GDB -1.0: You have failed me for the last time/don’t fail me again

Ozzel Piett

This is it. The final game of the preseason goes tonight, and with it comes the final opportunity for players to make an impact on the coaches before the start of the year. Given the sheer volume of camp battles the Oilers have still going on, it should be fascinating.

Lineup

Forwards

  • Anton Lander – Leon Draisaitl – Nail Yakupov
  • Teddy Purcell – Boyd Gordon – Jordan Eberle
  • Matt Hendricks – Jujhar Khaira – Tyler Pitlick
  • Will Acton – Bogdan Yakimov – Mark Arcobello

Lots of guys playing out of position here, which is presumably the coaches’ way of sussing out how flexible the forward group is.

On the top line, Lander’s being given a chance to show something in an offensive role. Don’t hold your breath. The more critical thing here is probably that Draisaitl and Yakupov are together again, which hints rather strongly that Dallas Eakins does intend to start the year with them together (probably with Benoit Pouliot on wing).

Gordon gets another shot in an offensive role, and it’s hard not to wonder if the Oilers are thinking about taking him off the team’s defensive zone unit. More interesting to me is Purcell’s shift to left wing; if he looks good that would be a big help to the Oilers, whose lineup has been inconvenienced by the obvious need to keep Yakupov on right wing.

Pitlick, as he has for the majority of camp, is getting a look on a line structured exactly like the fourth line the Oilers have been talking about all summer. I don’t know how to interpret the fact that he’s still playing while both of his presumptive rivals for the role (Jesse Joensuu and Steve Pinizzotto) are scratched.

An all-centre fourth line is in action, with both Arcobello and Yakimov looking to impress. Arcobello playing is interesting; I’d assumed he was pretty much a lock, at least as the team’s No. 5 centre. It could be that the coaches just want to see him play right wing before the games matter.

Defence/Goal

  • Oscar Klefbom – Justin Schultz
  • Keith Aulie – Martin Marincin
  • Darnell Nurse – Brad Hunt
  • Ben Scrivens

Klefbom gets a look alongside Schultz once again. Honestly, I don’t know that I’d have him on my starting roster at this point, but he’s certainly being given a chance to impress and with Nikita Nikitin hurt there’s an opening.

I don’t know what poor Marincin has done to get assigned a job on right defence; at this point I’m halfway expecting him to start the year there if Jeff Petry isn’t good to go. He’s probably the best left defenceman on the team with Nikitin out. But hey, he’s been excellent over the last two games alongside Aulie, and he’s the first partner the Oilers’ latest ex-Marlie hasn’t looked awful with.

Nurse and Hunt is always fun, but old hat at this point.

Predictions!

Khaira and Draisaitl

Game day prediction: The Oilers played reasonably well overall (give or take four men in the corner) the last time out and lost; this time let’s say the Canucks have the edge overall but Edmonton lands the 3-2 victory.

Obvious game day prediction: Anton Lander will be invisible.

Not-so-obvious game day prediction: Jujhar Khaira will legitimately impress, setting up a Tyler Pitlick goal and making a case to be kept on opening night (though he won’t be).

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

  • Jordanzza

    This was a good game to watch in terms of evaluating the Oilers new Coaching Crew, the last 3 games have been evolving well,pro-actively.Appropriate adjustments are being made in baby steps,the changes are nice and small in the details category,this is a very good sign,the smaller the change the easier and faster the evaluation of sucess or failure or suitability.I can feel Ramsays impacts already,another solid sign that he and Dallas and the Assts are working well together so far.

    The Oilers have made sequential adjustments to their transition game in all 3 zones,its timing and execution over the last 3 games,and it looks good on them so far,this indicates an adequate communication structure.

    I want to talk specific adjustments ie. Fore-check/Back-check/D-zone exits/N-zone tactics ect ect but will simply say its nice to see what people think is a less than optimal lineup execute the Teams System and Coaching Crews Gameplan well enough to put up a competative result.

    Sedin scored his goal using Intuitive Dynamic Management tactics,what he did to Ben was standard NHS Tactical Shooting Program stuff,banking it off his body when he was frozen by his own traditional body mechanics in the midst of a traditional playaction was pure TSP acumen and thinking.Ben was in an absolutely predictable position,and Sedin did NOT do thea predictable thing with the puck.Breaking hockey tradition by adding SUPERIOR tactical planning based on Intuitive Dynamic Mangement and Analysis is what the NHS is all about,going 100% against the statistical traditional train of thought.

    Maturity seems to be hitting Nail and Dallas at the same general time .Hall is very Mature now and so is Nuge as is Ebbs,with Dallas now having more time to spend on Nail he will surely accellerate Nails development and make up for last season,you can already see they trust each other now.

    I think Yakupov and Dallas have bonded they are seemingly comfortable depending on each other,this is surely the oddest dynamic I have ever seen.Neither one budged an inch on their own last season and they were both playing a dangerous game of NHL Chicken,but the Universe pushed them back into the fires together where they have been both tempered and have both been defined as survivors ,they look stronger and more confident.Had one of them won last seasons saw-off both would have suffered this season.This has been a perfectly executed correction by all parties concerned,very well done.Both of those men deserve Kudos for displaying their maturity and Professionlism by moving forward productively,more importantly BOTH MEN deferred their individual needs to look after the Teams needs FIRST,that is Championship thinking.

    I want to see more Taylor Hall,he is like an a addiction and is defining the Oiler identity.You say Oilers and People think Taylor Hall, it will remain this way until someone makes People think their name instead and this takes results.Hopefully by the end of this season People are hearing the Name Oilers and are thinking ..Taylor Hall AND…??…who wants to push the River and join Taylor at the top of the heap?That is definately an NHL sized challenge for everyone to focus upon.

    • YFC Prez

      That’s a lot to read.

      Why don’t you breakdown your post into topics with 1 separate post for each topic.

      1) Your opinions on the new coaching crew and their systems.

      2) The Sedin goal and your strange take on this.

      3) Eakins /Yakupov bromance

      4) Just how ridiculously awesome Talyor Hall is

      If you do this you can see how your opinions are really viewed by your fellow commenters and you will receive more input and shared thoughts making for some decent conversation.

      I don’t think too many readers even take the time to read a post that long. Just trash as they are passing by. Just sayin…..

  • YFC Prez

    I literally ate two whole crows last night.

    I told my friend that my beloved Yakupov (honestly I love the guy.) will play his heart out and not produce.

    And I called Acton and Lander the twin Anchors.

    Man… I shed some tears eating that crow..

    Tears of utter joy and jubilation