Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Notes: Ottawa Senators at Edmonton Oilers

The weather is nice for this time of year, we just had Thanksgiving and this is one of my favourite points on the calendar. However, a week without Oilers hockey is a trying time for all citizens of this northern town. It was made doubly difficult by two losses leading up to this ridiculously early break. Gack! Today, game day, all is forgiven and we look forward to another night of partying Edmonton style. Will it be a ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ evening or more ‘Misery and Gin’ for Oilersnation tonight?


  • Special attention should be paid to Darnell Nurse this evening. All indications have him playing with Kris Russell on the second pairing this evening. That’s going to make zone exits very important, and for Nurse it should mean skating the puck out of the zone. WheatNOil is doing fantastic work on zone exits, recent indicators have Nurse improving in transportation early in the year. He’s also making more of his passing options, an example people the shovel to Nuge for his goal against Winnipeg.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (and Bobby Ryan) will be on After Hours with Scott Oake this evening. Oake is a an absolute gem, you can send questions to him here. Hurry, he passed 40 questions some time ago.
  • The Oilers injured list now has three names: Andrej Sekera, Drake Caggiula and Leon Draisaitl. Caggiula and Draisaitl are eligible to play tonight but there is no expectation it’ll happen. Draisaitl’s eye concern morphed into concussion talk on Friday (confirmed today), causing real concern across northern Alberta.
  • Eye injuries (and concussions) are not to be messed with, so as difficult as it may be to face any NHL team without the big man, better to make sure he is fully recovered and ready for the long haul.
  • The Senators put the boots to the Calgary Flames last night, without Erik Karlsson. Craig Anderson did play in net for Ottawa, suggesting Mike Condon could play this evening. Don’t be fooled, Anderson has been known to play back to back and he’s very good historically against the Oilers.
  • For his career, Anderson is 10-5-2 against the Oilers, with a 2.45 goals against and .922 save percentage.
  • Craig Anderson ranks among the top 10 in the NHL in both GAA (1.65) and sv% (.937) but, as mentioned, early indications point at Mike Condon getting the start tonight.
  • At the other end, Cam Talbot is 3-2-0 against Ottawa, with a 1.61 goals against and .942 save percentage.
  • It could be a big night for Kailer Yamamoto, who has spent part of the week on the McDavid line. I wrote about his early, early (EARLY!) results from yesterday (here) and would love to see what he can do with a full game alongside 97. Perhaps we see it tonight.
  • Anton Slepyshev is just catching up to the rest of the group after missing training camp, when he begins to push and unleash that heavy shot, perhaps we see another line scoring from RW.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has two goals in the first three games and seems to be getting into better situations with the puck on his stick in the offensive zone. With Leon Draisaitl out, perhaps the Nuge sees some 1PP time this evening. That is his offensive wheelhouse, always has been going back to junior hockey.
  • The Oilers and Sens last faced off in Ottawa back on January 8th, 2017 with the Senators walking away with a 5-3 victory.

Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 10/14/2017, 12:00pm MST

  • Alberta Ice

    Wouldn’t you think the absence of Draisaitl would ‘up’ the level of play of the rest of the team? Very interested to see how this team responds to his absence tonight.

  • OriginalPouzar

    I have no concern about the forward lines, even with Drai out (assuming its short term). Those top 2 lines should be able to produce even with a “likely not ready rookie” on the top line.

    I am very worried about scoring chances against from defensive zone turnovers and an inability to transition the puck – in each case due to the structure of the bottom 2 pairs.

    No truer words have been spoken than to look for Nurse skating the puck out because neither him nor Russell have shown the ability to move it via the pass (with Russell on the left side).

    Maybe Auvitu runs with this opportunity and forces himself in to a regular lineup spot? Seems unlikely but we can hope.

    • tileguy

      “Maybe Auvitu runs with this opportunity and forces himself in to a regular lineup spot?” This is exactly the type of pleasant surprise we need, let’s hope. PS…and it might not be Grybas spot he takes.

  • Geek freak

    To all whom considered signing up for The Athletic, be prepared to just be another Maple Leaf fan form! I signed up for a year and have had a 4 week sample size to review. There are 2 to 3 related article a wk for oilers fans compared to 1 -2 a day for the Maple Leafs (1-2 more on Maple Leaf post game days). The Oilers coverage is basically Jonathan W; and Lowetide , and Eric D (Calgary writer) tries to fill in the gaps, for post game reviews ( although this is very in frequent). No Oiler insider on staff.. And considering the best hockey player on the plant plays for the Oilers, this is obviously something that is of little value to The Athletics current subsciption base. I guess It’s too be expected since Leafs nation is 10 millions strong compared to us other markets. But it still burns me to think they are trying to build a circulation base which would make you believe your Oilers are just as important as those teams ( outside Toronto). It is not, nor will it ever be unless “Edmonton can provide 10,000 scubcribers to The Athletic” according to a response from a Athletic writer. Kind of sits wrong with me that The Athletic wants Joe Oiler to invest in possible potential local coverage, vs taking ( a plunge?) into a traditionally strong fan base market, like Edmonton, would actually support a subscription base online form. Thank God I am not an Ottawa fan! How painful would it be to know that last year and possible this year, the Senitors are a better team then the Leafs! Having said this, The Athletic does have some relay good article and writers. However, so does The Hockey News and Sports Illistraited, but the somehow manage to keep coverage consistent ( other than the front cover!) for the leagues they cover, as apposed to the region. I might suggest you should research articles and reviews of The Athletic at this point and before subscribing. Alternitively, I might use these funds to support local forms such as ON! If you have checked out other fan based site, you will know Edmonton has the best writers right here, including the newspaper daily scribes. Keep it coming ON writers!

    • Geek freak

      Ops, should have stated “The Athletics NHL coverage” in my comments. Thier NFL, MBS, MBA coverage is decent and the articles a very good! I would recommend you sign up if your sports interest are not limited to the NHL coverage ( no CFL coverage outside the Toronto Argonauts at this point though)