The Oilers and Kings have landed in Vernon, BC for a pre-season edition of Kraft Hockeyville. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s game day.
With the regular season less than two weeks away the Oilers are inching closer towards finalizing their roster and icing the squad that we’ll see at opening night at Rogers Place. Todd McLellan hasn’t wasted any time making cuts, this year, and that means that the Oilers should be icing a competitive roster throughout the remainder of the pre-season. McLellan obviously wants his team to start building chemistry right away, and having them all play together for as long as possible will surely benefit.
Despite the Kings not having all of their offensive weapons (or starting goalie) in the lineup they will still have weapons that can hurt the Oilers on the scoreboard. The Oilers are icing a very young defense tonight and it will interesting to see how they handle the Kings first line. Darnell Nurse and Brendan Davidson look like they’ll be in for some tough assignments tonight, and the Oilers will need them to be at their best if they want to get back in the win column.
- Worried about the chemistry between Lucic, McDavid, and Jordan Eberle? Todd McLellan doesn’t really care. “There’s a buzz in our city about whether (Lucic and Eberle) are the right linemates. It’s too soon to tell.”
To be fair, those three have less than two weeks of playing with each other and it will take some time to figure out what the other is doing out there. That said, Connor and Ebs played together last year so you’d expect them to figure it out sooner than later.
- The Oilers reduced their lineup to 36 players on Saturday and that means more NHL players in the lineup. I wonder how the defense will handle the Kings, because it’s a very young group back there.
- It will be interesting to watch the game tonight as the Vernon arena only holds 2000 people. I’m curious what Sportsnet has set up to make it look like an actual broadcast. It will be cool to have a professional pre-season game in such a small arena. I dig it.
- Ol’ Tommy Gilbert leads the Kings with four pre-season points, and I wonder if the former Oiler curse will show up again tonight. The curse has two chances to make an impact with Gilbert and Teddy Purcell in the lineup.
- Drake Caggiula currently leads the Oilers with 12 shots on a goal and two goals in three pre-season games. I’ll be looking for the Drake to keep firing away tonight.
- Nail Yakupov gets into his first pre-season game after sitting out with a lower-body injury.
- The penalty kill got torched for five goals against Winnipeg, and will have to be better than that if the Oilers have any hopes of winning. Brutal numbers early, but there’s still time to work that pre-season rust off.
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers rebound from their two previous losses, beating the Kings 4-2.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Milan Lucic looks to prove that he’s an Oiler by challenging several of his former teammates to a fight. None are willing to oblige so Milan goes with the tried and true stinky glove to the face trick.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Drake Caggiula scores another pre-season tally and follows it up with the Hotline Bling dance at centre ice.
NAPA GOLD FILTER EVENT SALE
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The Nation Discount
Use the discount code “OILERSNATION” when you visit one of these three NAPA locations from October 3rd to October 9th and receive 10% OFF any regular priced items in the store.