The Edmonton Oilers evened its record at 2-2-0 last night, with two strong periods and a six-goal barrage against the villains from Calgary. What did we learn? A lot, and not much, as it turned out.
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- New Lowetide: Three players who helped their Oilers hopes and three who didn’t do enough to separate in Edmonton’s fourth preseason game
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Dreadful showing means several Oilers players are on the chopping block with cuts looming
- Jonathan Willis: How quickly must the Oilers’ top AHL prospects claim NHL jobs before they become suspect?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: McDavid and more: Five thoughts through the first week of Oilers camp
- Lowetide: Why Kailer Yamamoto’s delayed training camp may benefit his Oilers career
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Brandon Manning on how his contract is hurting him, proving his worth at camp and being a mentor
- Jonathan Willis: Four players who helped, three who hurt their Oilers hopes in Edmonton’s second preseason game
- 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 Joakim Nygard-Leon Draisaitl-Zack Kassian played 11:13 together (all numbers five-on-five) and went 10-3 Corsi, 5-0 shots, 1-0 goals and 4-1 high danger scoring chances (HDSC).
Joakim Nygard probably won an NHL job last night. He scored a goal, five shots and four HDSC’s according to NTS. His speed adds a look this team badly needs. Impressive game.
Leon Draisaitl had some cobwebs early (clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee) but when the big train got rolling it was clear the track time. Outstanding final 30 from a dynamite player.
Zack Kassian scored a wonderful goal (okay, Gillies was struggling) and picked up an assist as well. If Kassian has turned some kind of offensive corner at this point in his career, and could push 15-20 goals annually, he’s going to be richer in his 30’s than he was in his 20’s.
LINE 2 Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald played 10:13 together, 4-4 Corsi, 1-1 shots, no goals and no HDSC.
Jujhar Khaira brings size and aggression to the line, but he didn’t accomplish a lot five-on-five on the evening. He did impact the game with 2:10 on the PK.
Riley Sheahan won four of nine faceoffs at five-on-five and spent 1:10 on the PK. Tippett is going to use him a lot on that 3-4 line rotation this year, Oilers fans should hope he can score 10 goals in the role.
Josh Archibald is an excellent skater and he plays a physical game. That’s a good skill set for the Oilers on this line. His only shot of the game came shorthanded (1:18). This line did a good job of shot suppression, that will be their role all year long.
LINE 3 Anton Burdasov-Ryan Nugent Hopkins-Sam Gagner. In 9:16 five-on-five, line went 9-1 Corsi, 5-1 shots, 0-1 goals and 0-1 HDSC.
Anton Burdasov is an intriguing hockey player. He’s big, can skate, has a howitzer for a shot, and can pass the puck. NO IDEA what he is, but first impressions were good.
RNH was quality. He scored a quality SH goal, went 5-4 on the dot and played 1:46 on the PK. It’s easy to look past him with 97 and 29 on the team, but Nuge is an important part of this team.
Sam Gagner had a good night, scoring a goal and adding two assists. Four shots, 2-2 on the dot. Tippett’s using him as a top six forward, and as long as the outscoring continues (he’s at 76 percent five-on-five shot differential in 29 five-on-five minutes this fall, with a 4-1 goal differential) he’ll be fine. Tippett appears able to draw quality work from him, mind these are early days.
LINE 4 Alex Chiasson-Colby Cave-Patrick Russell played 7:46, 11-5 Corsi for and 8-2 shots. The line went 1-0 goals, 2-0 HDSC and could be a line opening night.
Alex Chiasson scored a goal on a long-range tip, had three shots on goal and continued what has been a quietly effective preseason. I like him for the bottom-six and credit to Tippett he hasn’t tried to shoehorn Chiasson on to a skill line.
Colby Cave had another good game, picked up an assist, won faceoffs and played a strong defensive game. At this point Gaetan Haas would have to do something fairly special to win the job.
Patrick Russell has done everything in his power to win a job with the Oilers, textbook training camp. Had a great look via a Chiasson pass to the slot later in the game. I think he might stick.
PAIRING 1 Darnell Nurse-Adam Larsson played 19:40 together (all numbers five-on-five), going 13-10 Corsi, 7-6 shots, 3-0 goals and 2-2 HDSC.
Darnell Nurse had two assists, two shots on goal and was skating well all night long. He also had three giveaways and that’s too many for a shutdown defender.
Adam Larsson had one assist and a shot, he seems more mobile and willing to wheel up the ice, and his passing is better to my eye a year ago. The big question on this line surrounds outlet passing, if Larsson can improve over his own past it would be a huge help.
PAIRING 2 William Lagesson-Ethan Bear played 9:19 together, 9-3 Corsi, no goals, 6-0 shots and no HDSC. Tippett put the pairing together after a disastrous start (Lagesson-Bouchard, Manning-Bear).
William Lagesson struggled early, but settled down and had a good night overall. One of his main advantages over the rest of the group (imo) is Tippett’s confidence in him on the PK. Lagesson has played 3:40 on the 4-on-5 in the first two games, Bear and Bouchard aren’t close to that level in preseason.
Ethan Bear also had early issues, but settled down and delivered a strong final 40. His two assists are a positive and his overall camp performance quality. The only question is will it be enough, and that answer is yet to come.
PAIRING 3 Brandon Manning-Evan Bouchard played 8:19 together, 7-0 shots, no goals but 4-0 HDSC. Impressive time together and a mountain of credit to Tippett for flipping pairs.
Brandon Manning had two giveaways and some wobbly coverage last night, but he and Bouchard had a strong 8 minutes together. A monster hit early, lots of wobble in coverage when paired with Bear. People keep saying he has to go to the minors to save cap, but when you replace him, even with an inexpensive option, the overall savings are very small. I don’t think he’ll make the team, but let’s be fair this won’t be a lot about cap savings.
Evan Bouchard struggled early and then settled in. He wasn’t as much a factor as in previous showings, but the role he was playing was more about defending than scoring on the power play. He was too passive in some areas, but I like his coverage on the rush and he isn’t shy along the boards. My guess is they send him down but this is going to be close.
Mikko Koskinen let in a soft goal and then played well, stopping 18 of 20, .900. He made some good stops and hopefully everyone settles down and we see the Koskinen-Smith tandem at work next week.
Early days, but this Oilers team is doing well in possession. Using Natural Stat Trick and Corsi for five-on-five, this is how Tippett’s Oilers are working out:
- Game 1 v. Winnipeg: 61-37 62.2 percent
- Game 2 v. Vancouver: 72-30 70.6 percent
- Game 3 v. Vancouver: 33-35 48.5 percent
- Game 4 v. Calgary: 46-29 61.3 percent
Oilers Corsi for five-on-five after four games: 212-131, 61.8 percent.