We did it! We made it through the pre-season! 😭 Final Score: 5-3 Oilers
Can you believe we finally made it? After what felt like an eternity dripping in boredom and anticipation, we’ve finally hit the finish line on what can only be described as a tedious run of tune-up games, and I could not be more excited that the next time we watch our beloved Oilers play, the points will actually matter. It’s beautiful. A feeling akin to waiting for Christmas morning as the promise of a new season brings with it the hope that we will soon be watching our heroes drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup. It’s just so beautiful. But before we could take even the first step on this year’s mission, we had 60 minutes of tune-up hockey left to slog through.
With only one of these snoozers left on the calendar, I was curious to see how interested the Oilers would be in trying to win a game that meant absolutely nothing. Outside of having everyone make it through in one piece, I really didn’t care about this hockey game so why should the players that know they’re going to be on the roster next Wednesday? And in the early going, the Kraken were running the show, which led to my theory that the boys were already looking ahead at the task yet to come. I mean, the Oil weren’t bad but they certainly weren’t sharp. As the game wore on, the Oilers showed flashes of domination that we’d hope to see against Seattle, but the problem was that their attack was anything but consistent. The funny part is when the Oilers finally put their foot on the gas toward the end of the third period, they found ways to score goals in bunches and that final push powered them to a win that could have easily gone the other way.
At the end of the day, the Oilers ended up winning a game they probably should more often than not even though they weren’t anywhere close to their best. Even though you could absolutely nitpick a bunch of things about the pre-season finale, the good news is that everyone made it through without getting banged up, which is an even bigger win than the one they put up on the board.
Things Worth Mentioning…
- THANK GORD THE PRE-SEASON IS OVER MY LORD I HATE WATCHING WEBSITE STREAMS!
- Daniel Sprong opened the scoring (1-0) with a chip shot from the side of the net after he got two cracks at a loose puck that Brett Kulak wasn’t quite able to clear.
- In the dying moments of the first period, Tyson Barrie tied the game (1-1) on the power play after he absolutely demolished a Leon Draisaitl pass to the point that set him up on a tee. What can you say about this one other than Barrie tattooed that puck and Grubauer had no chance on the shot?
- Matty Beniers restored Seattle’s lead (2-1) after outworking four Oilers near the net, finding the puck amidst the chaos, and chipping it over a vulnerable Jack Campbell.
- Jesse Puljujarvi tied the game (2-2) after McDavid found him with a ridiculous feed that the big man was able to redirect past Grubauer. This was easily JP’s best game of the pre-season. Playing with McDavid and Kane, he was much more engaged in the play and found himself with the puck on his stick in some quality spots on the ice. For a guy that needs to have a good start, I hope this game is something to build on because I don’t think he’s had the start that he probably wanted to have.
- With just over four minutes left to play, Leon Draisaitl gave the Oilers their first lead of the night (3-2) after Philip Grubauer tried to clear the puck but ended up hitting up Drai and banking it into his own net. Whoops.
- Jared McCann tied the game (3-3) with a bullet from the high slot after some sloppiness in the defensive zone led to Seattle getting additional looks on net until they were eventually able to cash one in.
- Evander Kane restored Edmonton’s lead (4-3) with under two minutes left after Draisaitl hit him with a beautiful pass that gave him a clean look on net. I love the offensive options in the top six on this team, man.
- Connor McDavid wrapped up the game with an (5-3) empty-netter after Leon found him flying down the wing with an open lane to the net.
- Dylan Holloway rules. I love the kid already but I fear we’re heaping too much “expectations pressure” on his shoulders. Without question, Holloway is the 2022 Pre-season Champ and the winner of the Ty Rattie Award. He was buzzin’ out there again.
- I don’t know how many times I have to say it but Jack Campbell is going to be a fan favourite by Halloween. Not only do I think he’s a solid goaltender, I think his sweetheart personality is exactly what this team needs after having Mike Smith yell at them for the last three years. Was it a perfect night? No, but Campbell showed again in his second full start that he can give us enough to win if the boys can provide a little run support. Soup finished the night with 28 saves and a .903 save%.
- How many of you had James Hamblin as one of the last cuts (probably) on your pre-season bingo card? None of you. That’s who.
- Boys went 50% on the PP and PK, and I don’t think I have to explain to anyone reading this that both areas can use some improvement.
- Oilers finished the night at 51% in the faceoff circle and you all know how much that pleases me.
- Jultz sighting! I’m happy that Justin Schultz moved on to have a fine NHL career after things fell off the rails here when the Oilers expected him to be a number one defenceman instead of what he is.
- For the 1000th time, I love the blue and orange jerseys. They’re beautiful.
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