Post game report from Rexall…


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:

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1st Period

  • 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.

2nd Period…

  • 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.

3rd Period

  • 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.

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Recently by Jason Gregor:  

        • hallsyoilerforever5

          Draisaitl’s vision is fantastic. His skating isn’t too bad. I definitely like the line of him, Perron, and Pouliot. Hall and RNH were buzzing all night as usual. Schultz made great defensive plays. PP wise : Far more aggressive, and they actually shoot the puck ; with one timers from the point. ( I like it).

          Major props to the new oilers DJ as well. Actually some solid tunes and no cotton eyed joe/Adele.

          • Jason Gregor

            Yes, when the final rosters are made… The backend will be much heavier, which is what I said needed to happen. They have more skill and size which will help.

        • The Last Big Bear

          MacGrattan has been around the NHL long enough that it’s starting to rub off on him.

          We saw it from Domi and Brashear too. Tough guys who start to show flashes of skill after 5-10 years in the NHL. Not that I’m expecting anything from McGrattan, but you don’t post Gordie Howe hat tricks in the NHL without having a bit of talent.

          Wish I had seen the game in Rexall, the game in the ‘Dome was a debacle of pre-season proportions.

          Also, I love Cotton Eyed Joe.

        • Mangiant

          Why should Tkachev gain weight? I’d rather see him at 140, slippery & fast than 160 and slower.

          Not like 160 is going to give him any better a chance against a big guy anyway.

          • Jason Gregor

            You think gaining weight means they get slower? Not sure why you think that. Schultz gained 8 pounds and he is faster, because he is stronger and generates more power.

            Thinking Tkachev can compete at his size in the NHL is wishful thinking. He needs to grow and get stronger before he has a hope of playing here. He is at least three years away, which is fine. The Oilers have a lot of small, skilled forwards.

            • Mangiant

              Everyone uses the “needs to gain weight” blanket statement for anyone under 200. The kid is 5’9, so you’re right, it’s already a long shot.

              As soon as anything (such as improper weight gain) reduces his speed or agility, his chances of making it just got worse.

              His goal should be to get faster and more agile. Weight gain is just a (potential) byproduct.

              • Jason Gregor

                For young guys proper weight gain means added strength and power, which is needed. Tkachev has to get faster, bigger and stronger.

                Players who gain weight are put on proper programs. They don’t just add 10 pounds, they add it in areas that will benefit. The nutritional programs they are put on are very specific to their body types.

                He is 141 of course he has to put on weight. It’s not like he is 190 and people say he needs to get to 195. Big difference.

          • Aitch

            It’s not that he should gain weight, he probably just will naturally. He’s only 18. It’s quite possible that he may not have even started to thicken up yet. I know I was 145lbs at 18. Probably taller than Tkachev, but still skinny as a rake from the waist up.

            Give the kid his max time in junior and then a shot at the pro game. Could be a steal. If you want to get better, you have to take chances on the outliers. Those that pay off are those that end up tipping the balance.

          • Craig1981

            160lbs isn’t exactly bulky. Theo Fluery was known it be small but very speedy…..he was listed at 5’6″ 180lb.

            At 140lbs he wouldn’t have a chance… 170-180lb maybe.

        • Jason Gregor

          Nice breakdown , but feel Nurse and Schultz were our two best defenseman . Nurse looks to be better than Klefbom from my perspective . Stauffer high on Nurse as well , as per comments in game on Sportnet .ca . Schultz looks much improved from last year . It’s going to be hard keeping Yakimov off squad as well . Draisaitl still a question mark at this juncture .

          • ThinkingOutLoud

            I thought Nurse was good last night as well. He showed a lot of confidence with the puck and jumped up a couple times. Klefbom was just there, didn’t really stand out.

        • Aitch

          I was at the game in the middle of 119…i was close enough to get a great look at them all and I’d say Draisatl’s skating isn’t a concern and Nuge’s shot was way crisper and harder than last year.

          • The Last Big Bear

            Yakupov was bad.

            He didn’t register a single shot on net (although IIRC he did have one shot attempt that was blocked).

            The Yakupov – Arcobello – Purcell line were credited with literally one shot on net the entire game.

            And if I had to ballpark it I’d say they gave up probably 10 of the Flames 28 shots against.

            • Dan 1919

              Definitely still a few areas of concern. Draisaitl is improving every game, and hopefully it continues because it’s still needed for him to play 2C. Yakimov won’t be a 2C this year either.

              But how about the Flames, I actually feel bad for their dedicated fan base. That team is in terrible shape and is looking at a long time of not being competitive in this league. I actually don’t take pride in saying this, but they’re in really, really bad shape. You know it’s going to be bad for a long time when prospects that will be 3rd liners at best are what gets the fans excited.

              God bless the cold ashes that once use to be the red hot burning pallace of Jarome Iginla.

              • Jason Gregor

                Perhaps you should limit your comments to an area where it at least be expected you’d have some expertise, i.e. Oilers. Flames are coming along fine, Thank You, though as expected it does take time. Also, of course several guys missing from games…If Flames “in really, really bad shape” I guess that about says it all as to where the Oilers are at? We kicked your butts last year and expect the same this year.

                On the games, thought RNH best Oiler, Hall also good. Beyond that a few flashes that you’d hope will get more consistent. For Flames Glencross best in YEG, Monahan in YYC. Oilers in Calgary were terrible, Flames dominated. New D slow and had to resort to multiple penalties to keep Flames at bay, not impressive. Yakupov just about invisible until near the end when he charged directly into Setoguchi just after a huge Calgary hit (Hathaway). Watching from afar I’d say Yakimov best option for 2C now (best of current choices), but will Oilers allow that to happen or force-fit in Draisatl?

                • Dan 1919

                  Hahaha as much as I’d like to come up with some witty response, you already stole the punch line from me, “For Flames Glencross best in YEG…”

                  As funny as that statement is, the sad part is it’s actually true.

                  God bless the cold ashes that once use to be the red hot burning pallace of Jarome Iginla.

              • T&A4Flames

                Are this for real? You, an Edmonton Oilers fan, feeling sorry for the Calgary Flames? You’re feeling sorry for a team that finished higher than you in the standings last year, despite your team boasting a myriad of not only first round picks, but first overall picks as well? You feel sorry that we went about the correct way to build a team and establish young players, not suffer through a decade of disappointment and tossed jerseys? You, feeling sorry for us, when you have an owner who wanted to move the team to Seattle because everyone in Edmonton is a whiner and no one wanted to pay money for a new arena, including billionaire Katz? Until the Edmonton franchise stops embarrassing itself and finishes higher than 30th place you literally can’t say anything.

              • OilHub

                Come on, they a freaking Mark “5 year project” Janikowski playing 3rd line at a university I can’t remember, guys going to be a stud in 2019.

                Olli Maata would look good right now, beside the plethera of young gems they have on defence.

                Calgary is in a world of hurt this year. They overpaid Anaheim 2nd string goalie, and although they have two great defenders in Brodie and Gio, and have one legit top 6 forward in Hudler. I pick them to win the Coonor McDavid sweepstakes (barf)

            • Dan 1919

              If Yak was bad, Johnny Hockey was terrible! What a boring game at the dome!! Yak was ok, he tried to much sometimes but I think overall he didn’t have a bad game. Flames had 3 pp the first period.

        • Dan 1919

          “Right now I don’t see how Nurse can beat out Klefbom or Marincin.”

          Interesting take, I thought like last training camp, Nurse was one of the best D on the ice, noticeably better than Klefbom, and close to Schultz when looking at both ends of the ice (Nurse is actually effective in breaking up plays and getting the puck when defending). He seems to be bringing everything he brought last year plus a year of experience and seems more confident and sure out there. Last year he was better than a few roster Dman, but because of his age it was easy to justify sending him back regardless of his skillset, I don’t see it being that simple this year.

          If he doesn’t beat out Marincin or Klefbom that’s actually great news for the Oilers D depth, but I see Nurse at the point where NHL experience is the best challenge for him and is probably now best for his development.

          And if he doesn’t displace Marin of Klef, dare we have the awkward conversation, Nurse is better than Ference. If it doesn’t happen this year it’s for sure happening next year.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          It’s good the Oilers finally have a coach who’s going to work/make the best of the players given to him (Ramsay/Schultz) Couldn’t say that about Eakins last season.

        • Brownblazer

          I was at the young stars tourney and watched Ed a couple of times. I thought the Yakimov Tkachev line was the best there. This guy has the makings of a great 3rd line center (like Anisimov of clb).

          Nurse also looked extremely strong in Pen. I don’t know why they’d keep him out (like wpg’s Trouba from the year before in Pen – then made some noise in the bigs)

        • The Soup Fascist

          Klefbom was pretty smooth out there. Aulie was his partner. In the first half of the game I noticed Aulie (for all the wrong reasons). I did not notice Klefbom in the first half. And you thought I would have – given the 240 lb anvil he was dragging around.

          Really watched Klefbom the second half and was impressed. Made smart plays. He is an excellent skater. While he is not a banger he uses his size effectively to protect the crease and work the corners. Joined the rush a few times. Not flashy, but he could play in the league for 15 years.

          RNH looks strong and confident – notwithstanding the fact this Calgary squad might have lost to the Irma Aces. And Schultz was always around the puck. I wonder if Marincin wouldn’t be a good partner for him? Only preseason but a couple of key guys look better.

        • ThinkingOutLoud

          Watching the home game on the net, I was really impressed by a lot of prospects/players however two things stood out to me more than anything else:

          1. Draisaitl – The thing I loved most about the opening goal was initially he gave the puck away in the offensive zone. Instead of dropping his shoulders and giving up in frustration as it has been all too often the case with this team over the past few years, he turned right around and started powering back down the ice, catching up to the play, effectively back checking and stripping the puck regaining possession. He then turned back and moved away from the Flames players chasing him and made that spectacular pass – I actually cheered out loud! Not bad for a guy who’s skating was apparently a question mark!

          2. Nuge – Nuge! Nuge!! Nuge!!! His adamantium infused shoulders seemed to have healed quite nicely, and he seems soooo much stronger. You could really see the power and quickness of release with a few of his shot attempts. Scary to think what he will be capable of over the next couple years as he continues to mature and get even stronger.

          Obviously I won’t allow myself to get carried away about this team just yet. It was only preseason game #1, and it was the already painfully gutted Flames’ B-Team that was sent up the QE2 to face us. Overall however I do like what I see. To quote another long time commenter on this site, and though it may still take a couple years but, I’m starting to believe: Oiler Domination to Follow…

        • Hooray for Rich Meyers B/C it sounds like Ground Hog’s Day at Rexall is finally over!!!! I guess I’ll have to turn in my tier two membership and actually attend a couple games this year. Imagine that!

        • Was very impressed with Yakimov. It’s early and look forward to seeing him play against the Getzlaf’s and Kopitars but he could surprise. As I expected he was strong on the dot also. Arco is in tough for a spot if Yak2 keeps playing this way.

          • The Soup Fascist

            Exactly my thoughts. Im glad Eakins said what he did when he mentioned that only 2 center spots are spoken for. At this point Yakimov is showing way better than Arcobello and Yakimov is way better suited to play with a player like Yakupov. Unfortunately theres no way they keep two rookie centers send down Draisaitl.



        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          i still think that Keith Aulie was signed to play in the AHL this year and not to play for the Oilers. judging by this game, looks like the AHL may be the best place for him.

        • phiko73

          Draisaitl had a really good 40 mins. I think he struggled at times to find his body position down low in the offensive zone, but for the most part had a great read on almost every play.

          Schultz was the show-stopper. He has everywhere and did everything right. I think he made one mistake in coverage in his zone but that was it. Very well done!

          Hallsy was flying and in the early goings showed some new ability to maintain puck control. I found that as the game went on Hall went back to his old ways and started turning the puck over from time to time. Good to see he is working on his game though. It also didn’t help that Chase was throwing cinder blocks at him all night. Poor guy.

          I think it is pretty clear that Greg Chase isn’t near NHL ready. I think that he did a good job not screwing up royally by keeping things really simple, but other than that he looked out of place.

          Yakimov will be playing NHL games by the end of the season, depending on injuries of course. He is a tank and embraced his role as a shut down checker with a passion. He reminds of of Hartikainen but actually takes the puck to the net with authority. Well done Yak#2

          Tkachev had a pretty good game as well. His difference were subtle but evident up until late in the game when he appeared to open up a bit with his skating and stick handling abilities.

          Scrivens would have had a shutout if it hadn’t have been for that flukey deflection from Glencross. He played quite well.

          Finally, the music choices may have been better, but the Rexall DJ was a little too excited at times. Often BLASTING the volume to shrill dub-step and also constantly playing snippets of songs while play was underway. *Needs improvement*

        • geoilersgist

          I was at the snails paced game at the Dome last night. The only line that was exciting to watch was yakupovs. He was flying. I like the size of these young guys coming up. None of them appeared to be “small”. Can’t wait for this season.

        • Dan 1919

          @ The Sultan & cccsberg

          I’m actually well aware of how bad the Oilers are. I just found it comical we were getting poor Oiler reviews like they were genuine comments from Flames fans, and nothing mentioned of their team. Because let’s be honest, the Flames are in worse shape than the Oilers.

          • T&A4Flames

            Quit sniffing the petrol moron, and be a little smarter. You faced, not our B or even C group. You faced a bunch of try outs . Also, we are entering year 2 of our rebuild. Guys like you forget so easily how you were manhandled last year, you with all your 1st overalls. 1st year of rebuilding and we still were better than you. You should be better smart guy. Your GM finally goes out and does some things that look promising on paper and your ready to declare a Stanley cup champ with Yakoflop, blue-line tripper-Hall and glass rack RNH. LET YOUR TEAM FINALLY, show something and then you can get excited. But you really have no right in saying anything about where the Flames are at given your teams showing the last 6 years.

            In the meantime, you should probably stock up on Oiler Jersey’s because I predict a few ice-tossed jersey’s happening again this year.

        • phiko73

          Oilers giving Draisaitl every chance to exceed with some of our top players . However , I think it is time for Yakimov to have same opportunity instead of the players he has had to play with in comparison . Side note : Acton played well/effective though not flashy.