2021-22 Preseason Game 8: Oilers at Canucks

by Lowetide
Tyler Benson photo by Mark Williams

The preseason games are fraught with danger, and it can happen against anyone. Oscar Klefbom got hurt in the Golden Bears game due to a rampaging defender, Ben Eager got flattened at the Joey Moss game by a Russian tree named Kirill Tulupov (I always thought his last name would be best used as name for a flower, plant or tree species).

Once past the games against local predators, we come upon the NHL teams aiming to maim before the real games begin. If the Flames were a horror movie, I’d go with “A Clockwork Orange” a movie that has caused me many sleepless nights. Calgary’s Sutter Flames are a sinister group, but you know what you’re going to get and arrive ready for war.

The Vancouver Canucks sometimes will, or skill, or work in their games that suggests admirable qualities. However, just below the surface, Travis Green goes to the whip when realizing his side is outgunned and overwhelmed.



I think we’re at a point where we can make the call on 21 Oilers, with the final two spots uncertain. There are five candidates for those two final spots.

I think we’re safe with this list, although injury might allow another bum in the boat. Kailer Yamamoto is healthy enough to play tonight, but Zack Kassian is going to be out for a few days and Wednesday opening night is not far away. Here are the candidates to make the team, five names for two (three with Kassian on IR) jobs:

  • LD William Lagesson. He was not good last season and Lagesson has been only fair during preseason this year. I don’t think the Oilers should keep eight defensemen, but they’re going to use 10+ and the depth chart is unproven once past this player. Markus Niemelainen? Philip Broberg? I think the injury to Dmitri Samorukov has to at least make general manager Ken Holland ponder.
  • LW Tyler Benson. He has skill and yet the offense doesn’t come during these NHL auditions. I don’t know if he’ll make the team, clear waivers or land in a better spot. I will say that it doesn’t feel his talent is so much the team will stop short of waiving him for fear of a possible future.
  • RW Colton Sceviour. I suspect the combination of Archibald’s illness, Kassian’s injury and the leaky penalty kill conspires in favour of a contract for Sceviour. I’m fairly certain of it. It feels more like a Holland-Tippett move than the other possibilities.
  • LC Ryan McLeod. He is shy offensively so far in his short NHL career (like Benson) but he’s also younger and faster, plus he is a center who can penalty kill.
  • G Stuart Skinner. I expect it comes down to the health of the two veterans. Mike Smith missed some practice, played a physical game, and then missed Friday’s practice. It isn’t a massive chance to make the team, but there’s a chance.


  • LW Sonny Milano, Anaheim. Speedy winger who was well regard on draft day, injuries have had an impact. When healthy he has been able to post middle six offensive numbers and his possession stats are average. I’ve always liked him, wonder if a general manager out there will grab him in hopes he can stay in the lineup. He’s in a weird spot, pretty famous in the industry but having played over 50 NHL games in a season just two times.
  • LD Juuso Riikola, Pittsburgh. I don’t know much about him, but he did deliver solid work for the Penguins after coming over from the Liiga. He is a two-way defender, slightly undersized (6.0, 190) and might be an upgrade for some teams at the back of the roster.
  • RD Nicolas Meloche, San Jose. I liked him in his draft year, and he’s a 6.03, 205 defender with puck moving ability. Coverage has been an issue and the Sharks can’t afford to let someone who can help loose via waivers. Still, he’s an intriguing name.

You may also like

3.2 16 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I think Skinner is showing very well at this point, much better than he did in his NHL game last year. He will be an NHL player in a year’s time if he keeps on developing.

Keith is playing an efficient, smart style. His physical ability and skating may no longer be what they once were, but good positioning and smart choices make him very reliable out there, particularly if he has a steady partner. Is Ceci a steady partner? That remains to be seen.

Benson just cannot get much traction. His skating is improved this year, but he still seems to be missing some gears, and he doesn’t get to where he needs to be when there are open spaces on the ice. I sense his instinct is still to pass and play on the periphery. Unless he reimagines himself and makes himself a physical presence away from the puck, he may never make it in the NHL. He doesn’t seem to fit well on the third or fourth lines, and they have much better options on the first and second lines.

Macleod is oozing with potential, but is still not playing with enough intensity. He needs to play with more fire in his belly. Add the Mark Messier chip to him and you have a very good hockey player. I am not saying he has to hammer guys into the boards, but he needs to use his frame and strength with greater intensity, and fight harder for pucks and to make space for his line-mates. I am not sure sending him back to Bakersfield will do the trick, but someone needs to find the last switch that turns him into a confident, intense player that other teams will fear.

Derek Ryan is a gem of a player. Perfect addition to the team. Smart on and off the ice. Hopefully, he can mentor Yamamoto well, and Yamamoto can rediscover himself sooner rather than later. I wish someone could inject the Mike Bossy chip into Yamamoto. That would be something.


Agree with almost all of this – great post.

Ryan played mostly 4C/PK the last few years and is being asked to play 3C/PK for the Oilers – he looks highly capable during exhibition season and here is hoping he can carry that in to the regular season. He only played 9:30 at 5 on 5 ad 11:30 overall last season so, as he approaches 35, I think its important to ensure his minutes don’t get too high over the course of the season.

Agree on McLeod – I also agree that he may not develop what he needs in the AHL due to his line being so dominant down there.


My take on the uncertain players (assume Perlini, Shore and Turris have won the 4th line jobs).

Benson – needs to re-imagine his game as a 4th liner. We can pretty much put any hope of a top 6 role aside. Maybe trade him for another guy who needs a 2nd opinion.

McLeod – needs 20 more games in the AHL to get his offensive mojo back. Lots to like but he’s low on offensive confidence right now.

Sceivior – sign him to a league minimum deal 1 year deal and he can take Kass’ slot for a week or so. He’s good enough as a 13/14 forward.

Lagesson – older and still a fringe player. On waivers tomorrow.

Skinner – getting close but needs 30 AHL games and at least 5 NHL games this year. Way more confident this season.

With all the guys on IR and LTIR there is really no need to expose anyone except Lagesson. Maybe Turris for cap reasons and I doubt anyone puts in a claim.


CONGRATULATIONS KAILER YAMAMOTO you officially have found your niche as a penalty killing savant





With no more pre season its finally time to immediately grab your computer and follow the hundreds and hundreds who have walked the incredible Death March™


thank you for your cooperation


Looks like Vancouver sent the Oilers a massage with the 2 late goals.

Am looking to many more similar messages sent from many of the 31 opposition NHL teams this season

Assuming Oilers play a home and home with all teams in the NHL

Boston – 4
Sabres – 4
Red Wings – 3
Panthers – 2
Montreal – 3
Toronto – 1
Ottawa – 3
Tampa – 2

Blue Jackets – 3
Carolina -1
Washington -3
Penguins 2
Flyers -3
NYR -4
NYI – 4
New Jersey -1

…and so on

Last edited 6 days ago by hunter1909

A couple very heartening thing in camp (and the 2nd week of camp)

1) Mikko being solid and confident

2) Keith improving period over period and the Keith/Ceci pairing improving game over game.


Tip says Kass is day to day right now. He was in great spirits today but needs to go through some protocol and tests – Tip sounded very optimistic.


Perlini seems like a “great dude” – starting with his first interview by Dusty on the morning show (which was FANTASTIC) to every pre or post-game/practice media avail – just now, the way his interview ended – just a good guy to have around (or so it seems).


Who saw Perlini, Shore, Sceviour and Turris outplaying Benson, McLeod, Marody 3 weeks ago?

No longer cries for the Benson/McLeod/Marody NHL line……


a few people


The second goal against wasn’t great but overall Skinner looked a lot more confident and ready in net than his lone game last year.

The Oilers forwards as a whole played on the right side of the puck for the most part – the depth at the forward ranks is looking solid. I’m happy with any of the remaining 15 guys on the NHL roster to be honest.

Lagesson had his best game in awhile too.

Will be interesting to see the cap-purposes roster in a couple days and then the first game roster a couple days after that.


For what its worth:

Oilers News and Updates
Final Preseason Stats Thread:

Connor McDavid: 4GP 3-6-9
Leon Draisaitl: 4GP, 2-5-7
Brendan Perlini: 6GP, 6-1-7
Jesse Puljujarvi: 5GP, 4-2-6
Derek Ryan: 5GP, 2-2-4
RNH: 5GP, 1-3-4
Kyle Turris: 6GP, 0-4-4
Warren Foegele: 5GP, 0-3-3
Colton Sceviour: 7GP, 0-3-3

Darnell Nurse: 4GP, 1-4-5
Duncan Keith: 3GP, 0-2-2
Evan Bouchard: 7GP, 1-1-2
Kris Russell: 2GP, 0-1-1
Slater Koekkoek: 5GP, 0-1-1
William Lagesson: 4GP, 0-0-0
Tyson Barrie: 4GP, 0-0-0
Cody Ceci: 5GP, 0-0-0

Mike Smith: .965sv%
Mikko Koskinen: .933sv%
Stuart Skinner: .920sv%
Ilya Konovalov: .885sv%

Team Record: 6-1-1
PP%: 9/31, 29.0%
PK%: 20/23, 87.0%


Skinner is .882, not sure where that other number comes from.


So, opening rosters need to be submitted by Monday at 3pm – anyone that’s not on that roster but requires waivers needs to be put on waivers for tomorrow.

I presume we likely see Lagesson on waivers – for actual re-assignmnet.

I presume me might see Turris on waivers – for a purposes of a paper transaction.

I think, on Monday, we may see Broberg added to the roster (for cap structuring purposes.

On Tuesday – Turris recalled and Broberg re-assigned.

Kassian’s status – active vs. IR vs. LTIR will be a factor – the above assumes he’s active.

Victoria Oil

Nice to see our B team beat their A- team, even in a meaningless game. Hopefully Yama gets a bit of confidence from his goal. Glad that all the big guns were rested and that it doesn’t look like there were any injuries tonight. Only minor quibble is that it would have been nice to see a bit more scoring chances/shots.

Last edited 6 days ago by Victoria Oil

Still looking forward to HH’s analysis.


Oilers beat the Canucks 3-2 and outshoot them 21-18.

Canucks with a full NHL lineup save on injured top 6 forward and a depth center. Oilers without their top 2 forwards, top d-man, top goalie.

Benning Team Building and Green Hockey.


Don’t forget, the Canucks are missing Hamonic. That is THREE roster players for the Canucks!


That’s right – how could i forget – with Hamonic by his side, Hughes would never have given the puck away for the shortie.


Don’t forget Luongo didn’t play tonight either.


Well, the Sedins are 2nd to none and they didn’t play tonight

Last edited 6 days ago by flyfish1168

OK I will take my side of CROW over easy! Really thought we might get run over without our top D pairing and two best forwards. LT called it!




CC got in the way twice in the last 30 seconds to stymy any reasonable chance by the ‘nucks.


Keith with a perfect subtle stickcheck with 1 second left to spoil a shot at the top of the crease…major danger area.

Gerta Rauss


Material Elvis

Skinner with a big save to end the game.


That’s a ticky-tack call on OMB, but I’d rather have him face those calls in pre-season then later on.


The ultimate test. Can the Oilers score an empty netter?


Weak play by Benson on the defensive boards and the shared shutout is broken.


Yike, after the giveaway, a weak play on the boards while losing his man.

Tough 10 seconds for Benson.


Channeling Kass.


Final nail in the coffin

Material Elvis

The high risk through the legs backhand pass instead of chipping it out will not make Tippett very happy.


He’s just not ready.


Meh he looked pretty good otherwise. I’ll take him on the team with Kassian out.

I like his passing, he generally plays solid D and thinks the game well.

Give him a few games to let it slow down for him before making the call.


Really liking our forechecking tonight. Relentless!


You know who isn’t missed? Kassian. They actually looked more skilled without him.


Don’t disagree but Jesse has been VERY quiet in his spot as 3RW (although a couple solid plays in the defensive slot that I don’t imagine Kassian would even have thought of making).


Vancouver announcer going on and on about lack of Oiler shots. I will take 3 goals on 13 shots anytime. Very efficient!!




Just saw Benson cover as much ground as McLeod toward a loose puck in the same amount of time, while traversing the diagonal.

Shortly afterward, Benson finished his check with authority.


I went and took a look a few minutes ago and was surprised to see Benson only credit with one hit (per NST) – he has been noticeably physical – for a couple of games now.

He likely doesn’t play opening night (even if Kass is out) but he should be on the 23 man roster. Sorry Lags.


That’s a flawed stat as I have previously noted Benson hitting Meyers early in the game prior to this observation.


More show up in the table now


OK, Schenn, settle down.


I am very impressed with the way that Skinner is playing. Yes, the saves are easy, but they are easy because his skating is so strong that he is in position and set early.


I think that taste of NHL hockey, plus a strong season in Bakersfield, really helped ‘ol Seymour. I don’t know what his ceiling is (goalies are voodoo as per Lowetide), but it looks like there’s an NHL player there


Agree with both of you.

Mikko had to make the tougher stops tonight (to this point) but Skinner has looked rock solid so far in his apx 20 minutes of play.


Confident and playing much bigger in his net. He’s pretty much ready and we can ease him in this year.


Chiasson AND Petan out there together.

Interesting version of unicorns the Canucks are attempting.


Horde of Petans > Vancouver Canucks?


I don’t know about that. But I guess now is as good a time as any to ask.

HH, do you prefer:

A) Sea of Petan’s


B) Sea of Chiasson’s.

I’ll accept either, but figured I’d check if you have a preference.


Skinner looking big.




Nuge just looking so, so good against Thin Hughes and then Petterson at the end of his shift.


You know who actually looks useful? Turris. After last year I never thought that would be the case.


He has – from day 1 of camp.

I had no surety that he would be able to bounce-back a bit but was certainly hopeful.

We’ll see how the regular season goes but he adds some skill to the bottom six and PP2.


Nice transaction by Benson there, taking off one of the better Canucks players with him.


Not sure how many points Foegle will get but he is a pain to play against. We have been missing that type of player.


I’d say 30-ish points is reasonable with minimal PP time.

Bank Shot

Guy always has his stick in the lanes. He’s a forechecking machine.

Oilers are going to have a legit third line this season.


Nice little shift by the 4th/5th line. All of these guys can play in the league.


McLeod wins an offensive zone puck battle (puck retrieval) and more o-zone pressure results.

More of that please!


Ryan lookin solid, smart.

#10 perfect number for him.


I hope this is about Horcoff and not Yakupov and his bees. 😀


Ha. Def Komrade Horcov.


Tikkanen maybe?


Nice pass by Podkolzin. It’s kind of puzzling why he can’t ever post actual offense.


Well, maybe it’s more about the glaring giveaways in both the defensive then offensive zones on the same shift than his passing skills?


Haha, well that’s obviously relevant for his NHL readiness.

Still, going back years he hasn’t scored as much as anyone has expected. Seeing him play, you can understand why scouts think he’ll be a good player and will eventually post offense. It hasn’t happened yet though, and one wonders if it necessarily will.

Bank Shot

People overestimate him because of his monster size. I mean he’s easily 5’10” maybe even 5’11”.

Unstoppable powerforward.

Material Elvis

No interference call there? Ryan was clearly interfered with….


Score effects…..


Why are they booing Keith in Vancouver? Because he didn’t want to play there?


Or his hair?


Dates back years – from their playoff match-ups and, I believe, a Keith elbow on one of the Sedins!


Huh, they haven’t played since 2011 (also in 2009 and 2010). I’ll take that as a good thing regarding playoff Keith. Thanks.

Last edited 6 days ago by jp

Yes, they’ve hated Keith for that long – its true.


Another reason to like Keith.

Bank Shot

I’m pretty sure he got suspended for his elbow on the Sedin.

Plus they always beat the Canucks in the playoffs. There is some hurt feeling for sure.



Keith was suspended 5 games. Daniel was out for 12. 


Gotta fire that Pooly.

Not your fault. Not much PP time to date.


Where did HH go?
I would love to hear more stories about the Canucks defensive pairings!!


The loss of Broken Raptorteeth was huge! Even though he didn’t arrive early, he was supposed to play 60 games last year. We were told to “book it”.


Material Elvis

I’m feeling a lot better now about Keith and Ceci. Keith is definitely an upgrade at 2C compared to anyone who played that position last year. Lagesson is actually having his first strong game of the preseason tonight.

Nice to see AsiaOil posting more frequently again.


Keith looks good.


Keith looks dangerous shooting from the point. Could be lots of points from the D this year.


Agreed – mentioned earlier that his ability to get that shot through and on net (and tip-able) with the likes of Hyman, Foegele, Jesse causing havoc will lead to goals. Not to mention, that man can move the puck up ice – to the likes of McDavid, Drai, et.




Agreed on all points




just me or is Benson good at getting hammered?

Last edited 6 days ago by MushedPeas

How good at getting hammered are you?


I may not be able to drink as much, but I can get just as drunk as any of you.


I can guarantee that I am currently the “worst” drinker in this community.


That’s three goals on 10 shots against Demko, Vancouver’s heir apparent.

By the EDM B-team, to wit.

Ice Sage

Have the Canucks conceded the season to the Oilers already?
Miss those piss-cutting days


THAT is great to see.

You’ve got to figure there was some sort of monkey on his back.

Nice goal too.


Short-round with the shortie.



Oh Yamo nice goal! What a pass by Ryan!!!!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x