After opening up their pre-season with a 2-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets, the Oilers’ skeleton squad followed that up with a loss that probably could have gone either way. Final Score: 4-2 Canucks
Hello there, Internet friends, it’s your ol’ pal Baggedmilk checking in for my first Wrap Up of the pre-season. I figured that the boys are getting their at-bats in and I should probably do the same since you and I will be spending plenty of time together over the next six months (and hopefully more). The problem, if there is one, and maybe I’m just nitpicking, is that the pre-season goes on for what seems like an eternity and despite enjoying tonight’s game for what it was, I can’t wait for these nights to actually mean something again.
I mean, yes, I absolutely like seeing what guys like Tyler Benson, Evan Bouchard, and Cooper Marody can do when going up against some NHL competition to see where they’re at in their development, and having hockey back on TV certainly scratches the itch that’s been building over the last six months, but it doesn’t hit quite the same as the regular season, ya know? To me, these tune-up games are kinda like craving Pringles and getting Prongles. Like eating an apple when you really want is Doritos. Like hoping for a kiss and a tickle but bae only tosses you a high five instead. Anyway, you get my point. The point is I can’t wait for October, alright?
First world problems aside, I thought the boys played very well considering the Canucks had more of their regulars in the lineup than did the Oilers. Backed by some big saves from Shane Starrett, Edmonton’s (mostly) hopefuls didn’t look at all out of place as they battled hard for 60 minutes, greatly outshot the Canucks, and arguably deserved a better fate than a 4-2 loss. While this wasn’t a win, I thought there were plenty of highlights from a group of prospects that are trying to make their way as pros.
At the very least, watching these kids do their thing tonight gave us all a preview of how entertaining the Bakersfield Condors could be this season, and having a strong farm system is something we should all be happy about.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Tomas Jurco tied the game up at one apiece midway through the second period after he drove towards the front of the net and banged home a rebound up high. Jurco hasn’t been able to stick in the NHL quite yet, but there are spots available on this hockey team and you’d have to think that he’ll be going balls out to try and grab one. We’ll see if tonight’s goal helps.
- Patrick Russell gave the Oilers their first lead of the night early on in the third period after beating Demko inside the post on his blocker side with a quick wrister.
- Actually, the Jurco-Marody-Russell line produced all kinds of chances tonight and they were easily the best trio of the night.
- How good is Shane Starrett’s pad/mask setup? That shit looked sharp, son. *whistles* Aside from looking great, Starrett had himself a game and he made some phenomenal saves to keep his team in the mix. He finished the night with 20 saves and a .870 save%.
- I liked seeing Darnell Nurse jump up into the play as often as he did tonight. Considering the wheels he’s got on him, I hope he can find more spots to slide in and out of the slot and give the forwards another passing/shooting option in a dangerous area.
- Dimitri Samorukov is an interesting prospect for the Oilers. He absolutely exploded in his last year in junior and I’ll be very intrigued to watch him doing his thing down in Bakersfield this year.
- How can you not watch Evan Bouchard and appreciate the way he handles and distributes the puck? The dude has ice in his veins and it’s impressive to watch. I don’t know if he’ll make the team or not, I do think he still has some areas of his game that he needs to work on, but I’m convinced that he’s going to be an absolute beauty with a little bit of patience.
- Oilers went 72% in the faceoff circle. You guys know I love faceoffs.
- Edmonton outshot the Canucks 37-24 and that doesn’t even include the multiple times they hit the post.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Brandon Sutter opened the scoring with a nice little dangle and finish after he was rewarded with a penalty shot late in the first period. To that point, the Oilers had been outplaying the Canucks but it was a hook on Sutter that gave Vancouver the opportunity they needed to open the scoring. Midway through the third period, Sutter restored the Canucks lead when added his second goal of the night with a textbook deflection on a hard point pass from Alex Edler.
- Elias Pettersson tied the game up at two after he found some space in the left circle which put him in the perfect spot to bang home a rebound through Starrett’s legs. Pettersson had been quiet for most of the night, but with his skill, it only took a single chance for him to make an impact.
- Tanner Pearson added an empty netter after striping Darnell Nurse of the puck and shovelling it down the ice and into the open cage.
- You probably don’t want to allow three straight third period goals, right? No, probably not.
- Didn’t you kinda forget that Brandon Manning exists?
- I can’t be the only one that misses Joe Gambardella’s beard, right? Only me? Alright then.
|16:19||Vancouver||PS – Brandon Sutter (1)||0-1|
|13:02||Edmonton||Tomas Jurco (1) ASST: Cooper Marody (1), Patrick Russell (1)||1-1|
|03:57||Edmonton||Patrick Russell (1) ASST: Cooper Marody (2), Tomas Jurco (1)||2-1|
|09:39||Vancouver||Elias Pettersson (1) ASST: Micheal Ferland (1), Nikolay Goldobin (1)||2-2|
|10:58||Vancouver||Brandon Sutter (2) ASST: Alexander Edler (1), Tanner Pearson (1)||2-3|
|19:18||Vancouver||(Empty Net) Tanner Pearson (1) ASST: Zack MacEwen (1)||2-4|
1. ______ Oilers played well
2. ______ Oilers played bad
3. Why was Brandon Manning playing at all?
4. Nuge didn’t play, but he’s super awesome.
There/s you’re wrap up.
— Cummingtonite? (@geology24_7) September 18, 2019
This is way better than anything on TV. https://t.co/EhBJqCf6Vu
— Rob Pelletier (@elevatorbob) September 18, 2019
Why can’t Brandon Sutter play like this in the regular season and also not miss 95% of the year
— Andy Cole (@AndyColeTSN) September 18, 2019
The AHL team is gonna be exciting
— Arch (@Archaeologuy) September 18, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 9/17/2019 – 10:45 pm MT