Bakersfield Condors 2019-20: Game One at home to San Diego Gulls

Most, not all, NHL players have an AHL resume. Among current Edmonton Oilers who were chosen by the team at the draft, only Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins among the high picks went straight to the NHL without AHL time.

Tonight, one of the strongest rosters in team history debuts in Bakersfield, California. Like Buck Owens 60 years ago, something special might be building in Kern County, USA.

THE POSSIBLE LINEUP

  • Tyler Benson-Cooper Marody-Josh Currie
  • Joe Gambardella-Brad Malone-Kailer Yamamoto
  • Kirill Maksimov-Ryan McLeod-Sam Gagner
  • Nolan Vesey-Luke Esposito- Cameron Hebig
  • Keegan Lowe-Evan Bouchard
  • Jake Kulevich-Caleb Jones
  • Dmitri Samorukov-Vincent Desharnais
  • Starrett (Stuart Skinner)

PRESEASON SCORING

REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS

Shane Starrett. He was a major part of the Condors success last season, it’s reasonable to expect him to build on that and (at some point) make his NHL debut. Stuart Skinner RE: Emerge as a legit starting AHL goaltending option.

Evan Bouchard scored eight points in eight AHL playoff games, but didn’t play big minutes. Reasonable should be top 4D minutes in Bakersfield, a feature role on the power play and a point-per-game during the regular season. I also think NHL time is a reasonable expectation.

Dmitri Samorukov had a breakout season in the OHL, so finding reasonable is difficult. I’m going to say that establishing himself as a solid AHL regular, with a positive even-strength goal differential, is reasonable.

Cooper Marody rocked the casbah in year one, I think reasonable expectations should include 25+ NHL games and over a point-per-game in the AHL.

Tyler Benson should increase his point total and demonstrably improve his goal total in Bakersfield. I’ll say 12 goals and 40 points in 34 games before getting the NHL call.

Kailer Yamamoto might be the most interesting player in this group. He scored 10 goals in 27 games a year ago, I think 25 goals based on a 68-game season in reasonable. No NHL games expected, if he earns them that’s a positive arrow.

Ryan McLeod has terrific speed and two-way acumen, so his emerging as an AHL regular is reasonable. Offensively, 25+ points over 68 games seems reasonable (assuming he gets a regular shift).

Kirill Maksimov is a terrific goal-scorer and Jay Woodcroft’s ability to unlock rookies was a key to Benson, Marody and their seasons. He’s a scorer, but overestimating goal scorers is the easiest mistake in reasonable expectations. I’ll say 20 goals in 68 games for Maksimov. That’s a handsome rookie total and 25 percent more than Benson, who was projected to score 14 by NHLE metrics (he scored 15).

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82 Responses to "Bakersfield Condors 2019-20: Game One at home to San Diego Gulls"

  1. Ozoil says:

    I know it’s early but maksimov has me cautiously excited. He hasn’t faced regular ahl or nhl talent yet, but so far he has done nothing to disappoint in what I’ve seen and read. He doesn’t get much exposure outside of here but I think that could change by Christmas.

  2. SVR says:

    Watching Jets vs Devils and notice Gusev wearing 97. A quick google search shows he wore the same number back in Russia as well. I don’t like it

  3. Lowetide says:

    I feel confident in the AHL coach for the first time since Nelson and with Woodcroft he seems to use the kids right out of the box. Bodes well for Maksimov and Samorukov.

  4. Nit64 says:

    SVR:
    Watching Jets vs Devils and notice Gusev wearing 97. A quick google search shows he wore the same number back in Russia as well. I don’t like it

    Wilf Paiement and Rick Dudley say hi.

    https://russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2019/07/30/viral-tweet-suggests-its-disrespectful-for-nikita-gusev-to-wear-connor-mcdavids-number/

    As with 99 I think eventually there will only be one 97 in the NHL. Gusev is a 1992.

  5. Ozoil says:

    Lowetide:
    I feel confident in the AHL coach for the first time since Nelson and with Woodcroft he seems to use the kids right out of the box. Bodes well for Maksimov and Samorukov.

    Amen to that.

  6. ArmchairGM says:

    Ozoil:
    I know it’s early but maksimov has me cautiously excited.He hasn’t faced regular ahl or nhl talent yet, but so far he has done nothing to disappoint in what I’ve seen and read.He doesn’t get much exposure outside of here but I think that could change by Christmas.

    His preseason was excellent. I don’t expect him to score 2 P/GP going forward, but half that would be very nice.

  7. OriginalPouzar says:

    So excited for the Condors’ season opener tonight.

    AHL TV is free for the weekend and I encourage all to watch.

    Listening to Woody yesterday, this is what we’ll see (although it will change with Lagesson recalled to Edmonton):

    Benson/Marody/Currie
    Joe G./Malone/Yamamoto
    Maksimov/McLeod/Gagner
    Vesey/Essposito/Hebig

    Lagesson/Bouchard
    Lowe/Jones
    Samorukov/Kulevich

    Starrett
    Skinner

    What a stacked team.

    ———————

    With Lagesson up, I think we’ll see:

    Jones/Bouchard
    Samorukov/Kulevich
    Lowe/Desharnais

  8. OriginalPouzar says:

    I like the fact the Wody is putting the veteran skill forward, Sad Gagner, with the raw rookie high potential pros.

  9. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ozoil:
    I know it’s early but maksimov has me cautiously excited.He hasn’t faced regular ahl or nhl talent yet, but so far he has done nothing to disappoint in what I’ve seen and read.He doesn’t get much exposure outside of here but I think that could change by Christmas.

    I believe he and McLeod will be regulars on the PK as well.

    Maskimov is more than a “shooter”, he is a good 2-way player with higher end PK ability (in junior) and, importantly, a great worth ethic (from accounts).

  10. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    I like the fact the Wody is putting the veteran skill forward, Sad Gagner, with the raw rookie high potential pros.

    Sad Gagner. That could catch on.

  11. Side says:

    Lowetide: Sad Gagner. That could catch on.

    I wish Hudsons transcription software’s “New Jeans Hopkins” typo caught on.

    Always a big fan of New Jeans.

  12. ArmchairGM says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    So excited for the Condors’ season opener tonight.

    AHL TV is free for the weekend and I encourage all to watch.

    Listening to Woody yesterday, this is what we’ll see (although it will change with Lagesson recalled to Edmonton):

    Benson/Marody/Currie
    Joe G./Malone/Yamamoto
    Maksimov/McLeod/Gagner
    Vesey/Essposito/Hebig

    Lagesson/Bouchard
    Lowe/Jones
    Samorukov/Kulevich

    Starrett
    Skinner

    What a stacked team.

    ———————

    With Lagesson up, I think we’ll see:

    Jones/Bouchard
    Samorukov/Kulevich
    Lowe/Desharnais

    Three AHL 1st lines. Nice.

  13. Pouzar says:

    Condor Hockey!!!!
    WOOT!!!

    Free is my favorite price!!!!

  14. unca miltie says:

    Sad Gagner is kinda appropriate for his time in the A.
    just bought my ticket for Stockton game in two weeks. should be fun. .
    Hope he Condor roster is close to the same as tonight

  15. Pouzar says:

    SVR:
    Watching Jets vs Devils and notice Gusev wearing 97. A quick google search shows he wore the same number back in Russia as well. I don’t like it

    Little known fact, if Lucic were still here that wouldn’t be.

  16. pts2pndr says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    So excited for the Condors’ season opener tonight.

    AHL TV is free for the weekend and I encourage all to watch.

    Listening to Woody yesterday, this is what we’ll see (although it will change with Lagesson recalled to Edmonton):

    Benson/Marody/Currie
    Joe G./Malone/Yamamoto
    Maksimov/McLeod/Gagner
    Vesey/Essposito/Hebig

    Lagesson/Bouchard
    Lowe/Jones
    Samorukov/Kulevich

    Starrett
    Skinner

    What a stacked team.

    ———————

    With Lagesson up, I think we’ll see:

    Jones/Bouchard
    Samorukov/Kulevich
    Lowe/Desharnais

    Good to see you back OP.🤗

  17. Pouzar says:

    Nit64: Wilf Paiement and Rick Dudley say hi.

    https://russianmachineneverbreaks.com/2019/07/30/viral-tweet-suggests-its-disrespectful-for-nikita-gusev-to-wear-connor-mcdavids-number/

    As with 99 I think eventually there will only be one 97 in the NHL. Gusev is a 1992.

    Remember when Burnaby Joe wore 88?

  18. Pouzar says:

    Full Disclosure: I bet on the Jets tonight. #JustBusiness

  19. Pouzar says:

    OriginalPouzar: I believe he and McLeod will be regulars on the PK as well.

    Maskimov is more than a “shooter”, he is a good 2-way player with higher end PK ability (in junior) and, importantly, a great worth ethic (from accounts).

    Jere Lehtinen?

    I wouldn’t be mad at Radek Dvorak

  20. Pouzar says:

    No LT…the Jets cannot be party to a boring game.

  21. Lowetide says:

    Pouzar:
    No LT…the Jets cannot be party to a boring game.

    Such an entertaining team.

  22. Ozoil says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    How do you sign up for the free week? Can’t find it.

  23. Ozoil says:

    ArmchairGM: His preseason was excellent. I don’t expect him to score 2 P/GP going forward,but half that would be very nice.

    I’d be happy with. 75/pg

  24. Pouzar says:

    Ozoil:
    OriginalPouzar,

    How do you sign up for the free week?Can’t find it.

    Just go theahl.com

    and a pop up comes up for it

  25. OriginalPouzar says:

    Lines for
    @Condors

    Gambardella-Malone-Yamamoto
    Benson-Marody-Currie
    Maksimov-McLeod-Gagner
    Hebig-Esposito-Peluso
    Lowe-Jones
    Kulevich-Bouchard
    Deshamais-Samorikov
    Starrett

  26. OriginalPouzar says:

    Pouzar: Jere Lehtinen?

    I wouldn’t be mad at Radek Dvorak

    Yup, I’ll take either of those.

    I, of course, have hope that this player will just “pop” – get a chance, gel with Drai, and score 30 plus with that shot. Its not likely, not at all, but that shit happens to other organizations – one day something like that will happen with this org.

  27. npanciroli says:

    Condors forward lines are pretty crazy.

  28. OriginalPouzar says:

    Ozoil:
    OriginalPouzar,

    How do you sign up for the free week?Can’t find it.

    I don’t know – I think you just sign up for an account – don’t pay for a membership but just sign up.

    I just renewed my membership from last years – $60 for every Condor game – USD, i think it converted to $83 CDN on my credit card.

  29. OriginalPouzar says:

    npanciroli:
    Condors forward lines are pretty crazy.

    They are likely to get another, potentially Haas, when Sheahan is activated for Tuesday (hopefully) – s/t no additional injuries.

  30. OriginalPouzar says:

    Stolarz starting for the Gulls…….

    Condors with an early chance Yamamoto puts one in front for a bit of a scramble (on the heels of Jones shooting wide on semi 2 on 1.

  31. OriginalPouzar says:

    LT, do you feel that a full PPG is reasonable for Bouchard?

    I was thinking 0.8 PPG or so.

    Do many (any) d-men go PPG, even those with elite offensive talent?

  32. OmJo says:

    OriginalPouzar: I don’t know – I think you just sign up for an account – don’t pay for a membership but just sign up.

    I just renewed my membership from last years – $60 for every Condor game – USD, i think it converted to $83 CDN on my credit card.

    Do you get an archive? So if you miss some games you can go back and watch them at a later time?

    I’m assuming no, but figured it was worth an ask.

  33. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gagner off the cross-bar of the cycle shift by the “3rd line” – their second straight cycle shift (out of 2 shifts).

  34. OriginalPouzar says:

    Playing the Gulls isn’t quite the same with the re-graduation of their former head coach.

  35. npanciroli says:

    Condors look good. Forgot about Desharnais, kid is huge.

  36. OriginalPouzar says:

    OmJo: Do you get an archive? So if you miss some games you can go back and watch them at a later time?

    I’m assuming no, but figured it was worth an ask.

    I don’t know the answer to that but I bet LT and McCurdy do.

  37. npanciroli says:

    wowzers, beautiful goal.

  38. OriginalPouzar says:

    What a beautiful goal.

    A 3 on 3 executed to perfection.

    Currie back to Bouchard gets up high at the back of the rush up to Benson, beautiful cross-crease to Currie for the goal.

  39. Ozoil says:

    What a play.

  40. npanciroli says:

    ok this team is nuts.

  41. OriginalPouzar says:

    Crazy pressure by the Condors – capped off by a Yamamoto goal.

  42. Chief Inspector says:

    Domination

  43. norm_klassen says:

    Bouchard wont be in the AHL long

  44. Ozoil says:

    Gonna be a fun season. Yamo. Condors all over it!

  45. AussieOil says:

    May need to pay to watch AHL.TV this year, what a start – and all the prospects getting involved.

  46. OriginalPouzar says:

    Through 11 minutes this is a dominant as I’ve seen a stretch of hockey.

    The Gulls haven’t really even touched the puck in the Condors’ zone let alone got a shot directed at the net.

    At this rate, they may have to loan Starrett out in order to get him real development.

  47. Lowetide says:

    OmJo: Do you get an archive? So if you miss some games you can go back and watch them at a later time?

    I’m assuming no, but figured it was worth an ask.

    There used to be an archive, but I’m not sure if it was the AHL that offered it.

  48. Lowetide says:

    OriginalPouzar:
    LT, do you feel that a full PPG is reasonable for Bouchard?

    I was thinking 0.8 PPG or so.

    Do many (any) d-men go PPG, even those with elite offensive talent?

    If he gets feature PP time, 1/1 should be achievable.

  49. Abbeef says:

    If this is how the games are going to be there may be some gaudy numbers happening in the bake. What a start! Nice to see my first Condors game!

  50. AussieOil says:

    Anyone know if the Gulls are are a good AHL Squad?

  51. norm_klassen says:

    AussieOil,

    Good enough to beat the condors in the second round next year

  52. Lowetide says:

    I’ve seen Caleb Jones, Yamamoto, Benson, Bouchard and Marody good so far, but really the whole damn team looks like All-Stars

  53. OriginalPouzar says:

    normklassen:
    Bouchard wont be in the AHL long

    Maybe but offensive output and production is 100% expected.

    It isn’t his transition and offensive skills that he’s there to work on.

    My “fear” is what happened last year – they were so damn dominant in the 2nd half of the season, just absolutely offensive zone possession beasts, there really wasn’t a ton of defensive development – rarely were they “defending”.

  54. AussieOil says:

    Lowetide,

    Jones with some great Defensive reads

  55. hunter1909 says:

    OriginalPouzar: My “fear” is what happened last year – they were so damn dominant in the 2nd half of the season, just absolutely offensive zone possession beasts, there really wasn’t a ton of defensive development – rarely were they “defending”.

    Don’t worry they’re going to get lots of practice on the Oilers!

  56. norm_klassen says:

    I believe he will get NHL rep this year; s kinda get the lessons he will need for when he is finally ready to transition to the NHL full time.
    I just think with injuries and poor play by the other guys in the majors ; it would almost be impossible to keep Bouchard down all year.
    Luckily he isnt a 18 year old freshly drafted kid; he actually has a bit of pedigree where it wouldn’t be unexpected to be able to jump up a bit ahead of schedule

  57. JamesL says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Or perhaps learning to keep the puck hemmed in the o-zone is the very definition of good defensive development?

  58. Dixs35 says:

    Have to say having gagner be a good soldier and and break in two of the oil’s rookies whom we hope can be offensive guys in McLeod and maxi is a nice luxury to have.

  59. OriginalPouzar says:

    JamesL:
    OriginalPouzar,

    Or perhaps learning to keep the puck hemmed in the o-zone is the very definition of good defensive development?

    I wouldn’t agree with that.

    I would think that it would include things such as defensive zone coverage, defensive zone positioning, defensive zone reads, defensive zone board work, puck retrieval, defending the rush, defending the blueline/gap, etc.

  60. OriginalPouzar says:

    Dixs:
    Have to say having gagner be a good soldier and and break in two of the oil’s rookies whom we hope can be offensive guys in McLeod and maxi is a nice luxury to have.

    That was likely Chiarelli’s plan when he made the Eberle trade, actually, when he made the Strome trade (Strome was better cap value last year, and maybe this coming year as well).

  61. OriginalPouzar says:

    Wow – Stolarz robs Benson after a fantastic pass from, I think, Gagner.

    Good to see Currie back on the ice.

  62. OriginalPouzar says:

    In to the 2nd period and that’s the first I’ve heard Sprong’s name – so far, he’s been outplayed by Yamamoto, Gagner, Benson, Marody, McLeod (and even Malone and Peluso).

  63. Dixs35 says:

    OriginalPouzar,

    Always have to look for the silver lining

  64. OriginalPouzar says:

    Jog G. with the Condros’ second post.

  65. OriginalPouzar says:

    Gulls cut the lead in half.

    Not sure exactly what happened – I think there was a failed clear on that play.

  66. Nix says:

    If there’s such a thing as ‘old man strength’ then Bouchard has deceptively fast old man speed.

  67. OriginalPouzar says:

    Sammy almost gets his first of the year off a 2 on 1 pass from Esposito – wasn’t in the perfect spot for the one-timer but Sammy did a good job to put a good shot on net.

    Stolarz has made a few 5-bell saves.

  68. Harpers Hair says:

    Lowetide:
    I’ve seen Caleb Jones, Yamamoto, Benson, Bouchard and Marody good so far, but really the whole damn team looks like All-Stars

    This what happens when you have a ton of prospects who aren’t good enough for the NHL.
    See the Toronto Marlies for reference.

  69. OriginalPouzar says:

    Off the top of my head, the ages of those prospects listed are:

    22, 21, 22, 20, 23

    There is a very good chance 4 of them will see NHL time this year, maybe even all 5.

    Not to mention, that team also has 3 other 20 year old on it.

  70. OriginalPouzar says:

    After the first 15 minutes of domination, the game evened up – in fact, Gulls may have been the better team in the last two periods, certainly in the 2nd.

    Condors gut it out and hang on for a 2- 1 win.

    The coaching staff will have their challenges with so many raw 20 year old rookies (Bouchard, McLeod, Maksimov, Samorukov).

    Yamamoto was the best offensive Condor tonight – wasn’t even close to my eye.

  71. Abbeef says:

    Harpers Hair: This what happens when you have a ton of prospects who aren’t good enough for the NHL.
    See the Toronto Marlies for reference.

    Do you actually think that none of Jones, Bouchard, Yamamoto, Benson, and Marody will make the NHL? I’d be willing to bet that at least 2 of these players will play over 200 games (probably more).

    You lose any credibility you had with asinine comments like this one. You are obviously trying to get a reaction which I’m giving (shame on me) but for fun what are you basing your comment on?

  72. Lowetide says:

    Starrett was quality in the final two periods of the game. Condors season underway.

  73. Abbeef says:

    I’m loving seeing a strong minor league team where the real prospects are in feature roles!

  74. Ranford.85 says:

    That Condors lineup is ridiculous. Chia/K.Gretzky-Holland mix. Great prospects, delayed one more year by Holland’s European hires.
    For once, my koolaid is telling me the Oil have depth. Even with Larsson’s injury, our left side is strong.
    Klef-Bear
    Nurse-xx
    Russell-Benning

    But I wonder about
    Klef-Nurse
    Russell-Bear
    Lag-Benning

    Make Nurse earn that new contract? When you look at their individual skill sets, Klef/Nurse would be dynamite.

  75. Reja says:

    Any word on who the starter is tonight?

  76. hags9k says:

    The problem with Larsson getting hurt is that, he is not allowed to get hurt because Klefbom always gets hurt.

  77. Reja says:

    I have a good feeling James the real deal pots a goal tonight after listening to all the crap how Lucic is the missing link to their weakness in cow town.

  78. ArmchairGM says:

    Reja:
    Any word on who the starter is tonight?

    I don’t think it’s been confirmed, but Tippett did indicate earlier in the week that Koskinen would start tonight.

  79. OriginalPouzar says:

    I don’t recall Tip ever “tipping his hand” with respect to his starter in any game. He did say both goalies need to play.

    For what it’s worth, Smith was in the ‘starters’ net’ at practice yesterday.

  80. OriginalPouzar says:

    Flu going through the team early – Archibald and Chiasson sick.

  81. deardylan says:

    Is there a way to get flu in preason…then preseason would mean not something NOT. What are the oilers stats when CMD gets flu? #fluCancelation

  82. CallighenMan says:

    Harpers Hair,

    Get Lost

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