Good Lord it’s time! Finally some worthwhile hockey!!! Tonight we’re going to see McDavid in competitive action for the first time since the Erie Otters lost out to the Oshawa Generals in the OHL championship last May. We’re going to see Leon Draisaitl for the first time since the Memorial Cup Finals! Darnell Nurse and his glorious beard will be in attendance as well!!
So break out the whiskey and break out the beers! The Oilers are coming have no fears! I need hockey… Isn’t it obvious…
McDavid will be taking on a familiar foe but not only Sir Connor but for Leon Draisaitl as well. Cole Cassels was the man with the unimaginable task of shutting both McDavid and Draisaitl down for the Oshawa Generals in last season’s OHL playoffs and Memorial Cup respectively. I wonder who he’ll be asked to shadow this time and will he be sharing those duties with Brendan Gaunce?
I’m really expecting this game to be very fast moving and hard hitting. Possibly high-scoring as well as the goaltenders for either team aren’t what one might call “name worthy”.
OTHER NOTABLE NAMES
For the Edmonton Oilers we’ve got hulking defenseman Darnell Nurse, uber pest Greg Chase, defensive centerman Kyle Platzer, and mysterious Russian Anton Slepyshev. Mitch Moroz and Braden Christoffer will be there to keep the peace.
For the Canucks they’ll have three killers in Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann, and Hunter Shinkaruk leading the offense. On defence keep an eye on Jordan Subban and former Edmonton Oil King Ashton Sautner.
Keep an Eye on This Guy
Edmonton: #84 Joey Laleggia (D) – In 2014/15 he was the captain of the University of Denver and put up 15g 25a 40pts in 37 games. He was awarded the NCHC’s best offensive AND defensive defenceman. He was an HCNC first team all-star and was also the HCNC player of the year. Not only all of that but he was also nominated alongside Buffalo 1st rounder Jack Eichel for the Hobey Baker Award for best player in all of the NCAA! Of course Eichel won it but that says a lot for Laleggia. He’s an offensive wizard from the back end with high-end puck moving skills and boy can he zip around the rink. I reckon he’ll be prominent on the PP
Vancouver: #68 Reid Gardiner (F) – Gardiner is a camp invite for the Canucks after going undrafted the last two years. He’s described as a Brendan Gallagher type. A smart two-way forward who brings his all to the ice. The Humboldt, SK native’s attitude and nose for the net should endear himself to all the fans that attend the game. You can never go wrong with a good ol’ Saskatchewan boy, right?
Keys to the Game for the Oilers
- Give McDavid and Draisaitl the puck and let them work their magic. The Canucks defence and goaltending doesn’t stand a chance.
- Put Greg Chase on Jake Virtanen. Virtanen is a well-known hothead. If Greg Chase can get him off his game and in the penalty box, all the better for Edmonton because he’s a beast out there. His shot is like a laser and he tends to score a few goals (85 goals in 192 WHL games).
- Play the hell out of Darnell Nurse. He’s at his best when he’s up against the other team’s best players. He’ll ruin a few Canucks tonight no doubt but if he can neutralize Vancouver’s scoring wingers I think it’ll be a wash for Edmonton.
Prediction: Oilers win 6-2 and McDavid features prominently on the score sheet.
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Thanks for reading! Let us know in the comments below what your prediction for tonight’s final score will be!
PS: If you’re interested in watching last year’s tilt between the Canucks and Oilers, the video is below 🙂