Photo Credit: ยฉ Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

GDB -4.0 Wrap-up: Five in a row

The Oilers just keep on rolling. After five pre-season games, this team has five wins. Jesse Puljujarvi found the back of the net twice, Connor McDavid was Connor McDavid, Brad Malone made a name for himself, Cam Talbot was rock solid, the blueline made life very difficult for the Jets, and the Oilers earned themselves a decisive 6-2 victory over the Jets.

The bright side

  • Connor McDavid is an Oiler. That doesn’t really get old, does it? McDavid did a bunch of things really well tonight. He drove Edmonton’s offence literally whenever he was playing, and he chipped in with a beautiful goal. He took a penalty in the second period, but saved a goal in the process. Is there anything he doesn’t do well? The league’s MVP looks like he’s in mid-season form.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi had a three-point night tonight, scoring two power play goals and setting up Connor McDavid with an excellent deflection pass. I have mixed feelings on Pulju’s game, though. He was pretty invisible with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jussi Jokinen save for a few strong shifts to begin the game. But when he got on the ice with McDavid, Puljujarvi really seemed to compliment the MVP. I mean, there’s a good chance it was actually McDavid making Puljujarvi better because that’s what McDavid does, but the former fourth overall pick became a lot more noticeable with a different centre. On the other hand, I didn’t notice Ryan Strome in tonight’s game as much as I did in his first per-season game against the Flames.
  • Speaking of McDavid, he took a hit from Dustin Byfuglien at the end of the second period and got knocked to the ice. Patrick Maroon, being the good teammate he is, jumped in and gave Big Buff the business. It wasn’t a dirty hit or anything, but it’s great to see Maroon jump in and stand up for McDavid. This is something we never saw during the decade of darkness.
  • You could really notice Edmonton’s depth in tonight’s game. There simply weren’t times in which the players on the ice looked bad or outclassed. The blueline, I thought, was especially solid in this way. Even the third pair of Simpson and Jones looked calm and poised. Nurse and Gryba made life a nightmare in the defensive zone for the Jets and Benning and Russell complimented each other nicely.
  • Brad Malone, who’s in tough to crack this roster, had himself a very good audition. He scored a couple of goals and was all over the ice, playing physically and causing turnovers. If Anton Slepyshev isn’t good to go come Oct. 4, Malone did himself a favour tonight.

The face palmers

  • There isn’t much to complain about after a game like that. The Oilers thoroughly outplayed the Jets and that reflected in both the shot and goal counter. The only issue, really, was an ugly second period in which the Oilers looked slow and sluggish, but they really carried the play in the first and the second. Wait, is this the face palmers section? I’m trying to look for negatives but can’t really find any.
  • Winnipeg scored their second goal on a hideous bounce off of the glass in Edmonton’s zone that totally fooled Cam Talbot. I thought the stadium was supposed to give the Oilers a hometown advantage? /sarcasm
  • This game wasn’t televised (apparently it was? IDK I couldn’t get it on my TV but I don’t have golorious HD), which is a big pain in the ass. It’s 2017 and there a billion Sportsnet channels. Can people in Edmonton not be given Oilers games? I mean, we seem to get a lot of Canucks and Leafs games. My stream was also bad and it felt like I was watching the game on a GameBoy Colour at times.

Scoring summary


04:51 Winnipeg PPG – Michael Spacek (1) ASST: Brendan Lemieux (1), Nic Petan (1) 1-0
08:28 Edmonton Jussi Jokinen (2) ASST: Matt Benning (1) 1-1
08:45 Edmonton Brad Malone (1) ASST: Patrick Russell (1) 1-2


08:33 Winnipeg PPG – J.C. Lipon (1) ASST: Dustin Byfuglien (2), Michael Hutchinson (1) 2-2


02:21 Edmonton Connor McDavid (1) ASST: Jesse Puljujarvi (1), Dillon Simpson (1) 2-3
07:03 Edmonton PPG – Jesse Puljujarvi (1) ASST: Mark Letestu (2), Connor McDavid (3) 2-4
11:46 Edmonton Brad Malone (2) ASST: Caleb Jones (2), Chris Kelly (2) 2-5
15:36 Edmonton PPG – Jesse Puljujarvi (2) ASST: Jujhar Khaira (1), Connor McDavid (4) 2-6


  • OriginalPouzar

    Kind of an odd game – the boys were kind of half assing it for most of the night. I think they go a talking to in the second intermission.

    Puljijarvi – Quiet through the fist couple periods but, with all the penalties, didn’t really get a chance. Put with McDavid to start the third and he sets him up with a beauty touch pass for a goal and then roofs a PP goal minutes later and follows up with a second PP goal – great stuff. Some nice shifts in the third on the top line.

    Malone – He was pretty good tonight – outplayed Russell for sure and scored a few goals. May have earned himself another game and passed Rattie as the first cal-up option.

    Jones – Great game tonight. A great skater and very calm with puck and he makes good decision. Really like his game. Don’t know if he’ll play in the NHL this year but he has a define NHL career ahead of him. Phenomenal draft pick.

    Russell – Kris is a much better player on the left side – better moving the puck and better in the offensive zone – I liked his game tonight.

    The rest of the veterans were kind of going through the motions – little disappointed in Strome as he should be looking to prove himself.

    Nurse struggled in the fist part of the game but I thought he was much better in the third period. He is not good on the PP.

    Kelly start off not bad but disappeared

    Talbot was Talbot.

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      man i am enjoying winning ! after McDavid got injured for around half a season in his rookie year and we had yet another losing season, i was ready to pull my eyeballs out and stop watching the Oilers altogether !!!

      • Coheed

        These poor bastard Shames fans really need something to hang on to while playing second fiddle (or third, fourth, etc) to the Oilers for the next decade.

      • DerpSolo

        Hockeyfan? Don’t you mean “stickhandler”? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Why’d you change it, it was so easy to make fun of. I know your butthurt about… well everything but you gotta get over it. You just make yourself look like pathetic when bringing up “welfare”. You really think anyone on ON gives a flying f*ck? We got McDavid, and no matter how much you scream and cry about it, that ain’t changing

        • HardBoiledOil 1.0

          yup, @Hockeyfan so I guess by your logic, any team that won a cup with a 1st overall is a welfare case? LOL !! U mad about the Lames not being able to beat the Oilers still? visions of Stanley dancing in your head and such high hopes for this season didn’t you? maybe next year !

  • chickenStew

    For a game that wasn’t televised, it was odd to see it in glorious HD on my TV.

    Nurse has to get it together, and fast. Hard to believe he could make so many glaring mistakes at this stage. Scary.

  • munch34m

    The game was on TSN3, although I streamed it through Facebook as I was culling and editing photo’s. It was actually a nice treat to not have to listen to Jack Michaels drivel as he is away on personal business.

  • madjam

    Strome needed a wake up call tonight after first two periods , and got it . He played better after being sent onto Hopkins line . Hopkins did play well tonight despite not scoring . Winnipeg took it to us in second period and was almost hoping they would do same in third and wake up the intensity level of our club . Looks like Todd made sure the third had to be better . Jesse showing signs of turning the corner , and also chemistry with McDavid perhaps off this game .

  • deferoiler

    Although Pulijarvi was quiet untill he got put with McDavid I think he had a good outing. The kid dosent know how good he can be, just like Leon. Once he catches fire WATCH OUT… Crazy to think he AND Nuge are on the 3rd line. Its so nice to have depth!

  • OilCan2

    I totally enjoy this hockey season already and it hasn’t even started. The storylines are great with Yamamoto & JP showing their potential. McDavid is going to get a big endorsement deal for Chrome Polish if tonight was any indication. Talbot; check. D and Depth too; Well Thats Fantastic.

  • Big Nuggets

    Nice game from Pulju, but powerplay scoring isnt exactly what we need from him as we have Strome and Letestu who can perform the same task with perhaps a similar success rate. If he can’t make a difference 5 on 5 with Nuge as a center I would rather he be sent down the minors.

      • Big Nuggets

        Are you inferring that I am negative? Couldnt be further from the truth. Analyzing the Oilers prospect talent is one of my great joys and I happen to think Jesse is not showing he is better than his competition for a roster spot. I think AHL time is beneficial for most prospects, especially kids who arent even 20 years old. Point is, I want what is best for the Oilers and I enjoy analyzing the team, so Im going to post about it.
        Do we only get to post comments praising the glory of the Oilers now? Are you too sensitive to hear anything other than sunshine and rainbows?

    • Mitch92

      If Jesse can produce with Connor the way he did tonight on a consistent basis there is no reason he would need to play 5 on 5 with Nuge. Leave Jesse with Connor where he has the most impact.

      • Big Nuggets

        Sure, but every player will be better with Connor so he still has to out perform the competition. And there is more benefit salary cap wise to giving Jesse a year in the minors, instead of inflating his value on Connor’s wing. If he earns it then I have no arguement. but long term I see more benefit to a year bakersfield as I dont think he has emerged as the best option. His last game was a statement, but for me, it hasn’t quite tipped the scale far enough.
        lots of time to see how it plays out. I’m sure Jesse will get some NHL games early this year. then we will know.

        • Mitch92

          I would like to think that ANY team would not make a decision on a player based on concern over their next contract. If Jesse can produce 80 points a season riding shotgun to Connor then we will be happy to pay the man! Did the Oilers take Kurri off of Gretzky’s line to slow down his production so they could low ball him on his next contract?

          • Big Nuggets

            ya well, I said if he earns it he earns it. Jesse scoring 80 points is a big if. If one of our other wingers would score as much as Jesse then it would bw better to have Jesse on the farm. you’re talking about a player that is 4 months older than Yamamoto.

  • LordRuggles

    I thought Jesse brought a lot of try to the game, but his positioning at times seemed suspect and maybe he was just half a tick behind the play. I have confidence he will find his game and excel, and I think we should have patience with his development. Gryba and Nurse did not, to my eye, seem a great pairing.

  • Mitch92

    To me putting gifting Strome a spot beside CMD just because he was traded for the last guy who did that job makes little sense. I would prefer to see Strome line up with RHN and Jokinen as our checking line to take on the other team’s top lines freeing up our top two lines to produce offence. Puljujarvi seems to play well when he gets the opportunities to play with the best players. I recall him winning the MVP of the World Juniors playing alongside Laine and Sebastien Aho who arguably are both better players than Puljujarvi yet he rose to the occasion and helped that line dominate the entire tournament. Similarly Jesse really steps up his game playing with the best player in the world. I do not see Strome influencing the play of the top line in the same manner.

  • Sammy p

    Before we get all hot and bothered about JPs success playing with McDavid we should remember how Yak finally showed some life in that same situation and we all know how that turned out—-just saying.

    • madjam

      Not to mention Eberle as well , being lifted out from McDavid . Generally in every trade it takes new player 10-20 games before one sees how well they fit in . Currently he does not look even as good as Eberle did , and that might continue even after that time . Maybe Strome will not be our best option playing with Maroon and McDavid . Is he really a first line player to begin with ? One has to wonder if he is as good an option as Caguilla, Kassian or Slepychev at this stage , or Jesse and/ or Kailer . He is not fairing very well as yet .

  • Mitch92

    Coach was impressed with Jesse waiving off interpretive assistance from Jokinen to take interview questions in English. Says a lot about how far the young man has come in a short period of time.

  • Oiler Al

    Has not been mentioned, but aside from Russell, I think that Dillion Simpson played a very steady and solid game.Would rather see him play a head of “stand around” Gryba.

    • Mitch92

      I get the feeling that Gryba is a teammate who the guys like to have around, much like Roman Polak in Toronto. There is still an opportunity on the back end to begin the season.

  • Roberto

    I know it was just one (four point) game, but it looks like JP is not a bust. It’s almost like Roberto was correct again. I’d be pretty happy if NO can score with Mcdavid, and O’l Dylan plays 3rd line with Nugent and Jussi…

  • madjam

    Even if Jesse and/or Yamamoto is/appear the best option(s) going into season , are we not strong enough depth wise to send them both down with little to no hit to teams performance ? I prefer best option , but if only slight then either decision makes some sense . Taking what you know , over perhaps the spread unknown with youth ?

  • Pen Hawk King

    The Big Buff treatment on McDollars doesn’t surprise me. He is a marked man now and someone will take him down him hard. Don’t expect a cheapshot artist coward like Lucic to step up either. It’ll be too late once the damage is done anyways!

    Trust me no one will be crying for the Coilers either, because it’s you morons that have ruined the draft after 3 number one ‘tank’ draft busts in a row forced the league to change the rules. Sure you got lucky with McDollars but one big hit boys and it’s no playoffs for you… and a lot of dirty teams know it. Tick tock boys…

    • DerpSolo

      Butthurt much bud?๐Ÿ˜‚ Are you a sour nucks fan? Lol. But I suspect you to be a phlelms fan. Mike smith isn’t the saviour pal, and neither is an injury prone defencemen. If you wanna talk about “tick tock”, talk about mike smith or hamonic you ignorant sh*t