Helluva game vs. the Casucks yesterday! When I was trying to predict the score I thought I was being generous with 6 goals for but the Oilers jacked Vancouver for 8!! I did have a feeling that McDavid wouldn’t put up big numbers and finishing the game with one goal and one assist was pretty fair given he was effectively sat for the third period.
I was really impressed with Nurse. He had a great game whilst wearing the Captain’s “C”. He was mean and uninviting, he rushed the puck with the greatest of ease and he got a powerplay goal himself. Neon Leon Draisaitl was slow from the start but really got going as the game wore on. He absolutely put the ball on the tee for Anton Slepyshev a couple times during the game but it was actually Joey Laleggia who set up the Russian for his goal.
My favorite part of the game was when Draisaitl was rushing the puck out of the Oilers zone and Hunter Shinkaruk was draped all over him. With one swat of the arm he flicked the Canuck forward off of him like he was some annoying gnat and proceeded to continue his rush into the Vancouver end.
So… The hit… Lots of people up in arms that not a whole lot was done about it. When I saw it and the lack of a response I thought “here we go again…” but it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes later when Mitch Moroz laid down the boom on Jake Virtanen. Moroz had three penalties last night if I’m not mistaken and all for sticking up for his teammates. One has to wonder, will Mitch Moroz get a look in Edmonton this season? Is he a better option than Luke Gazdic?
Game Two vs. Calgary
McDavid, Loiseau, Moroz, Bear, Leveille scratched.
So that is that. The commentary team were talking about McDavid being scratched vs. Calgary all throughout the 3rd period yesterday and I think Oliver Kylington and Morgan Klimchuk are out for the Flames.
That Oilers roster doesn’t make me feel optimistic against the Flames tonight. But Lots of skill in the lineup tonight despite McDavid being scratched. It’s going to be a tough one for Edmonton to win but it’ll be entertaining no less!
The full Calgary Flames roster can be found here.
The Flames have got some tough customers on their squad as usual. 6’7″ 220lb Hunter Smith will be looking to make his presence felt so expect a tilt at some point featuring Smith.
Calgary is not without skill though. Emile Poirier, Morgan Klimchuk, Andrew Mangiapane, and Sam Bennett are all rife with offensive ability. Don’t discount Rasmus Andersson and Oliver Kylington either as they’re as dangerous as they come from the blueline.
The Flames have the best goaltending coming into the 2015 Young Stars Tournament. I think the Flames are grooming Jon Gillies with the intention of having him take over the netminding duties in the next 2-3 years. The 6’5″ goalie out of Concord, New Hampshire is a towering presence between the pipes. The Oilers are going to have a much tougher time getting the puck past him than Clay Witt… Who?… Exactly.
*Note* Mason MacDonald is expected to start… So maybe the Oilers will be putting some rubber in the Flames net tonight after all.
— Aaron Vickers (@AAVickers) September 12, 2015
Keep an Eye on This Guy
Edmonton – #81 Caleb Jones (D): Seth Jones’ younger brother should get the call tonight. He’ll be paired with Colton Waltz according to Reid Wilkins after sitting out yesterday’s tilt with a minor hip issue. Jones is a very good skater and he plays with ill intent. So this is a perfect game for him to get his feet wet for the Oilers. Expect an intense game from the Portland Winterhawk defender.
Calgary – #88 Andrew Mangiapane (F): Skiller extraordinaire! Big time speed and outstanding work ethic will make him very difficult to miss. He scored vs. the Jets yesterday so expect him to be out there in some key situations for Calgary.
Keys to the Game for Edmonton
- Keep Draisaitl and Slepyshev together. They’re starting to build some chemistry.
- Tell Nurse he doesn’t need to rush the puck to the other team’s goal line. Let the forwards do some work or risk getting caught out of position with little Laleggia to cover.
- Better yet, let Laleggia do the rushing.
- Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! MacDonald is the Flames version of Kevan Bouchard.
- And don’t get caught up in a physical game with the Flames, they’re bigger and much better at it.
- Limit Sam Bennett’s time with the puck. He’s an absolute wizard out there and will make any Oiler who tempts him look very foolish.
Prediction: 4-3 Oilers and Jordan Papirny is starting. So look for a good game from him. I’m really hoping the Oilers can sign him up to play in Norfolk this year.
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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 night’s tilt between the Canucks and Oilers, the video is below