— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) October 2, 2015
The Edmonton Oilers received an old fashioned ass-kicking Thursday night. Todd McLellan responded with a kick-ass practice designed to reach mind and body with a single message: Games like Thursday are so last year.
POSSIBLE LINEUP (BASED PARTLY ON PRACTICE YESTERDAY)
- Talbot, Scrivens
McLellan talked about players needing to battle harder and play “inside the Canucks equipment”. Battle drills today pic.twitter.com/FkxDDs72CP
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) October 2, 2015
Rishaug went on to tweet that the practice was all about battle drills and the players were exhausted. For Oilers fans, watching Edmonton run around in their own end, spending the night chasing the puck and acting like chipping it out to the neutral zone is a victory, the universal response to a bag practice is probably “good!” and a decade of losing makes this understandable.
For me, it gets to the heart of what McLellan is trying to do. We ARE going to see nights like Thursday, ladies and men. This team simply isn’t good enough to stop it, and wishing it into the cornfield works in the twilight zone but not the NHL.
- McLellan: “With all of that there’s pain. There’s nights where we’re not going to be pleased. But there’s four teams playing right now that experienced that throughout the year too, they have painful nights, they just have fewer of them. We’re trying to take those painful nights and diminish them throughout the years to the point where we can be at the top of the mountain.” Source
CANUCKS PROJECTED LINEUP
- Piss Cutter-Piss Cutter-Weird Face
- Jimmy Legs-Horvat-Doofus
- Jail Tomorrow-Clown Boy-Human Being Lawnmower
- Filthy Frank-Dirty Dan-Clampus
- Festus Hagen-Clockwork Orange
- Peter Pan-Stepford wife
- Tor Kamata-Cheetah Chrome
- Roger’s Syrup (backup Soup in a Can)
- Justin Schultz is a different player this year. I’ve been very hard on him over the last two seasons but this is a player who came to camp on a mission. Better at shooting, still quality in the offensive zone, much better at positioning and he’s stronger on the puck. Wow.
- Anton Slepyshev is this year’s example of what players should do in order to make a team. Reminds me of Anton Lander and Kyle Brodziak in previous TC’s. Listen to the coach, execute as he would like, score once in awhile.
- Nikita Nikitin had a good game against Arizona and a poor one against Vancouver. He and Andrew Ference looked (to me) as though they were afraid to close gaps for fear of getting beaten clean. That’s death for NHL defensemen and suggests this could be a trying season for both. Nikitin was placed on waivers this morning.
- I like Anders Nilsson. He’s a big body and stopped all the pucks in pre-season. Goalies are, however, voodoo. If I’m Peter Chiarelli, I send Nilsson to Bakersfield and look for a trade of Scrivens during the season.
- Leon Draisaitl had a fabulous pre-season. Lordy.
- Connor McDavid.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers win 5-2. McDavid scores once on Roger’s Syrup and twice on Soup in a Can.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Oilers defense addled but Talbot stops 40.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Brandon Davidson plays a simple game without any major errors and it becomes obvious he should make the team. The Oilers announce the opening night roster will contain three goalies, 10 defensemen and 10 forwards.
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