2021-22 Preseason Game 3: Oilers at Jets

by Lowetide

The Edmonton Oilers are two games into the preseason schedule and some players are beginning to emerge as legit candidates for the roster. Two things: It’s important to stay on the path, and remember we still have several miles of blacktop before cut-down day. Plus, the key in all of this is to look for separation, and understand some players play themselves on to the roster and others play their way off the roster. Remember, back not long ago, when everyone was so sure about the final roster? Yeah. The game is afoot!

THE ATHLETIC!

THE STORY

  • Mike Smith started and won the game, stopping 18 shots (Natural Stat Trick judging three to be high danger). Went walkabout a couple of times with some wobble, including a delay of game penalty and a dangerous sequence.
  • Mikko Koskinen had a similar game, stopping three high danger shots among 16 overall. Both men looked calm in the net for the most part, I didn’t see Koskinen out of position at all.

  • Nurse-Barrie played 15:01, going 9-10 shots and 2-0 goals. Nurse scored the winner on a fantastic individual effort after helping kill off a penalty. He played 17:40 at five on five (1-1-2 points) and led all Oilers with 25:16 TOI. Barrie was quiet on the night, he did get one good chance and a couple of shots on the power play.
  • Niemelainen-Bouchard played 14:01, going 6-11 shots and 1-0 goals. Niemelainen was physical, effective defending and spent just under one minute on the penalty kill successfully. Bouchard skated well, was in position and recovered nicely in support of his partner a couple of times. He was not as dynamic as Game 1, partly due to role, but was on the good side of the puck when playing with the McDavid trio. Finished 24:28 on the night, the second busiest Oilers skater.
  • Broberg-Berglund played 8:31, going 3-6 shots and no goals. Broberg was active, had a shot on goal, worked the puck down the wall in the offensive zone a couple of times, drew a penalty on a mildly dangerous play by a Kraken and defended well. He looked more comfortable in this game than the first one. Berglund was taxed with less to do because his partner was in danger less often, but he had a takeaway. Both men were noticeable on the PK in a good way.

  • Hyman-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 11:01, going 8-5 shots and 1-0 goals. This line was the star of the show while the game was in the balance, Puljujarvi (1-1-2 overall with six shots and 2 HDSC) scored a PP goal and starting a sequence that saw McDavid find Hyman net-front for a beautiful goal. McDavid (1-2-3 overall) also had a power-play marker and was splendid in his first appearance of the year. Hyman’s game should have Oilers fans excited, he forchecked, backchecked, skated miles, went to the net, passed well and finished 1-1-2 on the night. If this evening was ‘preview of coming attractions’ this line will enjoy a long run. That JP to 97 pass, and then McDavid to Hyman who was smart enough to be at the net? Music!
  • Nuge-Draisaitl-Yamamoto played 9:34 and were 4-7 shots with no goals. Quiet offensively at five on five, sometimes nothing rhymes. Nuge and Draisaitl had PP assists, Yamamoto had a HDSC (Nuge with two) at five on five. This line will have better nights, no one should worry about this trio even though I expect a full day of questioning this line in the comments section.
  • Perlini-Shore-Turris played 8:48 together, going 4-7 shots and 2-0 goals. Perlini is spiking in preseason and could ride the wave all the way to an opening night berth. Important to say he’ll need to continue to get noticed, but no bubble player has done more with his opportunity so far in Oilers camp. He went 2-0-2 on the night, Turris went 0-2-2 and Shore was 0-1-1. A good night for all three men.
  • Benson-McLeod-Sceviour played 7:07, going 1-5 shots and no goals. Benson had a good look but the other two men were quiet offensively. I think there were good things from all three men, none of them playing himself off the roster. McLeod has the best chance of making the team.

This tweet is from two weeks ago. I sent it out at that time to show one thing, and that is the preseason does in fact matter. Not for the key components, only injury will derail the heart of the order. Around the edges? There’s much going on and it will likely come down to what the coach wants (extra PK man, speedster, two-way type) at the end of the roster.

Right now, I would estimate Tyler Benson and Josh Archibald as being less likely to make the team. More likely? Brendan Perlini, who one suspects is on his way to winning the job, and Colton Sceviour, who is the plug-and-play replacement for Josh Archibald.

Where does the Perlini spike put Benson? In a tough spot for sure, and he played well enough last night. Had a shot on goal that was a reasonable chance, cheated for defense a couple of times (appropriately) and forechecked well. He contributed on the PK, 1:42 total time ranking fourth among forwards.

Benson showed reasonably well against a Seattle Kraken team that might be monitoring the waiver wire in the days to come, an organization interesting in bringing in young players who might contribute to an expansion team in a variety of roles.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

At 10 this morning on the Lowdown, we have a complete breakdown of last night’s game and a look forward to this evening’s tilt against the Winnipeg Jets. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will discuss last night’s game and Perlini’s run. Joe Osborne from OddsShark will help us look at the baseball pennant races and this weekend’s NFL games. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!

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GordieHoweHatTrick

A tale of two teams…Wasn’t expecting much, but it’s still hard to watch the Oil jersey get trounced like that.

Time to cull the herd. They should be able to make about 15 cuts now and start focusing on the regular season and really scrutinize the players that are fighting for NHL roster slots.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

Checking into the thread to see how many people here still think Benson can/ought to make the roster. Surprised to see that number >0.

UnjustEnrichment

Last night was a good time for Benson to show what he can do, but he seemed to be flailing around out there. If he is trying to make the team, he has to make a more emphatic and persuasive attempt to do so even when he is playing with non-NHL players. In my view, if Perlini can continue doing what he is doing (and Tippet may hold the key to that), then Perlini is clearly superior to Benson. It is not close. I think Benson should be part of a trade package for a goaltender.

LIkewise, Marody is not really seizing control over his situation.

I feel sorry for the likes of Benson and Marody, but they do not provide what the Oilers need in their bottom six. Other players do.

Chelios is a Dinosaur

In 100% agreement.

godot10

It is about asset management. Shore and Turris can be waived with no risk of them being claimed. Somebody will want to take a look at Benson.

The Oilers might as well take a look at him first. It is not looking as if he is earning a starting game roster spot.

But one should take an extended period, say till Christmas, with him as the 14th forward to see if one can facilitate the transition of his game to the NHL.

Bank Shot

I thought Ceci and Bouchard were pretty steady for the most part. They were under pressure the whole game so a mistake here or there is to be expected. A regular game doesn’t have all the traffic flowing in one direction like that.

Mcleod looking more like a 4th line center than a 3rd in that game. Needs to learn to make decisions quicker IMO. He’s still too hesitant. Foegele and Kassian look like they will be a fine third line. I like Foegele’s forechecking.

OriginalPouzar

I agree on Foegele and Kassian – Kass may have been the Oilers’ best forward and the two were able to create o-zone time consitently against the flow of play.

Yes, tough game for the D given they were constantly under pressure – they each did make one Grade A mistake on a goal against and Bouch had a good 5-6 shots blocked and missed some easy passes in the o-zone, etc. Just not a great night.

McLeod was uneven again tonight. He made more plays in the offensive zone tonight that his other games (to my eye) but quite a few mistakes with the puck in all zones. I’m not sure some AHL time wouldn’t be best for him to iron out some things and provide a little more offensive confidence – don’t see it happening though.

jp

I was more aware (for whatever reason) of McLeod’s lack of physical engagement last night. It’s a little bit shocking tbh.

His skating is beautiful and allows him to do a lot of things, but in terms of getting his hands dirty he hardly even battles to get/keep the puck. Doesn’t (didn’t last night anyway) lean on guys and doesn’t seem interested in being leaned on.

He brings things even without that, but I’m more concerned about the physical stuff than the offensive game.

meanashell11

I agree with this. Maybe if he had a little battle he might score.

jp

It would certainly help, though he doesn’t seem to have the greatest hands either.

What’s clear is he can definitely transport the puck, and he did make a number of nice passes last night.

UnjustEnrichment

Macleod is so close to becoming a very good player. He needs to learn how to be more physically engaged and intimidating; and he also needs to learn how to score some goals. There is so much potential in this player waiting to be uncorked. Can Tippet find the magic corkscrew?

razor

Happens every year, we get our hopes up about Benson and Marody and they disappoint in preseason. I think they are both tweeners. What’s holding them back is their skating which is hard to overcome. Benson can definitely think the game, but he is late to get there. I think both are headed back to the farm

David

The Oilers that had good games to my eyes:

The Foegele-McLeod-Kassian line

Bourgault

The three NHL D, Ceci, Koekkoek, and Bouchard didn’t have flawless games or “dominant” games, but there was more good than bad.

Konovalov I liked despite the three goals.

OriginalPouzar

I can’t agree on Bouch or Ceci – lots of mistakes by both.

Material Elvis

Gonna be a long bus ride home from Winnipeg.

Fuhr and Lowething in Vegreville

If only Winnipeg had an airport.

ArmchairGM

Even a flat field nearby would do.

If only.

Last edited 26 days ago by ArmchairGM
kgogshig

I don’t see Benson making this 23 man roster

OriginalPouzar

He was much better in the 3rd period when Borgault was moved to play with him.

Its tough for the depth players to get much done with lineups like these – seeing top 6 forwards and top 4 d-men shift after shift (while playing with tweeners).

He was also playing his 3rd game in 4 nights with two travel days.

With that said, got to try and find a way to make an impression.

He’ll get a few more games for sure.

UnjustEnrichment

Benson has to perform now, and, quite frankly, he does not have time for any excuses. Carpe diem.

dessert1111

I think he makes it

OriginalPouzar

Jets are full value for the 5-1 win but 3 of the goals were lucky breaks/fluky – the last one as lucky a bounce as they come.

Material Elvis

Nice net drive chance for Foegele.

OriginalPouzar

Esposito hits Heinola about 2 full seconds after the whistle.

That was dirty.

OriginalPouzar

Oilers taking over the last 4-5 shifts – clear score effects play going on now but its nice to see a number of shifts in a row of offensive pressure and pucks at the Jet net.

OriginalPouzar

A 3rd plus offensive zone shift for Borgault and Benson (Seviour was also on the ice) – so really solid board works and cycle game.

Material Elvis

All three guys look like different players since the line change (Bourgault was decent on his last line, too).

OriginalPouzar

Connor scores the Jets 3rd lucky goal of the night.

A nothing shot hits something up high and goes straight out to Connor with a wide open net.

OriginalPouzar

I love Bourgault’s confidence to make plays with the puck in a game like this. This kid looks good with the puck on his stick – can’t wait to see what he looks like when he’s a developed/mature player.

OriginalPouzar

Massive 6-5 win for the Jays tonight.

Go Bo!

OriginalPouzar

Benson/Seviour/Bourgault with a solid offensive zone shift – nothing dangerous at the net though.

Material Elvis

Two good shifts in a row for that line.

OriginalPouzar

The current line, is literally the likely 3rd line in the AHL this season:

Espositoe/Cracknell/Griffith

OriginalPouzar

Benson/Seviour/Borgault

jp

/

Last edited 26 days ago by jp
Material Elvis

A lot of our AHLers look way out of their element tonight, understandably. As much as I want to see them make the team, Benson and Marody aren’t doing enough in my opinion.

OriginalPouzar

They have certainly not done enough tonight, in fact, poor games being hemmed in their own zone for many shifts and taking minuses.

At the same time, its really tough in games like these – they are the “2nd line” and are facing tougher comp, both the forwards and the D, than they’d see in a regular season game – most likely.

dessert1111

Nate Schmidt looks like he’s 45 years old. Great personality though, seems like a future coach.

CMcD4PM

4-1, the most tenuous lead in hockey.

OriginalPouzar

Brad Malone take a pass and snaps one home from the side boards.

Nice little dish by Kass after some good work by Foegele/Kass on the forecheck.

Material Elvis

Malone scores. Did not look deflected either.

David

Malone scores with a nice shot. Would not have called that.

OriginalPouzar

Got some blending going on as Seviour is with Benson/Marody now.

OriginalPouzar

Evan Bouchard is STRUGGLING. Really tough 2nd period for him.

3 games in 4 nights with travel between each game.

McSorley33

Yep.

But Codi Ceci not even in picture….

Jets finished celebrating in corner. Finally, Ceci makes it back…

OriginalPouzar

Codi Ceci has not been the issue with Evan Bouchard’s game tonight.

Harpers Hair

Ceci has also been poor.

OriginalPouzar

He has, and that has nothing to do with Evan Bouchard being poor.

Thanks for chiming in. Duly noted you were nowhere to be “seen” during either Oiler blowout win but, they have a tough night and, boom, here you are.

meanashell11

Exactly. Funny how that works.

leadfarmer

Pretty much what you expect from early preseason away games

Material Elvis

Nice goal by Harkins. Ceci pyloned on that play.

Last edited 26 days ago by Material Elvis
OriginalPouzar

Whoa, Ceci got walked for a highlight goal.

That one was ugly.

godot10

#CeciYouLater

McSorley33

3 of our starting D playing tonight….

OriginalPouzar

The lineup tonight is every bit as lopsided as it was last night.

McSorley33

TSN typo….?

6 shots on net?

OriginalPouzar

Yup – and about as meaningful as the 6-0 win last night.

OriginalPouzar

Konovalov leaves allowing 3 goals on 19 shots but that stats under-state his play.

None of the goals were weak, 2 were actually tough bounces/breaks and he made a number of very very solid saves.

Kert

I’ve been impressed with his play. I don’t mind his puck handling either (even with the fall behind the net and the give away in the first).

CMcD4PM

How many years since the Oilers had a really good number 5?

OriginalPouzar

Laddy Smid!

CMcD4PM

So 8 years then.

BornInAGretzkyJersey

He said really good.

David

I do wish they would call that interference more often.

OriginalPouzar

McLeod has been better in the 2nd period – he was good on the 6 on 5 (delayed penalty) and just drew an offensive zone PP.

He also won two faceoffs on the first PP.

OriginalPouzar

Bouch with a shot blocked and then a poor pass leading to a clear – un-Bouch-like on the PP.

OriginalPouzar

and another shot by Bouch blocked then cleared.

I wonder if 3 games in 4 nights is a factor? He’s not had a good game and a very poor first 10 minutes of the 2nd period.

Material Elvis

Also doesn’t help when the forward group can’t sustain any pressure or help with zone exits.

kgogshig

Very un-dude

Randle McMurphy

This must be what it feels like to be a Canucks fan.

OriginalPouzar

Konovalov makes a nice stop off a rush (Jet player got a step on Bouchard) but the rebound bounces off the net crasher and in.

McLeod loses a battle deep in the offensive zone, puck goes the other way, Bouchard with a bad angle, winger gets a grade A shot off it, lucky bounce gets the puck in the net.

Konovaolov has played better than the 3 GA so far – last two were tough breaks.

Last edited 26 days ago by OriginalPouzar
BornInAGretzkyJersey

That’s textbook goaltender interference.

David

Bouch piloned on that one

godot10

And Koekkoek let the goal scorer beat him back to the net.

OriginalPouzar

and McLeod lost the initial battle (albeit, 200 feet from his own goal).

Bank Shot

He just threw it away. Should have tried to just eat it there if there is no play.

OriginalPouzar

To add to their dash 2, the Benson/Marody/Griffith line gets hemmed in again and Niemelainen with a cross-check penalty in front of the net on Wheeler.

OriginalPouzar

Nice one on one D there by Niemelainen.

OriginalPouzar

Logan Stanley turning in to an Oiler Killer – wrister from the point find its way in the back of the net – think hit hid something in front.

OriginalPouzar

That’s a dash 2 for the Benson/Marody/Griffith line.

OriginalPouzar

Gotta love the effort from Konovalov that period – lots of traffic, lots of lateral moving pucks, lots of chaos, lots of saves, only one goal.

Tye

He’s looked good.
As opposed to some players. Lol

Reja

I see him as our back-up next year after a year in the AHL.

Oil2Oilers

Konovalov is entertaining

Bank Shot

He looks quick in the net. I guess he’ll have to be at that size.

Probably surprised a bit by the pace of this game. It’s miles ahead of the Flamers game.

OriginalPouzar

Strong speed rush there by Bourgault – of all the “distant bells”, he’s been the most noticeable early.

Material Elvis

Agreed. He is making good things happen. Up arrows for his first NHL training camp.

OriginalPouzar

Top line with another solid offensive zone shift. Kassian very engaged and actually performing well on the boards. Foegele being Foegle, hard on the check and McLeod with some offensive plays that shift but he also hesitated when the puck squirting to him all alone in front and he allowed Connor H. to poke it away.

Oil2Oilers

Konavolov is working hard. The Oilers appear to be missing the calming influence of Berglund. Berglund and Samarukov being NHL ready by mid-season would be a major flip for the year.

OriginalPouzar

I have little doubt Samorukov is ready for NHL games this year and we likely see him.

Berglund still has a way to go to get that trust from the coach’s but, if he can continue to play mistake free hockey as the exhibition season goes on, that will certainly stick in the coaches’ minds.

OriginalPouzar

McLeod gets a breakout pass after a heavy d-zone shift and doesn’t get it deep at the opposition blueline – his team was trying to make a line change. Sigh.