The Edmonton Oilers iced an outmanned team in Vancouver last night, in a way you can see how things are going from games where the lesser lights are in the deep end.
The Oilers are looking for grinders and puck movers and penalty killers and centers, plus a few more things. They got more answers on the coast, and there are names emerging.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of The Athletic, we are celebrating our 2-year anniversary this week. To mark the occasion, you can get 40% off subscriptions until Sept. 19 here.
- New Jonathan Willis: Four players who helped, three who hurt their Oilers hopes in Edmonton’s second preseason game
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How an offseason adding more pop in his stick and skates has James Neal primed for first Oilers season
- Lowetide: A big night for Oilers defencemen Joel Persson, William Lagesson and Evan Bouchard
- Lowetide: Preseason 2019-20: The Oilers’ journey to respectability begins
- Lowetide: Handicapping Oilers prospect progress: The development of Ethan Bear, Caleb Jones and William Lagesson
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Eight key questions for the Oilers to solve at training camp
- Jonathan Willis: Predicting the winners of the Oilers’ top-six and top-nine forward jobs out of camp
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: In, out or on the bubble: Breaking down positional battles at Oilers camp
- New Lowetide: Evan Bouchard and the Calder Trophy: The Oilers’ pursuit of the elusive rookie award
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Alex Chiasson prepares to return to scoring form for Edmonton Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Kyle Brodziak defied the odds, and then the Oilers, to carve out a significant NHL career
- 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: 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?
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Oilers coach Dave Tippett might have to take drastic action in order to find a second outscoring line in 2019-20
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
LINE 1: Tomas Jurco-Cooper Marody-Patrick Russell. They played just 5:22 together, went 9-3 Corsi, 2-0 goals and 1-1 HDSC. All numbers five-on-five via Natural Stat Trick.
Cooper Marody looked tentative early. Poor passing decision on the five-on-three, he was also late for the puck on the forecheck and outlets. Missed opportunity to impress in the first 20. Then, things clicked. He got lucky on the Jurco goal and was flat out brilliant on the Russell tally. His skating was not strong in this game, that’s a concern, but he played well enough to get another game.
Patrick Russell is from Denmark. He is 26. He is coming from a long way back but my goodness there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for him. He had another strong game, scoring and picking up an assist. The goal was a beauty. He works so hard every shift, I know that’s cliche but it’s also true. Turns out, busting your ass is a good thing.
Tomas Jurco scored a nice goal, quick reaction and had a nice assist as well. Based on the other left wing hopefuls in the first two games, his stock is probably rising. He’s a rangy fellow, bigger than I remember. He may make this team as a starter. 3 HDSC to lead the team.
LINE 2: Tyler Benson-Ryan McLeod-Cameron Hebig. A line with plus speed and skill, I was impressed. Played 10:58 together, went 17-3 Corsi, 0-0 goals and 3-0 HDSC. How on earth did McLeod miss that third period chance? Goal post and out. Same as it ever was. Led all lines with nine defensive zone faceoffs.
Tyler Benson had a fine evening, he’s aggressive and anticipates well, plus has creative instincts and can pass the puck. I don’t know if he’s going to make the team, but hes impressive. Had 2 HDSC.
Ryan McLeod’s speed stands out on this Oilers team and you can see why the organization likes him. On the other hand, he needs to post offense, and last night was another example of not cashing. 12-3 faceoffs is terrific. I think he might see the NHL at some point this season.
Cameron Hebig took a high sticking penalty against the phenom Hughes early. He played well showing excellent speed and making good decisions. I like him. He might score 20+ in Bakersfield this season.
LINE 3: Joe Gambardella-Brad Malone-Anthony Peluso. Played 8:58 together, went 10-6 Corsi, 0-1 goals and 0-1 HDSC. They were physical and aggressive on the forecheck.
Joe Gambardella did a nice job on the forecheck, No turnovers but he hurried some outlets. Brad Malone had two shots and a takeaway, and was 11-3 on the dot. Anthony Peluso had a good game, he was irritating the hell out of the Canucks all night. He had five shots.
LINE 4: Markus Granlund-Colby Cave-Josh Currie. Played 6:10 together, 6-5 Corsi, 1-2 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-2 HDSC.
Markus Granlund had two shots but I didn’t see a whole lot from him in this game. Colby Cave had one shot, one HDSC and was 13-4 on the dot. He needs a night like Russell’s to get on the radar offensively. Josh Currie took the early penalty and didn’t show a lot.
PAIRING ONE: Darnell Nurse-Adam Larsson. Duo went 22-9 Corsi in 17:15, 11-5 shots, 0-1 goals and 1-1 HDSC.
Darnell Nurse skated miles as always, he was physical and transported the puck well. The issues (passing, shot from long range five-on-three when a pass was the better option, turnover with an empty net) are the finesse offensive elements that Nurse has to improve in order to make the next level.
Adam Larsson was more involved offensively. Three shots, several solid passes, he looked good to me. Outside speed was an issue once, against a burner, but overall I liked his game.
PAIRING TWO: Dmitri Samorukov-Evan Bouchard. Played 14:48 together, 21-7 Corsi for, 0-1 goals and 1-2 high danger. Both rookies showed flashes, clearly both men are quality.
Dmitri Samorukov showed the full range of his abilities, moving the puck well, passing and a couple of shots. He can close a gap in a heartbeat, is very physical and offers an impressive size/speed combination.
Evan Bouchard continues to impress with his intelligent play. He passed well, defended well, and save for being down a quart in the third period his game was rock solid. A little slow on the Starrett rebound that Pettersson cashed, but rookie blue make mistakes.
PAIRING THREE: Brandon Manning and Ethan Bear spent 14:28 together, 17-13 Corsi for, 9-7 shots, 2-0 goals and 3-2 HDSC. High event evening for the pairing.
Ethan Bear definitely looks faster, made some impressive headman passes and led the rush a few times, too. He’ll get more chances this week, I liked his game but he has to get noticed. That means a goal, great chance, a couple of assists or hammering someone into next week.
Brandon Manning got noticed with a filthy hit on Jake Virtanen. Wow. Wildly unpopular among Oilers fans. Based on results and circumstances, the idea of his being 7D is not outrageous.
Shane Starrett stopped 20 of 23, .870 save percentage.
Shane Starrett had a good first period, he didn’t play the PS well. In the second period, he was money. Gave up two goals, both of the HD variety, the only one he had a chance on was Pettersson (let out a hella rebound).
Looks like Edmonton has a late addition to the training camp roster. Burdasov is 28, 6.02 and 227 and carries an NHLE of 37.7, which compares favorably to Joakim Nygard (32.0) and Gaetan Haas (26.6).
I’m fine with the move, but PTO’s are like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re going to get and this late in the process all the good ones are probably gone. By the description of Burdasov, he’s a big strong bull of a man with a good shot and lacking elite speed. I keep hoping for another Jaroslav Pouzar, who was a steamroller with a Jofa hat.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
A fun morning for me, TSN1260 at 10. We have a preseason game and a big Euro winger coming in on a PTO. Ideally, I’d invite Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal to talk about it, and as it turns out his regular spot comes up at 10:20 this morning. Kris Abbott from OddsShark also joins the fun and we’ll chat NFL QB injuries and soccer’s VAR.