GDB -8.0 & -7.0

FlamesSUCK

For the past two seasons the Battle of Alberta has been the Battle of Basement, with the Oilers narrowly bettering the Flames in 2013, and Calgary finishing ahead last year. It feels like forever since these franchises have been simultaneously competitive, but despite their lack of on-ice success fans in both cities still despise their provincial rival.

Even though tonight’s rosters will feature many players who will never suit up regularly for the Flames or Oilers, fans in both markets will be passionately rooting for the logo.

Until a Stanley Cup run is realistic, or even the playoffs for that matter, the BOA is the series you expect the Oilers to win.

Tonight’s games start at 6 p.m. at Rexall and down the highway at the Saddledome. If you are going to the rink you will get to see Leon Draisaitl’s exhibition debut.

LINEUPS

Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Chase
Pouliot-Draisaitl-Perron
Tkachev-Yakimov-Westgarth
Roy-Acton-Platzer

Nurse-Schultz
Ference-Hunt
Aulie-Klefbom

Scrivens
Bachman

Greg Chase scored 85 points in the WHL last season, and he gets rewarded by playing with Edmonton’s best centre and left winger. He will be back in the WHL this year, but this is will be a wonderful learning experience for him. He came into camp in great shape and gets rewarded for it. 

Draisaitl’s line looked very good during scrimmages. Perron mentioned his hip still isn’t a 100% from off-seaon surgery, but I guess it is good enough to play.

Eakins must want to make sure young Yakimov and Tkachev won’t feel intimidated. Westgarth can skate well enough to play with them in a preseason game.

Schultz looked stronger and quicker in practice/scimmages and he’s the guy I will be focusing on tonight. It’s a bonus he is playing with Nurse so I will be able to see him a lot as well. Nurse has to try and calm his game down, which is normal for young, aggressive players.

Many think Scrivens entered camp a bit ahead of Fasth, but if he wants to get the start on October 9th he needs a strong preseason.

Their opposition will be…

Glencross-Stajan-Jones
Baertschi-Granlund-Byron
Wolf-Arnold-Carroll
Buoma-Tousignant-McGratton

Russell-Wideman
Smid-Diaz
Cundari-Yonkman

McDonald
Ortio

OILERS ROAD LINEUP

Yakupov-Arcobello-Purcell
Pakarinen-Lander-Pinizzotto
Hendricks-Gordon-Joensuu
Moroz-Khaira-Baltisberger

Nikitin-Fayne
Marincin-Simpson
Oesterle-Musil

Fasth
Brossoit

The Flames, like the Oilers are dressing a lineup that includes players the fans most want to see; Deryk Engelland. They will also showcase Johnny Gaudreau at the Saddledome.

Raymond-Monahan-Hudler
Gaudreau-Colborne-Setoguchi
Bollig-Reinhart-Jooris
Klimchuk-Knight-Hathaway

Giordano-Brodie
Culkin-Brookbank
Kulak-Engelland.

Hiller
Thiessen

The Flames top pairing of Giordano and Brodie were excellent last season, and if the Flames want to avoid finishing last in the west, that D pair will need to be just as dominant as they were last year. It likely will be difficult for them to match their possession numbers from last season.

QUICK HITS…

  • Eakins said the battle for the 2nd and 3rd line centre position is wide
    open, but based on who Arcobello and Draisaitl are skating with
    compared to Lander, it seems obvious Lander is starting the competition
    as the #5 centre. He will need to take a spot away from Drasaitl or
    Arcobello.

  • The Oilers are wisely resting Jeff Petry after he tweaked his shoulder in Friday’s scrimmage. The initial word is that isn’t serious, but it makes no sense to rush him.
  • I like the idea of two preseason games in the same day, but the curious part of me wishes they would have been at different times. I was impressed by Marincin in camp, and I’d like to watch him tonight, but it won’t be possible while I’m at the game. Would it bother season ticket holders if the home game started at 3 p.m. today?

    Just curious if you’d prefer that, so you could watch both if you wanted to, or because it is preseason you don’t care. Get the games over with and start the real season.

TONIGHT…

octane

GAME DAY PREDICTIONS: Home town fans will go home happy. The Oilers will win 5-3 in Edmonton while Calgary skates away with a 3-2 at home.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTIONS: You spent all summer telling yourself you wouldn’t get sucked into believing the Oilers had a shot for the playoffs, but after watching Hall and RNH combine for three goals you find yourself thinking they can finish 4th in the pacific and beat out 5th place in the Central.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTIONS: Chase will score and someone will suggest the Oilers look seriously at keeping him this year. Schultz will have a positive Corsi rating, setting up a great week of debate on the Nation surrounding his abilities.

Recently by Jason Gregor:  

  • Young Oil

    I’m with you on starting the games at different times. It wouldn’t even need to be 3:00, even starting one half an hour earlier/later would allow fans to watch the majority of both of the games by switching over during the intermissions!

    Any word on why Eberle isn’t playing tonight? I know it’s preseason so not everyone plays, but it seems odd that he is the only one out of the top 15 or so forwards not playing!

  • Jaxon

    I am hoping Tkachev, Chase, Nurse and Draisaitl all play well enough to get a 9 game NHL stint before the send Nurse, Chase and Tkachev back. I’m quite sure, as most are, that Draisaitl stays the full season. I think that 9 game experience is gold for players who might prove to be solid NHLers one day. I know Tkachev might not get there, but it would be great for him to experience the speed and checking in the NHL regular season to give him a glimpse of how hard he’ll have to work to get there and stick. Then send him back to Moncton to dominate and maybe reach a crazy pts/gp pace in the 1.95 region. If he does that you can almost guarantee he’ll be an impact NHLer regardless of his size. It looks like Chase could get that 9 game stint and with 4R wide open right now, and the NHLEs of his competition all around 20-22 and his being around 29, I think he’s got a real shot. He scored at the same pace as Eberle with a more all around game and some tenacity in his draft+1 year. I think they should send him back, but it wouldn’t really surprise me if they didn’t. It would be great to see him and Nurse at the World Juniors this year. If Eberle is hurt (panic), I could definitely see Chase sticking around for at least 9 games. What is up with Eberle not being in the lineup tonight?!?!

    • Because the mormons who watch the games at Rexall would basically shut down the Octane program crying “too much skin”/”too sexy”/”my kids don’t need to see that”.

      I’ve been at a few functions where the Octane girls have been in attendance. If you look past their ridiculously prudish uniforms, alot of them are rockets.

      Maillie Harris (the team director) walks a really fine line when presenting the cheer team to the public. I have alot of respect for her doing that.

  • toprightcorner

    I don’t get the games being at the same time either, I would like to watch both but will have to make a decision on which to watch as flipping doesn’t give a good feel for what guys are doing.

    I want to see Arco and Leo fight for centre positions as that is the only major camp battle but also want to watch Schultz and Marincin. Tough to do either when games are at the same time. Come on Sportsnet, lets start off your new era right and get these things worked out!!

  • toprightcorner

    GDP – Lots of goals, Oil score 9 goals and Flames score 6 between the 2 games, Oilers with a 6-3 win at home but lose 4-3 in SO on the road.

    OGDP – Yak finally gets it that he has to get into position to shoot lots and gets 6 SOG with a one timer goal from the right dot!

    NSOGDP – Wesgarth wins a fight and gets a garbage rebound goal off a beautiful Yakamov/Tkachev play and Oil fans jump back on the enforcer on the team wagon

    • Westgarth won’t fight against this squad, unless he is crazy. The Flames are dressing
      the following:
      Wolf
      Yonkman
      McGrattan

      Won’t guess at the Oiler’s home game score,
      since the Flames are going with their AHL and CHL prospects.

      For the Flames’ home game, it looks like 4 NHL forwards and 2-3 NHL defense. Wild card is Fasth. If Brossoit plays, he will get lit up; he’s nowhere near ready for the NHL.

      • The Soup Fascist

        WTF is a Wolf – Yonkman?

        Wolf-Yonkman sounds like a second rate accounting / law firm. Need your taxes done? Go see Wolf – Yonkman. Hurt in an accident? Wolf – Yonkman are your guys. Need truculent hockey players? Sorry. Look elsewhere.

        Yonkman is a large 33 year-old turnstile defenseman who is a human punching bag. Wolf was a “tough guy” in the German Elite League where the scariest person in the arena is likely Hilda the Schnitzel lady who snaps if you ask for extra sauerkraut.

        McGrattan was a legitimate tough guy who has hopefully conquered his demons. In terms of those other two, they are going to have their hands full trying to skate, never mind looking for Westgarth.

        Non-issue.

        • justDOit

          Big Ern is one of the best fighters in the league, and is well respected as a honest player. He hasn’t lost a fight is quite a long time. Not many will fight him, but if they do, he will give them a pat on the back for going.

          Yonkman is a monster; he doesn’t have to fight to hurt.

          Wolf is built like a missile.

          Anyway, more interested in hockey and solid hits over staged fights. Word to the wise; don’t poke the Wolf.

          • The Soup Fascist

            I like McG’s story, character and attitude. No argument.

            Sorry. Wolf couldn’t scare water down a drain. ECHL bound.

            Westgarth isn’t a super heavy anyway. Getting a look see until Gazdic is back. Both are fringe NHLers. Oilers need a solid RW who can play lockdown D with Gordon more than a tough guy, I am afraid

          • justDOit

            Gazdic did well fighting wearing the shield; does he still get that advantage this year?

            Agree that both him and Westy are fringe players. He was a boat anchor last year.

            To survive in the west, you need a few guys that will stand up for your players, but have enough skill to play more than 5 minutes a game.

            I am looking forward to seeing both Bennett and Draisaitl play in the NHL, but not this year. Let the kids develop a bit before they play in the bigs.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Love the argument. What advantage does Gazdic have that doesn’t apply to every player his age?

            So your boy Wolf won’t be wearing a visor?

            Why the love for David “Big Bad” Wolf? Dude is going to “blow” tonight – but it won’t be any houses down.

          • The Soup Fascist

            His age? Dude is 25. Only applies to 1st year NHL players.

            No real love for the player yet since I haven’t seen him at this level yet. Saying that, I like that he is a team guy, who can hit.

            Not to be confused with all the “solid” girls playing for the Oils. Oops, I mean guys.

          • The Soup Fascist

            You do realize that last year WAS Gazdic’s first year in the NHL right? Hence the visor rule for him. Dudes can be in their mid 20’s and be rookies in the league, right?…see Arcobello for example B.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Yes. In case you didn’t read the exchange, Soupy said that it applied to every player his age. I said he was 25 and the rule applies to 1st year player. Not that he wasn’t.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Since last year all first year players must wear visors throughout their career including your boy Wolf. Oh wait. I am not sure what the ECHL rules are.

            Are you under the impression Gazdic has a choice about the visor?

          • The Soup Fascist

            I grin. I laugh. I rarely smirk.

            BTW. Just curious.

            How are you going to “see” if I am smirking after the game? Bringing your mom over for beers tonight?

  • 1979

    Hey Gregor,

    I’m not sure your Not-So-Obvious is actually Not-So-Obvious. The only addition that would make it more obvious is an Eberle trade rumour attached to it! Ha!

  • vetinari

    Wouldn’t a home-and-home doubleheader on the same day be great, or what? Run the first at noon or so and the second at 7:30 p.m. and enjoy a full day of cross-provincial animosity!

  • The Soup Fascist

    Both games carried live at Sportsnet . ca for Western provinces basically . Not sure if that means also on TV Oiler and Flame sites .

    Eberle “in the doghouse ” for some reason ?

  • The Soup Fascist

    Was thinking where is Pitlick? I guess it is a good sign he is not in. I am guessing that means he won’t be going anywhere after the split squad games.

    • The Last Big Bear

      Yeah, I can’t get a stream up for the Flames @ Oilers game, but the Oilers @ Flames game is… bad.

      The Oilers sent all of the “question marks” to Calgary (Yakupov, Arcobello, Lander, Fayne+Nikitin, et al).

      And so far in every case, the answer to the question has been “No”.

      It’s the end of the second, and the Oilers have 3 or 4 shots on the clock.

      I should correct myself, Fasth has been solid. I think the Oilers scored themselves two 1B goalies last year, in Fasth and Scrivens.

      But everything else they sent to Calgary has been a total gong show.

  • Dan 1919

    Things are going to get interesting, Nurse looks like an NHL dman out there, and a good one, not far behind Schultz. Schultz was the best Dman on the ice (anything else would be disappointing considering his recent signing). Klefbom had a decent game too.

  • Serious Gord

    Only had time to watch a bit of the second in EDM.

    Draisaitl was definitely conspicuous – lots of TOI, lots of touches and he is very distinctive in size and stance (very wide) bigger men always look like they are skating slower so I reserve an opinion on that part of his game. Otherwise he played as advertised good vision and playmaking ability.

    Hardly intense or stiff competition though.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Well, Yakupov landed a big knee into Setoguchi, away from the puck and behind the play, with 30 seconds left in the game.

    And that was probably his most effective play all game.

    I’ll be honest, the team the Oilers sent to Calgary was absolute balls. The only guys who even looked like NHLers were Gordon, Fasth, and Fayne, and I’m giving Fayne a bit of the benefit of the doubt.

    Fasth did a good job stopping 19 of 20, and Brossoit got lucky, not letting in any goals despite several posts and a shot off the mask.

    The Oilers were never really in any danger of scoring a goal, and Hiller probably never broke a sweat in his 8 shots over 40 minutes (and I think crediting the Oilers with 8 shots was being very generous).

    Arcobello was a non-factor. Yakupov was a non-factor. Purcell was a non-factor. Nikitin was a non-factor. Joensuu was one of the Oilers best forwards, and no, he wasn’t any better than he normally is.

    As a Flames fan, I would rather have watched them lose at Rexall, rather than watch them play keep-away from AHLers and 3rd liners in the ‘Dome.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Yeah, not really. The squad the Flames sent here were Gord awful too. Pretty boring game.

      That is the way the split squad games work. Make the fans happy at home and send the lambs to the slaughter on the road.

      Plus it was good you stayed home – it will get you used to the Lames scoring a goal a game this season.

      At some point during this season you may be tempted to turn to alcohol, but I like you LBB, so a word of caution. Don’t start – there is not enough booze in the province to make you forget that you have one legitimate top 6 forward.

      I have been there. We had JF Jacques on our 1st line a couple of years ago, for Chrissake. It hurts. I know. Good Luck and be well, LBB.

      Godspeed.

    • Zarny

      You must be disappointed with Gaudreau considering he looked like absolute garbage. Monahan and Raymond were both terrible too. In fact, other than Gio and Brodie the Flames looked abysmal and that was their ‘A’ team.

      I guess luckily it was only the first pre-season game.

  • oilerjed

    I cant begin to explain my irratation at once again this year not being able to see these pre season games on the coast. I thought the NHL was doing away with these regional conflicts???!

    • The Soup Fascist

      ~Shut up. You live on the coast! Plus 28 on the prairies today, who knows, there could be snow next week!~

      Just kidding oilerjed, hope you can see the games. Continue to fight the good fight against the scourge that is Canuck fan!