chia capture12

Peter Chiarelli delivered his first Oilers roster to Todd McLellan and the two men are through the Penticton tournament and into pre-season on the way to the final 23-man list. No real signs from management and their leanings either way but it’s early days. How’s it going so far? 

All we really have this time of year is anecdotal evidence. Save for attendees at last night’s games, most of us watched one or both games online and sweeping statements are ill-advised under those circumstances. Is there anything out there?


  1. Oscar Klefbom 16:09
  2. Andrew Ference 15:18 (EDM)
  3. Justin Schultz 14:43
  4. Mark Fayne 14:20 (EDM)
  5. Andrej Sekera 13:54 (EDM)
  6. Brandon Davidson 13:45 (EDM)
  7. Jordan Oesterle 13:34 (EDM)
  8. Eric Gryba 13:23
  9. Nikita Nikitin 12:59 (EDM)
  10. Griffin Reinhart 12:55
  11. Joey Laleggia 12:49
  12. Darnell Nurse 12:39

Pretty straight up here, Oilers ran all three pairings in both cities and the last man on the list sat for five and that impacted his total. Let’s have a look at their possession and zone-start numbers.



This is the @Calgary game. Klefbom and Schultz received the tough zone starts and everyone else got a push. Based on what I’ve read Griffin Reinhart played well and aside from the fight there wasn’t much available on Nurse. The numbers suggest the Nurse-Laleggia pair had the better run in this game and that Reinhart was a bit of an island—but early days and this is one (pre-season) game of many. A small arrow, no one is going to be demoted because of it.

One player in this group we should pay attention to? Joey Laleggia. He’s coming from a long way back—no one was talking about him as one of the 12 most likely defensemen to play last night and he stepped in front of a few pro’s—and for me Laleggia (and Laurent Brossoit) are the early early good arrows in camp. It’s interesting that the numbers above were compiled against Calgary’s “A” team last night. Looking forward to tomorrow night’s game and hope we see Reinhart. 

  • Joy S. Lee

    Great stuff.

    Per the cheerleader thing: when they first rolled out, I furled my eyebrows and dismissed it as Katz’s way of deflecting his customers’ attention from the on-ice product. It is, however, the entertainment biz, and they seem to seek new ways to upgrade that throughout the experience. Whatever turns your crank, I guess, but they should be asking 17,500 people what they think, and determine the value from those responses collectively. Maybe that’s what they did.

    Per Justin Schultz and bradleypi’s love affair with the guy – I can respect his appreciation for Schultz only because I tend to pick players that become my favorites, too. Darnell Nurse, for example. His are much different than mine, apparently, but he’s entitled to his opinion. The part that drives me insane is how he takes every counter-opinion so personal, like he’s been stabbed in the heart. How anyone can argue for Justin Schultz’s history is beyond me; on the other hand, if he wants to argue for his future, now that makes some sense, because his past sucks despite whatever presentation Bradley wants to influence us with. I always revert back to watching Schultz watch a player crash into his crease and goalie and STAY there, chirping the netminder in a threatening way right in his grill, while Schultz did NOTHING. He literally PRETENDED it wasn’t happening! Little Mark Arcobello came from the blueline to bump the offender out of the crease. Schultz skated to the bench. I mean… “wow,” I thought, “this guy is supposed to be an NHL player?” That’s all I have to say about Justin Schultz, until he CHANGES his future with the help of the new coaching staff… or leaves town on a sad and depressing train. I don’t care how many points he gets, if that’s the team-player he is and that’s as far as the care-meter goes, then he doesn’t belong in the NHL, simple as that. Like the others, I’d love to see him CHANGE THE FUTURE, Bradley, and then maybe I’ll become a fan of his, too, if that’s okay with you; but he sure as hell ain’t going to change the past, so get over that already and stop trying to convince us that it’s different than it really has been.

    Per Darnell Nurse, I only need one sentence: He is the complete opposite of Justin Schultz.

    Actually, it makes me think of a one-on-one of Darnell vs. Justin for $1M of their salaries… who do you think is going to win, Bradley? Unless we see a different Justin this year, Nurse wins 100 out of 100 of those battles, almost without a doubt. I’ll bet Justin would literally quit about the time it hit 6-0. And Darnell hasn’t made the NHL yet. Think about that next time you try to tell us that we’re stupid for not seeing just how good Justin Schultz is. He hasn’t proved a GD thing, yet, and he’s had plenty of opportunity. This is his last chance. Darnell is waiting in the wings.

    • Joy S. Lee

      I don’t think bradleypi has a love affair with Justin S. only that he believes there is a future there. Clearly he was leaned on too heavily by the previous regime (Norris candidate) and he failed. This is his year to make or break. He doesn’t have to be a Norris candidate, only a solid D. 2nd or 3rd pairing is fine (I wish we had another option for the 2nd pairing this season). From Jason Gregor’s article last night:

      “Klefbom gets rocked at the blueline by Lipon and Schultz doesn’t hesitate and goes after him. This is exactly what the Oilers need to do, especially in exhibition. Stand up for each other. Great to see. Schultz and Lipon get roughing minors. If Schultz plays with this type of passion all season, he will go from many fans’ doghouse to the penthouse.”

      I, like bradleypi, are not ready to give up on him. Its very early but under new mgmt they may just turn him into the player many teams (there were a lot of teams after him as he has the tools to be great) thought he would be.

      I agree that Darnell has the potential to be great. He is not ready. Todd M. and Peter C. have both indicated that. Injuries aside, I don’t expect to see him here this season.