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. 


  • Hall—McDavid—Slepyshev
  • Pouliot—RNH—Purcell
  • Draisaitl—Lander—Yakupov
  • Korpikoski—Letestu—Hendricks
  • Sekera—Schultz
  • Reinhart—Fayne
  • Davidson—Gryba
  • Talbot, Scrivens

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


  • 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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  • Joy S. Lee

    I’m with Dawn. Lots of changes being incorporated into a revamped team that has endured too many losses over the recent past. Included in those changes are at the most important places: at the top. Despite all of this rampant change, many come here to insist that we much make bigger ones, and immediately.

    At some point, you have to reach for a little stability, don’t you think – even if that stability is only for the NEW coaching and management teams, which you are now expecting to make drastic personnel changes on top of the ones they’ve already made? I think I saw someone refer to McLellan voicing how his coaching staff is still trying to figure out who these players are. And we haven’t hit game one yet.

    Which way is the wind blowing today?

    • Serious Gord

      I can’t comment with certainty on where others are on this issue but I certainly am not saying immediate changes be made. But 20-40 games into the season? Absolutely big changes could be made.

        • camdog

          Well if you are going to try and ice the best team possible this a move in the right direction. There was just too much chaos in Scrivens game, especially when he handled the puck. I’m still a little shocked that many in the media were trying to sell Ben as the back up. If he makes it through waivers (which he should), they will still be able to call him up on an emergency basis, so their is still opportunity for him to play some games.

  • Randaman

    All these trade speculations are very premature.

    There were plenty of offensive opportunities. The biggest problem last night was missing the net.

    I counted at least seven times that prime chances were wide or over the net.

    Bear down boys. It starts for real on Wednesday

    Shooting drills anyone?

  • smith

    The Oilers have helped with several problems this summer. They have a better top 6 forwards, better depth and hopefully better goaltending. The problem is that with absolutely awful defence this will probably not be enough to make the playoffs. The structure and better neutral zone play will help the d-core out so they will probably look better. Hopefully the upgraded forwards will move the Oilers offence to at least league average?

    Defence there are only 2 real choices. Trade from strength (i.e wingers) or wait for youth to develop. My problem is another year or two or three of losing is two long. This organization has been a loosing one for 9 years. Too long already.

    This was my problem with the Oilers drafting Nurse. To me that was saying that they would not compete for three or four years. It should have been moved then for a veteran top pairing d-man but the Oiler organization has always been okay with loosing. You cannot say the management is not patient.

    If they Oilers wait for development I do not see them having GOOD defence for at least two years from today. Nurse will probably play half the season this year. Next year develop and maybe? be a top pairing defence the year after. That is still a quite fast development and that is still only one true top pairing d. I do not see the Oilers being a Stanley cup contender in McDavid’s ELC unless they make some good trades.

  • Harry2

    I just finished watching the game. Read most of these comments this afternoon.

    Holy moly. The game was much better than I expected after reading this. The Oiler’s played so much better than last year. They looked like they belonged in the NHL.

    Hall – the thing I took away from this is that perhaps he won’t work with McDavid. McD needs a Kurri type. I wonder how him and RNH would look on a line. Maybe Drai & Hall?

    Talbot is an improvement.
    Griffin looked fine.
    Sekera, I’m a little disappointed. I didn’t know anything about him but I was hoping for a poor man’s Whitney (first Oiler year). I hope he improves.

    Kudos to Schultz. It looks like he wants to play this year.

    Game, though my team lost, was much better than most last season.

  • bazmagoo

    HALL,HOPKINS,EBERLE and McDAVID all untouchable , as all have not even reached their peaks as yet and none look like they are on downside of careers . Yakupov a different story . Nurse and Draisaitl could or could not be in play depending on how they do this year .