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Photo Credit: © Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

GDB -8.0/-7.0 Wrap-up: A Battle of Alberta Sweep

Beating the Flames. That’s just what the Oilers do these days.

Last year, the Oilers swept all four games against Calgary in the regular season and both games in the pre-season. It was more of the same on Monday night, as Edmonton got 2017 kicked off with a 5-2 win at home and a 5-4 win on the road over the Flames.

Let’s hope this pattern continues into the regular season.

The bright side

  • First and foremost, the Oilers won two games in one night against the Flames. I don’t care that it was pre-season. Beating the Flames is always a good thing. Beating them twice at the same time? Woof!
  • A handful of new guys — Kailer Yamamoto, Ryan Strome, and Yohann Auvitu — buried their first goals for the Oilers tonight.
  • I still think Yamamoto is too young and small to rush into the NHL, but it’s hard to ignore his skill. He looked like a veteran scorer burying his goal off of a Flames turnover and certainly adds a slippery element to the Oilers’ attack.
  • Auvitu is an interesting one. Nobody thought much of this signing because Auvitu isn’t a household name, but here’s a low-key solid player who makes an excellent first pass and plays the position very well. His puck moving ability will be a welcomed sight on this Oilers blueline and he could be a surprisingly effective player this year. His first showing was very impressive tonight.
  • Strome looked solid alongside McDavid and Maroon on the top line. Obviously, because, well, who doesn’t look good with McDavid? Especially when you’re playing Calgary’s B squad. But still, on multiple occasions Strome added another big body that could crash the net, which should bode well as McDavid is going to get pucks on net.
  • Jujhar Khaira was all over the place in the road game against Calgary’s A squad. He’s a big body who skates well and uses his muscle and could be a very pleasant surprise on Edmonton’s fourth line.
  • I thought Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones looked calm and poised tonight. You didn’t hear their names much, which is generally a good thing for defencemen. They’re interesting prospects to watch in the AHL this season.

The face palmers

  • A lot of people were complaining that the streams didn’t work. Mine (the home game) cut a couple times but worked largely fine, but a dozen people were in the Oilersnation Twitter mentions saying it wouldn’t start. Dan had the away stream cut out on him with a few minutes to go in the third period. Good times!
  • There were a lot of penalties called tonight. Like, a lot. In the home game, Calgary was penalized 10 times and Edmonton was called five times. In the road game, Calgary got eight penalties and Edmonton got nine. All told, both teams combined for 31 penalties. I mean, I’m not going to complain too much about this. I was a fan of where the league was at right out of the 2004-05 lockout where everything was called for a penalty and scoring went through the roof and skill was able to shine through. But still, this was a little much. Multiple times minor stick infractions were called and it resulted in a weird, sloppy game without much rhythm.
  • One guy I didn’t find impressive was Jesse Puljujarvi. He didn’t win many, if any, battles against the Flames tonight and had some ugly puck luck on the power play. He’s such a big, skilled player it’s easy to notice when he isn’t doing anything out there.
  • Otherwise… Meh. I don’t want to complain too much about two wins in one night. The home game was pretty sluggish, but I blame that on all of the penalties and the fact the Oilers were playing Calgary’s junk squad and didn’t want to run up the score.

Scoring summary

Home game…

Away game…

Highlights and #content

It looked like Ryan Strome had his first as an Oilers, but the goal was given to Patrick Maroon. Regardless, two big bodies crashing the net with McDavid is a recipe for success:

Emile Porier had an open net but rung it off the post:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins deserves a season full of good puck luck. He got some here and had a hilarious reaction to Mark Stone shooting the puck into his own net:

How about the new guy, Yohann Auvitu? He could be a very nice, low-key pick up for this team. He grabbed a turnover and sniped a clapper by Mike Smith’s pad for his first as an Oiler.

I’m not sure what the hell happened here in terms of defensive zone coverage, but Cam Talbot bailed his guys out with this gorgeous save:

Meanwhile, in the road game, Milan Lucic was robbed in front of the net, but Drake Caggiula was there to bury the rebound with his quick shot:

Speaking of the road game, holy crap Leon Draisaitl just manhandled Mark Giordano here:

Let’s stick with Leon. He bulldozes around the ice before Kailer Yamamoto grabs the puck and sipes his first NHL goal into the top corner. There’s so much good going on in this clip. Just watch and enjoy:

Remember when I said earlier that everything was a penalty? Well…

How did that power play go? Very well:

There we go. Strome ends up buying one. His first as an Oiler:

  • Oilerchild77

    I know it’s only preseason, but beating the Flames is becoming something of a regularity. I’d be at least a little concerned if I were a Flames fan.

  • Randaman

    I can’t help but think Jesse should be starting in the AHL this year. I just don’t think he’s ready. I know, it’s only preseason but… it’s not like we have to rush prospects anymore

  • SRELIOFAN

    I love the new mentality of not being okay with losing. Even in the preseason the wins feel good.

    The penalties were a bit ridiculous, but I liked that they were calling too many rather than not enough. If it carries over to the regular season I could see McDavid getting 130 plus points.

    F**k the Flames. GO OILERS!

  • slats-west

    Went to fLames Oilers in cowtown some observations Khaira looks awesome and scored a shelf beauty, mike smith is not the “answer” 4G on 13 Shots!, Brouwer is still awful, Drai is a total beast and Lucic pushed a calgary dman into the first row AND the best D in the NHL had 3 unassisted goals scored on them!

  • toprightcorner

    The one thing I liked about the penalties is that they were mostly slashing and a few hooking penalties. If this is a clamp down by the NHL after last years playoff slash-fest, that bodes well for the Oilers. With their speed and McDavid, they could average an extra PP each night. Here’s to hoping they keep calling it that way.

    • Dr. Merkwurdigliebe

      They always call more penalties in the preseason to try to “train” the players. They will be called less and less until finally it’s almost anything goes come playoff time.

  • toprightcorner

    – Smith looked like a typical Flames starting goalie. HAHAHA this could be fun to watch.

    – Yamamoto made Hamilton look like a pylon on that goal

    – Draisaitl was a beast, by Christmas his contract could look like a bargain

    – I love how the Flames stacked their team at home tonight, more than any other year, just to try to get a win over the Oilers and it completely backfired. Their defense didn’t look so hot tonight.

  • toprightcorner

    Interesting that even logged in to Flames Nation, it won’t accept my trashes or cheers on the comments. Are they that sensitive that an ON can’t rate a comment in fear they will cry, give up on hockey and stop watching games?

    • Himynameistaylor

      Flames nation has likely banned you. They’ll let their fans post outrageous things but the minute you counter they instantly ban you.

      They tried to IP ban me I think but i’m good with computers, lol.

      • WillyWonka

        so, in other words, you are committed to playing your game… your mom should be proud. nobody minds a troll that follows troll rules – be funny, be witty, or be accurate and back it up… if i was you i wouldn’t brag and be proud of being banned for being childish, unfunny, and inaccurate.

    • WillyWonka

      i’ve had lots of posts and trash/cheers not show up here on ON… figured i was banned for whatever reason, wouldnt know why, but when i used my computer instead of my phone (on ON) it worked… so, dont spend so much energy patting yourselves on the back like good soldiers… its you imagination :-p

  • SRELIOFAN

    Also how about Talbot!!? He looked like he was in mid-season form! I don’t blame the Flames for not playing Smith… They wouldn’t want to ruin his confidence too quickly.

  • Anton CP

    Mike Smith, the new backup goalie for PfffftLames…lol

    Anyhow, Flames can keep on bragging about their D depth but as long as that they are not address the reality that they will achieve nothing at the end.

    First of all, the Flames has yet to find their starting goalie since Kipprusoff retired and they never bothered to build one either. Burke and Treliving both have terrible judgment on goalies and they are still playing the endless musical chair with that No.1 role. It normally takes a very long time for a goalie to be good or solid, they gave up on Ortio too early because Ortio needed much more seasoning before taking over the No.1 role. He was only 24 when he played the last Flames game…talking about patience.

    Second, that d-corp are not as good as they want to believe to be. Giordano and Brodie were both undersized to play in Western Conference. Hamonic has too much hype behind it and was a terrible defensive defenseman with the Islanders. Dougie Hamilton is really the only defenseman from the blueline that is anywhere close to be a star.

    Third, a seriously lack of center depth. Maybe Monahan can be a great center one day but so far that he is more of a career second line center to most of the team in NHL. Sam Bennett is just bad, Stajan is a journeyman, Backlund is more fitting into the bottom six roles.

    Forth, just has no depth everywhere period. The only person that can score from the Flames is Gaudreau but due to his size that he has a very one dimensional game. If they have anything that they would not started a 6th pick overall rookie Tkachuk in the lineup last year. Versteeg signed with the Flames last season and Foo signed for this season that both believed due to the lackluster depth of the Flames that increased their chance to make the team. Why else would they gave up the chance to potentially playing next to the best player on the planet?

    Fifth, due to the short sight of the Flames management group that they have nothing to build on into the future. No first or second round picks for next year and no second round pick for the season after. If the plan failed for the Flames this and next season that they are completely screwed.

  • deferoiler

    Flames continue to prove that goaltending is the most vital position in hockey. Look at what a solid goalie in Talbot has done for our team. Did the flames really think Mike Smith was the answer? They over value a defensive corps thats has proved nothing so far and morgaged their future in the process. Their lack of depth is already showing. The next decade is going to be FUN!

    • Hemmercules

      I was worried Smith might be good for the Flames when they signed him but I guess he’s not much of an upgrade on Elliot. His puck handling is his best asset, can’t play a dump and chase on him and he makes great passes up ice. Thankfully the Oil have the skill to not have to play a dump and chase too much.

  • The best thing, for me, is the depth. Yes, it’s pre-season. No, many of these guys won’t make the roster this year and will get another year of seasoning in the minors or juniors or wherever. But that’s the point: if you have Jesse, Kailer, maybe Jujhar (although he’s looking more and more likely to stick this season) plus Ethan Bear and a few other prospects ready to jump up next season or even for the playoff drive…man, it really feels good. Depth feels good. Winning feels good. This. This is all good.

  • Hemmercules

    Looks like everybody’s darling Jesse laid an egg last night. I still don’t know what everyone sees in this kid. I know I know, one game, he’s young, he was awesome in some world tournaments, yada yada yada. These are the games he should be shining in if he has any hope of making the big team. I still think he needs more AHL time but I was hoping he would at least raise an eyebrow or two in a split squad game.

    • Spydyr

      Puljujärvi is 6’4″ he can skate has a shot. Yeah what is there to like?

      Give the kid a break he just turned 19 is half way around the World from his home is learning a new language and the North American pro game.

      Why are some people so quick to write off 19 year old kids?

      • Hemmercules

        Not writing him off. I just don’t see a great player there like some do, more suited to the European game. My opinion. Hope I’m wrong.

        I see comments on here saying he’s going to get 50 plus points this season, some guys even saying in the 70 point range. Those or the commenters in referring to in may last comment.

  • puckle-head

    Whoa whoa, we can’t complain all last season about the lack of penalties called then go “well gee, we didn’t want THAT many.” when officials start actually officiating. I’d much rather the refs make a few unnecessary calls if it means other teams are going to be a bit hesitant about reaching out to give McDavid a hook or a hold to try to reduce him to human speed.

  • JimmyV1965

    Drai was in beast mode last night. He laid out Gio after he tried to hook him down and he carried four Flames on his back to make a pass to Yammer for a goal. I still remember Tkachuk taking a 20 foot run at Drai last year. Runs him at full speed and bounces off him like a piece of lint and lands on his ass. Me likey. A lot.