The Oilers defeated the Flames 3-1 at Rexall, but lost 1-0 in Calgary. Here is a quick recap of the game in Edmonton.
Here is what I took from the game:
- If tonight is any indication the most refreshing off-season signing for the Oilers was Rich Meyers. He is the new director of game presentation, and he’s in charge of the music. After years of my ears bleeding from terrible song choices, Meyers’ song selections were strong. He and the Oilers won’t unveil all the new things they have planned to make the in-game atmosphere more entertaining until the season opener, but tonight was better than any regular season game in the past decade. Well done Rich.
- Bogdan Yakimov will play in Edmonton in the near future. He is excellent at protecting the puck and using his size to keep the play alive. Twice he used his big frame to shrug off the defender, take the puck to the net and create a chance. Very impressive first period.
- Keith Aulie was brutal in the first. He was fighting the puck and looked out of sync all period.
- Marco Roy finished off a nice pass from Draisaitl on his first shift of the game. The 2nd rounder put himself in a good position to receive the pass, and Draisaitl put it right on his tape.
- A new season, but some things never change. Former Oiler Curtis Glencross scores as he deflects a point shot through Scrivens.
- Schultz got a lucky bounce when his pass in front went off a Flame and behind Ortio. Schultz was very active in the offensive zone. In my interview with Ramsay he stressed the importance of playing as a five-man unit all over the ice and he expects the D-men to join the rush and stay up in the play if the Oilers have possession.
- Hall and RNH have been used on the PK. So far the Oilers have shown a willingness to carry the puck when down a man, rather than just dump it down the ice. Maybe that was because of the quality of lineup the Flames iced, but it looked like the memo will be to possess the puck when you have time on the PK. I saw the D-man carrying the puck up ice looking to make a pass rather than just a dump on numerous occasions.
- Oilers PP had two D-men, Hunt and Schultz with Hall line. Schultz played on left, his off-wing and Hunt was on the right. Nikitin shoots left and we could see him there during the season. Ramsay told me the first priority on the PP will be too get pucks on net. He wants guys to shoot.
- Nugent-Hopkins scores on the PP… comes off the right boards and snaps a shot to the far post. Nice quick release.
- Chase didn’t look out of place alongside Hall and RNH. Looked more comfortable on every shift.
- Right now I don’t see how Nurse can beat out Klefbom or Marincin. His game isn’t as mature or calm as those two. That isn’t a knock on him, but rather a positive that the Oilers won’t have to rush him. He can keep developing his game in junior.
- Tkachev pressures Wideman
and then Yakimov gets the puck and makes a nice pass to Perron in the
slot. Excellent scoring chance created by an offensive zone turnover. The
Oilers didn’t do that often enough last year. Tkachev has good skills and
instincts. The concern, of course, is his size. His #64 jersey looked huge
on him. He has skill, but the concern is what happens If he doesn’t grow. It will be extremely difficult for him to succeed in the NHL even if
he gets to 160 pounds. The Oilers need to sign him before the season starts, or he will be draft eligible next year. I hate sitting on the fence, but I see pros and cons of signing him. I’d sign him.
- Oilers back on the PP. First
unit, Draisaitl line didn’t do much, but RNH line comes out and Ortio
stoned Hall twice. Chase didn’t look out of place with them at all, and
when Eberle takes his spot that unit will be dangerous. They moved the
puck quickly from side to side and depending where they attacked from,
both Chase and Hall spent time in front of the net. The PP has way more
movement. They weren’t standing around for extended stretches like last
- Draisaitl has been good on faceoffs. He has won 7 of 11. Yakimov has won 4 of 5.
- Based on what I’ve read on twitter so far, I’m happy I’m watching this game instead of the one in Calgary. Sounds like a snoozefest down south.
- Bachman comes in for the third period. Scrivens was fine, but he wasn’t really tested.
- Platzer takes a holding penalty in the offensive zone and Flames go on the PP. Great part about preseason, is guys who usually don’t play in situations get a shot. Westgarth gets the final 30 seconds of the PK with Acton. They don’t give up a shot.
- Yakimov another excellent display of passing in the neutral zone to spring Tkachev. He makes a nice move through his skates, but never gets a shot on goal. Flash is good, but if it doesn’t lead to a shot on net, then it’s just flash.
- Roy will need to work on his skating. Not explosive enough yet.
- Schultz catches Baertschi from behind as he is in on partial breakaway. Schultz does look faster, but Baertschi didn’t look good all night for the Flames. Looked slow to me.
- McGratton has let three slapshots fly tonight. You forget how much skill the tough guys have, because in regular season they don’t play much.
- Yakimov continues to impress me. I’d like to see him later in preseason against more NHL caliber lineups, but he looks like he is ready to be a go-to guy in the AHL this year.
- Ortio with another solid stop off a deflection. He has been good in goal for the Flames.
- Oilers get a late PP… RNH unit starts…Takes 40 seconds to get possession…best chance was RNH with a slap pass that Hall redirects. RNH has looked really good setting up on the right wall. Draisailt unit finishes off PP, and Perron gets a great chance in the slot. Good pass from Draisaitl and Pouliot.
- Chase takes a 10-minute misconduct late in the game. He went after Glencross, giving him a jab with his stick, but he missed him. For years Glencross worked over the Oilers young stars, so it is nice to see Chase stand up for himself.
Overall it was a normal preseason home game. The Oilers had a more talented lineup and it showed. The other thing I noticed is that Schultz played a lot with RNH’s line. Schultz looks faster and he put on eight pounds up muscle and said he feels stronger. I spoke to Schultz after the game about joining the rush and being aggressive and he said he and Ramsay have already had many conversations about it. “I’m excited. That style suits how I want to play.”
I’ve said all summer that I believe Schultz will be much better next year. He is stronger, faster and most importantly he has more experience.
Recently by Jason Gregor:
- GDB -8.0 & -7.0
- Hitting the ice
- Ramsay talks coaching, defence and the powerplay
- Day One: Hall-Nugent-Hopkins-Eberle will play together
- Bears vs. Oilers rookies
- Hall: “I’m far from a finished product.”
- Ramsay, Hall and pre camp notes.