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GDB -5.0: Four pre-season games down, four to go (7pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
6 months ago
After taking down the Flames 2-1 last night in Calgary with the B-squad, the Oilers are back in action against the Vancouver Canucks for a rematch after Wednesday’s OT finish.
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Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce that we have officially entered the back half of the pre-season schedule and I could not be more excited to get these last four games over and done with. At the same time, we’re also getting to the part where it’s do or die for the guys that are trying to earn a job. With only four games left to play before the season opener on October 11th, we’re really talking about only a small pile of shifts for the likes of Raphael Lavoie, Adam Erne, Brandon Sutter, et al to make a case for themselves before the final cuts get made. And if we’re being honest with ourselves, have any of these guys really done anything spectacular to separate themselves from the rest of the pack? Am I being too harsh? Pro sports is an icy mistress after all.
With time running out and only one or two jobs available, someone needs to step up and seize the moment. Last night in Calgary, Dylan Holloway put down the kind of performance we all wanted to see and was undoubtedly one of the Oilers’ best players. Squaring off against a Vancouver lineup that is littered with regulars, I want to see if anyone can come up with their own version of what Hollywood did against the Flames. Regardless of what the score ends up being when the final buzzer rings, the urgency levels need to come up for everyone whose job is not already locked in. As the opposing lineups improve and the pressure begins to mount, what happens over the next week will make or break an NHL opportunity for a handful of players. And with tonight’s game being the next chance to show what they’ve got, I’m excited to watch who — if anyone — will be able to seize the moment.
As much as this game really doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of the season, the Canucks are dressing a lineup that could look a lot like the one they run with on opening night. If ever we were going to see how anyone on our side looks in camp, it would be in a game like this one against a divisional rival, and I hope that message lights a fire in some of the guys mentioned above. Not to mention, it’s a Saturday night in late September and the game is going to be broadcast on Sportsnet. If you can’t get fired up for a night like that when you’re battling for an NHL job then when is it going to happen? Oilers vs. Canucks Round 2 may not be a big deal for the fans, but it absolutely should be for a handful of guys that will be wearing the equipment.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUPS…

Oilers ***UPDATED***

Kane – RNH – Brown
Erne – Sutter – Janmark
Lavoie – Malone – Griffith
Hamblin – Pederson – Bourgault
Nurse – Ceci
Broberg – Desharnais
Niemelainen – Gleason
Skinner
According to Tony Brar, the Oilers held an optional skate this morning in Edmonton but there is yet to be any indication of who will be playing when the team arrives in Calgary. Seeing as we’re heading into the second half of a back-to-back set, I wonder how many regulars Jay Woodcroft will have in his lineup given that most of them didn’t play last night in Calgary. Either way, I’ll be sure to jump back into the article and add the line combos as soon as they get released.

Canucks

Beauvillier – Pettersson – Kuzmenko
Di Giuseppe – Miller – Boeser
Hoglander – Suter – Garland
Aman – Blueger – Studnicka
Hughes – McWard
Cole – Hronek
Soucy – Myers
Demko
The Canucks are dressing an experienced lineup as J.T. Miller, Elias Pettersson, Andrei Kuzmenko, Quinn Hughes, Brock Boeser, Filip Hronek, and Thatcher Demko were all taking the line rushes this morning at Rogers Arena. Chris Faber from Canucksarmy had the line combos.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: Despite the Canucks having more NHL regulars in their lineup, the Oilers outwork them to the tune of a 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Regardless of what happens on the scoreboard, Canucks fans will put way too much weight into the results and the overreaction will be hilarious.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: The Oilers don’t get a power play goal again tonight but they do end up getting a shorthanded marker off of a Canucks mistake at their own blue line.

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