How about wrapping up your work week with another pre-season dose of the Battle of Alberta? Only this time, we’ll actually have more than four NHL players in the lineup.
As I sat down to write the GDB this morning, the realization that we’re not even halfway through the pre-season hit me like a punch to the nose. Even though we all know that these tune-up games are meant for evaluation and not our entertainment, I still find myself wishing we had a fast-forward button to get through these last five games and right to October 12th. If I’m being honest, I expected that my excitement for hockey to be back would last longer than three pre-season games, but to this point, I’m honestly having a hard time getting through these games. The bright side, however, is that we’re finally going to see some of our big boys on the ice for the first time, and that upgrade will hopefully be enough to bring me back into the moment. I mean, if seeing my boy Nuge twirl around for the first this season isn’t enough to get me excited about the pre-season then who knows what can make that happen?
Advertisement
Ad
My own personal gripes with the schedule aside, I’m kinda expecting the exact reverse of what we got in Calgary on Wednesday night. In that game, the Flames dressed a bunch of their regulars and it wasn’t exactly surprising to see the Oilers’ prospects and tweeners struggle at times to keep up. That’s not to say that our boys fared poorly — the team managed to hang on for a lot longer than I expected while fighting above their weight class — but it was clear that they were outmatched by what was mostly an NHL roster. In tonight’s rematch at Rogers Place, the Oilers will have a bunch of stars making their pre-season debuts, and if I was to bet on what is going to happen, I’d be looking at our side to come up with a much better result against a Flames squad that won’t be quite as deep tonight. I mean, that’s the theory anyway. Then again, now that I’m thinking about it, as long as we get our boys through to the final buzzer in one piece then I’m going to declare that a win.
Advertisement
Ad

WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR

Yesterday, the Oilers trimmed their training camp roster as the process began of moving towards our opening night roster.
  • Goaltender Ryan Fanti and forward Ty Tullio were loaned to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
  • The trio of Dino Kambeitz (F), Yann Kaldis (D), and Darien Kielb (D) were all released from their PTOs and returned to the Condors. Filip Engaras (F) will also report to the Condors after he was released from an amateur tryout.
  • Matvey Petrov (F) was sent back to the OHL’s North Bay Battalion.

LINEUPS…

Oilers

Kane – McDavid – Yamamoto
Hyman – Draisaitl – Puljujarvi
RNH – McLeod – Foegele
Esposito – Philp – Griffith
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Bouchard
Broberg – Murray
Campbell
Pickard
That top nine looks reeeeeeeal nice, dontcha think? *whistles* Finally, we get to see our big boys in those beautiful blue and orange jerseys.

Flames

Huberdeau-Ruzicka-Toffoli
Dube-Rooney-Eakin
Zary-Schwindt-Milano
McLain-Bishop-Duehr
Hanifin-Andersson
Mackey-Stone
Valimaki-Meloche
Vladar
Wolf
I’m actually surprised at how many regulars Calgary is bringing to town after many of them participated in the first round on Wednesday.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The big boys pick up where they left off against Calgary in May our heroes cruise to a 4-2 victory.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: We score a goal tonight!
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Connor McDavid plays close to 20 minutes even though I’m expecting him to play minutes.
Advertisement
Ad

#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy) 
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.