Game 1: Oilers v. Flames – Roger That

 Oilers 2016/17 Opening Night!

“A New Era is Set to Begin For The Edmonton Oilers…”

Isn’t that how every year tends to start because we’ve got a shiny new first overall pick to show off or a new coaching staff, a big free agent signing or someone we acquired in a trade?

This year is no different. Peter Chiarelli has absolutely transformed this club since he’s been brought in. Gone are the days of being pushed around by Pacific Division powerhouses like Anaheim, Los Angeles, or San Jose. The Oilers have size, bite, and swagger!

These Oilers will not be pushed around!

Without checking (pun intended), the smallest player on the team has to be Jordan Eberle, right? Luckily that boy can dangle and regularly visits the top shelf. Oh, it’s Caggiula! He’d have to be the smallest guy but might be competing for biggest heart and most compete. Can’t wait to see him in action!

The point being, this is a BIG team that can skate and make plays. Gone are the whiners and locker room distractions as well. Connor’s team is taking shape in a beautiful way and we’re damned lucky to be able to witness it.

Milan Lucic and Adam Larsson are coming in with major expectations tied to them as they’re basically the return for Taylor Hall. My advice, expectations can often lead to disappointment and the term “cautious optimism” is just another way to say you don’t really believe in something, a major cop out if you will.

Last year Lucic pocketed 20 goals and Taylor Hall put up 26 goals. Not a huge difference there. Larsson shouldn’t be expected to be producing major points but if he could get up to 30 points, that would be something and not shocking either. He was on par for that in 2014 when he finished with 24 pts in 62 games for the Devils.

I know that this stat is poo-pooed a bit but Both Larsson and Lucic have been plus players every year they’ve played but 4 seasons combined and those seasons came within the first 3 years of their careers.

A safe expectation would be that Larsson and Lucic are going to go about their ways as they always have. Larsson, a quiet shut-down defender who can transition the puck with ease. Lucic, a brash power forward who doesn’t take shit from anybody but has silky mitts and can deposit both pucks and players in front of the net.


We’re not quite out of the woods yet Ted. We’ve got some kids who’ll need mentoring.

Jesse Puljujarvi – Not happy he’s on the roster to start the year but give him 9 games and make a decision after that… Please.

What he might do is surprise us around that 9 game mark though. Look, the kid has the speed, size, smarts, work ethic, and his shot is ridiculous! He’s lining up with Leon Draisaitl and Pat Maroon right now but as soon as Drake Caggiula comes back, surely, that’ll be his pivot for the year.

Drake Caggiula – Oilers fans are in for a treat! This kid looks like he could be the next talented small-guy. Is be Brendan Gallagher or Brad Marchand? Could he be as good as Marty St.Louis? Or does he lean to the Theoren Fleury side?

I’m not sure I can answer those questions right now. Maybe he’ll just be Drake Caggiula. What I do know is that this rookie works his bag off, has skills to thrill, and speed to burn. Should be a beauty if everything goes to plan.

Matt Benning – Watched him in the preseason and was thoroughly impressed! Very hard working and didn’t take guff from anyone. Not big but not small. Has a dusting of Jason Smith to him, just a better skater.

Anton Slepyshev – The Russian is starting to find his feet it seems. I loved the way he’s looked in preseason as he has showed he can use his size and his skills to make things happen. I’m curious as to how he’ll do on Nuge’s wing tonight though. Will he show up and do what he did last year or is this a player that has truly turned the corner? If he has, maybe Henderson will scratch the Oilers lack of RW depth off of his never-ending list of things to complain about. Love to read his stuff but good lord does that guy complain a lot.

Tyler Pitlick should be a rookie but he’s played 27 games and the rule is a player cannot play over 25… Shitty for him. But here’s a ready-made replacement for Matt Hendricks. He’s fast, physical and he’s got quite the wrister! Lastly, we can’t forget what happened last time he played the Flames…

Bouma down!

Game One: Calgary Flames

I guess Kris Versteeg was right, there was more opportunity in Calgary… What are the Flames doing with their D-pairings anyhow? Wideman is all of a sudden a first pairing guy? How Engelland is even in the starting roster is beyond me and is that Nic Grossman? The same Nic Grossman who skates like he’s got two pianos tied to his ankles? Are they spreading their D out to try and counter the Oilers Unicorns?

I’ll say this though about that line-up, it looks to be a very antagonizing set of players after that first line. Will it pan out for the good? I’m skeptical. I simply believe that the Oilers have a better set of players at this point in time.


With massive alumni in attendence, the Oilers will open up Roger’s place in style and take the “W” resoundingly.

The Great One Returns?

I don’t really have an opinion on Gretzky coming back into the Oilers organization.

On one hand, I feel it’s Wayne and the boys trying to hold on to what was, perhaps even a bit afraid of people forgetting about what they did because Connor is here now and he’s running the show.

But on the other hand, you can’t say no to Gretzky and what he did whilst he was in Edmonton. Without Gretz and the boys on the bus, would there even be a team in Edmonton right now?

So do you hold onto the past or embrace the future?

Enjoy the game tonight folks! I hope that my prediction comes true and we can all go down to the Mercer and celebrate afterward! If you can find the Beer League Heroes stickers I planted down that street when I was home, take a pic and send them to me @beerleagueheroe on Twitter!

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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!