BLH Post Gamer: G1 – Edmonton Oilers vs St. Louis Blues

McDavid Blues
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat

FINALLY!!! The hockey season is here and upon us, we have all waited months upon months especially since the drafting of Connor McDavid for this day.

Tonight’s game for the Edmonton Oilers started off a little shaky, a little slow it took the boys some time to get their feet underneath them and shake off the first game jitters and ring rust. Once they started going though they were able to sustain some pressure in the offensive zone and did a pretty good job defending a team in their own zone that has normally dominated them over the past few years.

There wasn’t too many quality chances in their own zone, they did a pretty good job of keeping shots to the outside and making sure Talbot was able to see them. They battled hard most of the night and didn’t shy away from any puck battles and took the hits when needed. I think they did a pretty good job for most the night doing what Todd McLellan calls “playing in the opposing teams equipment”  as they kept the pressure on every time they had the chance in the offensive zone and created some chances they just couldn’t finish.

It was a tough team to start out against that being a big, strong defensively Blues team that’s been together for a few years. But the younger, quicker Oilers didn’t back down, they stuck up for each other and I’ll say it again, their battle level was excellent today. It certainly wasn’t the Oilers of old.

The only goals that went in were just small break downs with a tired group of guys on the ice, but as Matt Hendricks said in his post game interview, they were hard working mistakes and those are tough to complain about.

The Debut of Connor Mcdavid was everything I believe everyone expected, his speed, skill and IQ were on display tonight. Making plays off the boards, trying to split the D using his speed, nad making smart simple passes. I was as impressed as I was going to be, unless he scored a Highlight reel goal, then I’d be going bananas over his first game, But we definitely saw why he’s being considered to be a generational player.

Every Game I’m going to give out the Three Beer League Heroes. Today’s Heroes are:

  1. Cam Talbot – Made 28 saves in his Edmonton Oilers debut, didnt look shaky and came as advertised: Calm, poised, and positionally sound with great rebound control. Talbot really kept the Oilers in the game and gave them confidence.
  2. Justin Schultz –  Is this the same guy from last year? He played aggressive and even physical at times. Jultz looked to be a lot smarter at picking and choosing went to jump into the play and to the shock of us all, he was blocking shots! He looked extremely confident tonight and had a heck of a game for the Oilers playing 22:15, playing both the PK and PP tonight.
  3. Robby Fabbri Connor McDavid’s childhood friend scored his first NHL goal tonight off a great pass from Jori Lehtera which ended up being the game winner. He didn’t play much tonight but he made the most of his one chance.

To go along with the three heroes…comes the Golden Plunger Award and it goes to….*drum roll please*

It saddens me to give him the inaugural award because I have high hopes for him. He trained with Gary Roberts in the off season and you can see his skating has improved but tonight he was just useless. Not that he was killing the play but just more that he wasn’t doing much to create a play. Purcell was more or less trying to keep it status quo on the ice. Could have been because he was on the top line and he was afraid of making a mistake so he played it safe. But here’s to hoping Teddy doesn’t get this award again nugebluesand he can show us that he’s got what it takes to play with skilled players like he did in Tampa.

Overall, I was pleased with the effort and general performance. Of course I wish the Oilers could have come out on top and battled their way to a win but tonight’s loss wasn’t a loss of normal like last year. This was a hard working, no quit, stick to the gameplan, tough luck loss.

The Oilers have to build off this as a positive and take it forward to Nashville which is going to be an even harder task, its another strong defensive team, that has depth and scoring ability with a world class goalie in net. I think next game they are going to have to throw more shots on net, and try to crash the net and get the gritty goals to go in. With that said, they also need to continue to use their speed and puck movement and open up their game a little bit more to see if they can create some more chances off the rush.

Thanks everyone for reading it, feel free to follow me on Twitter @madi39 and let me know what you think there or in the comments below!


Madison Moroz Written by: