Welcome, friends, to the second-last Oilers GDB of the 2018 pre-season. We’ve officially arrived at the time of the training camp period when I feel like I can safely say that we’re all ready for the pre-season to end and the real dance to get going. Unfortunately, there is still a week left to wait so we’ll have to enjoy today’s warm up boogie as a means to get the rust that’s been building over the last six months out of our dance moves. Today, the Oilers take on the Flames for an afternoon affair that will see both clubs getting in their final player evaluations before the season officially kicks off next week. Will the Oilers head off to Europe with another pre-season win under their belts? We will find out shortly.
Can you believe we’re only a week away from real hockey starting up again? Even a week seems like an eternity, though, with each day feeling like a never ending time loop that we’re all stuck in. I don’t know about you guys, but this summer has felt like an eternity and I can’t wait for the season to get going for real. Unfortunately, there is still a pair of tune-up games that we have to win first so we’ll just have to battle through those and work together on wasting time until October 6th. Personally, I’m kind of expecting today’s game to be on the tamer side as both teams will be looking to get their at-bats in without having anyone get injured this close to go time. Not that I’m saying everyone is going to mail it in or pull punches with their effort levels, I’m just expecting a relatively cautious affair from both sides.
For this afternoon’s matchup, the Flames will be icing a much better roster than the Oilers saw from them in their first pre-season meeting, meaning this won’t be a cake walk like we watched against their half-squad that didn’t get to go to China. If our boys in orange are going to churn out another win, they’re going to need to pick up the tempo from the effort put forth against the Coyotes on Thursday night, and they’re going to have to continue to focus on locking things up in the defensive zone. I’d like to see the Oilers continue to be aggressive on the forecheck as they have been throughout September, but also to make sure they’re rushing back just as hard to engage on the defensive side of the puck. At times, there have still been some D-zone lapses that grant the opponent some wide open looks on net and those are the kind of details that need to be ironed out as much as possible.
No better time to get that cleaned up than in a Saturday matinee against Calgary, amirite?
|2018 Preseason||Edmonton Oilers||Calgary Flames|
According to the Oilers site, they’re not releasing the line combinations until warm up so I’m going to have to guess a little bit here. We know that Ty Rattie is a little bit banged up and that Rieder will slot in on the top line today. We also know that Kris Russell will be sitting out as well, so that creates some opportunity for a couple of guys, like Jason Garrison for example, to try and earn a spot. With that said, we shouldn’t necessarily put too much stock into who plays in today’s game and where they slot into the lineup. In McLellan’s own words, “Our lineup tomorrow, if you think that’s our opening night lineup, it probably won’t be based on health and moving players around.” As always, I’ll be sure to update things when the official line combos come out.
I took these lines from Flamesnation this morning and I don’t think they know how to count over there. I’ll just have to go ahead and assume that they’ll be drawing names from a hat or something.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…
The preseason finally comes to an end this afternoon in “scenic” Edmonton. The Calgary Flames play a matinee exhibition game against the Edmonton Oilers in a game that both teams hope will answer some questions about their rosters, and hopefully, result in everyone getting to the regular season without any bumps and bruises.
Can the Flames continue to improve their defensive play? Can their power play look dangerous? Can their penalty kill stay dangerous? And can the fringe bodies on their roster – particularly Dillon Dube or Juuso Valimaki, if they play – continue to make a case for NHL employment beginning on Wednesday night in Vancouver?
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Combining the facts that the Europe trip is coming up in a couple of days and that this is the second to last pre-season game of the year, the Oilers are looking past this game and end up losing 4-3 after a late rally.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: No matter what happens today, all we will care about is the regular season.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The stream for today’s game works 85% of the time as a tribute to Liam Reddox.
If you’ve ever been to one of our season opener parties before, you already know that one of the best parts is getting 200 Nation citizens together to meet up and start off the new season on a high note. Not only are these parties a great way to get the band together, it’s especially fun to meet new people that you’ve been
arguing with talking to online for Gord knows how long.
WHAT YOU GET:
The bag: Exclusive Season Opener Party tee, Pint GC, Oodle Noodle GC, stickers, and a ticket to enter all of the draws and raffles
The giveaways: Memorabilia giveaways, NationGear giveaways,
Anything else: We’ll also be having a NationGear pop-up shop that features some of the new shirts and hoodies that we’ve got for the upcoming season.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Where: The Pint Downtown
When: October 6th, with doors opening at 10 am and the hockey game starting at 11 am
Who: Every single one of you… that is of legal drinking age
Why: To celebrate the launch of a new season, get together, and to raise as much money as possible for our friends at KidSport
How much: Tickets are $25 each with net proceeds going directly to KidSport
How: Tickets are available here.