Thank you, powerplay. Final Score: 3-2 Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers squared off against the Vancouver Canucks for the first time this pre-season and I’ve got the breakdown with any of the notable items that happened during the game. As a reminder, I won’t be doing the usual Wrap Up format that you’ll see during the regular season but instead focus on some of the things that stuck out to me overall. I will, however, get back to the normal schtick when we get going for real on October 13th.
THINGS WORTH MENTIONING…
- Are you surprised Leon Draisaitl scored from his office on a cross-ice pass from Connor McDavid on the powerplay? You’re not, are you?
- Speaking of McDavid, the captain put on another shower at Rogers Place and it was almost bad luck that he didn’t more than the two points he had because he was buzzing.
- Derek Ryan restored the lead with a perfectly timed tip as he wandered into the slot at the exact moment when Duncan Keith’s point shot was making its way into traffic.
- Mike Smith missed Monday night’s game with some kind of minor tweak and it had me nervous that he was going to start the year on the shelf again, so it was nice to see him back between the pipes and playing well against the Canucks even though we had that minor scare in the first period. It goes without saying that the Oilers are going to need Smith to be at his best if they have any chance of pushing this rock uphill, and it will be interesting to see how often Tippett leans on the veteran netminder as we work through the season. Smith stopped 35 shots and finished with a .946 save%.
- Zach Hyman happily dives into all of the areas on the ice that no one wants to go to on a shift-by-shift basis and I’m convinced that kind of effort is going to make him a fan favourite here before Halloween rolls around. If
- Warren Foegele forechecks like a man on fire and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to lead to him scoring a shorthanded goal or two this season. Either way, I’m looking forward to watching Foegele’s first season in Edmonton because he adds a flavour to that third line that we haven’t had there in a while now.
- I like seeing Ryan McLeod getting some at-bats in on the penalty kill. I don’t know how much (if at all) he’d play when down a man but it would be a very valuable tool to have in his kit if he’s not going to provide a whole lot of offence at the NHL level. I still hope I’m wrong about that, though.
- Man, I’d love for Tyler Benson to get some games with the Oilers because you can tell how hard he’s working for it, and I thought he had a solid night with plenty of shifts that ended with him throwing his body around. What I don’t know, however, is if there will be a hole on the roster that his skill set would be best suited to fill?
- In case you were wondering, the Oilers’ powerplay is still pretty good and teams are going to have a horrible time trying to figure it out. The Oilers finished at 2/6 on the night with the man advantage.
- The PK could use a few more swings at the plate because it looked, at least to me, like no one was ever all that comfortable with where they were supposed to be. I think that’s more of an early season rust thing than anything to be too concerned about but we’ll see how things play out in time. The PK killed four of six on the night.
- I hated to see Zack Kassian knocked out cold after a meaningless fight in the preseason, and it was a scary scene at Rogers Place when he was down on the ice and unable to move.
- Was surprised to see that Lamborghini Perlini wasn’t dressed but then I figured that Dave Tippett wants other people to score a few goals too. *rimshot*
- The game was on TV!
Next up, the Oilers will wrap up the preseason with a rematch against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night at 7:00 pm MT with the game being shown Sportsnet 360.
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