The rookies played their second and final game of camp last night in Caglary, at the historic Saddledome. I made some observations.
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- New Lowetide: Can Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith stop enough pucks for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Shutdown success by Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson is a key for the Oilers in 2019-20.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Even if he’s unsure about his return, Oilers’ Connor McDavid looks and sounds like his old self
- Lowetide: RE 19-20: How can the Oilers’ bottom six close the gap in goal differential?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Kailer Yamamoto and Tyler Benson address respective highs and lows as Oilers rookie camp begins
- Jonathan Willis: Riley Sheahan is a prudent signing by the Oilers in more ways than one
- Jonathan Willis: Did Milan Lucic take a shot at Connor McDavid’s leadership?
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ defensive hopes will rest on the new shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: With Evan Bouchard as the headliner, here are the players to watch at Oilers rookie camp
- Lowetide: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and the configuration of the Oilers second line
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid’s 2019-20: Pushing for 50 goals while Dave Tippett loads up the Oilers’ top line
- Lowetide: Estimating reasonable expectations for the 2019-20 Edmonton Oilers: A difficult journey
- Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s measured summer leaves Oilers outside playoffs.
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Is Riley Sheahan an ideal fit for the Oilers as their No. 3 centre?
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: What the 2021-22 Oilers might look like after their steady build toward contender status
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland puts his stamp on the Oilers with first big move in Lucic-Neal trade
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
Benson – Marody – Hebig
B. Starrett – McLeod – Maksimov
Safin – Iacobellis – Lavoie
Vesey – Stukel – Keeler
Samorukov – Bouchard
Cap – Day
Bellamy – Desharnais
Out: Yamamoto, De Jong
NOTES, FIRST PERIOD
Weak goal allowed by Olivier Rodrigue, marksmen Glenn Gawdin gets past Dmitri Samorukov and goes stick side. Nice skill.
Logan Day made a nice defensive play on what could have been a two-on-none. He pushed his way to the puck and cleared the danger.
Six minutes in, a nifty pass Tyler Benson to Cooper Marody for the first solid look of the game for Edmonton. Not a great shot but a quick release.
Terrible giveaway by I believe Beau Starrett via Ryan McLeod’s heater and it leads to a point blank chance and goal by Ruzicka. Terrible.
Nine minutes in, Logan Day makes a nice pinch and Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody and Cameron Hebig get some passing success. Nice sequence, Flames to the PP. Benson is playing with an edge in these games, that’ll get him noticed. Not a good penalty here, though.
Ryan McLeod and Kirill Maksimov are once again quality on the PK. Great forechecking by both and lots of effort. Nice save by Olivier Rodrigue.
Beau Starrett gets a SH chance, draws a penalty. Some nice looks, impressed by Evan Bouchard and Cooper Marody but no goals.
19 minutes in, Nolan Vesey with a burst and receives a lovely pass for what was probably the best chance for Edmonton in the period. Logan Day with the pass.
First Period Summary: Rodrigue gave up a goal he should stop but after that settled in. Samorukov had a tough rookie camp a year ago and it looks like he’s starting in similar fashion this year. The Benson-Marody-Hebig line is the only thing the team has going offensively up front, Evan Bouchard is sublime.
NOTES, SECOND PERIOD
Much better start to the second, top line gets the puck in deep, Dmitri Samorukov shot from the point is held.
Lavoie on a jailbreak, nice pass and no one can handle it. Lordy.
PP had a nice sequence, Benson to Marody but they couldn’t get a shot.
Samorukov, who has been inconsistent, makes a deft pass to Starrett, who feeds Lavoie for a real nice chance. A little momentum for the road team as we approach the midway point.
Ostap Safin to Iacobellis and my goodness what a save! Best chance by far for the Oilers rookies. In either game.
Evan Bouchard with a nice rush, his speed appears to be better this season. Early days.
Oilers to the PK, Rodrigue with a nice save early on in the five-on-four. He made another nice save, his 22nd, on the same PK, 32 minutes into the game.
Samorukov flattened a Flame at center ice.
Very nice save by Rodrigue on a long distance seeing eye shot from the point.
Second Period Summary: More of the same really, I don’t think any Oilers player beyond Olivier Rodrigue should consider it a great night. Bouchard is outstanding at this level, as one would expect. The Benson-Marody-Hebig line is noticeable, and getting looks, but there’s a hitch in their giddyup each time.
NOTES, THIRD PERIOD
Oilers get an early power play, win the draw and Evan Bouchard scores on one of those patented point shots that find daylight. 100 minutes into the rookie tournament, Oilers score: Bouchard (1) from Starrett.
Edmonton gets a power play but they’re not sharp at all. Lavoie gains the line and sends a terrible short pass that is intercepted. What’s more, Ruzicka gets the puck and owns it for days, at one point causing a four-on-one ‘swarm’ look to the power play, 100 miles away from the Calgary net.
Benson gets a good shot off from a nice pass from Bouchard. That could have tied it.
Marody had what looked like a promising sortie, but the net came of its moorings. The chem isn’t there for other lines, the Marody trio are going to have to make it happen (or Bouchard).
9.5 minutes in, Rodrigue makes another solid save on a tip from a point shot. A few minutes later another outstanding save on a point blank chance.
God they’re bad. Can’t make passes for love nor money.
Nice save by Rodrigue 14 minutes in. He’s the story
Third period summary: Olivier Rodrigue was outstanding, he really showed what he’s made of after a poor start. He stopped 40 of 42, .952 To my eye, Evan Bouchard also played well. The Benson-Marody-Hebig line had chances but couldn’t cash. We’re on to Rogers.
ROOKIE CAMP THOUGHTS
First, let’s all calm down. It was two games and to my eye there were three (Bouchard, Benson, Marody) possible NHL players on the entire roster. From the Calgary side, well done. Their farm system is flourishing and from the lineup who played for Calgary one has to believe Dillon Dube, Glenn Gawdin, Jakob Pelletier, Matthew Phillips, Adam Ruzicka, Dmitry Zavgorodniy, Eetu Tuulola Bankhead and others have a real chance to make it. Edmonton is better in terms of defensive prospects but the gap among forwards is real.
My list of players who helped themselves (Rodrigue, Bouchard, Benson and Marody aside) include Cameron Hebig, who was a buzzsaw and honestly might have been the best player on the top line; Beau Starrett, who made a ghastly play on the second GA but drew a penalty and earned the only assist by an Oilers player in rookie camp; Dylan Wells.
BENSON AND MARODY
We’re probably going to hear a lot about them today, but Marody was injured in game one, had a better game two but couldn’t cash. Benson did many good things (strong board work, physical, great passing) but nothing rhymed. Folks, we’re talking (probably) 30 minutes work for both men. They’ll get a chance to show what they can do in preseason and I expect at least two games for each man. I’ve predicted both will get sent down to Bakersfield and return midseason, but you can’t make any sweeping statements based on these two games.
Buddy had three defensemen he would be familiar with and two of them weren’t firing on all cylinders. I’m thrilled he’s back in Bakersfield for another year. He is a big piece of the puzzle.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. A busy morning kicks off with Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal. We’ll chat about last night’s game and some of the big training camp battles. Kris Abbott from OddsShark will also drop in and we’ll talk NFL Week Two. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!