PS G8 2017-18: OILERS AT CANUCKS

by Lowetide

“When I think something nice is going to happen I seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing I realize I drop down to earth with a thud. But really, Marilla, the flying part is glorious as long as it lasts, it’s like soaring through a sunset. I think it almost pays for the thud.” 

-Lucy Maud Montgomery

My Mom used to start getting cross around 4pm or so, my anticipation of the (single) Hockey Night in Canada game rising with each passing minute. When the Bugs Bunny show came on at 5pm, my brother would join me and we’d settle in to watch. I never did settle though, because the game was only a few minutes away. All these years later I can still remember the butterflies. Mom would be in the kitchen, Dad would be in the shop straightening nails and throwing them in Rogers Syrup cans (children of the depression wasted nothing, it was a sad and sobering hobby, but I thought he was nuts) and my brother and me would be laughing at the Acme Company. I could never describe my childhood without an elaborate chapter on the Saturday HNIC game and its central role in my week. I watched it all: the game, the intermission, the standings and leading scorers (updated with afternoon results!) and the closing credits. The saddest day of my year came with the final SCF game. The CBC would run the full version of the theme song (da da da DA-UH!) while running a year’s worth of credits, and then finally fade and the network would be off to the Whiteoaks of Jalna or some blasted thing.

I loved summer as a kid, and baseball was my passion during those months. By September, I was ready for the increased frequency of The Hockey News at the Rexall Drugs and the scores on the radio. Nothing, not anything, was better than the start of hockey season and another lash at the damnable Habs. In my mind’s eye, Bobby Orr remains frozen in time, dashing the hopes of Glenn Hall, Noel Picard and all of the other men not named Bruins.

Hockey is back on Saturday nights. Welcome, friend.

OILERS CURRENT ROSTER

  • It sounds like we’re going to see something close to an opening night lineup, so the top four lines (possibly JP replacing Jokinen), the top three pairings (with Oscar Klefbom’s presence a question mark) and Cam Talbot getting the net.
  • Kailer Yamamoto should have gotten one of the last two preseason games. He is getting both. That’s a tell.
  • Ryan Strome has had the quietest training camp for a new hire since Ben Eager.

KAILER, JESSE AND THE DUKE

  • Peter Chiarelli on KY’s strong camp: “I’m mildly surprised but based on what we have seen of him last year in junior, I told Todd he might be challenging at development camp. And he has. He’s such a smart player and a sturdy player for his size, great edges and great speed. He doesn’t hold on to the puck too long because he’s smart. He’s done everything to make the team right now.” Source
  • Peter Chiaraelli on JP: “He’s more confident, he’s done training in the summer, he’s done more explosive training you can see that in his training. He’s in a competition now, our team is getting better. Jesse’s status, in that he can go to the AHL gives us more options. He can go there, you can pull him back, versus Kailer when you send him down you can’t pull him back until his season’s done.” Source
  • Same interview has PC saying they’ve elevated Matt Benning to second pair and he’s curious to see how things turn out. Curious is an interesting word.
  • Peter Chiarelli on Chris Kelly: “He’s performed well. We have to see how these things turn out with Yamamoto and Jesse, and there’s a number of other variables. Chris has done well, he’s skating better than he did last year. He’s a great character, I’ve seen what he can do in and out of the room.”

I think the Chiarelli quote about Yamamoto has iron in it. PC made took special care to mention it wasn’t breaking news before stating it, but the possibility of sending JP down and keeping KY in Edmonton is clearly being explored and discussed. Yamamoto is the better offensive player today and that’s the need, this much is true.

ROSTER PRESSURE POINTS

Fussy Britches has the Oilers trying to trade Mark Fayne (with salary retained) followed by a Chris Kelly signing. I’ll confess to hoping for a Colin Miller trade but suspect the club likes their investment in Yohann Auvitu enough to Let it Ride. So, the roster decisions may go like this:

  • Injured reserve Andrej Sekera, Anton Slepyshev, Ryan Stanton, Tyler Benson, Brian Ferlin.
  • Waive Mark Fayne to Bakersfield.
  • Send Jesse Puljujarvi to Bakersfield.
  • Sign Chris Kelly.

PROJECTED ROSTER

  • Patrick Maroon (72, 23-17-40)—Connor McDavid (80, 37-73-110)—Leon Draisaitl (79, 26-58-84)
  • Milan Lucic (82, 18-28-46)—Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (74, 17-28-45)—Kailer Yamamoto (NR)
  • Jussi Jokinen (71, 15-19-34)—Ryan Strome (76, 19-21-40)—Drake Caggiula (70, 12-10-22)
  • Jujhar Khaira (45, 3-2-5)—Mark Letestu (76, 10-10-20)—Zack Kassian (74, 11-14-25)
  • Chris Kelly (NR), Iiro Pakarinen (10, 1-1-2)
  • Oscar Klefbom (77, 15-29-44)—Adam Larsson (78, 4-14-18)
  • Kris Russell (64, 1-9-10)—Matt Benning (71, 6-19-25)
  • Darnell Nurse (55, 4-12-16)—Eric Gryba (28, 1-2-3)
  • Yohann Auvitu (29, 3-5-8)
  • Cam Talbot (64, 2.42 .920),  Laurent Brossoit (16, 2.94 .907)

Complete RE’s are here. If the names above hold true, Kailer Yamamoto and Chris Kelly will be the only two men I missed during the reasonable expectations series.

  • Biggest concern: The defensive quality and depth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an early season trade.
  • Second biggest concern: Penalty kill.
  • Biggest surprise: Kailer Yamamoto. I thought he could do it, but this was a massive accomplishment.
  • Biggest disappointment: Ryan Strome has been quiet.

This will be the only post today as we return to normal game day format. Would you prefer a morning post and then the GDT later? I think we’ll go with tradition but am open to new ideas.

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OriginalPouzar

Very interested to see what the actual lineup and lines look like tonight.

I though I had a pretty darn good sense of what we are going to see on October 4 but the last two practices completely changed that and I truly have no idea how the roster will be deployed on opening night.

I’m not sure if that is a good thing (versatility) or not a good thing (one exhibition game left and things still aren’t set).

Should be a fun night and I don’t even have to stream the game!

OriginalPouzar

Look at the boxcars for all of our forwards – its exhibition but still.

OriginalPouzar

From listening to Oilers Now yesterday, Klef was skating with Larsson as per usual.

Are we actually still worried about a foot?

leadfarmer

Strome as a dud is well. Expected

jtblack

HNIC Memories. Great Stuff. I am a bit younger than you, but old enough to have those same feelings in the Early 80’s.

Lots of question marks BUT this looks like the best opening day roster since forever … #Progress

OriginalPouzar

I am still 100% against any Chris Kelly signing and will be very disappointed if this happens.

OriginalPouzar

I would prefer a morning post and a 2nd game day thread but that’s just me being greedy and you put out so much quality content that I can’t ask for such a thing and feel good about it.

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer:
Strome as a dud is well.Expected

He hasn’t even played a game as an Oiler yet and won’t for 5 more days.

“Dud” in exhibition means almost as little as Lander lighting it up in pre-season.

Little Poteet

Strome falling from 1st line RW to 3rd line center reflects perfectly the quality of player exchanged in the trade. Chiarelli traded quality for cap space and a hope that Strome could be more than he has previously been. McLellan is a veteran coach though, and has little patience for men underperforming with quality team mates.
Luckily our forward depth chart is twice as deep as our defence. During the Hall and co. years we all hoped the oil were a team that could outscore their mistakes. The forward quality now is significantly better taking everyone into account top to bottom, so maybe mistakes can be outscored this year.

fifthcartel

You’d have to think there’s a trade for defense in the coming days before the seasons starts. THings start to get sketchy after Klefbom-Larsson.

I’m not sure a playoff/contending team dresses Eric Gryba every night. They need help.

Little Poteet

OriginalPouzar,

Haha, I love LT’s writing too, but let the man have a Saturday! he already works at the station 6 day’s per week and has an extra column due on Sundays.
One post per day on game days is standard for LT, we’ve been spoiled this preseason. My vote is one GDT.
Thank you Mister Mitchell, reading about oilers hockey twice a day through the heart of the summer eases the anticipation (or helps it build, not sure). This corner of the Al Gore is a treasure

Woodguy v2.0

This will be the only post today as we return to normal game day format. Would you prefer a morning post and then the GDT later? I think we’ll go with tradition but am open to new ideas.

For Actual NHL Regular Season games I think one post is best.

leadfarmer

OriginalPouzar: He hasn’t even played a game as an Oiler yet and won’t for 5 more days.

“Dud” in exhibition means almost as little as Lander lighting it up in pre-season.

Called out by coach and taken off Mcdavids wing already does mean something.

Jethro Tull

Woodguy v2.0:
This will be the only post today as we return to normal game day format. Would you prefer a morning post and then the GDT later? I think we’ll go with tradition but am open to new ideas.

For Actual NHL Regular Season games I think one post is best.

+1

leadfarmer

Woodguy v2.0:
This will be the only post today as we return to normal game day format. Would you prefer a morning post and then the GDT later? I think we’ll go with tradition but am open to new ideas.

For Actual NHL Regular Season games I think one post is best.

Agree with woodguy. Since you’re writing for multiple sites now just do one. It’s not like there’s huge developments several times a day

Broiler

Jethro Tull: +1

+1

Stud Muffin

Morning GDT post is Best ?

flyfish1168

LT

I too worry about Oscar – shift to shift. He has hx

jtblack

leadfarmer,

+1. One game day post will be Great !

geowal

I’m fine with once per day format, especially if that means the writing is more “expanded” with anecdotes about the history of the opponent or in this case Saturday night games. I think the only thing that gets missed is the lineups, but that can be an update or people post them in the thread.

It’s funny that I’m of a different generation (born early 80s, grew up 90s) but I can relate to this tale of Saturdays front to back, only real difference is that Bugs bunny show wasn’t on, and some point along the way the double header format arrived. Mom would be cooking, Dad in the shop or doing chores pre-milking. I too remember the extended credits after the SCF. Part of this is I was still in the two channel universe, so may as well finish the whole show off.

jtblack

As LT has been saying, the question for the Oilers is: Can they outscore or saw off against their opponents with the 2nd line, 3rd line and 4th line …

If Drai plays wing; I think this becomes a problem again … Line 2 and 3 (even with Drai( at center) are unproven … Worries for me are Lucic 5×5 and Letestu 5×5. If they are anchors again, it’s tough for us to out score our opponents. We Hope Lucic can rebound, but I haven’t seen much in the pre season to suggest that will happen. Letestu is valuable but has never had good 5×5 numbers ….

We Wait ……….

Pescador

2 biggest curios for me are Chris Kelly & Yohann Auvitu.
I failed to see what Chris Kelly brought that Brad Malone didn’t. So we’re going to 50 contracts because Kelly is good Off the ice?
I failed to see Auvitu as suitable 3rd pairing replacement for Gryba. So we’re going into the season with Gryba as an every day Dman?
I don’t understand why Chiarelli wasn’t more aggressive in procurement in the summer. The need was the same last June as it is right now. A more substantial Dman to cover the Sekera minutes & guard against probable injuries.
From here it looks like we have great AHL depth on defense, which Fleming will likely use block important prospect minutes. Great
I’m curious too ,Peter

who

I would prefer leaving the 3 centers in place and have Strome on the wing. I haven’t seen him create much on his own this preseason. At this point he looks more like a complimentary player.
There was an extreme difference in the direction of play in the Saskatoon game. When Macdavid or Drai were on the ice the Oilers were creating chances and the puck was in the Carolina end. When Strome or Kelly was out there at center it was the exact opposite.
If they don’t want Strome, Yamamoto or JP to start on Macdavids wing why don’t they try Kassian?

hunter1909

Hunter1909’s Oilers Death March is back for the 2017-18 season! All returning and new players welcome!

Here’s how you enter: Pick the exact number of points you think the Oilers will have at the end of the season.

Then, after the usual training camp hypejobs stop and the real NHL starts, Oilers usually lose 2-3 defencemen and spent the rest of the season chasing/debating the lottery. And what better way is there to enjoy those pointless, meaningless games than The Hunter1909 Official Oilers Death March(TM)?

It’s easy!

unca miltie

My hockey night in Canada started a long time ago. Black and white TV, only two periods on TV, Punch Imlach, Carl Brewer, ever before Dave Keon was a leaf. My dad who was a heck of man did not buy his first TV for us, he bought it for his mom and spinster sister. We used to go to there house every Saturday and watch the games.1959 spring the leafs made the playoffs by bringing up the young guys. First Memories of HNIC for me.

hungoverman

Please write a book LT with your childhood stories. I would buy it first day!

jonrmcleod

unca miltie,

Only two periods on TV? I’ve never heard this before.

Boil-in-the-Oil

Little Poteet:
OriginalPouzar,

Haha, I love LT’s writing too, but let the man have a Saturday! he already works at the station 6 day’s per week and has an extra column due on Sundays.
One post per day on game days is standard for LT, we’ve been spoiled this preseason. My vote is one GDT.
Thank you Mister Mitchell, reading about oilers hockey twice a day through the heart of the summer eases the anticipation (or helps it build, not sure). This corner of the Al Gore is a treasure

I whole heartedly agree. Thank you LT for entertaining me all summer (twice a day).

OriginalPouzar

leadfarmer: Called out by coach and taken off Mcdavids wing already does mean something.

About 6 forwards have been called out by the coach so far and 3 taken off McDavid’s Wong.

We should real very little in to exhibition except for prospect performances.

Jethro Tull

OriginalPouzar: About 6 forwards have been called out by the coach so far and 3 taken off McDavid’s Wong.

We should real very little in to exhibition except for prospect performances.

McDavid’s Wong eh?

OriginalPouzar

Little Poteet:
OriginalPouzar,

Haha, I love LT’s writing too, but let the man have a Saturday! he already works at the station 6 day’s per week and has an extra column due on Sundays.
One post per day on game days is standard for LT, we’ve been spoiled this preseason. My vote is one GDT.
Thank you Mister Mitchell, reading about oilers hockey twice a day through the heart of the summer eases the anticipation (or helps it build, not sure). This corner of the Al Gore is a treasure

I don’t disagree and I did state the same in my post.

OriginalPouzar

Jethro Tull: McDavid’s Wong eh?

Now that is a typo worth discussing……

Melvis

HNIC follewed by (Your Pet) Juliette, whom i disliked at least as much as the Habs. The Zenith and the clicker had walked into the house by ’59. The old man must have a great year. That thing could buy you a good car back then.

The clicker actually click/clacked. Then it went kajunga, kajunga, kajunga to the other channel in the universe. Unless I pressed the wrong button. Then it went the long way around. This resulted in a lot more kajungas, thus really pissing off dad.

McSorley33

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It does not get any better than a Saturday morning read by LT about his youth and HNIC.

Like picking a favourite movie, so many outstanding words to choose from….but for me, personally,
this it: That first paragraph is pure gold.

Instantly, brought back to my youth.

StixMalone

Yes vivid memories of HNIC for me too. Watching uncensored Bugs Bunny was classic. Today’s “yutes” are so protected. Sundays was always road hockey imitating the goal scorers of night before or the goalies especially Ken Dryden ahh good memories that will never fade…

Seismic Source

I wish PC wasn’t such a loyal guy

Silver Streak

Masterful writing LT…..takes me back to my youth….Im a bit older than you and seems our paths crossed…from me moving my very young family to Saskatoon from Edmonton ( when the bumper stickers shouted said ” would the last person out please turn out the lights !! ) Somewhere South of Battleford, My wife after seeing a rather old and tired highway billboard proclaiming this town had a “modern” hotel that boasted both hot and cold running water damned near screamed STOP, and turn around !! that was 71. My how things changed. 32 fabulous years later we were back in the land of milk and honey…Red Deer. I digress.

TV…in various shads of grey came to Edmonton in 54…just in time to watch Jackie Parker skoot in for the wining touchdown in the Grey Cup game in November….

Hockey night on Saturdays appeared later that same year, was limited to the 2nd and 3rd periods….with the Hot stove league supplying the various rumours and injury updates….Ward Cornell and his Toronto gang….goofy Murray Westgate with his ESSO uniform and later the tiger in the tank tail promotion……and of course Foster Hewitt from high up in his gondola..and his magic..

I have never missed a game……Came close though..most weddings for some damned reason happen on Saturdays….somehow I always found a TV in a bar or Hotel room…just disappeared….unbelievably, Im still married to the same understanding woman.

I won the lottery….life`s lottery….born a white Canadian male in 1945….forever thankful. Go Oilers.

McSorley33

fifthcartel,

You’d have to think there’s a trade for defense in the coming days before the seasons starts. THings start to get sketchy after Klefbom-Larsson.
I’m not sure a playoff/contending team dresses Eric Gryba every night. They need help.
*************************************************************************************************
I am on your page. Some people lose perspective once a player puts on an Oiler jersey.

Eric Gryba stands out even for other fans.

With respect to Luke Schenn or maybe Engelland, is there a slower, less agile D man in the the NHL?

Now, I will concede that Eric can get by with a few teams and the Ducks may be one of them as their core pushes their mid 30’s now….but most teams are younger and faster.

I suspect / hope a trade is coming….or else pray Tmac limits Gryba to 14 -15 min per night.

Eg: The Jets 3rd pairing could be Enstrom and Myers.

JD_Wry

Lowetide: Curious is an interesting word.

And a whole helluvalot better than comfortable!

Great piece LT!

JD_Wry
Pescador

Centre or winger- Ryan Strome is a good 3rd liner in the NHL, I have no issue with this. When I watch Strome play I think top 6 talent but lacks the gumption I see the exact same thing with his younger brother. I don’t even believe that there is a lack of try, it is just their style & on ice mentality. I bet this will be a constant bugaboo especially for Oiler fans. “Skate harder Strome!!”
“Dylan was invisible all night”

Crazy Pedestrian

OriginalPouzar: About 6 forwards have been called out by the coach so far and 3 taken off McDavid’s Wong.

We should real very little in to exhibition except for prospect performances.

OriginalPouzar: Now that is a typo worth discussing……

Lady’s and gentleman… we have the new meme of the month!

Boiled-in-Oil

Long time lurker….This thread touched me enough to actually comment. I remember Howie Meeker in his squeaky voice doing intermission analysis. ” Now look at this guy, look at him. Now all you young defencemen out there, watch what he does” He would crack me up.

Probably within spitting distance to the same age as LT, so memories of my Dad are similar. Taught me how to squeeze a nickel. I still can’t walk past a can or bottle on the street and not pick it up for the deposit. Free money. We would pick and take it up to the Oriental grocer in my neighbourhood, and we would get store credit to buy pep chews and eatmore’s. Hated Wagon Wheel’s.

Anyway Mister Mitchel, I would be greedy saying always twice a day. One on game day is plenty. Besides, the commenters here also make this place. Every update, rumor, breaking story, gets mentioned in the thread. Thank you all for putting down your thoughts for me to read, while having my morning Joe.

Woodguy v2.0

corsica.hockey is back up!

Yay!

fifthcartel

McSorley33,

I agree. He lacks mobility and passing, and is currently slated to play every game with Sekera’s injury.

Maybe Klefbom-Larsson pick up more minutes, but I’m not confident at all in a Russell-Benning pairing. Then you have Nurse-Gryba and compared to other Pacific teams, that’s a weak spot for Edmonton.

stush18

Pescador:
Centre or winger- Ryan Strome is a good 3rd liner in the NHL, I have no issue with this. When I watch Strome play I think top 6 talent but lacks the gumption I see the exact same thing with his younger brother. I don’t even believe that there is a lack of try, it is just their style & on ice mentality. I bet this will be a constant bugaboo especially for Oiler fans. “Skate harder Strome!!”
“Dylan was invisible all night”

Yup. Been the issue with those brothers forever.

Very talented, don’t seem driven.

Woogie63

I see a huge difference between Fayne and Simpson as our first call-up defense.

Since our number 6 and 7 dman are a question mark, I would not be trading Fayne until Sekera is playing.

JD_Wry

Lowetide,

Oh, and my Dad straightened nails too! I would try to help, but they didn’t turn out as straight for me.

We got the color Philco Ford Radiation King in ’72. The only reason that sticks in my mind, is because of the Can/Rus series.

I also remember a bottle opener that suffered some abuse during one of those games. Dad didn’t like team Canada losing to the Russians.