Game One 2017-18: Flames at Oilers

The major league game was always so far away, a lifetime removed from my front yard. The best hockey was played in Boston, Montreal, Toronto, New York City, Detroit and Chicago. The closest city to my front door was 22 hours by car and I didn’t have a car! It was big news when Vancouver got a franchise in 1970, but I never got to see them at the Pacific Coliseum. I was in the Coliseum, only it was in summer, for a Jehovah’s Witness convention. I remember sitting there and wondering if God was laughing at me or feeling bad about the terrible and tragic irony. When the Oilers came in 1972, I was thrilled. I loved the Oilers before their opening faceoff, adopted the WHA in a heartbeat. The Oilers arrival in Edmonton was a match made in heaven, more fertile soil did not exist in 1972. The legend lives on and the history is rich, the future is bright. The now? Music! Anticipation stands at 11, anthem singers at the ready 20,000 at a time, we are a nation prepared to be amazed by the impossible. It’s hockey night in Edmonton, and nothing else matters now, we’re together again.

The Edmonton Oilers begin their 2017-18 season with more of everything: more expectations, more injuries, more pressure and in many ways more question marks. It’s going to be a long season, once again relying heavily on Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot. The formula works, we saw it a year ago. Will the complementary players push this team higher? That’s the question for this year. Game is 8pm local time. Last year’s GDT had 1,169 comments and most of them reflect satisfied customers. Last year’s home opener was the best since 2010, can this team do it again?

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 2015: 4-8-0, goal differential -7
  • Oilers in October 2016: 7-2-0, goal differential +10

One of the keys to last season was a strong beginning for the Oilers. An organization that literally found itself crawling from the wreckage needed to put some distance between themselves and the second division. Mission accomplished, the club led the Pacific Division on Halloween night 2016. That’s a fine goal for this October 31.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OCTOBER

  • At home to: Calgary (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Vancouver  (Expected: 1-0-0) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Winnipeg, Ottawa, Carolina (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual: 0-0-0)
  • On the road to: Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (Expected 1-1-1) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • At home to: Dallas, Washington (Expected 1-1-0) (Actual 0-0-0)
  • Overall expected result: 5-3-2, 12 points in  10 games 
  • Current results: 0-0-0

It’s always difficult at the beginning of the year to estimate these things, we can’t really know what the Washington Capitals will bring compared to their own recent past (as an example). The Oilers should get off to a good start, their record needs to be handsome on the night they hit Chicago.

TONIGHT’S PROBABLE ROSTER

  • The McDavid line scored more than a goal a game last season, 97 went 2-1-3 opening night against the Flames one year ago.
  • The Nuge line features three men who have a lot of pressure on them. Milan Lucic needs to score 5×5, Nuge needs to  lead a productive offensive and possession line, and Kailer Yamamoto has nine games to make his  NHL impression. This line might not last the first period.
  • The Strome line looked like it improved in Vancouver and by the third period the group was finding its stride. Among the two less proven forward threes, I think this one has the best chance to  succeed.
  • The Letestu line usually has an exhausted center on it but both wingers are big, heavy and move well. The trio has interesting possibilities.
  • Klefbom-Larsson could play 30 minutes tonight. If the team has a late lead they may not leave the ice.
  • Russell-Benning have more pressure on them than the Nuge line. If it  doesn’t work out, suspect we might see some in-game tweaking that could involve breaking up the Swedish pair.
  • Nurse-Gryba will probably get regular 5×5 and plenty of PK minutes. The Flames are a heavy team and this pairing should be able to handle their size. If the game is close their TOI may fade later in the third period.
  • Cam Talbot stopped 37 of 41 in picking up the win against CGY one year ago, Brian Elliott stopped only 21 of 27. Oilers have had some tough games against Mike Smith, including a frustrating Sunday game a year ago when Smith shut them down well enough to allow the Coyotes to win. It was a bad (broken stick, horrible coverage) and unlucky afternoon, but Smith was the key.

CONNOR MCDAVID

We often dance around his importance to the team, mostly because we’ve already lost scale on him. Connor McDavid is fire, is biblical, is history made in every stride. How can any man go so fast while staying under control? It is the stuff of legends, 8 o’clock tonight in our town. In the book of Oiler, he is Chapter One, Verse One. A giant walks among us.

KAILER YAMAMOTO

A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. After Kailer Yamamoto won the NHL job from Jesse Puljujarvi and others, it seems many Oilers fans have buyer’s remorse. I’m not sure I understand that, but we’ll see how the next nine games roll out.

Here’s what we know: Edmonton needs a skill RW and auditioned several options. Yamamoto delivered in most every game he played during camp and we’ll see how he shines in these NHL contests. Tonight’s matchup includes Matt Tkachuk and that’s no easy road. For me, Yamamoto is a truly unique player with a lot of what makes him that way sitting underneath the helmet. When you see a chance, take it. His story will be told in the coming days, for me it’s one of the most interesting aspects of early days 2017-18.

COMPLETE RE 17-18

  • I picked Leon Draisaitl to play RW 70 percent of the time on McDavid’s line, we’ll see if that holds up. If he plays 2C 70 percent of the time, his point total probably lands around 60.
  • Anton Slepyshev should be back soon and he will have a story to tell.
  • I posted some past opening night rosters, scared many so bad therapy may be required.

PETER CHIARELLI’S OILERS

I believe we have found our places as a group, each deciding what view suits best. It seems we have settled on one of three viewpoints on PC’s work in Edmonton.

  1. Nothing he does from today forward will ever make up for the damage done.
  2. He improved the team immediately and markedly while bleeding assets. He will bring a Stanley to this city, but may not deliver multiple championships during the McDavid era.
  3. He has done a commendable job in surrounding 97 with championship calibre complementary help and Stanley is nigh.

I land with the second group, and will add that one Stanley would be sweet music to my soul. Winning a Stanley in the 1980’s was not the same as winning one in 2017, and winning two in a row was much different than today. Peter Chiarelli is tasked with bringing Stanley No. 6 to Edmonton and that could happen next spring. Todd McLellan faces the same challenge.

If you ask me “does one Stanley forgive the Taylor Hall trade?” my answer is it is not mine to forgive. The task at hand on the day Peter Chiarelli was climbing Everest. I’ve never cared how he got there.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, we get you ready for tonight’s Oilers game. Hammer of the Gods and some analysis thrown in for good measure. Scheduled to appear:

  • Darcy McLeod, Because Oilers. Expectations, Jagr, Yamamoto.
  • Ryan Pike, Flames Nation. From the other side.
  • Jeff Krushell, Krush Performance. MLB playoffs!

10-1260  text, @Lowetide on twitter. what. a. day!

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702 Responses to "Game One 2017-18: Flames at Oilers"

« Older Comments
  1. marty62 says:

    mcdavid empty net goal for hat trick calling it now

  2. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    So…. hat trick mcdavid??

  3. thehop says:

    I’ve been taking a break from the NFL for obvious reasons. It feels fucking great to drink beer and watch my team rule the serfs from the south.

    Thank you god. I needed this.

  4. striatic says:

    Calgary has looked very, very tired this game.

  5. PrairieOil says:

    The vaunted Calgary defence limiting the Oilers to 40+ shots. Eeeeeehxcellent.

  6. marty62 says:

    yesssss called it

  7. Lowetide says:

    McDavid scored…

  8. treevojo says:

    Saweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    Ridiculous

  10. OilSafety says:

    That just happened!

  11. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Wow… did we call that or what!!!!!!

  12. pocession charge says:

    Sweet hat trick! Love that hit by Looch to set it up.

  13. kgo says:

    The two guys I had the biggest doubts about, Cags and Benning, played flawlessly tonight

  14. OriginalPouzar says:

    Hattricks are good.

    I mean, its not Auston Matthews, but pretty good.

  15. Nailer Yakumoto says:

    Mmmmm. This feels good.

  16. thehop says:

    Also I have to tip my hat to the EPS officer who stood for the anthem. Respect l!!!

  17. russ99 says:

    Hat trick!!!

    Oh this is good for the soul.

  18. treevojo says:

    That was all luc

  19. Bar_Qu says:

    Bwhahahaha

  20. danny says:

    Soak it in.

  21. marty62 says:

    Note to Treliving get more defensemen maybe call that guy in Vegas that has like a dozen

  22. Professor Q says:

    marty62:
    mcdavid empty net goal for hat trickcalling it now

    Very nice. I was hoping it’d be him or Yamamoto right after he scored his second.

  23. striatic says:

    marty62:
    mcdavid empty net goal for hat trickcalling it now

    NOSTRADAMUS!

    Granted, not the most difficult prediction to make.

  24. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    striatic:
    Calgary has looked very, very tired this game.

    Just wait till Jagr joins the team…

  25. delooper says:

    246 goal season for McDavid, zero assists.

  26. treevojo says:

    Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so

  27. deardylan says:

    KING McDAVID HAT-TRICK!

    CHECKMATE CALGARY!

    on the Chiarelli Chessboard

  28. Jethro Tull says:

    I wish those ice girls picking up the hats would bend at the knees. They’re going to have terrible posture later in life.

  29. Todd Macallan says:

    Not sure what was nicer, Looch’s hit to cause the turnover over Drai’s no look backhand sauce.

  30. jm363561 says:

    What a check by Looch! I was not that impressed with the preseason and had a bad feeling about tonight. Fantastic performances! Can’t over react to one win but Hunter, 164 points please.

  31. Bar_Qu says:

    delooper:
    246 goal season for McDavid, zero assists.

    And the Oil are on pace for a 246GF and 0GA season.

  32. The Concept JDî says:

    Drai sauce off of a Looch crush. That’s a very nice open net goal.

  33. marty62 says:

    Beating the Flames never gets old

  34. Lucinius says:

    So.

    About that Flames’ d-core, eh?

  35. Gerta Rauss says:

    Couldn’t ask for a better start to the season-even sweeter that we shut out Calgary

  36. striatic says:

    I love that the Oilers are still fighting hard on the forecheck to close this thing out.

  37. Younger Oil says:

    Don’t care if it was an empty net, that pass by Draisaitl is why he is worth $8.5M.

  38. danny says:

    Pinch me.

  39. OriginalPouzar says:

    That was a very good hockey game by the boys tonight.

    – First and foremost, the defence, it was fantastic – the 1st pairing played a ton and were great. I was very impressed with both Russell and Benning (thank goodness) and the third pairing was solid.

    – Next, McDavid – holy crap – is he actually faster? That was just a dominant performance every time he got a tiny bit of space in the neutral zone.

    – 1st line in general – Drai looks very strong and Maroon was great – most impressive was a few of the cycle shifts the line had.

    – Nuge looked fantastic – don’t know how he didn’t get on the scoresheet

    – Kassian was a material player – great on the 4th line and used up the lineup for spot shift

    – I though Strome was pretty solid overall

    – Tablot – solid – I only recall one really tough save (on Monohan) but he was his normal calm self with nice rebound control.

  40. marty62 says:

    Oilers were all business from the first face off

  41. kgo says:

    Oilers fans are amazingly aware, 100 hats on the ice within 4 seconds of Connors 3rd goal

  42. delooper says:

    Don’t let it go to your heads, Oilers. Otherwise, really nice start to the season.

  43. N64 says:

    striatic:
    Calgary has looked very, very tired this game.

    Long season. Hear they are adding some fresh legs

  44. Ribs says:

    So do you send Yamamoto to junior after that? Or give him a couple more games?

  45. Strapping Jocks says:

    Lowetide:
    McDavid scored…

    LOL

  46. Nuclear leak says:

    Someone told Mcdavid he couldn’t get 50 in 39.

  47. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Boring game but awesome result. Strome impressed me tonight.

    McDavid other worldly

    Send Yamamoto to Spokane and bring back Jesse if you won’t play him

  48. vinotintazo says:

    What a time to be alive! great game 😀

  49. Suntory Hanzo says:

    That slo mo Lucic hit made my bones ache.

  50. OilSafety says:

    Hat trick and shut out and it still only takes sports net less than two minutes to change to talking about the fuc ING leafs

  51. geowal says:

    Ladies and Gentleman: Your Edmonton McDavids!!!

  52. vinotintazo says:

    Even his the empty netters are pretty…

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ribs:
    So do you send Yamamoto to junior after that? Or give him a couple more games?

    Not quite yet – he’ll be here until Slep is up to speed.

    He may not necessarily play on Friday (Pakarinan) but i think he probably will.

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

    OriginalPouzar,

    All of this.

    Dominant performance.

    A few wobbles yes and they deserve focus in practice but this was dominat.

    Woodguy had a whole post earlier about how Calgary is the better team. I don’t buy it.

    Kailer should get a few more games not 9 necessarily but a few more. Jitters tonight, got pushed around which is a tell more than anything.

    That 3rd period was sublime for the first game of the year. Seriously good.

    Hunter 111 points please!

  55. Todd Macallan says:

    “Everyone was making a big deal about their defence but I thought ours was great.” – McDavid.

    Yep.

  56. BONE207 says:

    So NHL…TO vs Edmonton SCF. Now what??? Whatcha gonna do???

  57. Wolfpack says:

    The second goal blew my mind. McDavid was at his own blue line, Hamonic at centre ice, both skating hard, and Hamonic had no chance. None. Zero. Basically gave up by the time he got to his own blue line. McDavid makes breakaways from nothing.

  58. Side says:

    LadiesloveSmid:
    Boring game but awesome result. Strome impressed me tonight.

    McDavid other worldly

    Send Yamamoto to Spokane and bring back Jesse if you won’t play him

    Boring as in.. not very competitive?

  59. fishman says:

    Ribs,

    Think he goes back but sticks around for another week or two. No rush to send him down. Hopefully we see JP back in a month or two.

  60. treevojo says:

    SayItAin’tSo, Gretz, SayItAin’tSo!:
    OriginalPouzar,

    All of this.

    Dominant performance.

    A few wobbles yes and they deserve focus in practice but this was dominat.

    Woodguy had a whole post earlier about how Calgary is the better team. I don’t buy it.

    Kailer should get a few more games not 9 necessarily but a few more. Jitters tonight, got pushed around which is a tell more than anything.

    That 3rd period was sublime for the first game of the year. Seriously good.

    Hunter 111 points please!

    You receive a treevojo asterisk.

  61. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Side: Boring as in.. not very competitive?

    Part of it, Calgary really was never in it. Not a ton of shots from the inside from either team

  62. Crazy Pedestrian says:

    Wolfpack:
    The second goal blew my mind. McDavid was at his own blue line, Hamonic at centre ice, both skating hard, and Hamonic had no chance. None. Zero. Basically gave up by the time he got to his own blue line. McDavid makes breakaways from nothing.

    D-man breakout passes are sooo over-rated…

  63. treevojo says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Part of it, Calgary really was never in it. Not a ton of shots from the inside from either team

    Guess you missed the 4 McDavid semi breakaways that no other human could make happen.

  64. PDO says:

    That was damn impressive.

    There aren’t enough words for how great 97 was tonight, and he’s damn near everything, but there was a lot to like beyond him.

    Few thoughts…

    – Oilers took a *lot* of outside shots today, it looked like they thought they had a book on Smith.
    – There was almost NO off the glass (!!!) and it warmed my soul.
    – Nurse had a nice quiet game for the most part. Skated himself out of trouble and looked composed with the puck.
    – Russell looked like a brand new player; he was confident with the puck, he was aggressive offensively, and he was trying to make passes throughout the game opposed to ripping the puck around the boards or off the glass. If this is a permanent change that contract is way more palatable.
    – I really like Khaira on the 4th line. He’s a banger but the puck isn’t a grenade on his stick.
    – Maroon was in excellent form. He’s still a jackass out there, and that first goal doesn’t happen without him assaulting the Flames RD over and over in a net battle.
    – That hit on Caggiula should be a suspension – it was a chicken shit play by a horse shit player.

    1-0 Baby!

  65. deardylan says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Really enjoy reading your player recaps. Any chance you can add some ratings 1-10 like they do in E-Journal.

    Would give me a better “quantitative” idea of how you saw the difference between players.

    Cheers from Vietnam!

    OriginalPouzar wrote:

    – Next, McDavid – holy crap – is he actually faster? That was just a dominant performance every time he got a tiny bit of space in the neutral zone.
    – 1st line in general – Drai looks very strong and Maroon was great – most impressive was a few of the cycle shifts the line had.
    – Nuge looked fantastic – don’t know how he didn’t get on the scoresheet
    – Kassian was a material player – great on the 4th line and used up the lineup for spot shift
    – I though Strome was pretty solid overall
    – Tablot – solid – I only recall one really tough save (on Monohan) but he was his normal calm self with nice rebound control.

  66. Side says:

    LadiesloveSmid: Part of it, Calgary really was never in it. Not a ton of shots from the inside from either team

    Gotcha. I can see how it’s also boring because the Oilers are actually playing with structure and poise now and I’m not on the edge of my seat wondering how they will blow a 2 goal lead.

  67. Pouzar says:

    I thought 3rd pair was better than 2nd. But nothing to complain about tonight. Nice front running tonight.

  68. fishman says:

    TSN has Klef with 9 shots tonight. He could score 15-20 this year. Not sure last time we had 20 from a Dman!!!!

  69. LadiesloveSmid says:

    Side: Gotcha. I can see how it’s also boring because the Oilers are actually playing with structure and poise now and I’m not on the edge of my seat wondering how they will blow a 2 goal lead.

    I loved it, my roommates were pretty bored (especially the flames fan)

    5 McD breakaways n that was largely it

  70. jonrmcleod says:

    Was Calgary that bad or was Edmonton that good?

  71. McSorley33 says:

    Professor Q,

    Both were fine?

    Coach yanked Yam off his line and benched him.

    Yam only played 6 minutes…

  72. Professor Q says:

    McSorley33:
    Professor Q,

    Both were fine?

    Coach yanked Yam off his line and benched him.

    Yam only played 6 minutes…

    He still had made plays. Then he started being targeted and pushed around a bit and then was pulled.

  73. who says:

    Interesting game. Flames sure got better goaltending than they did in last year’s opener.

  74. striatic says:

    Wolfpack,

    I’m not even sure if Hamonic was exactly “bad” in the way that one might say “good thing we didn’t get him” .. but he was owned by McDavid and Draisaitl all night.

  75. Boil-in-the-Oil says:

    As good as the Flames defence is (on paper), they weren’t the reason the score remained close most all of the game… it was very good goaltending. He was easily the lame Flames’ best player.

    Our Oilers were very good tonight in the 1st game of the season… Connor doing Connor, Cam stopping everything, beat our Alberta neighbours soundly, defence played quite well & made numerous outstanding headman passes, Flames didnt get very many good chances on net at all.

    Connor is just ridiculous. I’m gonna sleep well. Very early days, but so far so good!

  76. striatic says:

    who:
    Interesting game. Flames sure got better goaltending than they did in last year’s opener.

    Smith was great, and it didn’t matter at all. Love it.

  77. Pouzar says:

    jonrmcleod,

    The latter.

  78. striatic says:

    jonrmcleod:
    Was Calgary that bad or was Edmonton that good?

    Depends on what segment of the game you’re talking about. The Flames were good enough early but as the game went on it looked like they got more and more hopeless and more and more tired until they were just worn down into badness.

    Edmonton turned a good[ish] team into a bad team over the course of the game and then walked all over them in the 3rd.

  79. Thinker says:

    Mojo seems like a guy who would benefit from being overwhelmed these first 9 games.

  80. Thinker says:

    geowal:
    Ladies and Gentleman: Your Edmonton McDavids!!!

    The North Saskatchewan River is now the North Saskatchewan McDavid.

    https://youtu.be/ERzgoF-VIlQ

  81. who says:

    That second Macdavid goal. WOW, JUST WOW. Brodie was 10 ft ahead of him at the oilers blue line and had the angle on him. And he didn’t even get a stick on him. And Brodie can skate.
    Sure liked to see Kassian up with Nuge. Hope they stick with it. If they want Nuge to handle the tough match ups a winger like Kassian would sure help.
    Just one game, but Yamamoto was kind of invisible. He’ll need to be a lot better if he wants to stick.
    Kind of funny that Russell might have struggled the most on the blue line. He moved the puck fine, but struggled to handle some of the flames bigger forwards down low. Overall the blue line looked pretty solid.
    Interested to see what happens when they go to Calgary. Monahan and Gaudreau spent the whole night defending Macdavids line, and no other Calgary forwards seemed to generate much offense. I imagine Calgary will try to get a different match up in Calgary.

  82. Pescador says:

    Thinker:
    Mojo seems like a guy who wouldbenefit from being overwhelmed these first 9 games.

    Lets call that guy Hamonic for short

  83. Pescador says:

    who:
    Interesting game. Flames sure got better goaltending than they did in last year’s opener.

    Agreed,
    The most interesting part for me was when McDavid destroyed the Flames on the score sheet as well is those barking corgis

  84. Thinker says:

    Pescador: Lets call that guy Hamonic for short

    2nd goal. Hamonic is a stride inside the blueline middle of the ice, Connor is basically on the wall at the blueline, and somehow beats him to the top of the circles basically center of the slot. I don’t even know how that is possible.

  85. Johnny says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Ice was great.

    We had a tour with the new ice tech. He is setting the standard in ice reporting. We are still leading.

  86. Ribs says:

    OriginalPouzar: Not quite yet – he’ll be here until Slep is up to speed.

    He may not necessarily play on Friday (Pakarinan) but i think he probably will.

    I like this idea that you keep him around as the extra guy. It looks like expectation/hope needs to be lowered after tonight. Regular season is always a completely different animal.

  87. OriginalPouzar says:

    5 hours post-game and I’m still elated about the performance of the defensive group.

  88. OriginalPouzar says:

    Thinking back – that was a pretty dominating team performance including the head coach who I thought did a great job deploying the bench – limiting ice for guys like Yama and sporting Kass up the lineup.

  89. OriginalPouzar says:

    Klef ha 9 shots on net. Jesus.

  90. OriginalPouzar says:
  91. SayItAin'tSo, Gretz, SayItAin'tSo! says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    My favorite part was that time that McDavid beat TJ Brodie (it was not Hamonic) wide for a goal after starting half a zone behind him. McDavid hit 40km/h on that rush, look at where the winger is chasing him on that play, a full 15 feet behind by the red-line. That is simply amazing.

    The giant has woken from his summer slumber. Now it is time everyone starts bending the knee.

  92. hunter1909 says:

    Seismic Source:
    Hunter,

    One dollar Bob.

    Please make a prediction based on an actual number.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

  93. Jordan says:

    OriginalPouzar: ?????

    I’m pretty sure it’s about your Austin Mattews comment earlier. Probably didn’t realize you were being sarcastic.

    Either that, or he/she did realize it, and is a bit of jerk.

    Hopefully its the former.

    We could also turn it into a meme, if you’d prefer. Kinda like the Damn you Book;ee froma few years past. =)

  94. N64 says:

    hunter1909: Please make a prediction based on an actual number.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    A dollar, a buck, a century. All BASED on 100.

  95. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jordan: I’m pretty sure it’s about your Austin Mattews comment earlier.Probably didn’t realize you were being sarcastic.

    Either that, or he/she did realize it, and is a bit of jerk.

    Hopefully its the former.

    We could also turn it into a meme, if you’d prefer.Kinda like the Damn you Book;ee froma few years past. =)

    Yes, clearly I was being sarcastic – with over 600 posts, I just wan’t sure what he was responding to.

  96. Diablo says:

    Finally the off-season is done and we can get back to watching real games, and stop grousing about Chia’s lack of activity (restraint), “losing” the Eberle deal, the “overpay” of Leon, Russell, Lucic, Jagr etc. etc.

    Game 1 was just a real solid effort – compared to the Jets (similar talent level – I watched their game in person) the Oilers are just a well-coached team that executed their game plan. Nothing flashy about the D roster, but they get the job done. Bringing back the entire D corps from last season … they’ve hit the ground running and looked in mid-season form on opening night – Talbot was never really challenged.

    McDavid – just wow! Everytime he touched the puck, I was breathless.
    Leon – was just a powerhouse out there … he’s going to be worth every penny of that new deal.

    Some other observations:
    – Maroon is just fine on McDavid’s wing
    – Lucic looks faster this year; he was getting to pucks quicker and was noticeably winning the physical battles
    – Russell is fine for now … but Nurse is knocking on the door. I don’t think Chia will have much difficulty moving Russell’s contract when the time comes though
    – Kassian needs to bat higher up in the order; leave him on Nuge’s wing please
    – Yamamoto probably should be back in Spokane but I wouldn’t rush to judge his performance in his first NHL game. Let’s see if he settles in …
    – the Falmes suck

  97. Whatif says:

    I have been looking forward to this season for some time now and the ‘opener’ did not disappoint.

    What this game did do was settle my nervousness regarding how the team would/could play.

    In all areas of the game they were solid. McDavid, of course, was spectacular.

    I will never forget the night that Gold Card was revealed and the Oilers won the draft lottery.

    It is such a pleasure watching NHL history unfold before our eyes.

  98. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Diablo:
    Finally the off-season is done and we can get back to watching real games, and stop grousing about Chia’s lack of activity (restraint), “losing” the Eberle deal, the “overpay” of Leon, Russell, Lucic, Jagr etc. etc.

    – Trotting out a bunch of stats to “show” that Chia is a bad negociator, that was all nonesense

    – All teams would rather have McD and Drai over Kane Toews, and the combined salaries are same

    – Relative to the cap, McD and Drai were same as Crosby Malkin when they signed

    – Anyone can “think” it was on overpay, and “think that Chia is a moron, but making DCF projections on future cap and future performance are vodoo. But that’s how these contracts work…

    – As for your comment on D: “D always look good when they are winning”

    – This quote made me chuckle, reminded me of Ricki’s mantra that D are very bad 4rth line forwards in terms of production:

    “Everybody was making a big deal about Calgary’s defence,” McDavid said, “but it was our defence that was great tonight. They were moving pucks up to the forwards so we could do what we get paid to do”

  99. Jethro Tull says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux: – All teams would rather have McD and Drai over Kane Toews, and the combined salaries are same

    Not sure this is true…….

  100. Kinger_Oil.redux says:

    Jethro Tull: Not sure this is true…….

    – Well of course I don’t know this so its an exageration for literary effect, but Drai and McD are younger, McD is clearly the best of the 4, and Drai was great last year and in playoffs…

  101. Ca$h-McMoney! says:

    Kinger_Oil.redux,

    Plus Patrick Kane is a certifiable awful person, which has to figure in there somewhere.

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