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GDB -6.0 Wrap Up: Two goals from Bourgault, two assists from Gleason and a shutdown performance from Jack Campbell lead Oilers to victory

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Photo credit:Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
7 months ago
On a night where there was much ado about nothing in the world of sports, the Edmonton Oilers’ pre-season chugged along in promising fashion Monday night.
With Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman in toe, the Oilers went toe-to-toe with the Seattle Kraken coming out on top in a 4-1 game.
The Oilers weren’t exactly led by this trio, however, as it was another three players who came up in big ways: Xavier Bourgault, Ben Gleason, and Jack Campbell.
Bourgault led the way with the Oilers’ first and third goals of the game, while Gleason notched apples on two tallies — the second of which McDavid scored in McDavid-esque style. Bourgault’s first saw him drive to the net and bury a rebound, while his second tally was a thing of beauty.
The Oilers had a power play just expire when defenceman Philip Broberg walked down the right side wall as Bourgault slid from the half-wall to a soft spot towards the centre of the ice ripping home a one-timer. McDavid’s goal, meanwhile, saw him get a Gleason pass near the Oilers’ blueline,  walk down the wall and rifle one past Kraken netminder Phillip Grubauer.
But what might’ve been the most important development from the game was the continued strong pre-season play from Campbell in the Oilers’ crease. He turned aside 32 of 33 shots faced tonight making multiple big saves along the way. While the Oilers brought their top line to play, there was a lot more “depth” level players they brought on the trip, too.
The second line, for example, was centred by Derek Ryan — a more than respectable NHL’er, but not someone you’re going to see on a second line in a regular season game. The Kraken, meanwhile, had an NHL-heavy lineup f their home game.
If you can put two and two together, you’ll see where I’m going here.
Campbell didn’t have much in the way of defensive support tonight and while the Oilers tried to keep as much as they could on the outside, Seattle had a few good looks from in tight. One, for example, when Jared McCann was robbed on a surefire goal from down-low on a cross-crease feed. Flying across to make the save was Campbell, who looked nothing short of dialled in all night long.

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For the Oilers, this is a tremendous development. Campell’s struggles were more than well-known last season, and this now makes two games in which he has been solid for the Oilers in net. His previous performance in the pre-season saw him turn aside 35 of 36 against the Calgary Flames last Friday night.
Based on last season alone it’s safe to say that Campbell is a long shot to usurp Stuart Skinner in the crease, but he’s putting together some very, very competitive games. If he can rebound to his career average .910 save percentage, the Oilers would be in a tremendous spot.

Notes…

  • While Bourgault scored twice, he played just 7:07 of 5×5 time — the lowest of any Oilers forward. I’d imagine he’s heading to Bakersfield in short order.
  • The Oilers freed Raphael Lavoie tonight playing him with some skill. He spent 3:45 on a line with McDavid and Dylan Holloway with the three controlling 77.78 per cent of the shot attempts (7-2), 99.12 per cent of the expected goal share (0.25-0), and outscoring the opposition 1-0.
  • While Lavoie didn’t get on the scoresheet, I liked his effort on McDavid’s goal. As McDavid drove low, Lavoie pushed to the backside of the net pulling the Kraken defenders with him and opening up the lane for McDavid’s shot. Not only did it give 97 the lane, it put himself in a spot to clean up a rebound, should there have been one.
  • Seattle’s goal scorer? None other than Kailer Yamamoto. Of course.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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