G8: Oilers vs. Senators – Eight Would Be Great!

 

The Oilers are back home for a game before heading out on their first real road trip of the year where they’ll face some pretty tough Eastern Conference opponents like the reigning Stanley Cup champs, a surprise Detroit Red Wings team, and both New York teams. Oh! And who can forget the first installment of Connor Vs. Auston?!

But tonight’s opposition is the Ottawa Senators who have just come off of a 5-2 thumping at the hands of the Calgary Flames. The Sens are 4-3-0 this season and one would think they’d have a much better record given the quality of players they employ. Alas, it’s early in the season and they could pull off five or six wins in the next 10 days and then we won’t be talking about how slow they’ve come out of the gate.

Stone Karlsson

Tonight, I’ll be keeping my eye on two players for the Senators; Erik Karlsson (because you can’t help but notice him) and Mark Stone (as always when the Oilers play the Sens). I love the way Stone plays the game and to me, he’s one of the best defensive forwards in the NHL. Watch how good he is at taking the puck away from other players. He’s a genius at it and last year was first in the NHL with 128. That was 51 more takeaways than the next guy… From an Oilers perspective, Taylor Hall lead the team with 61.

I’m not sure if Craig Anderson will be in net or not given that he has just rejoined the team after receiving some very unfortunate news about his wife and her recent Cancer diagnosis but I hope that the Oilers fans do the right thing and give him a very large ovation.

As for the Oilers, I’ll be keeping a watchful eye on their star rookie, Jesse Puljujarvi. I feel like the manchild is getting better and more confident with each game that he plays. Last time out he nearly scored on a 2-on-1 and you could actually see the frustration on his face after it. He’s engaging physically and he’s already been quite a good two-way player so far this season and his CF% of 51.5 on the year (source) tells us he’s been doing alright in the fancies. I should ask G Money where the WoodMoney stats have him sitting.

I think that it is safe to say we’ll all be watching Cam Talbot closely to see if he continues his hot run because it is of the utmost importance to this team to have and keeping having the goaltending it has been getting.

Darnell Nurse has been the topic du jour lately and for once he’s not getting shit on by the oilogosphere and local media alike. The former Sault St. Marie Greyhound is really coming into his own alongside Eric Gryba and that’s stellar for this defence, no? He’s tied for the lead in team scoring (1g 2a 3pts) for defensemen and owns a very respectable CF% of 49.1. Come next year, when I suspect the Oilers will be looking to add another top-end defenseman via free agency or trade, Darnell Nurse could very well make that an extremely difficult decision for Peter Chiarelli if he continues to progress in the manner his is.

My prediction for tonight? An Oilers win to go 8-1-0. My belief is that this Sens team is hoping for an off night for the McDavid line but I can’t see that happening. I want to say that Leon Draisaitl is going to have a good game tonight though and I wonder if we’ll see Max McCormick/Darnell Nurse part 2? Probably not… Enjoy the game!

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I’m the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I’ve been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I’ll never leave my Oilers, no matter what!

They’re with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!