2019-20 Game One: Canucks at Oilers

by Lowetide

I loved watching the rookies emerge each season. In the fall of 1972, I spent countless hours discovering the rookie crop (here). Bill Barber was exactly what the Flyers needed, a pure scorer. Steve Vickers made the Rangers and played so well Emile Francis traded Dave Balon. Gregg Sheppard, from North Battleford, SK was a top Boston rookie and an outstanding two-way center. The California Golden Seals (my other favourite) had a young man named Stan Weir surprising with his offensive prowess. Murray Wilson was fast, Terry O’Reilly was tough, Tom Bladon had a great shot, Steve Shutt barely played and might have been the best of the whole damned bunch by the time all of their careers were done. Shutt was a wonderful player.

Today, another season begins and I believe this year in Edmonton will be a lot about rookies before the campaign ends. Ethan Bear is in the NHL tonight, and there’s a watershed on the way.

THE ATHLETIC!

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 here.

  • New Lowetide: Ken Holland has a plan for the Oilers’ top prospects.
  • New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: At home with Ken Holland: Packing away the championship memories and preparing for a new challenge
  • Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Q&A: Oscar Klefbom on being a mentor, his strategy for staying healthy and saying goodbye to a friend.
  • Daniel and Jon: Ten bold (and not so bold) predictions for the Oilers this season
  • Lowetide: The Oilers are poised to break a 25-year-old franchise record this season
  • Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi’s fast start leads the way for Oilers prospects as 2019-20 gets underway
  • 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?
  • 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
  • Corey Pronman: Oilers No. 9 farm system.
  • Lowetide: Oilers top 20 prospects summer 2019.

PROJECTED LINEUP

Joakim Nygard-Connor McDavid-James Neal. This line may never take a spin, but it was in existence for a time yesterday at practice. McDavid is a good bet for 40 goals, can Neal and Nygard combine for 25? Let’s set the total for the line at 65 total.

Leon Draisaitl-RNH-Zack Kassian. I like this line a lot, it’s been discussed at length for a long time. Dave Tippett has effectively married forwards 2 and 3 (Leon, Nuge) and forwards 1 and 4 (McDavid, Neal). 40 for Leon, 20 for Nuge, 10 for Kassian? Can this second line score 70 goals?

Markus Granlund-Gaetan Haas-Alex Chiasson. Are there 30 goals on this line?

Jujhar Khaira-Colby Cave-Josh Archibald. Are there 30 goals on this line?

Darnell Nurse-Adam Larsson. I like the idea of this pairing and they did perform well against elites in 2017-18. Can they do it again?

Oscar Klefbom-Ethan Bear. Klefbom is primed to emerge as a big player on this team, they just need to have playoff success and get him famous. Bear is in a great spot, needs to keep it by having an impact.

Kris Russell-Matt Benning. I’m fascinated by this pairing. Can they have success? I think so.

Mike Smith (Mikko Koskinen). My spidey senses say Smith gets tonight’s start, Koskinen the Saturday assignment.

Tomas Jurco, Patrick Russell, Brandon Manning

OILERS IN OCTOBER

  • Oilers in October 20150-1-0, goal differential -2
  • Oilers in October 2016: 1-0-0, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in October 2017: 1-0-0, goal differential +3
  • Oilers in October 2018: 0-1-0, goal differential -3

It’s all or nothing since Connor McDavid arrived. I didn’t like the Euro idea, don’t think teams with issues should be crossing the Atlantic a few days before the season. History recalls the first game of the season rarely ends with a close score during these years.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN OCTOBER

  • At home to: Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 1-1-0) 
  • On the road to: NYI, NJD, NYR, CHI (Expected 2-1-1) 
  • At home to: Philadelphia, Detroit (Expected 1-1-0)
  • On the road to: Winnipeg, Minnesota (Expected 1-1-0)
  • At home to: Washington, Florida (Expected 1-1-0) 
  • On the road to: Detroit, Columbus (Expected 1-1-0)
  • Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games 
  • Current results: 0-0-0, 0 points after no games

The schedule is there for the Oilers to get off to a dandy start to the year. Six of the first 10 games are winnable in my opinion. I have tonight as a loss.

OPENING 23-MAN ROSTER

1 G Mike Smith, 37. Smith started slowly but had a .912 save percentage after the All-Star break. I’m not sure he won the starters job for opening night but Koskinen may have lost it.

2 G Mikko Koskinen, 31. Delivered in October and November (.924) 2018 but struggled afterward. Oilers need him to perform well, Koskinen will get plenty of chances.

3 LD Oscar Klefbom, 26. Four more years at just over $4 million, he’s a grand value contract. Per 82gp: 8-24-32. One of my favourite moments in preseason came on the night Tippett came to the podium postgame and raved about him.

4 LD Darnell Nurse, 24. Great skater, physical. Coverage and passing are not strength, he is going to be a big part of this team’s success or failure in 2019-20. Per 82gp: 7-19-26. 

5 LD Kris Russell, 32. The Oilers appear to be serious about moving him to LH side. A strong season could increase his trade value.

6 LD Brandon Manning, 29. One of the ongoing conversations over the summer was Manning as a No. 7D option. It came true, or at least to open the season.

7 RD Adam Larsson, 26. Shutdown defender is key to any success Oilers may have this year. His on ice five-on-five goal differentials since arriving in Edmonton: 71-55, 48-48, 45-77.

8 RD Ethan Bear, 22. He is one of the major surprises on this roster today. Bear drew rave reviews for his conditioning during camp, and is slated to be the first (among many) who will have a chance to win the No. 2 RHD job this season.

9 RD Matt Benning, 25. He remains on the roster despite trade rumours going back to summer. Benning’s goal differentials by season (five-on-five) since arriving in the NHL: 42-32, 50-47, 43-34.

10 LC Connor McDavid, 22. His speed and skill at full tilt boogie is intoxicating. In your lifetime there will be very few truly unique feats to delight you. This man in a hockey game is one of them. A giant walks among us. Per 82gp: 37-69-106

11 LC Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 26. Per 82gp, he has scored 22-36-58, perfect for a No. 2 center. The issue for Nuge is finding quality linemates who can be effective on a line that will face tough competition.

12 RC Gaetan Haas, 27. RH center who has speed and two-way skills, we don’t know if his skills are a match for the NHL game. He’ll play tonight on the No. 3 line. Does not qualify as a rookie. Oilers are vulnerable here, Haas is a gigantic reach based on the fact his NHL resume is 48 minutes of five-on-five time in preseason.

13 LC Colby Cave, 24. He brings some nice things, including PK ability, faceoff ability and he gets chances in the offensive zone. The problem is he doesn’t score on any of them. Coach Tippett likes him for his utility and looking at the depth chart after Nuge it’s easy to understand.

14 LW Leon Draisaitl, 23. The big man scored 50 goals last season, a feat that puts him on a higher level. Don’t expect another 50, but something close to career average (per 82gp: 29-44-73) is reasonable. A real gem. He might play center tonight.

15 LW Joakim Nygard, 26. He has speed, giving Nygard a major advantage over other hopefuls. His SHL scoring pace (he was among the league leaders) shouldn’t be overlooked. He is getting a major push early in the season. Does not qualify as a rookie.

16 LW Markus Granlund, 26. He’ll be in the Rieder role, PK man who can score some, check some and maybe move from pivot as required. He did very little in preseason.

17 LW Jujhar Khaira, 25. Khaira is a rugged two-way forward who has shown signs of being a solid PK man. Per 82gp: 8-14-22, he has performed well in preseason in a checking role.

18 LW Tomas Jurco, 26. He has had some success (per 82gp: 9-11-20) in the NHL but it has been four years since he was a regular in the league. Looked good in preseason.

19 RW Zack Kassian, 28. Per 82gp as an Oiler, he scored 10-14-24, which is excellent production for a role player but doesn’t warrant No. 1 line work. He has been splendid in preseason.

20 RW James Neal, 31. I think Ken Holland made out like a bandit with this trade, even if it doesn’t work out. I think 16 goals is a reasonable expectation. Neal might play with McDavid tonight, could have a storybook beginning to his career.

21 RWAlex Chiasson, 28. Over the last three seasons, he output per 82gp is 16-15-31, and eight of his 22 goals a year ago came on the power play. He’s a bit of an odd match in this forward group (counting on 22 goals again is unwise). It’ll come down to where he plays and how much power-play time he gets.

22 RW Josh Archibald, 26. One of my favourite offseason additions, Archibald can PK, score goals, skate and play a physical style. No real negatives. 

23 RW Patrick Russell, 26. The numbers and reports from Bakersfield had him playing well in all situations, and we saw it in real life during the preseason. Impressive preseason. Does not qualify as a rookie.

INJURED

1 LC Riley Sheahan, 27. He can win faceoffs and PK, and if Sheahan scores 10 goals during the year Edmonton should consider this a successful signing. Currently in concussion protocol.

2 RD Joel Persson, 25. Along with Bear, he qualifies as a rookie. Persson’s puck moving ability looked solid, and his speed was impressive during preseason. On the night Tippett put him on the No. 1 PP unit, he was hurt before the Oilers got a chance to see him. Of course.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning, TSN 1260. The NHL season begins!! We’re lucky to have Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal as a guest at 10:20. We’ll look ahead to the season, and talk about hockey traditions. Kris Abbott from OddsShark will talk NHL odds and we’ll chat NFL Week 5. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. Talk soon!

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Side

It’s game day, 8:33 a.m., no OP post..

Should we be worried?!

texmex

A rookie RHD…..

Matt Vensel
@mattvensel
·
8m
The #Penguins have recalled John Marino after officially putting Bryan Rust on long-term IR. The impressive young blue-liner has made the team.

Side

texmex:
A rookie RHD…..

Matt Vensel
@mattvensel
·
8m
The #Penguins have recalled John Marino after officially putting Bryan Rust on long-term IR. The impressive young blue-liner has made the team.

It took over 9 months for us to finally find a negative consequence from firing Chiarelli.

Ice Sage

The Tippet era begins and this is the biggest variable for me – bringing defensive soundness to this basically-unchanged crew.
Vancouver’s improved so this game will be my yardstick for seasonal investment (daily LT and Athletic checks notwithstanding).

Goil

Bohologo

Thanks for building and sustaining this community of fans, LT. You consistency is remarkable.

I sure wish I could quit this team, I mean, just give up. But I can’t. Not even after all the years since 1990, not even with a bleak season staring us in the face.

Reminds me of a passage from Nick Hornby’s brilliant Fever Pitch, which captures completely the pathology of taking a child’s game far too seriously:

“Few of us have chosen our clubs, they have simply been presented to us; and so as they slip from Second Division to the Third, or sell their best players, or buy players who you know can’t play, or bash the ball the seven-hundredth time towards a nine foot centre-forward, we simply curse, go home, worry for a fortnight and then come back to suffer all over again.”

We have suffered, we shall suffer once more, but we do it together, thanks to our host!

Kinger_Oil.redux

FUN FACT: at least 10 teams had 20% change in points last year:

YoY point increases:

Habs: + 25
Carolina: +17
NYI + 23
Arizona: +16
Flames +23

YoY point decreases:

Anaheim: -21
Kings: -27
Minny: -18
Devils -26
Philly: -16

– Consensus seems this is not a playoff team, and we don’t have enough secondary scoring and that our goalies aren’t good enough

– Consensus, is too often wrong. Predictions are backwards looking: relying too much on past performance, not recognizing the volatility in Hockey YoY team by team.

– A third of the teams will have significant changes in their fortunes this year

– Tippet three times have taken over coaching a team. His average improvement of teams points in first year is 24 points

– If this team can win some games early, no more First Shot Talbots, they will do damage that many are not seeing. They will get ‘Mo, some kids will emerge, 3C’s is genius, PK gooder.

HUNTER PUT ME DOWN FOR 101 POINTS

GOILERS!!!!

Clarkenstein

Merry Christmas LT!

Wilde

texmex:
A rookie RHD…..

Matt Vensel
@mattvensel
·
8m
The #Penguins have recalled John Marino after officially putting Bryan Rust on long-term IR. The impressive young blue-liner has made the team.

That’s three D back-to-back-to-back in the 2015 draft from picks #117-154.

The draft bump might be real, now it just needs to be paired with competent player personnel.

judgedrude

That photo at the top looks weird. It’s out of balance.

tileguy

judgedrude:
That photo at the top looks weird.It’s out of balance.

Lol, good catch!

OilSafety

Cant help be be optimistic this time of year. Looking forward to seeing the boys on the ice against real competition.

Its a late game and I will be up around 5 am tomorrow with the little ones as per usual and off to work at 6:30am so I am already thinking about the coffee I am going to need in the AM. But win or lose, its going to be great to watch the boys again.

Today’s my 37th birthday. The Oil are the only hobby I have kept for myself since having kids, gave up golf, havent been able to camp, and havent cracked a louis lamour novel in some time. My oldest just started kindergarten last month and #4 is on the way on, due New Years Eve. This season opener is my jubilee, I am going to dig out my bottle of Port, pour a couple fingers and cheer on Connor and the mighty oil. Just not too loudly, cant wake the kids you know.

Thank you Alan for getting us all through a long off season. I will be raising my glass tonight to our Oilers and the community here at Lowetide.ca

Go Oil!

Brantford Boy

Can Neal and Nygard combine for 25? Yes (but you misspelled Jurco with Nygard)
Can this second line score 70 goals? Probably
Are there 30 goals on the 3rd line? Maybe
Are there 30 goals on the 4th line? Doubtful

Why do I feel I’d sleep much better with #12 (RC Gaetan Haas, 27) reading RC Cooper Marody, 22)?

Go Oilers! It’s game day…

HugThePost

I liked Holland’s media avail yesterday. He’s honest, straightforward, well-spoken, and has a plan that his actions so far are in line with. No matter what happens this season at last there seems to be a glimmer of stability and calm at the management level.

N64

Side:
It’s game day, 8:33 a.m., no OP post..

Should we be worried?!

Some R&R on Robidas Island?

Wilde

Kinger_Oil.redux,

Classic move!

Blend predictors together.

My favourite is after 2017-18, people were beaten over the head with 2017-18 TSN/trad hockey media whiffs when those weren’t the same, er, constituencies.

As in, the people who (like me) weren’t predicting a bounce back after 2017-18 are absolutely also in the group that isn’t predicting a bounce back this year.

I’m betting on blown goaltending, slightly less 97/29 offense, replicated PP opportunities and scoring rates, less PK opportunities with replicated scoring-against rates, and a slight uptick in ‘bottom-six’ scoring from 1.21/60 to 1.40/60.

If I’m wrong (by a lot) it’ll be from magical goaltending (esp on the PK), more powerplay opportunities awarded (that’ll be fucking wild) and slight increase in PP scoring, Bear being an actual top-4D to the point of being able to play with Nurse when 25-6 gets broken up, and Kassian/Jurco sputtering out mid-season resulting in a Benson call up that goes swimmingly.

Bling

I’ll be watching to see how Nygard and Haas acquit themselves.

Nygard can definitely skate with 97 (or at least, close enough) and we started to see him make some plays with skilled linemates.

Haas got stronger and stronger as pre-season went on. Good vision and plus speed. Can he take another step as the season gets underway? 30 points from him would be great.

The other thing: break-outs. Drai made comments about the systems not changing much, but the difference moving the puck up the middle of the ice was obvious to me in pre-season. Keep doing it!!!!

hunter1909

FINAL NOTICE!!!

Hunter1909’s Official 2019-20 Death March™

Entries welcome between now and the first puck drop of the 2019-20 season(Tonight!!!)

Here’s how you play: Guess how many points the Oilers get in the regular season.

That’s it!

Tie break: How many regular season goals does JP score for his new Finnish team?

freeconnor

hunter1909,

Hunter,

Please put me down for 72 points and 17 goals.

Thanks for running this again. It’s always a lot of fun!

OilSafety

hunter1909,

Hunter

Put me down for 94 points and 24 goals for JP.

Thanks

dustrock

This is where the fun begins.

Remember last year’s October when the Oilers beat NYR, Winnipeg, Boston, Washington, Nashville, Chicago and ended up 6-4-1 with 13 points in what was a horrendously difficult month?

The season sure went downhill after that.

So, I ask myself every year, and fail every year, to take the long view, don’t get too high or too low for any single game.

Hope everyone enjoys.

Kinger_Oil.redux

Wilde,

– A little bit of gaming the system. I would probably go with a lot you say but you never know and consensus doesn’t win the prize.

– We just don’t know so I take optimistic less likely but entirely plausible when backwards looking.

kashirat

hunter1909,

82 and 13 ?

Kinger_Oil.redux

hunter1909,

101 points

14 goals.

LadiesloveSmid

Have a game myself tonight at 9PM so I’ll be missing the opener. Feel a bit blessed.

Go F’ing Oil

Tokyo Oil

hunter1909,

Hunter,

92 and 12

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

hags9k

Krazy eyes with 2 goals tonight, Koskinen rock solid. McDavid empty netter 4-2 Oil.

GOILERS!!!!!

JimmyV1965

This is going to be an interesting year. I want to be optimistic, but there’s so many holes on the team the playoffs seem like a distant dream. I’ll be thrilled if somehow one of the young guys can fill the gaping hole at 2RD. GO OIL!!!

OilFire

judgedrude:
That photo at the top looks weird.It’s out of balance.

What!!!!??!! I wildly disagree and say this photo is very balanced. Unless *someone* can post a picture illustrating perfect balance to prove me wrong, I’m definitely right.

ArmchairGM

Side:
It’s game day, 8:33 a.m., no OP post..

Should we be worried?!

I think he’s taking a break. Whether forced to do so or not I don’t know, but here we are.

We haven’t seen him since this: https://lowetide.ca/2019/09/29/the-waiting-2/#comment-865244

Jordan

If this team is going to make the playoffs, they need to do a hell of a lot better than tread water and get 15 points as LT is projecting as reasonable. Playoff teams beat the weak teams, Beat most of the middle teams, compete against the real contenders.

I see the Oilers as Middle teams this year, so to put them on a playoff pace, they need to do the following:

At home to: Vancouver, Los Angeles (Expected: 1-1-0)
I think these are both games the Oilers should win. Neither team is especially strong this year. (2-0-0)
On the road to: NYI, NJD, NYR, CHI (Expected 2-1-1)
Jersey and the Rags are going to to be hard outs, and the Oilers will be in tough with the Isles and Chicago. If they got 1-2-1, I think they’re doing well)
At home to: Philadelphia, Detroit (Expected 1-1-0)
Both of these teams can be had – the Oilers should go 2-0-0
On the road to: Winnipeg, Minnesota (Expected 1-1-0)
Once again, both of these teams can be had (2-0-0)
At home to: Washington, Florida (Expected 1-1-0)
These teams should beat the Oilers handily. (0-2-0)
On the road to: Detroit, Columbus (Expected 1-1-0)
Oilers should win these (2-0-0)
Overall expected result: 7-6-1, 15 points in 14 games
Projected results for a Playoff team’s pace (9-4-1)

GOilers!

rogue

99 and 9, Hunter

Darth Tu

dustrock:
This is where the fun begins.

Remember last year’s October when the Oilers beat NYR, Winnipeg, Boston, Washington, Nashville, Chicago and ended up 6-4-1 with 13 points in what was a horrendously difficult month?

The season sure went downhill after that.

So, I ask myself every year, and fail every year, to take the long view, don’t get too high or too low for any single game.

Hope everyone enjoys.

I like your style Anakin. We should try spinning too, that’s a good trick.

If only Klefbom hadn’t went down for so long – that was where the wheels fell off and lack of defensive depth killed us. One year on I feel a lot happier about the D-core. That alone should help steady the ship for the year.

Bag of Pucks

Alright Oilers, at our signal, unleash hell.

BONE207

Side:
It’s game day, 8:33 a.m., no OP post..

Should we be worried?!

Worried? No Op this, no Op that.
What about BONE207?
I have feelings too.

Looking at those numbers of Larsson’s, wow. I hope ge can rebound from last season. Hopefully it’s more him than goalies.

Colby Cave scores tonight…Bookije it!!!

OilSafety

OilFire,

I hope one day…. one day

Darth Tu

BONE207: Worried? No Op this, no Op that.
What about BONE207?
I have feelings too.

Looking at those numbers of Larsson’s, wow. I hope ge can rebound from last season. Hopefully it’s more him than goalies.

Colby Cave scores tonight…Bookije it!!!

Are we going to have a Colby Cave sweepstakes like the Rieder sweepstakes last year? Or would that possibly curse Cave….

Willing on Rieder to score was one of my highlights of last year.

treevojo

hunter1909,

Put me in for a Gretzky for points and a Kurri for goals.

jm363561

judgedrude:
That photo at the top looks weird.It’s out of balance.

A bit like the Oilers roster. It’s called symbolism I think.

Bag of Pucks

As with every team, this year’s fortunes ride on the goaltending.

Why does it feel like neither Smith or Koskinen will be the answer? I’m hoping there’s a Jordan Binnington type jewel in the minors just waiting to be unearthed.

vinotintazo

hunter1909,

81 pts for the Oil.
9 goals for JP.

BONE207

OilSafety:
Cant help be be optimistic this time of year. Looking forward to seeing the boys on the ice against real competition.

Its a late game and I will be up around 5 am tomorrow with the little ones as per usual and off to work at 6:30am so I am already thinking about the coffee I am going to need in the AM. But win or lose, its going to be great to watch the boys again.

Today’s my 37th birthday. The Oil are the only hobby I have kept for myself since having kids, gave up golf, havent been able to camp, and havent cracked a louis lamour novel in some time. My oldest just started kindergarten last month and #4 is on the way on, due New Years Eve. This season opener is my jubilee, I am going to dig out my bottle of Port, pour a couple fingers and cheer on Connor and the mighty oil. Just not too loudly, cant wake the kids you know.

Thank you Alan for getting us all through a long off season. I will be raising my glass tonight to our Oilers and the community here at Lowetide.ca

Go Oil!

Happy birthday & good luck with the rest. It’s a hard life but it passes quicker than we realize. Or maybe it kills us…?

ArmchairGM

hags9k:
Krazy eyes with 2 goals tonight, Koskinen rock solid.McDavid empty netter 4-2 Oil.

GOILERS!!!!!

Haven’t you read Down Goes Brown today? Everyone who has knows that it’ll be Smith that scores the empty netter…

Jordan

hunter1909,

Hi Hunter,

Please put me down for 83 points for the Oilers and 31 goals for Jesse.

Here’s hoping they’re a playoff team and someone else wins.

judgedrude

hunter1909,

99 & 17 … they seem like good numbers.

Edit: Treevojo – I didn’t see your entry before writing, but I’ll concede the timestamp when we win.

Pouzar

While injuries suck I am glad to see Haas getting a chance. I think there is a player there.

Shane

A buddy of mine won some tickets from a bar and asked me to tag along. So I’ll be going to my first season opener tonight!

LT, thanks for getting us all through another long(too long) offseason. I appreciate the fantastic community you’ve built here. This is my favorite part of the internet. Thank you!

Hunter, thanks for doing the March again.
93 Oil points
14 JP goals

Enjoy the game everyone!
GOILERS!

Coiler

Thank LT, for helping us through the long summer and into this very,very interesting season for the Oilers. Hope springs eternal at the beginning of every season and this one should be no different.

The team is what it is and at least we can say with certainty that Holland is no Chiarelli. That fact alone should put everyone in a better frame of mind for the future. The pundits and most fans have been writing off this year’s edition of the Oilers. My hope is that McJesus, Tippett and Co. pull a few rabbits out of hat, throw the odd black cat out there, and pull of few horseshoes out of their behinds to surprise some of the teams out there and show a good level of hungriness and competitiveness. Enough so that when the Edmonton Oilers come into town, it’s not a forgone conclusion that they’re going to lose.

Go Oilers.

jtblack

OilSafety:
Cant help be be optimistic this time of year. Looking forward to seeing the boys on the ice against real competition.

Its a late game and I will be up around 5 am tomorrow with the little ones as per usual and off to work at 6:30am so I am already thinking about the coffee I am going to need in the AM. But win or lose, its going to be great to watch the boys again.

Today’s my 37th birthday. The Oil are the only hobby I have kept for myself since having kids, gave up golf, havent been able to camp, and havent cracked a louis lamour novel in some time. My oldest just started kindergarten last month and #4 is on the way on, due New Years Eve. This season opener is my jubilee, I am going to dig out my bottle of Port, pour a couple fingers and cheer on Connor and the mighty oil. Just not too loudly, cant wake the kids you know.

Thank you Alan for getting us all through a long off season. I will be raising my glass tonight to our Oilers and the community here at Lowetide.ca

Go Oil!

Happy Birthday !!

That’s why Sports are so great, they allow us to be a part of something beside daily chores.

LET’S GO OILERS!!!

dustrock

Anyone going tonight let us know if they’ve done anything to improve the live experience at Rogers.

OilSafety

BONE207,

We’re enjoying it while it lasts, everyone we talk to tells us it goes by too quickly. I dont know if my wife feels that way as she stays home with the kiddos every day though.

That said, I think #4 is the last. Even a minivan struggles to hold more than that, especially when they are all still in car seats.

This hockey season will find me trying to teach my third little one how to cheer for the Oil. The 5 year old and 3 year old already have the Lets Go Oilers chant and clap down pat 🙂