The Edmonton Oilers kept rolling last night during preseason, they are now 3-0-0 heading into the weekend and a tough away game against the Winnipeg Jets. Lots of good arrows and that top line was like a cool autumn mist followed by a breath of fresh air. Music!
It’s almost here! On Monday (September 24) you are invited to a party at The Rec Room (south side). The Athletic Edmonton group would love to meet you, chat about the new season and the team in general. You can register (we need to know how many are coming, just like your Mom at Christmas) in the link below.
The Athletic Edmonton lineup will be there, including Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Eric Duhatschek will attend! I’ll be there to make sure everyone uses a coaster, and I’d love to see you there. If you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s your chance. Special offer is here, less than $4 a month!
- New Lowetide: After more Oilers’ cuts, roster decisions coming into focus.
- New Tyler Dellow: Is Connor McDavid good enough to make a power play with five left shots work?
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Former Oiler Dave Manson on coaching, nicknames and his raspy voice.
- The Athletic Cross Canada Tour Will hit Edmonton!
- New Lowetide: RE 18-19: Cam Talbot is key to Oilers success in 2018-19
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: A case for the defence.
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Ryan Strome and the Oilers long journey to competent third and fourth lines
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Leon Draisaitl and the pursuit of a second outscoring line in ’18-19
- Lowetide: RE 18-19: Can the McDavid line lead the 2018-19 Oilers to the playoffs?
- New Jonathan Willis: Challenge accepted: Young RW’s showcase skill in Oilers preseason game.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Assessing the aftermath from Darnell Nurse’s deal with the Oilers.
- New Jonathan Willis: Pleasant and unpleasant surprises from Tuesday’s training camp cuts.
- New Lowetide: Oilers sign Nurse to a two-year deal.
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Can Tobias Rieder be the perfect complement to Leon Draisaitl?
DEFENSE LAST NIGHT
- Klefbom-Larsson went 11-7 together in 9:51, 7-2 in shots. Jerabek-Larsson were 3-1 in 1:36. The top pairing didn’t play much, they were the third pairing in terms of 5-on-5 minutes. Went 7-1 against Lemieux-Dano-Griffith, they were on the ice for the Dano goal but I don’t think that was on the blue. I think we’ll see them again soon. Klefbom shot the puck a lot.
- Nurse-Bouchard went 24-15 together in 61.54, 15-9 shots, 3-1 goals, 15-5 scoring chances, 9-3 high danger (!!!) scoring chances. Nurse played a solid game to my eye, especially since he is just hours off the plane. His passing wasn’t as skilled as you’d want it to be but he had the puck heading in a good direction. Bouchard is sublime as a passer and thinks the game incredibly well. Leon shot the puck high slot because there was no way he would have seen Bouchard streaking to the net, but he’ll check for him next time. Bouchard was caught at the opp blue when the puck bounced over his stick (leading to a breakaway), on the wrong side of the scorer on the second WPG goal (he needs to be stronger there), and he got lost behind his own net very late because he was deferring to Nurse. He’ll figure it out. I want him to make it for the nine games, Todd McLellan may want to keep his job. Bouchard opens up so many opportunities. We’ll need to see him do these offensive things later in camp, while doing fewer rookie things as the season arrives.
- Jerabek-Bear went 7-14 in 12:04, 1-0 GF, 3-6 scoring chances. Went 1-9 against the Tanev line, that trio were difficult and this pairing got them for 3:45 (Swedes 7-1 in 5:06, Nurse pairing 5-3 in 4:24). I think Jerabek makes the team, but Bear might end up playing more games in Edmonton during the season. I like Bear’s passing, he and Bouchard give the defense a completely different look.
- Cam Talbot stopped 20 of 23, .870 4.54. At 5-on-5 he stopped 18 of 20, the Dano goal was less than ideal but he was solid the rest of the way. A big stop early (breakaway) gave the fans a lift, maybe the team too.
- NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.
- Chiasson-Marody-Aberg went 19-4 in 9:12 (Chiasson-Marody) and 13-4 in 7:15 (Marody-Aberg) last night. That’s some good hockey! Went 11-0 in scoring chances, 7-0 in high dangers. I know Winnipeg didn’t bring the “A” team but that’s some hot tamale. The funny thing is, I don’t think any of these guys are close to being locks to make the team. PC and TMac likely love Chiasson based on their own established preferences, suspect another NHL team will grab him and the Oilers have duplicate skills in Kassian. Aberg played very well last night, not certain it will be enough, and Marody is imo very close to being NHL-ready and could be the first forward recalled.
- Nuge-McDavid-Rattie took some time to find the range but in the end were dominant, scoring 11 points as a trio. Went 11-8 in 9:49, 4-1 in GF, went 7-5 against Morrissey-Trouba and that’s a tough pairing. A wonderful start to their year. Each man brings something to the line, McDavid’s goal off the rush was a lazer and Rattie started shooting during the anthem. Nuge is the perfect pairing with 97, making sure all hell doesn’t break loose while also being skilled enough to recognize opportunity and head for open ice.
- Khaira-McLeod-Puljujarvi went 7-7 in 11:12, 5-1 in shots for, 3-1 in scoring chances in 1-1 in HDSC. I liked the line, especially the wingers. McLeod was less noticeable in this amalgamation (as you would expect), but you can see what he brings. Khaira made great plays all over, drawing a penalty on one of his strong offensive pushes. Also solid on PK. Puljujarvi was once again impossible for opponents, especially early. Drew a penalty, scoring, had a goalmouth chance, he also got hit in the teeth with a shoulder and was less noticeable after (I’ll be following reports today). Brilliant young player. He was more offensively dangerous than Leon.
- Lucic-Draisaitl-Rieder went 10-18 in 9:25, 3-8 in shots and 4-10 in scoring chances. Those numbers came against a group of Winnipeg Jets who won’t make up 50 percent of next year’s roster. Trio went 1-11 against the Tanev line, 2-3 against Morrissey-Trouba. We have to give them more time, I still think JP ends up with Leon this season. Draisaitl was quality on the penalty kill.
You can see how much he means to the offense, the young man has exceptional vision and touch in this area. It comes down to two things: Can you live with the defensive issues, and will keeping him hurt his development. I have no answer to either, but will admit that the Elvis Costello classic (‘give me temptation‘) has been rolling around in my mind.
He drove me nuts when a Portland Winterhawks winger, scoring against the Oil Kings at the most inconvenient times. Jim Matheson has an article up at the EJ about the McDavid line, complete with nice words about Ty Rattie from the captain. I asked McDavid over a year ago about linemates and how long it takes to find chemistry.
- Connor McDavid on how long it takes to develop chemistry with a new linemate: “It definitely takes a few games, 5-6 games to really get a good idea. To really, fully get chemistry with someone you have to play together for a long, long time. It’s been nice that Leon, Patty and I have been able to stick together for a long time now and I definitely hope that continues. It’s easy to find each other out there, because we’re all pretty comfortable.”
Leon, Patty and I is morphing into Ty, Ryan and 97 and the line has played together enough for the Oilers to count on them at the start of this season. That second line, though. Suspect we’ll be talking about it a lot over the next few months.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A busy Friday morning, TSN1260. We’ll curse the snow and celebrate the season. Scheduled to appear, beginning at 10:
- Steve Lansky, BigMouthSports. We’ll chat CFL, Ottawa Senators and the Oilers preseason.
- Andy McNamara, TSN4Downs. Cleveland rocks!! The Browns beat the Jets and their new quarterback fires rockets to his wideouts. Hallelujah!
- Andrew Peard, Oil Kings PBP. Preseason predictions for the Oil Kings are surprisingly positive. Is this a playoff team?
- Kirk Luedeke, Director of Hockey Operations- Omaha Lancers (USHL). We’ll chat about the Boston Bruins and the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minnesota.
10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!