Holy hell Zack Kassian. I know the Oilers were still figuring out their lineup last night, but the Flames iced its opening night lineup. Kassian was fire.
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- New Lowetide: Joakim Nygard and Gaetan Haas bid for final Oilers spots during a strange game in Calgary
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: An educated guess at the Oilers’ opening-night roster
- Lowetide: Jay Woodcroft’s Bakersfield Condors might be bound for glory
- Jonathan Willis: Ethan Bear, Tomas Jurco outshine the competition in second-to-last Oilers preseason game
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Joakim Nygard managing his anger as he eyes spot on Oilers.
- Jonathan Willis: Assessing the Oilers’ roster as the final positional battles are sorted out
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers cut Evan Bouchard and Shane Starrett. Is Ethan Bear on the cusp of making the team?
- Lowetide: Oilers’ bottom-six forwards, penalty kill shine in loss to Arizona Coyotes
- Lowetide: Injuries and prospects: A brief Oilers history of devastating derailments
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Connor McDavid’s nearing return and four other things we’ve learned from Oilers camp
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: How five months in Kelowna changed Leon Draisaitl’s hockey career
- Lowetide: Matt Benning may be vulnerable to a trade as Ken Holland works to tweak Oilers roster
- 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: 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
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Alex Chiasson prepares to return to scoring form for Edmonton Oilers
- Jonathan Willis: Oilers’ defensive hopes will rest on the new shutdown pair of Darnell Nurse and Adam Larsson
- Jonathan Willis: How much money will Darnell Nurse make on his next NHL contract?
- Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
- Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.
LINE 1 Joakim Nygard-Leon Draisaitl-Alex Chiasson played 3:55 together (all numbers five-on-five), going 1-5 Corsi and 1-3 shots, 0-1 goals.
Joakim Nygard had a terrific game, using that speed to get involved. In a period of about 30 seconds, he sent fine passes to Gaetan Haas and Zack Kassian for Edmonton’s goals. I don’t know that he plays opening night, but suspect he makes the team. Leon Draisaitl was impressive but needed better linemates to make things hum. If healthy, I predict another big season. Alex Chiasson had one great look and played a physical game but didn’t look dangerous.
LINE 2 Tomas Jurco-Gaetan Haas-Sam Gagner played 5:16 together, going 5-1 Corsi and 1-0 shots, no goals. The line should have had more impact but couldn’t hit the damn net.
Tomas Jurco had three shots and one HDSC (high-danger scoring chance) plus at least one gorgeous pass (to Leon). I think he made the team before last night. Gaetan Haas impressed, he was fast, made plays, won battles, faceoffs and scored. Yeah. Sam Gagner didn’t impact the game much at all, but I think he’ll line up on a skill line Wednesday night.
LINE 3 Markus Granlund-Colby Cave-Zack Kassian were together for 4:01 and went 5-0 Corsi, 2-0 shots, no goals and 1-0 HDSC.
Markus Granlund did some good work on the PK, had two shots and took a penalty. I don’t know that he has done enough to be in the opening night lineup. Colby Cave is a player I like but he’s too low event offensively to keep an NHL job. The crazy things is that he gets chances. Zack Kassian played an outstanding game, I was amazed by his speed and ability to get clean shots and good looks. Five shots, four hits, too takeaways. My goodness he was good.
LINE 4 Jujhar Khaira-Riley Sheahan-Josh Archibald went 0-6 Corsi in 5:58, 0-4 shots, no goals and no HDSC.
Jujhar Khaira impressed me again with his aggressiveness, on this night without the puck. Tippett’s style suits him. Riley Sheahan got killed on the dot (two of nine) but two takeaways and some strong PK work in 3:10. Josh Archibald was his usual self, great anticipation and a general pain in the ass to the opponent. I like this line.
PAIRING 1: Darnell Nurse-Adam Larsson went 10-7 Corsi in 13:58 together, 8-4 shots, 1-2 goals and 2-1 HDSC.
Darnell Nurse’s third period errant pass resulted immediately in the winning goal, so that’s not good. I thought Adam Larsson got picked on the first Rieder goal, you’d like to see someone jump into the breach there. I don’t know how long this experiment is going to last, but they can’t tromp around the west and go -2 every night if Edmonton is going to win hockey games.
PAIRING 2: William Lagesson-Ethan Bear were 9-9 Corsi in 8:25, with 2-6 shots, no goals and 2-2 HDSC.
William Lagesson defended well, but the veteran Flames had him chasing the puck a lot. This is to be expected, and Lagesson corrected and won a few pucks, too. Ethan Bear had a similar experience (his battle with Matt Tkachuk in the first period was fun) but his outlet passes saved the pairing and his assist was the only point by a defenseman on the night.
PAIRING 3: Brandon Manning-Matt Benning were 5-5 Corsi in 9:10, with 1-3 shots, no goals and 3-1 HDSC.
Brandon Manning had his best game, but he’s still behind the pack in my opinion. His decisions with the puck require one or two extra Mississippi’s, and that’s not going to work. Matt Benning was quality, he ruined Rittich’s mask late in the game. I like Benning.
Mikko Koskinen stopped 19 of 22, .864. He made five of seven HD stops, I thought his glove let him down on the Lucic goal (he stopped the shot from the point but couldn’t control the rebound). Less upset with the Rieder goals, on the first one the Oilers welcomed the shooter into a dangerous area, and on the second it was bang bang and I believe changed direction. He hasn’t imposed his will on jack diddly this fall, though.
This is the point in the preseason where the coach and general manager review the 10am waiver wire (that should be fun this morning) and then make their moves. For Edmonton, the decisions are a little murky, but one suspects we’ll land on something like Nygard, Jurco and Manning for the final spots. I do think Lagesson has outplayed Manning by several miles.