pair but played enough to rank second pair on the evening. I was curious about where he was slotted (third pair) and remain perplexed about why he didn’t play more last night. You run the hell out of your top pairing and don’t get a long look at your bubble men? This makes no sense to me.
  3. No. 77, LD Oscar Klefbom. 0-1-1, +2, 27:02. Played a monster amount (this is crazy) and had a major impact. Three shots, three blocks, major special teams minutes. Absurd TOI. Klefbom looks a bit similar to Serge Savard with the puck on his stick, strong and mobile and winding his way up the ice. He’s a confident veteran now.
  4. No. 79, LD Dillon Simpson. 0-0-0 -1, 18:04. Played the third most minutes among the Calgary group. Three minutes on the PK. Three shot attempts, delivered his usual quiet, effective game.
  5. No. 81, LD Yohann Auvitu, 1-0-1, -1, 15:54. He was noticeable in the time I saw him, very mobile and he’s confident with the puck. I’m curious why he didn’t play more. Injury? I think he has an excellent chance to make the opening night roster.
  6. No. 92, LD Ziyat Paigin. 0-0-0, 11:48. His playing time was a surprise, I wonder if his early game performance dictated sheltering him the rest of the way. Paigin is going to take some time to figure out positioning on the smaller surface, he doesn’t drive his mark to the outside very well.

THE WHO BY NUMBERS, GOAL

  1. No. 1, Laurent Brossoit. Had a .923 save percentage and looked good.
  2. No. 34, Nick Ellis. Had an .850 save percentage.

EDMONTON GAME

THE WHO BY NUMBERS, FORWARDS

  1. No. 18, R Ryan Strome. 1-1-2, 16:06. Five shots on goal, that’s exactly what the Oilers need from him. He had plenty of chances, I think you’d have to give him a passing grade on the evening. He did have a giveaway and you’d like to see more pressure 5×5 for his line but these are early days.
  2. No. 19, L Patrick Maroon. 1-2-3, 16:10. Maroon has a sixth sense around the net, he scores a lot of what they used to call ‘garbage’ goals. They stopped calling them garbage goals around the time of Steve Shutt, and good that they did. Maroon was quality, as usual.
  3. No. 26, R Iiro Pakarinen. 0-1-1, 13:04. He played a lot more than I thought he might, coach McLellan clearly likes what he brings. He played nine minutes at evens, more than most of the skill players.
  4. No. 28, C Grayson Downing. 0-0-0, 11:20. Had some good looks and covered pretty well, I’d like to see him get another game. Only 2-7 in the faceoff dot. He was one of his team’s top forwards in even-strength ice time (the skill was on the power play), managing three shot attempts and a takeaway.
  5. No. 44, R Zack Kassian. 0-0-0, 15:40. He was up to his usual last night, skated well, had a mini-breakaway and got some special teams time. Led the team (along with Laleggia) with three hits and had one takeaway.
  6. No. 46, L Ryan Hamilton. 0-0-0, 14:26. He was noticeable along the wall, played more than expected (probably because of the score).
  7. No. 52, R Patrick Russell. 0-0-0, 12:26. I thought he had some good moments, he is a bigger winger and kept the puck heading in a good direction during 4line minutes. Led the team’s forwards in EV ice time, 10:18.
  8. No. 55, C Mark Letestu. 2-0-2, 17:31. He scored twice by doing what he did all last season, hanging around in the good spots and offering a quality target. Letestu was 57 percent in the dot, had a takeaway and a blocked shot, and performed extremely well.
  9. No. 84, L Joey Laleggia. 0-0-0, +1, 16:37. He skates well, didn’t get a lot of good looks on the evening but should get a few more games. A solid night, two blocked shots. I hope he gets another game.
  10. No. 93, C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. 1-0-1, 17:54. His goal was a fluke but it counted. Over seven minutes on the power play, that unit wasn’t as tight as you would like. He was 56 percent in the dot, skated miles and was on the good side of the puck often.
  11. No. 97 C Connor McDavid. 0-2-2, 17:03. He was 60 percent in the faceoff circle, had several brilliant moments and defended well (he was down low all night in coverage). He’s perfect.
  12. No. 98 R Jesse Puljujarvi. 0-0-0, +1, 16:52. He had two shots, six shot attempts but what I noticed was his two takeaways and effective play without the puck. He had a couple of awkward shots on the power play, and looked frustrated and then less effective in the offensive area. I know he’s going to be a fine player, just a matter of where he lands on the depth chart. I think he’s a two-way winger, ladies.

THE WHO BY NUMBERS, DEFENSE

  1. No. 5 RD Mark Fayne 0-0-0, -1 14:53. Three blocked shots, lots of PK time, I like his calm, veteran feet and look forward to seeing him shine in Bakersfield. Some rumblings among msm that he’s in better shape and has a chance to make the big club but I don’t think Todd McLellan trusts his boots.
  2. No. 25 LD Darnell Nurse. 0-1-1, 18:10. He was the combination of skill and chaos we have come to expect. Skated well, didn’t make enough good decisions with the puck to be projected into a two-way role. That said, he was the best Edmonton defenseman in the capital last night, despite some giveaways. Nurse can transport the puck with aplomb and defended pretty well, the major item being failure to clear the puck out during a marathon PK shift.
  3. No. 62 RD Eric Gryba. 0-0-0 16:46. He looked slow and chased at times, but also displayed veteran presence. Two takeaways, three blocked shots, I would say he helped his goal of becoming the 6D out of camp.
  4. No. 74 RD Ethan Bear. 0-0-0 +2, 18:40. I was impressed by his  play. Three shot attempts, one blocked shot, he didn’t have any mobility issues to my eye. He is a fine passer, didn’t get a chance to use his shot at all but distributed the puck well.
  5. No. 82, LD Caleb Jones. 0-1-1 +2, 21:19. Led all Edmonton game defenders in total ice time and played well all night. Four shot attempts, one takeaway and looked solid for the most part. Turned the puck over a couple of times and you have to expect that from young people.
  6. No. 89 LD William Lagesson. 0-0-0 -1, 16:31. He didn’t play a lot but was effective in limited usage. Lagesson got sent out after the game but showed well during camp. I had him No. 16 on my Winter Top 20 last December, he is exactly the player type (defensive defender) who gets underrated without viewings. I like him.

THE WHO BY NUMBERS, GOAL

  1. No. 33 Cam Talbot. Stopped all 11 shots on a quiet night, although he did have one brilliant stanza in which the Oilers gave the puck away and he just kept stopping the damned thing from going in the net.
  2. No. 32 Eddie Pasquale. Stopped 12 of 14, he acquitted himself well overall.

QUICK NOTES

I think there was some progress made last night, will mention Laurent Brossoit, Yohann Auvitu, Dillon Simpson, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Kailer Yamamoto, Drake Caggiula, Jujhar Khaira. It’s also important to note the down arrows, I will include Jesse Puljujarvi, Chris Kelly. It’s opportunity lost for others, as Joey Laleggia, Joe Gambardella and Mark Fayne played well enough but didn’t impact the game at a level where we can award a good arrow.

THE DISTANT BELLS

William Lagesson got sent out last night, the club is ripping through the distant bells at a nice clip this week. If we agree two men will go on IR (Andrej Sekera, Tyler Benson) to begin the season, then we’re talking 17 hopefuls. From that list, Ben Betker, Braden Christoffer, Josh Currie, Kyle Platzer, Chad Butcher, Brian Ferline and Zach O’Brien haven’t played yet so we can look for some of those names this week. There’s a back-to-back on the weekend, perhaps we don’t see a big cut down swath until Sunday or Monday.

THE UNCERTAIN OILERS

Jujhar Khaira has a head of steam now, he’s bringing it and impacting the game offensively (the universal question mark among the young pro forwards). Iiro Pakarinen played well enough to hold his place in line, and Yamamoto has certainly justified my placing him in this area of the current roster. Ryan Stanton has yet to be heard from, the defense is rolling out as expected (Auvitu and then everyone else in a tie for No. 9 D).

THE CERTAIN OILERS

  • The top line looked good to me last night, would have liked some even-strength consistency. Ryan Strome can learn from Patrick Maroon: When 97 gets the puck, just go to the net with your stick down and the brain God gave you.
  • Drake Caggiula is a bit more of a soloist than Anton Slepyshev, but he could find a great landing place with Draisaitl and Lucic.
  • Nugent-Hopkins scored a goal but Jesse Puljujarvi looked lost in the supermarket with the puck on his stick last night. He appears all in his mind at times, and my hope for summer (that he was working on a quicker release) does not appear to have been a priority. On the other hand, he remains a surprisingly (for his age) effective defensive forward. All the neurons are firing, just not in the right order. This is a very big item for the Edmonton Oilers organization. This isn’t funny, dammit. Is there an answer here? Unlocking this player is vital.
  • Klefbom-Larsson should get the rest of the week off. Utter silliness to play the two guys you’re sure of that much, I will be very interested to see how they are handled for the rest of the week. Playing your top defensemen damned near 30 minutes in a game that doesn’t matter is twilight zone decision making.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

A busy morning, your input on last night’s game will be welcome in one of the segments. Scheduled to appear, TSN1260 beginning at 10:

  • Jonathan Willis, The Athletic & The Nation Network. Oilers last night, Jussi Jokinen and Jesse Puljujarvi.
  • Scott Cullen, TSN. CFL, Oilers and Leafs.
  • Andy McNamara, TSN. NFL Week Two and Three.

10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Tune in, the workday goes quicker when you do!

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77 Responses to "I DREAMED YOU PAID YOUR DUES IN CANADA"

  1. OriginalPouzar says:

    That was a hell of ago by Kailier – I paid closer attention to the game in Edmonton and it looked like Kailer struggled a bit early (another offensive zone PIM) but looked good on the PP and great goal.

    Seems like Kailer had a more impactful night than JP – doth think that changes anything though.

    Great to see the chemistry between Strome and McDavid – yes, very watered down competition but Strome does see to understand how to play with Connor and 5 shots on net for Strome is money!

  2. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lucic indeed does look quicker – I saw it with my own eyes – money!

    Lagesson is my new favorite D prospect – a great couple weeks for Willie.

  3. druds1 says:

    It seems everyday is better when you beat down Calgary….even in the deluge of cold rain, I still had a stupid big smile on my face .

  4. leadfarmer says:

    Is Chris Kelly really a down arrow? I didn’t think we were expecting much out of him. Not being good enough for a contract was the expectation and looks like he broke even

  5. kgo says:

    Crazy TOI for kleflar, they’re such studs. The sky is the limit for these two, I don’t want to sound like MacT but they could be battling each other for Norris votes as soon as this season.

    Hunter, please up my prediction to 114 points and the Pres

  6. Jethro Tull says:

    Some observations:

    1) Twitchy sphincter time for Flames fans watching Smith do his Elliot impression last night. They want to hope he was trolling. They’d have been better off bringing on a good prospect last year.

    2) Calgary will always be second best when they concentrate on things other than hockey, such as Truculence. They have the skill, but seem to want to play people who would rather slash than score.

    3) McDavid looked faster, if that’s possible. Seemed like he was holding back and stretched the legs once in a while.

    4) Only reason I can think of for the TOI of the top pair in Calgary is a one and done blow out to get their game legs under them for the start of the season.

  7. Jethro Tull says:

    OriginalPouzar: Lucic indeed does look quicker – I saw it with my own eyes – money!

    Sorry, going to need stats of average, burst and lower end speed from across Lucic’s career for this “Lucic Looks Faster” narrative to be proven true. 😉

  8. Shane says:

    Jethro Tull,

    Maybe it’s a “get used to it boys, you’re going to play a lot until Rej is back”?

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    I think we see a large number of cuts today or do they wait until after the WIN game on Wed?

    Pasquale
    P. Russell
    R. Hamilton
    Downing
    Chase
    O’Brien
    Butcher
    Ferlin
    Betker
    Polei

  10. Justenvogt says:

    How does a guy who at one point was in the conversation to be chosen ahead of Laine look so lost? Concerning development. Do they go get Jagr if the wobble continues?

  11. OriginalPouzar says:

    leadfarmer: Quote

    He needs to outperform someone like Khaira in order to earn a contract and he’s farther away from that than he was yesterday at this time. Thank goodness.

  12. Connoreah says:

    Hi LT and community. Read every article, but rarely post. Had to this morning though because I am genuinely confused and surprised about the reviews of JP. I was at the game last night and watched him every time he was on the ice. What I (and people around me saw):

    1. He looks much more solid, like he’s growing into his proper size. He’s big and strong, and much more coordinated looking relative to last year.
    2. I caught him backchecking like a demon last night on at least 2 occasions where he disrupted the Flames entry. He was not playing like this was preseason.
    3. He is finding his spot on the PP (where Laine sets up). He didn’t score, but I didn’t see a clean pass get through to him. They were either outside of his wheelhouse or bouncing pucks. I believe it will only take one to go in, and his confidence is going to spike and then he could be absolutely lethal from that spot.

    I get home from the game and see that the media (Matheson) and many commenters across the blogosphere have decided he’s just “not good enough.” He’s barely 19. Barely speaks any english. He desperately needs some confidence and one good bounce. And much of Edmonton is openly writing him off as a disappointment?

    As an Oilers fan, I find this very disappointing. I hope this kid doesn’t find someone to read the reviews of his play to him. Totally unfair, in my humble opinion.

    That’s my 2 cents.

  13. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jethro Tull: Sorry, going to need stats of average, burst and lower end speed from across Lucic’s career for this “Lucic Looks Faster” narrative to be proven true.

    I look for WG to provide that type of analysis……

    He’s even more famous now than yesterday at this time due to Mr. S.

  14. Professor Q says:

    I just think people need to calm down about Puljujärvi.

    He’ll put in AHL time this season and continue on his 19-yo development, for Gretzky’s skates.

    I don’t think Jagr would be a Puljujärvi replacement. He’d be a RW shore-up as we do seem a *bit* thin there but Strome and Caggiula and Khaira etc. are showing well thus far. Just need it to continue.

  15. Connoreah says:

    Justenvogt:
    How does a guy who at one point was in the conversation to be chosen ahead of Laine look so lost? Concerning development. Do they go get Jagr if the wobble continues?

    Genuinely curious. When did he look lost last night? Were there specific examples? I was at the game and I genuinely thought JP looked much better than what everyone online is saying.

  16. Jordan says:

    You know, there will be plenty of moments this coming year that will be more meaningful more impactful and frankly more important to the Oilers’ season and post-season hopes.

    That being said – I love beating the flames twice in one night.

    LOVE IT!

    There is very little that leaves me feeling more smug about the Oilers than the split-squad game and a two-win night.

  17. OriginalPouzar says:

    Justenvogt:
    How does a guy who at one point was in the conversation to be chosen ahead of Laine look so lost? Concerning development. Do they go get Jagr if the wobble continues?

    He turned 19 a few months ago.

    Just because Laine is elite doesn’t mean that Puljijarvi isn’t the player we drafted.

    I’m sorry but I think this post above shows unreasonable expectations re: speed of development. Yes, he needs to have arrows pointed up this year but an up and down game in the first preseason game with a minor leaguer on his line isn’t a huge concerns to me.

    He does look like an NHL player and if anyone is expecting 45 plus points out of him in the NHL this year I think they are seting themselves up for disappointment. He won’t be the elite scorer that Laine is and he was never projected to be as such. He will be a nice offensive player (hopefully) with a more complete game – maybe even more valuable due to cap implications.

  18. jm363561 says:

    Connoreah:
    Hi LT and community. Read every article, but rarely post. Had to this morning though because I am genuinely confused and surprised about the reviews of JP. I was at the game last night and watched him every time he was on the ice. What I (and people around me saw):

    1. He looks much more solid, like he’s growing into his proper size. He’s big and strong, and much more coordinated looking relative to last year.
    2. I caught him backchecking like a demon last night on at least 2 occasions where he disrupted the Flames entry. He was not playing like this was preseason.
    3. He is finding his spot on the PP (where Laine sets up). He didn’t score, but I didn’t see a clean pass get through to him. They were either outside of his wheelhouse or bouncing pucks. I believe it will only take one to go in, and his confidence is going to spike and then he could be absolutely lethal from that spot.

    I get home from the game and see that the media (Matheson) and many commenters across the blogosphere have decided he’s just “not good enough.” He’s barely 19. Barely speaks any english. He desperately needs some confidence and one good bounce. And much of Edmonton is openly writing him off as a disappointment?

    As an Oilers fan, I find this very disappointing. I hope this kid doesn’t find someone to read the reviews of his play to him. Totally unfair, in my humble opinion.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    =======
    Very timely post.

  19. Bag of Pucks says:

    RE: JP

    You say ‘two way winger’ like that’s a bad thing LT.

    Not necessarily so if by two way, we mean Jere Lehtinen or Bob Gainey : )

    Like Gretz, enough offence flows directly through Connor, than I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world if his RW ends up being less like Bossy and more like Tonelli. Could potentially free up McDavid for even more sorties through the heart of the D?

    At any rate, looks like Strome will get the long audition as 1RW with JP envisioned alongside Nuge. Shame cos if the goal is to unlock offense from Jesse, would think Drai would be the better mentor and playmaker on that front.

  20. jimmers2 says:

    OriginalPouzar: He turned 19 a few months ago.

    Just because Laine is elite doesn’t mean that Puljijarvi isn’t the player we drafted.

    I’m sorry but I think this post above shows unreasonable expectations re: speed of development.Yes, he needs to have arrows pointed up this year but an up and down game in the first preseason game with a minor leaguer on his line isn’t a huge concerns to me.

    He does look like an NHL player and if anyone is expecting 45 plus points out of him in the NHL this year I think they are seting themselves up for disappointment.He won’t be the elite scorer that Laine is and he was never projected to be as such.He will be a nice offensive player (hopefully) with a more complete game – maybe even more valuable due to cap implications.

    I’d love him to have a rocket one-timer but a bigger, faster more physical Jiri Lehtinen with similar hands is still a hell a player. The Oilers need all of that as well.

    EDIT: I see that BoP remembers being crushed by the same Dallas players that I do…

  21. jm363561 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    Lucic indeed does look quicker – I saw it with my own eyes – money!
    ===
    “Quicker” is a relative term. Is he now “quick (enough)”, or just “less slow”? It’s important. I like Looch and I believe he brings a lot to the team. However, if his on ice performance does not tick up his credibility slowly fades and he becomes another Ference.

  22. Pouzar says:

    I’ve been cautiously optimistically quiet on Bear/Jones but maaan…if we hit on both…..

  23. oscarmike says:

    Good job for Leon Draisaitl and the Bakersfield Condors.

  24. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    – Great post LT: LT says: “Utter silliness to play the two guys you’re sure of that much”

    – My take is that they are going to play Klef-Larsson 25 mins a night, so it makes total sense to play them in the way they will be deployed

    – Conversely, the Dillon’s and Auvitu’s, who are competing for the #7 D, they are going to play not very many minutes, so it makes total sense to play them the way they would be deployed

    – Anyway, if I was coach, that’s what I’d do: play the players in the roles they are auditioning for

    – Pulji is making the team (or some time in Bakersfield), Kailer is going to where he belongs: this is a real organization now.

    – A pre-season game or two with no hitting, against non NHL-rosters isn’t going to sway management from their development plan: the opening night roster has all but been decided: we just don’t know it

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar:
    I’ve been cautiously optimistically quiet on Bear/Jones but maaan…if we hit on both…..

    and Willie, don’t forget about Willie…..

  26. Pouzar says:

    Sidebar: Jiri Hudler can’t get a PTO? WTF?

  27. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: and Willie, don’t forget about Willie…..

    He pencilled in bro.

  28. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Pouzar: He pencilled in bro.

    – Do you have originalpouzar as your other nick, so you can converse with yourself, and sound way smart whilst posting on LT?

  29. Brantford Boy says:

    Shane,

    I think this is exactly the case… want to be a true NHL #1 pair… get ready for #1 Elites for 25 minutes every night for 3 months…

  30. Brantford Boy says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Do you have originalpouzar as your other nick, so you can converse with yourself, and sound way smart whilst posting on LT?

    Nice…

  31. Pouzar says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – Do you have originalpouzar as your other nick, so you can converse with yourself, and sound way smart whilst posting on LT?

    What you tryin to say Kinger? I’m the better lookin one dammnit!

    EDIT: Now get off my lawn!

  32. Justenvogt says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    First off, we all love JP and want nothing but the best for him. Your point is a fair one regarding expectations and JP is still very young. Realistic or not, the pre-draft hype about the player formed these expectations and will always be part of his story. I think it is fair, based on Oilers checkered history of development to question if maybe they mishandled the player (not that he’s not salvageable) in his first year and if maybe, since we are in win now mode, to not double down on our mistake and force JP into a difficult position when there are reasonable options to shelter him.

  33. Justenvogt says:

    jm363561,

    Good insights. Thanks.

  34. jfry says:

    was at the game in calgary (managed to get a suite!), so thought i’d offer some colour — some of which is contrarian.

    lucic: not sure how people are saying he’s faster?! i’ve never seen an nhl player come to a complete stop more and then have to struggle to get going again. he literally spent 1/4 of his shifts, not moving. he was late to the play, and cheated for offensive breakouts instead of playing lower on the wall. my group of friends felt that he was basically invisible. whiffed on two great passes sent his way. c-

    kelly: didn’t get it done in the box, but the guy still has boots and was almost always on the right side of the puck. you can see the attraction to him as a filler or stop gap because he’s smart.

    auvitu: i feel like you have a bit of a man crush on this guy’s french accent, lt! he was the fifth best defenseman out there last night. his goals was a muffin that barely made it through a struggling cardboard smith. i don’t agree with your notion that he’s ahead of the rest

    lowe: steady. consistent and definitely took the senior roll in his pairing with ZeePee. lots of pointing and yelling mid play about where to go. i was actually pretty impressed with lowe — showed more mobility than i thought he’d have.

    paigin: so many good raw skills. so much to still work on. he would always drift to the middle of the ice allowing a lot of space for calgary to break out on his side. then he’d put it in high gear, get the stick out and try to cut them off. once he learns that he needs to play 5 more feet to the right, things will slow down for him. shelters the puck extremely well with his body when he’s skating. while massive out there, doesn’t have any of the issues you associate with “big guys” and coordination, boots, etc.

    larsson/klef: i understand LT’s point about the minutes, but i think we’re going to see them playing similar minutes all pre season. they are going to be asked to play those kind of minutes until sekera comes back and they need to get their lungs. there’s a big difference between playing 21 minutes and 28 a night with regards to energy retention, seeing your opportunities etc. i think this pre season is all about teaching these guys how to conserve energy and play those minutes. i understand the fear of them getting hurt, but i also understand preparing them for reality.

    callahan: looked very much the seasoned pro. didn’t take chances, made smart plays, was in the right position. kinda reminded me of horcoff light. i liked him but you can see why he’s an ahl player.

    khaira: best player on the ice. was hoping he’d get more of a chance with drai.

    i think it’s hard to comment on 5/5 play with all those penalties. the game had no natural pace and the ice in the saddledome was embarrassing.

    my take.

  35. blainer says:

    My take on JP.

    He looks and plays like an NHL player and I believe he is.. unlike the way I felt about Yak..

    The problem with a lottery pick is fans expect offence almost right away. Sometimes it takes time. Players like Johanssen, Turris and even Drai etc need some time to figure it out. Jesse will get there but we need to be careful with him.

    It will not hurt him to be sent down for at least a few weeks and make him earn his way back up. Now we have to remember last night was only one game and while he didn’t score he could very well end up with a hat trick next game.

    He really didn’t stand out either way to me but I will say he will be an excellent player if his development is handled in the correct way which I believe it will be.

    Having said all of this he may prove he is ready by the end of camp… we wait..

  36. Clay says:

    That TOI number for Jones is a tell. He performed well given the opportunity. I hope he makes it interesting for the lefties ahead of him.

    Lots to learn, but from last night, his arrows were the best of those not named Yamamoto, imho.

  37. geowal says:

    jfry,

    Great notes, thanks.

  38. hunter1909 says:

    Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March!

    Returns for another season!

    Bigger and better than ever!

    Here’s how to play: SIMPLY enter the amount of points you expect the Edmonton Oilers to get during the 2017-18 season;

    At the end of the season the player(s) with the closest total wins!

    It’s easy!!

    contest open until the opening puck drop of the 2017-18 season

  39. linkfromhyrule says:

    Question for the group: If JP goes through preseason without producing a ton of points and not really dominating but not necessarily s**ting the bed either, is he better served in the NHL or the AHL? It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the AHL is the correct option in this case.

    I’ll confess that I am somewhat suspect of Fleming as a development coach, though we haven’t had a JP level prospect spend significant time in the AHL with him.

    I also feel better about JP playing with Jokinen on his line to help show him the ropes in the NHL.

    Curious to know other’s thoughts on this

  40. leadfarmer says:

    I think more people were hoping that JP would fill that gaping hole in RW and are more disappointed that the hole is there than the player himself

  41. Surgeons Knot says:

    Hunter, put me down for 109.

  42. jtblack says:

    Justenvogt,

    It’s a fair question for sure … but if you look at Top 10 picks throughout the years there are many don’t make a seemless tranisition …. Dal Colle went #5 in 2014; hasn’t played and arrows are not good … Virtanen went #6 that year; he stunk up the AHL last year, although he’s having a better pre season ..

    still early with JP but I agree with you, considering how dominant Laine has been and JP looks rather lost …. not good …..

  43. digger50 says:

    jfry,

    Maybe we can pick up Miles Wood from NJ to push Lucic around the ice?

  44. Woodguy v2.0 says:

    ***SPAM****

    I’m with Bob Stauffer today at 1:35pm if anyone cares to listen

    Following up on my penalty rate post, Draisaitl and other things.

    ***END SPAM***

  45. jtblack says:

    linkfromhyrule,

    ” is he better served in the NHL or the AHL?” – I am not sure the Oilers even know this answer ..

    If you look at Leon’s development, he started year 2 in the minors and was the 1st call up when an injury occured. He also came up and caught fire and hasn’t looked back …

    I don’t think you can hurt a kid by sending him back to the AHL (or for some junior) … No matter what we think about JP”s game right now, he clearly still needs to develop.

    IMO you start him in the AHL and then call him up in November or December and see if he can fit in and play well (including offensively). If you start him in the NHL and he doesn’t play well, then you are forced to send him down again, and that would crush his confidence??

    Of course, he could start in the NHL and slowly find his game and never look back ..

  46. Pouzar says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Question for the group: If JP goes through preseason without producing a ton of points and not really dominating but not necessarily s**ting the bed either, is he better served in the NHL or the AHL? It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the AHL is the correct option in this case.

    I’ll confess that I am somewhat suspect of Fleming as a development coach, though we haven’t had a JP level prospect spend significant time in the AHL with him.

    I also feel better about JP playing with Jokinen on his line to help show him the ropes in the NHL.

    Curious to know other’s thoughts on this

    AHL all the way for me. I think he needs to show REAL well to make team.

  47. jtblack says:

    LT, you were hoping 2 RW would step up into scoring roles. Early arrows show Strome and Cagguila doing just that … so this should be a good thing … RW could like like this …

    Strome
    Cagguila
    JP (Sleppy)
    Kassian

    It’s early but I would be fine with those as our RW’s. LW is mature and solid. Center is deadly.

    And to your point about Larsson and Klefbom’s icetime. I have no freakin’ idea???? really bizarre to play them that much in a split squad game …. Come reg sesaon I see that as the new norm for them though; playing 24 – 28 mins a night … like other elite D men in the league …

  48. McSorley33 says:

    Klefbom-Larsson should get the rest of the week off. Utter silliness to play the two guys you’re sure of that much, I will be very interested to see how they are handled for the rest of the week. Playing your top defensemen damned near 30 minutes in a game that doesn’t matter is twilight zone decision making.
    ***************************************************************************************************************

    Truly bizarre….a top paring playing almost 30 minutes on Sep 18th for a split squad game.

  49. McSorley33 says:

    Justenvogt,

    How does a guy who at one point was in the conversation to be chosen ahead of Laine look so lost? Concerning development. Do they go get Jagr if the wobble continues?
    **********************************************************************************
    It would be interesting to hear what Jarmo Kekalainen would have to say on JP…..

  50. digger50 says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Question for the group: If JP goes through preseason without producing a ton of points and not really dominating but not necessarily s**ting the bed either, is he better served in the NHL or the AHL? It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the AHL is the correct option in this case.

    I’ll confess that I am somewhat suspect of Fleming as a development coach, though we haven’t had a JP level prospect spend significant time in the AHL with him.

    I also feel better about JP playing with Jokinen on his line to help show him the ropes in the NHL.

    Curious to know other’s thoughts on this

    Happy to share my thoughts.

    It seemed obvious last year that we had a good hockey player in JP but we also had an immature teenager. Lots of indicators in regards to this.

    Everybody wanted to, and still wants to manage his hockey skills, when e should have been managing him as a teenager. Nobody treated him badly of course, just looked to me that he struggled with the change, the environment,!the culture.

    Several folks spoke about returning this prize possession to Finland which was the best plan. I think the Oil tried to acclimatize him to Edmonton, sending him late to Bakersfield where he faced more change.
    I don’t think Jessie was happy by the end of the season, struggling at hockey and living alone in a foriegn country.

    This year similar challenge. To unlock his hockey you have to manage him. Finland option is out. Bumping him up/down from Bakersfield is not a great idea. He needs to find a home where he’s comfortable, supported, confident. Hoping that’s Edmonton but if he just cannot make the team they need to move him sooner rather than later and have a foul plan in place for Bakersfield.

    It’s tough for any teenager, even tougher when they have so many other challenges to overcome besides just focusing on hockey. I believe Jessie’s hockey performance takes off as soon as he gains friends and language skills here.

    Edit: a foul plan? …….Geez. Think that was a “firm” plan. One that includes an all you can eat buffet, this kid can EAT!

  51. Chachi says:

    McSorley33: It would be interesting to hear what Jarmo Kekalainen would have to say on JP…..

    He would probably say, with thanks to google translate, “En voi kommentoida toista joukkueen pelaajaa”

  52. oscarmike says:

    When the NHL has a player like Crosby going around slashing and amputating finger tips without taking a penalty it’s no surprise they’re finally enforcing this rule. One of the most brutal non-life threatening injuries from last year.

  53. digger50 says:

    jfry,

    Did you form an opinion on Yamamoto’s play? Anything to share on him or even Gambardella?

    I could only get part time feed from Calgary game.

  54. OriginalPouzar says:

    If Slepy isn’t ready to start the season, I can’t imagine JP being sent down to the AHL.

  55. digger50 says:

    I thought Strome was only adequate last night. Miles to go as they say but if by mid October all the RW question marks are still question marks, that means we could be seeing a lot of Drai back up on that first line which throws a wrench into things.

  56. OriginalPouzar says:

    I thought Stome looked generally fine last night and seemed to understand what he needs to do playing with McDavid and thought the game along the same lines.

    He has 5 shots on net which is excellent.

    It was also their first game together last night (not sure the internal scrimmages really count for much).

  57. TO10801 says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    If Slepy isn’t ready to start the season, I can’t imagine JP being sent down to the AHL.

    I generally agree with you. I mean they did bring in Jokinen for the purpose of mentoring JP. However, as has been mentioned above, if JP starts the year here and Sleppy comes back and he outperforms JP, then what (assuming Caggiula is producing with Leon)? If JP does not look ready after 6 pre-season games, I think you have to at least consider sending him down and looking for another option as a stop gap.

    For example, if you know Sleppy is going to be back mid-October and Yamamoto/Rattie is performing well, do you keep one of them until Sleppy is back just so you don’t crush JP by sending him down a week or two into the year? I think if JP makes this team it has to be for good. That issue is the most critical question to be answered at camp this year IMO

  58. OriginalPouzar says:

    Unless Yamamoto is producing at a good clip well in to the preseason when the games start to resemble something like an actual NHL game, he goes back to Spokane with no actual NHL games – end stop.

    Yes, if JP is struggling out of the gate and we have an otherwise healthy lineup then, yes, we can send him down and see what happens.

    At this point, if Slepy isn’t ready, I don’t see another viable option – Laleggia and Rattie notwithstanding – they haven’t shown enough yet.

    Yamamoto is not an option unless he performs very well in the later pre-season games – in my opinion.

  59. Jethro Tull says:

    I’m kind of hoping that last night’s penalty fest isn’t some kind of dirty protest, or ‘work to rule’ thing by the officials. Kind of like, “oh, you want us to call the rule book, smarty pants? Well, we’ll slow the game down so much, you’ll be begging us to let things slide.”

  60. GMB3 says:

    Connoreah:
    Hi LT and community. Read every article, but rarely post. Had to this morning though because I am genuinely confused and surprised about the reviews of JP. I was at the game last night and watched him every time he was on the ice. What I (and people around me saw):

    1. He looks much more solid, like he’s growing into his proper size. He’s big and strong, and much more coordinated looking relative to last year.
    2. I caught him backchecking like a demon last night on at least 2 occasions where he disrupted the Flames entry. He was not playing like this was preseason.
    3. He is finding his spot on the PP (where Laine sets up). He didn’t score, but I didn’t see a clean pass get through to him. They were either outside of his wheelhouse or bouncing pucks. I believe it will only take one to go in, and his confidence is going to spike and then he could be absolutely lethal from that spot.

    I get home from the game and see that the media (Matheson) and many commenters across the blogosphere have decided he’s just “not good enough.” He’s barely 19. Barely speaks any english. He desperately needs some confidence and one good bounce. And much of Edmonton is openly writing him off as a disappointment?

    As an Oilers fan, I find this very disappointing. I hope this kid doesn’t find someone to read the reviews of his play to him. Totally unfair, in my humble opinion.

    That’s my 2 cents.

    Welcome to professional sports. These guys get paid absurd wages, and expectations are high. Not sure why you are acting like this is some sort of a new phenomenon

  61. su_dhillon says:

    Woodguy v2.0:
    ***SPAM****

    I’m with Bob Stauffer today at 1:35pm if anyone cares to listen

    Following up on my penalty rate post, Draisaitl and other things.

    ***END SPAM***

    This feels like walking into Tim Hortons holding a Starbucks coffee. Ballsy my friend.

    The JP discussion this Sept is going to be interesting because I think it both possible and even likely that he ends up being a very good player but also not the player Oilers fans and maybe even organization thought they were drafting at 3 overall. So if that’s the case how doec PC handle that disconnect?

  62. stush18 says:

    GMB3: Welcome to professional sports. These guys get paid absurd wages, and expectations are high. Not sure why you are acting like this is some sort of a new phenomenon

    He isn’t acting like it’s a new phenomenon.

    He’s saying it’s uncalled for. And it is. We’ve played one preseason game and had three practises and people are trying to trade him while his value is “high”

    He’s saying pump the brakes.

  63. OriginalPouzar says:

    Camp was essentially split in to two groups today – an AHL group and an NHL group.

    Laleggia, Stanton, Simpson, Bear and Jones were each in the AHL group – interesting on Simpson but it shows that Auvitu clearly has the upper hand on Simpson and Stanton.

    Yamamoto was in the NHL group – he’ll clearly get a few more games – I’m very interested to see how he performs in some of the later games.

  64. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    su_dhillon,

    Leon Draisaitl, Leon Draisaitl, Leon Draisaitl.

    The comparable’s between the two kids (at least early in their careers) are similar. Remember in his 2nd season Leon was sent packing during TC and iirc TMAc said “he wasn’t too happy about it.”

    He went down, got called back up and now has a shiny new pay-cheque to his name.

    stush18,

    Agreed, We’ve had two very recent examples of what a late bloomer and for lack of a better term bust looks like when it comes draft picks. Based on a very small sample size JP looks closer to the former rather than the latter. Time will tell, coach and teammates need to stay positive and help him work through the trials and tribulations. Kid or adult its a tough slog and its easy to get down on yourself. Development.. no straight lines… different for everyone… all that stuff.

    You know what’s fun? The ever so slight stretching of collars that seems to be happening in CowTown over Mr. Smith’s 4 goals on 13 shots last night. I know I know, preseason means nothing but its still kind fun read/hear hehe.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    NHL group lines:

    Maroon-McDavid-Strome
    Lucic-Draisaitl-Caggiula
    Jokinen-RNH-Puljujarvi
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian
    Pakarinen-Kelly-Yamamoto

    NHL Group d-men:
    Klefbom-Larsson
    Russell-Benning
    Nurse-Gryba
    Auvitu-Fayne

  66. Jordan says:

    linkfromhyrule:
    Question for the group: If JP goes through preseason without producing a ton of points and not really dominating but not necessarily s**ting the bed either, is he better served in the NHL or the AHL? It seems to be a foregone conclusion that the AHL is the correct option in this case.

    I’ll confess that I am somewhat suspect of Fleming as a development coach, though we haven’t had a JP level prospect spend significant time in the AHL with him.

    I also feel better about JP playing with Jokinen on his line to help show him the ropes in the NHL.

    Curious to know other’s thoughts on this

    I heard what TMac said in his media avail about Jokinen needing to take care of his game first, before mentoring JP.

    I don’t buy it.

    JJ is here for one year specifically to help JP get comfortable. They got him because he was cheap and happens to be ridiculously effective hockey player. But more than that, he’s a mature hockey player, known for his smart play, and he’s THE perfect mentor for JP.

    There is only one plan for JP, and it’s Edmonton. Get used to the culture with a guy who’s made the transition. Play on a line that is expected to saw-off 5×5. Keep growing into his frame, and play a great 2 way game, with two other 2-way players..

    Considering the difference between playing here, and playing in Bakersfield, I’m fine with this plan. For a player still learning about NA life from small-town Finland, Edmonton is the best place for him. Find him a nice cute Edmonton girl and everything will start to fall into place.

  67. Lowetide says:

    Puljujarvi is going to be a good to great NHL player and I think he would have exceptional value as a 20-goal man who has great two-way acumen. What we are trying to figure out is his offense and that’s the spot we’re in now.

    Looks to me as though he’s going to get top 9F minutes and second PP time. That’s a spot that tells us the organization believes in him. We can yell and argue, but these are the pertinent details.

  68. Justenvogt says:

    McSorley33,

    Now there is a podcast for ya! I’d hang on every word.

  69. jfry says:

    digger50,

    i love miles wood for the record!

    thoughts on yammyHockey: only put himself in a position to be hit maybe once, played off the boards in the offensive end, perfering to come from the side of people breaking out and tried to “chicken peck” with his stick to dislodge the puck, instead of engage physically — hemsky used this technique a lot. his goal was a beauty in the sense that he changed speed and lateral position to totally undress two dmen who should have been thinking to take the body instead of waving stick. and honestly, he didn’t look really small out there. sure he’s small, but there were a lot of small players out there lastnight. he didn’t look out of place size wise with gaudreau, dube and even drake.

    gambardella: i was really curious to see him because i loved his line in his last year of NCAA. he’s definitely a puck hound but needs to get another gear to be in everyone’s face like he was in uni last year. he’s always forechecking with one hand on the stick and very aggressive with trying to waive it and take up space — feel like his “dropped sticks / 60” is going to be really high as a result. he definitely needs some ahl time. and honestly, he needs to play with skilled player because he’s not going to drive that line. he’ll create turnovers but i’m not sure his playmaking and shot are nhl caliber yet. drake has a much more put together skill set at this point, if we’re comparing him to other ncaa players. i wonder how much gamby’s nhle was zoomed last year because of his line — some argued he was the weakest player on the line…we’ll find out this year.

  70. GMB3 says:

    stush18: He isn’t acting like it’s a new phenomenon.

    He’s saying it’s uncalled for. And it is. We’ve played one preseason game and had three practises and people are trying to trade him while his value is “high”

    He’s saying pump the brakes.

    Well there’s a pretty good chance his trade value could decrease, and has already gone down since the draft. Do you think Darnell Nurse’s trade value is higher or lower today than it was at the 2015 draft?

  71. GMB3 says:

    Not saying I think they should trade JP. Just saying there is some validity to that.

  72. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sure, JP’s trade value could decrease however he could just as easily live up to his draft day potential.

    He just turned 19. He was the youngest player playing pro hockey in North America last year.

    The fact that he hasn’t become a material player yet is somewhat meaningless.

    The only reason to trade the player now, given a big, fast, RW with talent is a huge hole on this club, is due to unreasonable expectations of the fan-base with respect to timing of player development.

    Not every top 5 draft pick needs to light up the score sheet as a teenager.

  73. jtblack says:

    digger50,

    You could be right for sure. I hope TMac gives the Top 3 lines a chance to gel … Running McD, Drai, RNH down the middle cannot be matched by any team in my eyes. Pens are great obviously; but the Oilers have some serious skill down the middle. IMO it’s better to have 3 Good lines; than 1 Great one and 2 so so ones …

    Drai and McD will get their time together on PP1, 4×4 and 3×3.

  74. treevojo says:

    Chachi: He would probably say, with thanks to google translate, “En voi kommentoida toista joukkueen pelaajaa”

    Or

    lasien talojen ihmisiä ei saa heittää kivet

    After Pierre luc’s mediocre season in junior last year.

  75. Chachi says:

    treevojo: Or

    lasien talojen ihmisiä ei saa heittää kivet

    After Pierre luc’s mediocre season in junior last year.

    No doubt!

  76. Professor Q says:

    GMB3:
    Not saying I think they should trade JP. Just saying there is some validity to that.

    If you could get Tarasenko then yeah, it would be a good trade.

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