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Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

GDB -4.0: A Joker

BaggedMilk used to do these wraps. He used to like to join you for every preseason game. Maybe it’s the beets, maybe he just can’t handle that I have worn shorts for 348 days straight. Not to mention the fact that Chris the Intern tried to say he would do the wrap tonight before dropping the bomb that he didn’t want to either. So you’re stuck with me for your fourth out of five preseason wrap ups. Sorry.

You can get the sense that the real season grows nearer with every lineup announcement as this lineup (with the exception of some of the D) looks and feels more NHL ready.

RNH-McDavid-Rattie
Lucic-Draisaitl-Yamamoto
Rieder-Khaira-Puljujarvi
Chiasson-Brodziak-Kassian

Kleflbom-Larsson
Russell-Bouchard
Garrison-Jerabek

Talbot

Strome is banged up for this one but nonetheless. Let’s see how it went.

Period One:

  • Draisaitl with a pair of no-look passes to no one to start us off.
  • Talbot is forced to make three saves from outside the blueline.
  • Jay Garrison with a big shot off the post.
  • Off the next clear and a line change to the top guys, Nuge, McDavid and then Rattie into the net. 1-0 Oil

  • Chiasson gets smoked by Gudbranson. It looked high to me but upon further review the shoulder made the contact. Nevertheless, Chiasson left the game for the remainder of the period because of it.

Overall:

A strong first period is always going to help but it feels more important for this team, especially when they have a more NHL ready roster tonight. Talbot looks great and incredibly comfortable back there. Confidence restored so far through the preseason.

Period Two:

  • Chiasson returns for the second.
  • I can’t believe I am writing this one. Too fancy with the McNuge + Rattie line? Seems like they’re trying that extra pass too often. Preseason habit hopefully.
  • Puljujarvi is just a ball of energy this season. Sometimes it’s taking a penalty, sometimes it’s coming off the penalty to get a partial breakaway that goes off the post.
  • Jake Virtanen gets caught cheating. The second PP was looking pretty stagnant and no one was moving around. The play breaks down and Johnny on the spot Ty Rattie with his second of the night as it trickles behind Nilsson, 2-0 Oil

  • Talbot is locked in tonight. Makes a couple of key saves to wind down the period (including one before the second goal)

Overall:

Gotta say it again, Talbot looks locked the heck in. I know “it’s only the Canucks” and “it’s only the preseason” but his confidence and dare I say, even a little swagger is evident. Rieder looks better in this one than I have seen him this preseason so far.

Period Three:

  • Leon and Jesse hopping to start the period. Both hard on the forecheck. Me likey.
  • After Reider gives a herculean effort to draw the penalty, the PP cannot seem to get anything started with three different break ins dying on his stick (and another from an errant Nuge to Draisaitl pass). No matter because Connor find a streaking Puljujarvi and he snaps it into the twine, 3-0 Oil

  • The Puljujarvi/Rattie “anything you can do, I can do better” show keeps rolling as Jesse rips in his second, 4-0 Oil

  •  Talbot robs Bo Horvat twice in tight and then McDavid and Rattie come on down and Connor over to Rattie into the wide open cage for the Rat Trick, 5-0 Oil

  • Oilers pouring it on with Lucic playing strong getting it to the net and Klefbom tucks it in, 6-0 Oil

The Wrap

It was a walk over. If this is the indication of the goaltending of the Canucks, this should be a theme for them.

You see a 6-0 score and assume the offence was just destroying the opposition, and they were. But to credit the Canucks, they did have some good chances and efforts from their guys but Cam Talbot was looking like the Dadbot we saw the season before last. He shut the door on the Canucks at every turn and earned every bit of his 35 save shutout.

Rattie and Puljujarvi stole the show on offense in this one. Jesse has just had an extra jump in his stop this preseason but speaking of preseason, Ty Rattie. He would be a lock for the Preseason Hart trophy if only the Oilers could clinch a playoff berth.

Other Notables:

Bouchard had a much better 200 foot game to my eye. He didn’t blow the doors off offensively here but he also didn’t look out of place in his own zone.
Rieder had his best game of the preseason so far. He was flashing speed all over the ice.
Kassian had a little fire in his game tonight. He was quick to engage with Gudbranson after the big hit on Chiasson (without taking a penalty of course)
Klefbom/Larsson look solid. Cannot wait for a healthy year from them.

What about you nation? What stood out for you?

  • BM

    My lineup to start the season:

    Nuge-McD-Rattie
    Lucic-Drai-Strome
    Rieder-Khaira-Pulju
    Chia-Brodz-Kass
    Caggiula

    Klef-Lars
    Nurse-Benning
    Russell-Bouch
    Jerabek

    Talbs
    Koskinen

    PP1:
    Bouch
    Nuge-McD-Rattie
    Lucic

    PP2:
    Klef
    Strome-Drai-Pulju
    Khaira

    • Leichs

      Agree with almost everything. The lack of speed with Strome on the second line concerns me. I’d say move Jujar to 3rd LW and Strome to 3c and Reider to 2nd RW and hope he can use his speed and past chemistry to make a good pair with Drai. Drai needs speed to play with, especially with Luc on the LW. Jesse absolutely has a future in the top 6, but I’d hate to start line swapping right now with him playing what could be the best two weeks of hockey of his life since junior.

      • 99bestever

        After the JP show last night and the the lack of chemistry on the Drai line with Yama JP needs to move up to the second line with Drai so he ha someone to play with. It was proven last year that Strome has to a play center. Put Yama on his right wing and we have the lines set up and ready to go.

  • BM

    Excellent camps from Yammy and Bear, let them marinate and continue to gain confidence in Bake until injuries hit then that gives us reliable callups that should be chomping at the bit

  • Hockeytalkguy

    Nation Dan……think you pretty much nailed it. Don’t want to be a negative nelly but I couldn’t help but notice how many times the play died on Lucics stick tonight. I’m not sure if he should be on the 1st unit pp. Just my thoughts, trash me if you disagree.

    • Nation Dan

      I am trying to stay positive for sure. He did have some good plays in and around the net. When Lucic is engaged he is lights out. I haven’t seen engaged Lucic yet.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Rattie is doing well with Nuge and McDavid so that line is set Rattie ain’t going down. Jesse I dont think will be going anywhere either, he seems hell bent on making the team and he is playing really well, so doubt he is going anywhere Neither will Yamamoto. I wouldnt be suprised to see Cagguila get waived I dont think he has showed enough to warrant a spot despite his contract.
    Garrison I think has edged out Jerabek with his play and the fact that he can let it go from the point, Jerbek looks a little slow, I dont see Jerabek getting the nod over Garrison Garrison has done pretty well so far. Kassian is in troubled waters I see him getting traded, J.J. is doing what Kassian used to do and getting a lot of chances around the net. Kositsin ( cause it’s in ) has to head to Bakersfield, the Oilers need him to get in some games and see what he can do, they cant afford to have him sit on the bench waiting to get in a game and have to wonder how he will do.
    Bouchard is going to make it tough on the Oil to send him anywhere, the kid is a little weak in our end, but he has done more than I think most expected, no way is he headed back to the Juniors, I just dont see it.
    Ough to be interesting to see who sticks around for the 8 game cut off, There are a few players who ought to be worried about their spots on the team and that’s Cagguila and Kassian, I just havent seen either of them even be engaged to want to stay in the line up, honestly they have both been meh so far.
    The oilers played well, some things to work on, but I liked the zone breaouts and the offence was pushing forward all the time. It will be interesting to see how we do when teams are using their close to roster players, that will be the test, but I like the changes so far

  • Arfguy

    The line-up I’d start the season with:
    RNH-McDavid-Rattie
    Rieder-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
    Lucic-Khaira-Strome
    Chiasson-Brodziak-Kassian
    Caggiula

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Benning
    Jerabek-Russell
    Garrison

    Talbot
    Koskinen

    I’d personally send Bouchard to the OHL and Bear to the AHL. I think Bear should be first potential call-up. I worry a lot about that third line I put together due to a lack of speed. If absolutely necessary, I’d switch out Rieder and Lucic between the 2nd and 3rd line, even though I think Draisaitl needs more help on the wing than Lucic may be able to provide. I would like to see Yamamoto in the AHL for a bit, even though he has looked pretty good.

  • Lebronzo

    Pulju and Rattie were obvs most noticeable tonight, but I thought impressive play from Yamo and Reider too.
    Jerabek doesn’t do anything for me.
    ‘Nucks annoucers said “it was a close game” at the end. Gotta love it.

  • 18% body fat

    nuge connor and Ratman
    reider drai yamo
    khaira strome jesse
    lucic brod chaisson
    kassian aberg, flush caggiula down the toilet

    klefbom larsson
    nurse bouchard
    russel benning
    jarabek

  • AC11

    Can someone explain the advantage of shooting the puck into their zone vs carrying the puck into the zone on the power play? It seems that the plan is to shoot it in on the power play. It’s frustrating to watch the opposing team skate into our zone and gain control on their power play while we’re continuing with the “dump the puck in” strategy.

  • GRC

    Nation Dan…have to disagree about Bouchard.
    His offense (especially his passing and vision) or NHL level for sure. His defense is most definitely not. I recall 3 brutal giveaways in his own zone in this game.I didnt check the time on the first 2 but the 3rd one happened at the 7:20 mark of the 3rd period. I was a pass from behind the net right into the slot 10 feet in front of Talbot….the pass was to no one in particular from what I could see on TV.

    Love Bouchards potential BUT the preseason has underscored for me that he is NOT NHL ready defensively. If the Oilers had Sekera in the lineup then I think they could shelter Boucard but as it stands right now I am just not sure how the Oilers can manage to accomplish that.

    • Nation Dan

      That’s a fair sentiment. I didn’t kill him for this game. He is 18 and we all know he probably won’t be sticking in the NHL this go around. But I can see where you are coming from.

      • GRC

        I hear you…not to nitpick here but he is 19 next month.
        I am a little concerned that the team is going to be so seduced by his passing ability that they will try to shelter him on the 3rd pairing. It would be perfect if he could play in the AHL but unfortunately he is a year too young for that.
        Its a tough situation….I see Bouchard as a tweener between the CHL and the NHL at this point in time.

        • 99bestever

          He’s a rookie. Rookies make mistakes. Bouchard is ready and he can’t learn any more in Junior. Keep him in the NHL. He’s also got to be on the power play. The Ducks kept Fowler on defence as an 18 year old rookie from the Taylor Hall draft and look how he developed. At least give him the 9 games and he will surprise you. I noticed that prior to the game last night Bouchard was leading the Oilers at +5 and it is higher after last night as Vancouver didn’t score. Keep him NHL.

    • radicator

      Totally agree. That giveaway in the third was brutal. I was at the game and it WAS to no one in particular. A mistake, sure, but one like that can’t happen in the NHL’s regular season.

  • GRC

    So is it just not possible to edit a post? If it is possible I havent been able to fugure out how.
    If it isnt possible this would be the first forum that I have seen that doesnt have an edit function.

  • Oil DAWG

    That top line was fun to watch. They seem to have decent chemistry. On the flip side I wasn’t too impressed with Kassian. Found him slow and not reacting to the puck fast enough. Especially on the Penalty kill.

  • ScottyPrime

    I was told by everyone that RW was supposed to be the Oilers weak spot coming into this year… I mean… I know the “it’s only preseason” tag applies, but so far RW has been the Oilers go-to position (credit to the Center’s doing their thing, too).

    Also, I wanted to take a moment to point out that listening to the Canuck’s announcers tonight really brought home what was wrong with Remenda these last years. Now don’t get me wrong, it was annoying to listen to from an Oilers fan perspective, but they aren’t there to talk to Oilers fans.

    All night they kept the focus squarely on the Canucks players and their storylines. Sure, there was some homerism, namely from the colour guy, but seeing as that’s the market I don’t see that as a bad thing. Never once did they go off on a long tangent about how awful Ben Hutton was playing tonight, or how if Horvat just played more like McDavid he’d have 2 or 3 goals tonight. Even as the score started to get run up 3-0, 4-0, etc they kept the focus on the Canucks and their players and what they could do and were doing to try and get back in it. Fans don’t need the announcers to tell them their team is the second best one on the ice when their getting slammed on the score board, we can clearly see that. The broadcasters tonight did their jobs very well, even throwing in a few jabs at the Oilers when they could find a reason to, and whilst they referenced our players when the play demanded it like on goals or after some of Talbot’s great saves, they didn’t lose their focus and you can sure bet you knew which team they WANTED to win.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      Garrison deserves the nod to stick around over Jerabek, Jerabek looks a little slow on the foot speed department and I would say other for that blocked shot that deflected off him in Winnipeg, there hasnt been a whole lot to notice, Garrison has been pretty steady not a lot of flash just steady eddy and the guy can let it go from the point and the Oil can always use that. I think we will see Garrison stay and Jerabek get the short end of the stick

  • radicator

    Not to take away from the offense, but from my seat in the arena the Oilers’ defense looked sloppy. Too many pucks left lying around in front of Talbot and too many giveaways. The Oilers were lucky to be winning after 2 periods. Talbot played awesome to keep them in it.

  • The Perceptor

    This is my top-6 for the next game:
    Nugent-Hopkins – McDavid – Rattie
    Yamamoto – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi

    Gives Drai some speed and finish. Jesse can drive the play, Drai can be the distributor, and Yamo can mix it up.

  • Ko-D

    My lineup going into the regular season as of now.

    Nuge-McDavid-Rattie
    Yamamoto-Drai-Puljujarvi
    Lucic-Strome-Reider
    Khaira-Brodziak-Caggiula

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Benning
    Russell-Dobson

    Talbot
    Montoya

  • Spydyr

    That was Talbot’s best game in a long time. He tracked the puck ,was square to the shooter and played his angles well. Puljujarvi was a beast he was the second fastest Oiler and used his size well. Everything Rattie touches goes in. It is nice but I don’t expect it to continue , he sure is a nice fit on that line though.

  • OilersBro

    Lucic’s extra step looked great today. There were a few hits that came quicker than the Canucks expected. I distinctly remember one where Connor’s line tired down the Canucks, then the Draisaitl line wore them down further. When the Canuck’s finally possessed the puck, the D-man just threw it down the ice before getting leveled. That extra burst of speed is gonna be great for the big-man.
    Also straight up, Talbot just looked dialed in and focused.
    I’m optimistic about this year.

      • Blueliner44

        Completely agree! I thought his speed was better than last year and he competed over 200 feet. Lots of time the big fella was supporting the D coming back with the center no where in sight. Less plays died on his stick. Frankly, there was a stretch in the 2nd where Neon Leon fired three passes in a row to the opposition in neutral ice. No one has mentioned that yet…

  • Svart kaffe

    One has to wonder what’s up with Kassian. After reading that article by Robin Lehner I began to think about how many more players in the league with a bit of reputation actually struggles with their personal lives. I hope I’m wrong. All the best to him and I hope he’s just waiting for the games to matter until he unleashes the beast.

  • Canoe Ride 27

    Lots to be excited about with Dadbot at the top of my list.

    On the downside, Koskinen, Caggiula, Jerabek are looking like a lot of wasted cap space. Ugh.

    Bouchard opening night, Bear in the AHL and on the ready. Likely 9 games for Bouchard

    • Big Nuggets

      The season is long, lots of time for the preseason underachievers to prove themselves, assuming they get the chance. Everyone seemed to like the Jerabek signing when it happened. I think he will be okay eventually. The NHL regulars always take a few months to really get into it, so its best not to draw any difinitive conclusions yet.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    My lineup

    Nuge-McDavid-Rattie
    Lucic-Draisitl-Puljujarvi
    Khaira-Strome-Reider/Yamo
    Chiasson-Brodziak-Kassian
    Caggiula-Aberg

    Klefbom-Larsson
    Nurse-Bouchard/Benning
    Russell-Jerabek/Garrison

    Talbot
    Koskinen

  • Rob...

    Didn’t Pettersson get away with what should have been a boarding call as well? The collective gasp from the fans matched what I saw. Of course the Canucks fanboys broadcasting the game glazed over it.

    • Redbird62

      I also think the Gudbranson hit on Chiasson was quite possibly interference. Chiasson never touched the puck and it was already passed him when the hit came. That play gets called quite a bit. Last year when Maroon hit Doughty, he was called for interference since the puck went right through Doughty but he never touched it.

      • Rob...

        I’m OK with the interpretation of that rule as is. Separation from the puck was still achieved even though Chiasson never actually touched it. If you enforce the rule more strictly you’ll end up having to permit players a 1-mississippi before you can legally hit them. Don’t forget, this rule would also be applied to your own players. The Chiasson hit was hard, but we also checked several Canucks before they had the puck but were in the vicinity.

        I’m much more disappointed with how much interference was allowed against players trying to get to the puck on a dump-in. Last I checked you can’t change your direction to impede the player’s movement, nor can you hold them back. Refs need to be sharper.

    • Redbird62

      They have their own TV crew, but for games against Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver (and maybe the other Canadian teams), since Sportsnet has a home crew for each, they only use one crew. I would be okay with that if they only used the home team crew so you would get the Edmonton crew for the home games; however, Sportsnet at a minimum has deemed the Vancouver and Calgary markets as more important than Edmonton’s (even though I would bet the actual ratings are higher for Edmonton games despite being a smaller population market) and use the Vancouver and Calgary crews even when the game is in Edmonton. I would turn on the radio, but my problem with Jack Michaels is I have found him very hard to listen to with his constant interjecting of back stories and statistics on players in the middle of play. Maybe he has reduced that in the past year, but it was driving me crazy so I stopped tuning in. It was like having Cliff Clavin calling play by play.

      • ed from edmonton

        Or maybe SN thinks that EDM fans will watch even if there is a highly biased CGY or VAN broadcast crew but the CGY ot VAN fans would turn off if it were the other way around? No doubt there is an amazing difference between the slant of the EDM crew vs the other SN crews. Sure the EDM crew talks more about the Oil but other on air crews are not slanted, they are in a free fall.

  • 99CupsofCoffey

    Why do we continue to just dump the puck in on the PP? Even Vancouver brought it in nearly every time, while the Oilers tried to go get it in the corner and mostly failed at it. Wow, that needs some work.