24
Photo Credit: Tom Kostiuk

Monday Mailbag – Are we making too big of a deal about Brendan Perlini?

It’s a Thanksgiving Monday and that means we’ve got a holiday edition of the Mailbag to help you get your week started and also to make sense of everything that’s happening with our beloved Edmonton Oilers! This week, we’re looking at season Brendan Perlini’s vs Ty Rattie, Kassian’s fight, preseason takeaways, and more. If you’ve got got a question you’d like to ask, email it to me at [email protected] or hit me up on Twitter at @jsbmbaggedmilk and I’ll get to you as soon as we can.

Sep 28, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Brendan Perlini (42) tries to screen Seattle Kraken goaltender Joey Daccord (35) during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

1) @mblairYQR asks – Are we overhyping Perlini after the pre-season performance of Ty Rattie a couple of years ago?

Jason Gregor:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

They aren’t remotely close to the same player or same situation. Perlini has produced playing with Shore and Turris. He isn’t getting goals due to 29 and 97. He is also bigger, stronger and a better skater than Rattie. I don’t think anyone expects him to produce like this in the regular season, but he is playing well and outplaying guys for his spot in the lineup. He’s earned a spot on the opening night roster. What he does from there is up to him.

Robin Brownlee:

Different players. Different circumstances. Noting that Perlini has exceeded expectations in terms of contributing offensively and that he’s secured a job in the bottom six shouldn’t be considered news — or hype — at this point. What commentary are you referring to exactly?

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I mean, probably a little bit. The main difference though is that Perlini is doing this while playing with bottom-six linemates and he isn’t just tapping in passes from Connor McDavid. Perlini has been very impressive but I don’t think he’s going to score like 20 goals this season. Still encouraging to see a bottom-six winger play this well. If he can score 10-15 goals, that’d be massive for this team.

Baggedmilk:

Brendan Perlini could be the most valuable player to ever wear an Oilers uniform. Case. Closed.

May 19, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto (56) battles with Winnipeg Jets forward Mason Appleton (22) in front of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the second periodin game one of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

2) Kevin asks – Kailer Yamamoto hasn’t had a stellar preseason and had to miss time due to injury. What do you need to see from Yamo to consider it a successful season?

Jason Gregor:

If he is in the top-six he needs to produce. That is the role when you play there. If he struggles to produce I expect he will be moved to the bottom six. If he scores 15-18 goals it will be a successful season.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Robin Brownlee:

Stay healthy, be hard on pucks, create turnovers and get in and out around the net. Let’s see another step or two along the learning curve — he turned 23 just two weeks ago.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I’d like to see Yamamoto get around 20 goals if he’s playing next to Leon Draisaitl all season. If he can be around the 20-30-50 mark then I’d consider it a good year for Yamamoto. He needs to find his scoring touch if he wants to stay on one of the top two lines though.

Baggedmilk:

I’d like to see him at somewhere between 40-50 points if he’s going to play with Leon Draisaitl, and if he’s going to make that stick, he’ll need to convert on some of those chances he keeps getting. I believe in you, Yamo.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
May 8, 2021; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point of the season on a goal by forward Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

3) @OilersJohn asks – Will Oilers fans get past their PTSD from the decade + of darkness and realize that this team has a real chance to be a contender this year?

Jason Gregor:

I don’t think all fans are the same. Some opt to find the negative and live in the past while others will focus on the now. Edmonton has made playoffs the past two seasons, what happened from 2007-2019 matters less than the past two seasons. Edmonton will be good this year. If they can win in the playoffs is yet to be determined, but how they play in the regular season will give a decent indication if they can win at least one round.

Robin Brownlee:

Let’s avoid attaching a term for a serious health issue to a period of losing hockey. Bad form. . I think a lot of fans are hopeful about this edition of the team.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

Winning cures all! This team needs to win a playoff round and then the bandwagon will really fill up. They’re good enough to go deep but they also still have some significant flaws on their roster. They aren’t a perfect team by any means so I can see why some fans are nervous heading into the year.

Baggedmilk:

Sometimes I boil water just to let the rolling boil explain my rage in visual form. Boiling water. Anger. That’s hot. Honestly, I’m the guy that drinks the Kool-Aid every single year so you don’t have to convince me to get fired up about another season.

Feb 1, 2020; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers right wing Zack Kassian (44) skates during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

4) Tanis asks – Zack Kassian has been hurt in the last two fights he’s been in and I’d like to know if everything thinks he needs that to be a part of his game to be effective?

Jason Gregor:

If he thinks it is, then I don’t see why not. Kassian plays best when he is engaged and when he is engaged and physical the odd scrap will occur. His next 10 fights might have no issues. No one can say for sure.

Robin Brownlee:

If Kassian is going to be at his best and play the way he needs to, he’s going to have to back that up by being willing to fight. I’m not sure he needs to get into the “wanna go?” stuff off a face-off like what happened with McEwen too often at this point, but he has to be willing to answer the bell in the heat of the moment.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

I don’t think it does. He needs to be hard on the forecheck, hit everything that moves, and provide some offence in the bottom six. I get that part of his role is protecting his teammates, so he’ll have to drop the mitts from time to time, but I’d like to see him in fewer fights going forward.

Baggedmilk:

I think fighting is going to be a part of Kassian’s game provided that he continues to play the style he does. And since I don’t see him morphing into a different player any time soon, the best we can do is hope that he doesn’t get hurt again the next time around. Weird thing to say but I’m not wrong either.

July 28, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA; A general view of game action during the second period of the exhibition game between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place on July 28, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. Mandatory Credit: Dave Sandford/NHLI via USA TODAY Sports

5) Cliff asks – I know that the preseason isn’t necessarily the most important run of games the team will play, but now that it’s over, I wonder what is everyone’s biggest takeaway from the eight games the Oilers just wrapped up?

Jason Gregor:

They have more depth. They are better overall defensively as a team. I expect they will have a much better start this season. I say they win seven of the first 10 games.

Robin Brownlee:

Better balance, more scoring depth and more options up front. That bottom six doesn’t look like it’ll get caved in even-up like we saw last season. Also of note, Mikko Koskinen has looked very sharp.

Tyler Yaremchuk:

My two biggest takeaways are that their powerplay is going to be absolutely lethal and there will be a lot of high-scoring games this season. I think their PP% could be higher than 35%.

Baggedmilk:

Connor McDavid still rules. Zach Hyman will be a crowd favourite by Halloween. Warren Foegele is a runaway train. They kept Nuge forever.

OODLE NOODLE IS OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT AND DELIVERY

During this time of pandemic, Oodle Noodle will be donating a portion of all takeout and curbside delivery sales will be donated to local charities on a weekly basis. To order pick up, call into the store directly or order at the till. If you’re staying in and practicing your social distancing, no-contact delivery is available at www.oodlenoodle.ca.