PS G5 OILERS V CANUCKS

The Edmonton Oilers are 2-2 so far in pre-season, with some interesting performances–good and bad–clouding the possible opening night roster. Tonight, we’lre going to see 14 guys who are likely to make the final cut and another 8 who are on the bubble. Let’s have a look.

TONIGHT’S LINEUP

lane2

  • Hall-Smyth-Hemsky: This has been a line for long enough I think we can talk about it actually happening opening night. I wonder if they might slip Yakupov or Perron into Smyth’s slot sometime this week, but the Hall-Hemsky chem is real and spectacular. Smyth’s footspeed is going to be a problem, and Yakupov is available for elevation tonight.
  • Gagner-Perron-Eberle: I don’t like the Gagner-Eberle combination intuitively because they are so similar, but Eakins must see something he likes here. Perron is a fascinating player to watch, certainly gives the team a gear they didn’t have one year ago. I think this could be a line opening night, although for me Gagner-Yakupov was interesting in Winnipeg and it would be nice to see it again.
  • Khaira-R Hamilton-Yakupov: A nice push for the kid Khaira, if he could keep up with Yakupov I’d be over the moon. More likely, this line won’t last long and you’ll see Yak City with the high end skill guys. Hamilton continues to get a push.
  • Acton-Jones-Brown: This could be a 4line opening night and I don’t think people would be overly surprised. Acton looks good but his results (faceoffs, etc) don’t match the saw him good storyline. Parkatti’s game stats the other night saw him bad and I don’t think he’s grabbed the job. Jones is a guy I have making the roster, he’ll be able to help the 3 and 4 line scoring and could jump up in a pinch. Brown seems to be less impressive to those who clamor for this player type than he was a year ago, I’m not certain why. Either way, I expect he makes the final roster.
  • Nurse-Petry: Coach Dallas Eakins was quoted this morning as saying Nurse is “definitely getting better every day… His job is to keep screwing up our plans” and that seems about right. Nurse at 22 is pretty much exactly what this team needs, but things can look one way in a small window and those things can disappear over the long haul. The Oilers–in my opinion–are at least thinking about it based on the players he’s been paired with this TC. I still believe they’ll send him out, but at this point a 9-game look is possible. Petry is old reliable without actually being old–Prendergast gets no credit for it but that was an outstanding draft pick, one of his very best.
  • Grebeshkov-Belov: The feature pairing tonight, Grebs because we need to see if he flags again after 30 minutes, and Belov because we’ve never seen him before. I’ll want to see how mobile Belov is, along with passing ability and that big shot, too. Fun stuff.
  • Fedun-Hunt: Interesting pairing, I think this duo probably gets the heave-ho after the game or early next week. Still, they’ve shown very well and Fedun specifically has given the organization a reason to think he could handle a mid-season callup. Hunt entered as something of an unknown, now he’s reminding old timers like me of men like Reijo Ruotsalainen. There’s nothing wrong with his creativity.
  • LaBarbera-Rimmer: Fascinating choice for backup, this kid Rimmer must really have impressed them. LaBarbera has enjoyed a strong TC so far, I can’t say that’s a surprise. Rimmer is slated to play the second half of the game–HNIC, national television. So cool.

SEPARATION

upintheair1

I think what we’re seeing in tonight’s lineup is the final showing for several players. During training camp I’ve split the players into three categories, let’s have a look at those lists with men playing tonight underlined:

THE CERTAIN OILERS (17)

  • Goalies (2) Devan Dubnyk and Jason LaBarbera
  • Defensemen (5) Jeff Petry and Ladislav Smid, Justin Schultz and Andrew Ferense, Nick Schultz
  • Centermen (3) Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (inj), Sam Gagner, Boyd Gordon
  • Left Wing (3)  David Perron, Jesse Joensuu, Ryan Smyth
  • Right Wing (4) Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones

I believe all of the starters tonight in this category are certain roster players. Sure, you could create a scenario where Ryan Jones doesn’t make the team, but is that realistic? So too with Ryan Smyth, it doesn’t really make sense. If they struggle for a month, it’s a different story.

THE UNCERTAIN OILERS (15)

  • Goalies (none)
  • Defensemen (7): Anton Belov, Denis Grebeshkov, Corey Potter, Phil Larsen, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, Taylor Fedun
  • Center (4): Anton Lander, Mark Arcobello, Will Acton, Andrew Miller
  • Left Wing (3): Linus Omark, Ryan Hamilton, Ben Eager
  • Right Wing (1): Mike Brown

This is the heart of the matter. Three defensemen playing tonight trying for two (or three) roster spots and the race for those jobs is as clear as mud this afternoon. A strong effort by any of these three could impact the players not on the ice tonight, and I do think the Russians have an inside track on the 6-7 jobs (don’t know what order). This could be the last game for Fedun before heading south. Among the forwards, this is a big night for Acton–he must be close–and you can say the same thing about Hamilton (I think he pretty much has a job now). Mike Brown probably makes the team.

THE OUTSIDERS (8)

  • Goalies (4): Richard Bachman, Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, Ty Rimmer
  • Defensemen (6): Brad Hunt, Martin Gernat, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Darnell Nurse, Joey Leach
  • Centermen (3): Ryan Martindale, CJ Stretch, Travis Ewanyk
  • Left Wing (5): Curtis Hamilton, Austin Fyten, Kale Kessy, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira
  • Right Wing (4): Tyler Pitlick, Matt Ford, Derek Nesbitt, Cameron Abney

I think there’s plenty of news in this category. Martindale and Hamilton are just waiting for the next wave of cuts, Pitlick may be in that group but he certainly played well enough to impress Eakins on some level. The guys playing tonight in this category could also be sent down tomorrow without a lot of fuss (Nurse’s performance aside).

LIKELY CUTS

G Richard Bachman, G Ty Rimmer, D Brad Hunt, D Darnell Nurse, C Ryan Martindale, L Curtis Hamilton, F Jujhar Khaira, R Tyler Pitlick, C Andrew Miller, C Anton Lander, L Linus Omark.

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460 Responses to "PS G5 OILERS V CANUCKS"

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  1. pboy says:

    Scott Oake is in mid season form here.

  2. RexLibris says:

    Romulus Apotheosis:
    So… can we “bury” Jones and Grebs contracts if they don’t get picked up?

    Anyone can go down, the cap doesn’t go away but at that price point I don’t think it is prohibitive.

  3. wordbird says:

    Andropod,

    Good news for Grebs, Belov could use a full-time translator. :/

  4. Racki says:

    wordbird:
    Uh oh, Grebeshkov.

    Brown? Meh.
    Hamilton? Meh.
    Acton? Meh.

    won’t someone win a 4th line spot? I’d say Anton Lander lives to see another day…

    Holy hell, Hamilton had a great game tonight, and Lander hasn’t really done anything his entire time here so far (but I think he just needs “seasoning”, so not dumping on him too much). No thanks to Lander right now.

  5. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    The Canucks had $46M in salary NOT in the lineup.

  6. Lowetide says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    The Canucks had$46M in salary NOT in the lineup.

    Also, GULF was a gas station in the 1960′s.

  7. pboy says:

    They dressed most of that 46 million when they got beat 4-1 on Wednesday, didn’t they?

  8. OilClog says:

    wordbird:
    Andropod,

    Good news for Grebs, Belov could use a full-time translator.:/

    YakCity.. They just communicate between intense stares and hard laughs. Yak translates “Belov loves his coach, team, and bears”

  9. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    pboy:
    They dressed most of that 46 million when they got beat 4-1 on Wednesday, didn’t they?

    No.

  10. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Nice of the HNIC boys to give a non-NHLer (yet anyway) a solid interview. You can’t interview them all, but this is the time to remind the fans about the guys that spend a good portion of their salad days working to try and make the show… classy.

    RexLibris: Anyone can go down, the cap doesn’t go away but at that price point I don’t think it is prohibitive.

    Maybe I should rephrase… what does “burying” a contract mean?

  11. Dead Cat Bounce says:

    Lowetide: Also, GULF was a gas station in the 1960′s.

    And the Oilers are still sporting their colours even though Bill Hunter’s sponsorship deal with them failed.

  12. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Lowetide: Also, GULF was a gas station in the 1960′s.

    Kleenex is both a brand and a thing.

    ——–
    ashley fedun… hello!

  13. Racki says:

    Once again I’ll say Khaira is way bigger than I thought. Maybe his hair adds an illusionary 40lbs of weight.. but he looked bigger than the 198lbs he’s listed at. He also looked like a beanpole on draft day, but not so now.

    Darnell Nurse, on the other hand.. he is still a beanpole. For that reason, I wouldn’t even contemplate keeping him in the NHL this year. Maybe you give him an extended look (up to the 9 games), but that’s about it.

  14. Lowetide says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: And the Oilers are still sporting their colours even though Bill Hunter’s sponsorship deal with them failed.

    Ha! You WERE an Oiler fan!

  15. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Dead Cat Bounce: No.

    yes.

  16. pboy says:

    Dead Cat Bounce,

    The Sedin’s, Bieksa, Loungo, Garrison………. they all played if I remember correctly.

  17. RexLibris says:

    Fedun and Davidson. Good reasons to be an Oilers fan.

  18. OilClog says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    The Canucks had$46M in salary NOT in the lineup.

    Yea, they’re watching film from the other night.. Same sort of footage they’ll return home with tonight. Make sense to leave the wallet at home for re-runs

  19. wordbird says:

    Racki,

    Hamilton was… OK. wish he was a little quicker.
    Speaking of slow, 4th line audition is a total snail race right now. Door is still open for Lander. although Dave Steckel would be a nice stopgap…

  20. striatic says:

    pboy:
    Dead Cat Bounce,

    The Sedin’s, Bieksa, Loungo, Garrison………. they all played if I remember correctly.

    and Luongo.

    missing Kesler in both games was sort of a big deal though.

  21. Bank Shot says:

    RexLibris: Anyone can go down, the cap doesn’t go away but at that price point I don’t think it is prohibitive.

    I thought only a % of a players cap hit counts if they are sent to the AHL. Is it the whole thing?

  22. striatic says:

    Smid, Petry
    Ference, J Schultz
    N. Schultz, Fedun? Larsen?
    Belov

    who would you rather have, Fedun or Larsen?

  23. striatic says:

    Re. Grebeshkov to the minors .. if you demote him on capgeek you get “Cap hit for one-way contract exceeds $925,000 and will count against the cap as a ‘buried’ contract at $575,000 while demoted.”

  24. Lucinius says:

    striatic,

    You have neither. You go with;

    Smid — Petry
    Ference — J. Schultz
    N. Schultz — Belov

    Given Belov prefers playing the right side.

    Grebs can be the 7th, or Larsen can. Grebs is chaos, but as he showed in that second period.. there are flashes of something else entirely.

    Pity they are so brief.

  25. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    striatic:
    Re. Grebeshkov to the minors .. if you demote him on capgeek you get “Cap hit for one-way contract exceeds $925,000 and will count against the cap as a ‘buried’ contract at $575,000 while demoted.”

    Well… there’s something.

    between him and Jones… if they have to go down… we can spend that money on …. take your pick.

  26. striatic says:

    Lucinius: Given Belov prefers playing the right side.

    ah, i missed that. maybe because i noticed him on the left side of the ice a lot, like on his breakout pass to Hemsky .. but his point shots were from the right side so it seems like they were moving him around quite a bit.

  27. striatic says:

    i’m not sure why Grebeshkov or Larsen gets the push over Fedun for the 7th guy though.

  28. Lowetide says:

    Gagner missing teeth and getting his jaw x-rayed. NEED CENTER

  29. Zipdot says:

    I couldn’t get over how big Petry looked tonight… Guy looked massive for some reason.

  30. striatic says:

    Lowetide,

    who do you want?

  31. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    striatic:
    i’m not sure why Larsen gets the push over Fedun for the 7th guy though.

    NHL games played?

    Lowetide:
    Gagner missing teeth and getting his jaw x-rayed. NEED CENTER

    Any chance some supplemental comes down on that errant stick? maybe a $6 fine?

  32. striatic says:

    Zipdot,

    according to the Oilers website he’s the same height as Smid. maybe he bulked up a bit? he could have the frame to carry it.

  33. Racki says:

    striatic:
    i’m not sure why Grebeshkov or Larsen gets the push over Fedun for the 7th guy though.

    Always liked that Fedun fellow. ….OK… not always.. I liked him in the last pre-season preview we saw him in, before that good for nothing thug Nystrom nearly killed him.

    So far it looks like Belov is making a good case to stay. So that makes the “sure” guys:
    Smid,Petry,Ference, J.Schultz, N. Schultz, Belov. I could definitely see Fedun being at least an early call up. Grebeshkov.. well… I always liked him, but I wondered why you’d pick up a guy who struggled in the KHL. Larsen.. I didn’t follow him closely enough. He was pretty good against the Jets though.

  34. Ducey says:

    striatic:
    Smid, Petry
    Ference, J Schultz
    Belov, Fedun? Larsen?

    who would you rather have, Fedun or Larsen?

    Larsen. Send Fedun to the minors this year. Trade Larsen before next season.

    The depth they have with Hunt, Fedun, Klefbom, Marincin, Davidson, Gernat, Musil, wow. Pretty nice group in OKC.

    Not impressed by Jones tonight. Not playing hard enough. A lot of perfunctory hits. He was outplayed by Brown and Hamilton and even Acton. Ryan Smyth is miles ahead.

  35. RexLibris says:

    striatic:
    Lowetide,

    who do you want?

    Is Toews available?

  36. Racki says:

    Petry’s size is an illusion.. we haven’t really seen him use it at the NHL level much, but when he does he can do some damage with that frame. I say it’s an illusion because he seems to be a more passive player, so maybe the size goes unnoticed.

  37. Lowetide says:

    striatic:
    Lowetide,

    who do you want?

    I’d like Zack Smith from Ottawa or Justin Abdelkader.

  38. striatic says:

    Romulus Apotheosis: NHL games played?

    i guess.

    Larsen’s NHL point totals haven’t been stellar, and to my eye Fedun and Larsen have shown comparable offensive skills this pre-season, with Fedun looking better defensively.

  39. striatic says:

    Lowetide,

    i don’t know who you trade to get either of those guys, other than maybe Hemsky.

  40. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    striatic: i guess.

    Larsen’s NHL point totals haven’t been stellar, and to my eye Fedun and Larsen have shown comparable offensive skills this pre-season, with Fedun looking better defensively.

    Larsen’s wheels probably help split the difference too.

  41. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    The guys on Ched are struggling right now…

    callers ripping Hemsky, asking for meat… and the hosts are convinced Jamie Benn was a 1st rounder.

  42. Lowetide says:

    Ripping Hemsky? What the hell?

  43. Lowetide says:

    striatic:
    Lowetide,

    i don’t know who you trade to get either of those guys, other than maybe Hemsky.

    Ottawa has too many useful F’s, might be able to sent a prospect.

  44. fifthcartel says:

    I missed most of the game, what did Jones do/didn’t do?

  45. Racki says:

    Lowetide:
    Ripping Hemsky? What the hell?

    In Edmonton??!?! People are ripping Hemsky?! Inconceivable!

    All sarcasm aside, I can’t see the logic in that at all.. Hemsky and Hall have been pushing the puck up ice in all the pre-season games. They are dangerous. Yes, Hemsky missed a goal from right inside the paint (I think he had his stick hooked or something), but these guys are generating a lot of chances and it’s only a matter of time before things even out. Stupid “fans”.

  46. Racki says:

    fifthcartel:
    I missed most of the game, what did Jones do/didn’t do?

    Couple of penalties (although I blame one of those on a poor zone entry by Petry and others that led to a scramble play the other direction)… and a whole lot of nothing else.

  47. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    I know, I know… you’d just think that they (and Spector the other day) would wait for Hemsky to actually have a bad game to start the routine.

    fifthcartel:
    I missed most of the game, what did Jones do/didn’t do?

    fell down, took offensive zone penalty… didn’t look good in the final two periods I saw.

  48. Mr DeBakey says:

    Hemsky is the new Horcov, it seems

  49. Oilanderp says:

    I think we need to put JFJ on the top line. It’s gotta work!

  50. Racki says:

    Nail Yakupov was one assist away from the “Yak Trick” tonight.. A goal, an assist and an opposition player killed in the line of fire while blocking his shot.

  51. Radman says:

    fifthcartel:
    I missed most of the game, what did Jones do/didn’t do?

    He looked pretty ineffective to me. Took a couple of minor penalties as well. Unless he turns it around pretty quick, I wonder if he ends up on the waiver wire.

  52. Lowetide says:

    Racki:
    Nail Yakupov was one assist away from the “Yak Trick” tonight.. A goal, an assist and an opposition player killed in the line of fire while blocking his shot.

    He’s so awesome.

  53. Scotty LaDouche says:

    Was it just me, or, after the hit, did Nurse lack the pizzazz he had during last game and the first ten minutes of this one? I didn’t see him lifting his arms very much after the hit, but that could just be my Oilers induced paranoia.

    Belov looked good, fwiw against that lineup, in what I assume is one of few games he’s ever played on the NA ice. Needs to learn the NHL game, but the player is there.

  54. fifthcartel says:

    re all: thanks for Jones info!

    And Scott Oakes interview questions are hilarious/borderline offensive.

  55. striatic says:

    Scotty LaDouche: I didn’t see him lifting his arms very much after the hit, but that could just be my Oilers induced paranoia.

    in his post game interview he said the shoulder wasn’t bothering him at all.

    for what it is worth.

  56. FastOil says:

    The only thing that might save Jones is games played and that the big guys don’t skate well. That was not good.

    Nurse amazing, Belov happily very good. Grebs out of control and still has a cannon. Gagner was weak. He has to become far, far harder on the puck. He loses way too many battles and the DYS didn’t ice much to out battle. Hopefully it’s just preseason rust. Eakins will kick his butt before long I suppose.

  57. Bushed says:

    Torts’ post-game comments suggest x-ray equipment in Edmonton is not to be trusted–hilarious!
    “We’ll wait ’til we get back to use our own equipment and get a better idea”. He’ll fit in well with that bunch…

    Not sure that Grebs is gone–remember he’s MacT’s pick. I think he’s ahead of Larsen and Potter in MacT’s books, but time will tell.

    I liked Hamilton much more than Jones tonight. Jones looked several steps slower than Ryan Smyth, and let up on hits more than once–not impressed.

    Brown is doing everything he can out there. Limited skill, but lots of heart and the only guy who seems willing to stand up for anyone. Not sure Eager can or will do that.

    Belov showed very well–he looks top 3 or 4, maybe better. Looked very savvy in lots of little ways. Not bad for a guy who is currently sleep-deprived and adapting to a smaller rink and higher level of play.

    Fedun looked like he’d fast-forwarded through the past two years and picked up where he’d left off–looking good enough to start an NHL career. Too bad about the timing and new D depth. Hope he gets a chance somewhere, he deserves it.

    Hemmer played well–don’t know what game some people are watching? Hall had a tough time with the puck tonight, but he has some magic there with Hemsky.

    Ebs seemed to have difficulty with the puck while some goon Canuck was trying to cross-check his face into the ice in plain view of the refs. Can we please get some vigilante justice from somewhere???? I’m tired of watching that kind of crap happen with no response. Find us a Kevin McClelland please, MacT.

  58. RMGS says:

    I love how Coach Eakins refuses to validate several petty narratives long held as “truths” by the local MSM. Want to trash Hemsky? Listen to the coach and his matter-of-fact praise. Yakupov’s a prima donna? No, the kid loves hockey (and is a joy to watch to boot). Need more pugilism to counter the douchebag Canucks? Team toughness and the powerplay are better.

    Of course, as Terry Jones said in response to the doughnut ban, he better win. They’ll turn on him at the first opportunity.

  59. 719 says:

    I am sorry to be repetitive. With Gagner confirmed out with a broken jaw, could we squeeze either Sutter (preferably) or Jokinen out of Pittsburgh? They are over the cap and we could send one of our cheaper forward their way. For Sutter it would have to be more, but might be a price we should pay…

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