Onward and upward. See you tomorrow. Final Score: 6-1 Canucks
After falling to the Vancouver Canucks with a skeleton squad of rookies and hopefuls on Tuesday night, the Oilers iced a similar lineup again tonight with only a few minor changes being made as Dave Tippett and his staff continue to evaluate the roster. With jobs on the line and plenty of spots left unclaimed, these early pre-season games may be devoid of star power but ripe with opportunities to check out the players that will be driving the Bakersfield Condors and maybe even stealing a gig with the big club. Frankly, I don’t remember the last time there were this many guys battling for jobs on the roster and I’m very intrigued to see how it all shakes out once the pre-season wraps. You just know that there are going to be some surprises with who sticks and who goes and I’m looking forward to seeing who’s left with a chair when the music stops.
Coming into tonight’s game, I was curious about whether the Oilers would, once again, be able to find a way to compete despite having fewer of their NHL regulars playing than did the Canucks. On Tuesday night, the boys competed hard and had it not been for a couple of bad breaks then the final score could have easily gone in their favour. I wanted to see that same hustle tonight for the rematch. After trading goals early in the first period, the pace of the game settled down a little bit and both teams started playing their way into some nice scoring chances. For a while, the pendulum swung back and forth fair equally. The obvious bad news was that the Canucks were the only ones able to capitalize on their chances, essentially finishing the game off with a pair of back-to-back powerplay goals in the second period that, more or less, sunk the Oilers’ ship and left them vulnerable.
I mean, it goes without saying that it’s pretty tough to win hockey games when you need to convert a touchdown to get the ‘W’ but all you can muster is a rouge.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
- Cooper Marody tied the game up at one apiece after his sneaky little shot from the slot found its way through Jakob Markstrom, squeaking its way over the line by inches. While I’m sure Markstrom would want to have this one back, Marody won’t care as he’s looking to secure a job on the team.
- Yeah, yeah, I know it’s only the pre-season but I liked the way James Neal played again tonight. It was clear that the dude some hands and I’ll be excited to watch what he can do far more than I would have been with Milan Lucic. No, Neal didn’t score but he was one of the few dangerous forwards all night and that gives me even further hope for a rebound season.
- I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that Mikko Koskinen has a tonne of pressure on his shoulders this season, and I was hopeful that he would be able to hit the ground running in his pre-season debut. Unfortunately (hilariously), allowing a goal on the first shot of the night certainly wasn’t the way he was hoping to start his pre-season. The good news is that he settled down a little bit. The bad news was that his night didn’t get much better. That all said, we’re talking about a single pre-season game, his first I should add, so I’m not going to get too bent out of shape about it. Koskinen finished the night with 19 saves and a .826 save%.
- I like Ryan McLeod. I think after some time in Bakersfield that the Oilers will have a player there. Here’s hoping he gets some at-bats in all situations this season for Jay Woodcroft.
- Shane Starrett came into the game in the third period to finish off the night, and I need to take another minute to compliment his goalie kit. Dude looks sharp out there.
- I was waiting to see how Gaetan Haas would bounce back after a tough pre-season debut. In his first game, Haas battled the puck a lot and looked generally uncomfortable so I was intrigued by how his second appearance would go. While I would suggest he was markedly better than he was in night one, I don’t know that that’ll be good enough to crack the final roster.
- Will be interesting to see who gets cut/sent to Bakersfield after tonight’s game.
THE FACE PALMERS
- Brogan Rafferty (hell of a name btw) opened the scoring for the Canucks as his slap shot from the point made its way through traffic and beat Mikko Koskinen high to the glove side. I should mention that this goal happened on Vancouver’s first shot of the night, and I’ll also admit that I burst out laughing when it went in. Only the pre-season, people!
- Jay Beagle restored the Canucks one-goal lead late in the first period after he broke into the Oilers’ zone on a two-on-one with Tim Schaller which resulted in Beagle getting an open look from high in the slot that he made no mistake of converting. A lot of people took shots at Koskinen for getting beaten high on the glove-side again, but, to me, this was a perfectly executed two-on-one.
- Sven Baertschi increased the Canucks’ lead to two-goals after he snuck behind the Oilers’ defencemen and Bo Horvat hit him with a perfect pass in the slot. Puck watching in the defensive zone at its finest right there, my friends.
- Lukas Jasek made it 4-1 Canucks on the powerplay after Mikko Koskinen shot the puck over the glass and got called for delay of game. Jasek’s goal was the second powerplay goal for the Canucks in a matter of minutes, grabbing a stranglehold on a game that was fairly even only moments before.
- Bo Horvat cashed in on a gift of a breakaway after Joel Persson gave up the puck at the blue line and sprung the Canucks’ forward in alone.
- By the time Adam Gaudette scored to make it 6-1 I had long checked out. I’m just being honest with you guys.
- Not a great night for Matt Benning. To put it mildly, there’s some rust that needs to get sorted out in short order.
- Anybody else reading about Tekashi 6ix9ine’s testimony during the third period? Just me? Alright.
|04:03||Vancouver||Brogan Rafferty (1) ASST: J.T. Miller (2)||1-0|
|06:12||Edmonton||Cooper Marody (1) ASST: Oscar Klefbom (3), Alex Chiasson (1)||1-1|
|18:34||Vancouver||Jay Beagle (1) ASST: Tim Schaller (1)||2-1|
|12:05||Vancouver||PPG – Sven Baertschi (1) ASST: Bo Horvat (1), J.T. Miller (3)||3-1|
|15:44||Vancouver||PPG – Lukas Jasek (1) ASST: Guillaume Brisebois (2), Loui Eriksson (1)||4-1|
|01:54||Vancouver||SHG – Bo Horvat (2)||5-1|
|16:21||Vancouver||Adam Gaudette (1) ASST: Loui Eriksson (2)||6-1|
Connor McDavid had a long chat with Dave Tippett at the end of practice today. Connor McDavid is now the coach of the @EdmontonOilers.
— Ken Holland (@FakeOilersGM) September 18, 2019
Edmonton’s goal horn sounds like a goat dying
— Andy Cole (@AndyColeTSN) September 20, 2019
— Arch (@Archaeologuy) September 20, 2019
It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s only preseason. It’s
— Rob Tychkowski (@Rob_Tychkowski) September 20, 2019
Gonna be more than a few cuts tonight/tomorrow
— Rick Weidemann (@RPW_1832) September 20, 2019
Costco or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange?
— Jiminy Hitch (@ThomsonCam) September 20, 2019
Friendly reminder: Preseason results rarely mean much. Last year Detroit was 7-1 and Edmonton 6-1. Two best records.
Year before Oilers were 6-2. I look more at individuals than team results when so many players in early preseason games won't be on NHL rosters.
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) September 20, 2019
Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 9/19/2019 – 9:45 pm MT