The Edmonton Oilers pushed the preseason record to 3-1-1 on Saturday night with a performance that was both brilliant and reckless. The coach, Dave Tippett, was predictably a grumbly man after the game, pointing out that Mikko Koskinen played well and the Oilers played “rotten” in front of him.
This is the time of year where the coach either wants to get everyone’s attention, and that’s likely part of it, or he’s genuinely unimpressed with some of the men he’ll be counting on this season. Tippett mentioned Leon Draisaitl and Evan Bouchard, two important players this season.
I expect the coach believes it’s time to make like Archie Bell and the Drells and tighten up.
- New Lowetide: Is this Jay Woodcroft’s final year coaching the Bakersfield Condors?
- Lowetide: How could waivers impact Oilers’ roster decisions?
- New DNB: Duncan Keith’s decline, by the numbers and video
- Lowetide: 9 bold predictions for the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers
- Lowetide: Connor McDavid, Zach Hyman and line chemistry
- New DNB: Oilers training camp invitees tell us what it’s like to face McDavid in practice
- Lowetide: Why Tyler Tullio’s skill set is a good match for the Oilers
- DNB: Oilers training camp observations
- Lowetide: Why Colton Sceviour could be an important addition for the Oilers
- DNB: Derek Ryan Q&A
- Jonathan Willis: How can the Oilers find a long-term solution in net?
- Lowetide: What will three outscoring lines do for the Oilers and Connor McDavid?
- DNB: Oilers training camp questions
- Jonathan Willis: Darnell Nurse, in context
- DNB: The Oilers’ plan for prospect Philip Broberg
- Lowetide: Filip Berglund, sleeper option for Edmonton’s defense
- DNB: Cooper Marody Q&A
- Lowetide: The Oilers and the Cooper Marody experiment are at a crossroads
- DNB: Warren Foegele Q&A
- Lowetide: Oilers reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal differential
- Lowetide: Oilers’ reasonable expectations for 2021-22: Goal scoring
- Lowetide: What should the Oilers expect from Cody Ceci in his first season?
- Lowetide: Projecting the 2021-22 Edmonton Oilers opening night lineup
- Lowetide: What should Oilers expect from Duncan Keith in his first season?
- Jonathan Willis: Tyler Benson, Devin Shore and the 4-year difference between a prospect and a has-been
Mikko Koskinen stopped 31 of 34, .912. He also stopped many high-danger chances (11 of 14 according to NST) and was the key to Edmonton’s 4-3 win. If he can bring that kind of effort consistently, meaning he plays enough but not too much, the Oilers should do well with Koskinen in net this year.
Nurse-Bouchard played 16:22, going 11-12 shots and 1-1 goals. Nurse played 17:45, had an assist, two shots on goal and two takeaways (all at five on five). He also played a ton on the power play, and 1:19 on the penalty kill. Bouchard played a high event game (3-2 takeaway-giveaway at five on five), including over five minutes on the PP and just under one on the PK. Bouchard was passive against Toninato on the first goal, allowing a clear lane to the net, and then drifted to nowhere when Connor drilled it. I maintain the young defender’s biggest issue is he doesn’t look urgent in any endeavor, but he was clearly out of the conversation on the Connor goal. Bouchard was also on the ice (and doing good things) on the Shore goal, Nurse getting his assist there.
Lagesson-Ceci played 11:36, going 6-14 shots and 1-2 goals. Far too high event on the evening, Lagesson blocked a couple of shots and Ceci had three shots on net at five on five, both men saw PK action. Ceci made a nice outlet pass that began the journey for the Puljujarvi even-strength goal, that was a nice play. Ceci went walkabout on the Schiefele goal, leaving the Winnipeg center all alone in front of the net. Lagesson and Ceci were so far out of position on the Morrissey goal they could have been court marshalled for desertion. I will predict a series of mad shuffles next week on the three defensive pairings, only one blue can play with Nurse.
Broberg-Berglund played 9:40, going 5-4 shots and no goals. Broberg had three shots five on five, one lovely outlet pass, a giveaway, and got cranked again (just once this time). Berglund had a takeaway and a couple of blocked shots, he’s a safe player and probably lands as Broberg’s partner in Bakersfield.
Nuge-Draisaitl-Kassian played 11:10, going 6-12 shots and no goals. Leon’s back pass to RNH on the winner was pure gold, what a fantastic play. The line gave up seven HDSC, Tippett was all about LD’s back passes in the post-game. The line has been quiet so far this year. Kassian had two HDSC’s at five on five and took a penalty. Nuge had the winner, two HDSC’s, a takeaway and played well. Draisaitl was charged with two giveaways at five on five, and he was quality on the power play.
Foegele-McDavid-Puljujarvi played 9:21, going 2-3 shots and 1-1 goals. Foegele had an assist, a HDSC and drew a penalty. He’s a good player. McDavid had two assists, one at five on five, plus a takeaway. Puljujarvi was fantastic, aggressive forechecking, hammered some poor guy senseless, scored a power-play goal and a pure sniper’s five on five marker with terrific shot. He is 3-1-4 in two preseason games. Scouts compared him to Blake Wheeler on his draft day, you can see that player coming into view. Man he punishes when he hits.
Perlini-Shore-Turris played 8:28, going 5-10 shots and 1-0 goals. That damned Perlini got another point, would have been a goal but apparently went off Shore. Turris played center and won eight of nine faceoffs, Perlini had two giveaways and a HDSC. These three men could make the team and you’d have to give them the edge over a few prospects currently.
Griffith-McLeod-Sceviour played 6:46, going 5-3- shots and 0-1 goals. This line was part of the magical mystery tour in the Edmonton zone that ended when Josh Morrissey scored the third Winnipeg goal. The trio were closer to the net than the defenders, but I’m not sure that’s going to be enough when these men talk to the coach. Doing something while there would have been preferrable. Sceviour had a couple of good looks, Griffith had two takeaways and McLeod was on the PK for one minute. That Morrissey goal, would love to see a photo of the positioning when the puck went in. Wow. McLeod was down low, then committed to the corner man and not one soul in the asylum was watching Morrissey and close enough to do one damn thing. Head. Swivel. You. That’s hockey.
OILERS PROSPECTS PLAYING
I’ll be spending a little more time on the AHL, CHL and prospects this week, feel a story but it hasn’t landed yet. In the meantime, here are the numbers so far from Oilers prospects across the hockey world for 2021-22:
- LC Maxim Denezhkin, Lada (VHL) 9, 1-5-6
- LW Patrik Siikanen, JyP (Liiga) 8, 2-2-4
- LW Maxim Berezkin, Lokomotiv (MHL) 1, 1-1-2
- RD Max Wanner, Moose Jaw (WHL) 2, 0-2-2
- LW Maxim Berezkin, Lokomotiv (KHL) 10, 0-0-0
- LW Shane Lachance, Youngstown (USHL) 4, 0-0-0
- LW Jeremias Lindewall, MoDo (Allsvenskan) 2, 0-0-0
- RC Xavier Bourgault, Shawinigan (QMJHL) 1, 0-0-0
- LD Luca Munzenberger, Vermont (Hockey East) 1, 0-0-0
- RC Tomas Mazura, Providence (Hockey East) 1, 0-0-0