GDB -1.0: The Starting Line (4pm MT, Streaming)

7 months ago
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to our first pre-season GDB of the year that will help us all inch just a little bit closer to the October 11 launch date when games mean something. Until then, this is the first of eight pre-season games we’ll have to slog through before the showtime, and the first chapter in this seemingly never-ending tune-up story is a Sunday afternoon dance with the Winnipeg Jets.
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As much as I’m very excited about the start of the 2023-24 NHL season, I’ll be the first to admit that making it through eight pre-season games is going to be tough. Not only do I think the Oilers are playing about four tune-up games too many, but the fact that there are so few storylines to follow this year will make these next two weeks feel especially long. I mean, sure, it’s always fun to see where our prospects are relative to their peers, but that love of first impressions can only carry us so far. Now that our boys are considered by many to be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, all I really want to do is fast-forward through whatever cuts need to be made so that the squad is locked in and we can get this thing going for real.
Now that my complaints about the neverending pre-season are out of the way, the thing I’ll be watching most here on night one is which prospects or players look like they have the best chance at either winning or stealing a job. And with so many prospects and hopefuls in the lineup to kick off the pre-season, the likelihood of learning a little bit about someone we never get to watch is pretty damned high. So for me, someone who doesn’t spend much time watching our prospects, the pre-season is my chance to get a refresher on some of the guys we haven’t seen since last year. Even though my expectations are generally pretty low in the pre-season, I will readily admit that I’m pretty excited to see who has improved over the last 12 months and who still has work left to do.
As a note, I’ve read that the Jets website is streaming the game for free whereas Edmonton has it behind their paywall with Oilers+.



Oilers ***UPDATED***

From Reid Wilkins at 630 CHED, Nurse and Bouchard are expected to play tonight, as are Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Zach Hyman, and Evander Kane, but no other details have been released just yet about who’s in or out. I’ll jump back into the article and update the post when the line combos come out.
“(The pre-season is) an opportunity for players to work on their individual game,” Jay Woodcroft said after practice Saturday. “I think that’s important, especially for the people that are in bubble battles or battles for ice time.”
“Then, the other thing it serves is an opportunity for the team to work on the team game; the collective. We saw some good things in a scrimmage today, but I’m excited to see them put into practice against the Winnipeg Jets.”


Malott – Perfetti – Niederreiter
Iafallo – Lowry – Appleton
Harkins – Toninato – Jonsson-Fjallby
Zhilkin – Lambert – Chibrikov
Dillon – Bauer
Chisholm – Demelo
Heinola – Schmidt
“This time of year once you get the first day of camp underway, the intensity ramps up, and then exhibition, it ramps up even more,” Adam Lowry expressed ahead of his first pre-season appearance. “Even just the competition, competing against the other team’s best, seeing how your game’s evolved over the summer and things like that. I think it’s always more fun to play games.”


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The (kinda) Oilers know what needs to get done and kick off the pre-season with a decisive 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: You will have no idea who you’re watching, what names are attached to which number, or why you weren’t able to watch this game on anything other than Oilers+.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: As excited as you were about watching the first pre-season game of the season, the thrill wore off in the third period as opposed to the first period. Progress?

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