Canucks defeat Oilers 5-2.

LittleNikki

The Oilers will not go undefeated in the 2015 preseason, after a 5-2 loss to the Canucks. They returned to reality after six consecutive victories. The Oilers, especially the defence, had a tough time handling the speed of the Canucks.

GAME THOUGHTS…

  • I don’t think it has anything to do with his conditioning, Nikitin
    simply can’t keep up with speed of the game. His lack of mobility was apparent all night. I can’t see anyway he is in the top-six on October 8th.

  • His partner, Andrew Ference, struggled just as much and it was a tough night for the two veterans. Maybe it was just one game, but they were a step behind all night. I can’t see Todd McLellan playing them as a tandem in the regular season. This was only Ference’s third preseason game, so I’m guessing he’ll have another chance to knock off the rust on Saturday. He told me after, “I felt terrible out there. My timing wasn’t there. We were a bit behind all night, when it came to little battles and reacting.”
  • Hall and McDavid are starting to show chemistry. Their speed gave the Canucks problems all night. Draisaitl started the game with them, but Slepyshev played the final 30 minutes beside the two #1 overall picks. One of the two will start the season with Hall and McDavid. I’d rather have Slepyshev in the lineup than Klinkhamer, so I’d keep Korpikoski on fourth line for now.
  • Odd night for Talbot. He had no chance on two point-blank shots from the slot, especially Weber’s goal where Sekera put it right on his tape, and then one goal went in off Gryba’s skate and the other ricocheted off Virtanen’s face. His best stop was a glove save off Sutter on a breakaway. I’d play him on Saturday to ensure he feels sharp for the start of the season.
  • Great shot by Yakupov. It is rare to see a forward streak down the wing and beat a goalie clean. Yakupov and Lander had a few good shifts late in the second. They Oilers need their line to be a difference maker in the regular season, and I suspect they will get some favourable matchups.
  • Pouliot has had a quiet preseason. He got better as the game went on, and I believe he plays best when he is involved physically like he did in the third period. With Eberle injured they will need him to add some secondary scoring like last year.
  • Schultz continues to do small things well. I’ve yet to see him get beat cleanly in a one-on-one battle. He will lose a few, all players do, but so far he’s been much more competitive than in the past. It is baby steps, but he has looked much better than last year.
  • Bo Horvat is an exciting player. He looked great. Virtanen did as well, and he has a great chance of cracking the Canucks lineup. Sven Baertschi picked up four assists, and I barely noticed him. He made quiet, smart plays.
  • The Oilers allowed three goals in the first two minutes of a period. They were not mentally ready.
  • They were not in the face of the Canucks often enough. You hope it was only one game, but McLellan said, “We weren’t inside the Canucks equipment enough. That might sound
    strange, but you are can play three feet off of it or you can be involved in it.” He also said he thinks they can do it, but they need to be committed to it. This will be his biggest challenge, because this team has not played inside the opponent’s jersey for years.

  • It was not a good night for the Oilers, and thankfully for them it is still the preseason. I wasn’t over-hyping their wins, and I won’t claim the sky is falling after one loss. Tonight was a healthy reminder this team only had 62 points last year. There will be some tough nights in the regular season, but the Oilers must ensure they are rare, not every few games like in previous seasons.
  • What were your thoughts?

Recently by Jason Gregor:         

    • PlayDirty

      Nice to see everyone found their comfort zone again. These articles go from getting 40-80 posts while they’re winning and jump to 150 after a loss.

      Really sad people…

    • mcjesus take the wheel

      It just doesn’t feel like our personnel wants to engage in finishing off checks like Flames and Canucks often do , as do most of the teams in West . To much talent only ?

    • mcjesus take the wheel

      Bickell on waivers. Nikitin deal a no go.
      Colin Greening on waivers too. I recall a bunch on here saying he would be a good target about a year ago.

      • Spiel

        Really? If Webber hit Nuge the way Nuge hit Webber he’d be facing a hearing today. McDavid was in the box for the ‘nucks’ go ahead goal and his complete inability to score is starting to get worrisome. Schultz and Hall weren’t terrible, which separates them a bit from last night’s squad, but they weren’t able to have much of a positive impact once the game started tipping in Van’s favour. Everyone needs to be better Saturday and ten times better next Thursday.

    • I am the Liquor

      It was a sloppy game, so it’s silly to look into the game too much.

      Had this been the 3rd loss in a row with the same problems, then I’d understand some of the critique.

      This could be an anomaly, or it could be the norm, we’ll only know when we’ve seen enough games.

      I don’t see Sekera making that same mistake again. I don’t think we’ll see the same D pairings again. I don’t see sluggish starts to periods again. Y’all may disagree, but I just don’t see all these things happening in one game again. It was a clusterpuck of errors.

    • tileguy

      I think we have to cut one of the heads off of our 3 headed goalie monster and the definitive way to do that is start Nillson Saturday and see what he’s got. Win you’re in, loose and well you know.

    • a lg dubl dubl

      I’d like to see Talbot start Saturday’s game, and play at least half before Nillson plays the rest. I’m interested to see what kind of bounce back Talbot has after last night, even if a few of those goals were defensive miscues(to put mildly).

    • I am the Liquor

      He has been our only good goaltender in camp. Why in the world would he be on the bubble?

      Scrivens should be packed into a suitcase and thrown on a Greyhound headed for Bakersfield.

    • Soiled Trousers

      K blow and Crack T are like the turd your dog drops in the corner. Sure you can move the turd to another room but the stink will linger until you throw out the turd.

    • kboof

      Jason: Our top 3 D:

      #1 Fayne 1st comp box protection D 3yr @ 3.625 (deboer). 14th best D in game at keeping Shots to perimeter on PK.

      #2 Sekera 1st/2nd comp Mobile D 6 yr @ 5.5M top 5 HSCA/60 D in BUF (ruff) and LAK (sutter). 66th best d in league at keeping shots to perimeter on PK.

      #3 Klefbom 1st/2nd comp Mobile D 1yr;+ 7yr @ 4.167

      Then we have a collection of D #4 to #8

      #4/5 Nikitin 2nd/3rd comp Box D 1yr @4.5 Top 6 HSCA d in CBJ. (richards) 2nd best D in game at keeping shots to perimeter on PK.

      #4/5 Gryba 2nd/3rd comp BOX 1yr @ 1.25M; top 60 HSCA/60 D in OTT; 27th best D in game at keeping shots to perimeter on PK.

      #6 Schultz 3rd comp mobile 1yr @ 3.9M

      #7 Reinhart 3rd comp mobile 2yr @ 3.213

      #8 Ference played himself of the team! 2yr @ 3.25M

      We auditioned our #2; #4-#8 d last night. going Mobile-Mobile; Box-Box; Box-Box.

      only concern I have is if Klefbom is on brain mush Break and Davidson is waiting to see if he plays SAT.

    • Cowbell_Feva

      I recall mentioning an observation I had noticed when watching McDavid play in the few junior games that are televised and the World Junior tournament.

      I said that all of his goals come from blowing by defenseman and then pulling 2 or 3 moves and sliding the puck in along the ice. It worked in junior, but I said it wouldn’t in the NHL. I got lit-up and trashed because I mentioned one slight flaw in his game.

      I thought it was astute to point out that the best goal scorers are pure shooters (ie, Stamkos, Ovechkin, Seguin) but ON readers disagreed.

      Here we are nearing the end of the pre-season and he is goal-less, and the moves I spoke of haven’t been going in, Bob MacKenzie is talking about how scoring goals isn’t he best asset, and people are starting to see what I was referring to.

      He will still pile up the points because of his sublime skating and playmaking abilities at full-flight, but I hope the Art Ross and Rocket Richard trophy talk will cease now that a small dose of reality has been administered.