Game 2: Flames v. Oilers – Tkachuk You!

Maroon goal

Game 1 of the 2016/17 NHL season for the Oilers proved to be successful on the scoreboard, I loved seeing the Oilers put up seven versus the Flames and on the whole it was a very entertaining game but there were some pretty glaring issues that need to be shored up if the Oilers are going to make a significant push for the playoffs this spring.

Amongst them:

  • Special Teams
    • What is wrong with this team on the power play? Honestly. It’s not even Jay Woodcroft that we can blame right now because his record is pretty damn good.

      For years the Oilers haven’t been able to get things going on a regular basis on the PP. Last year for a bit when McDavid was healthy it was clipping along at a healthy rate but IIRC I can only remember two coaches really getting something out of the Oilers power play regularly, Ralph Krueger and Todd Nelson…

    • Why is it that the team can get 6 chances with the man advantage but only fire off 3 shots?… Is it shot confidence or did the Flames really shut down the shooting lanes that well?
    • Allowing short-handed goals… There’s nothing more frustrating that allowing one shorty let alone two and Connor McDavid isn’t going to be there every time to bail the team out when this atrocious sin is committed. Calgary’s PK unit is very tenacious and effective albeit but my feelings remain the same.
  • Goaltending
    • Cam Talbot CANNOT make a habit of letting in 4 goals a game. This isn’t the 80s and these aren’t the boys on the bus. He has to make timely saves when required. That Chaisson goal was bloody terrible, right? The Frolik goal shorthanded was no beauty either.
  • Jordan Eberle
    • If he didn’t score that empty netter, I don’t think I would’ve noticed him all game. He was pretty invisible out there, to my eye at least.

      I believe this is a player that could be moved depending on where the Oilers sit come trade deadline time and performances from himself and others on the team. If he’s going to be anonymous during games and only show up from time to time, then what good is he?

      I know… It’s only been one game. Wait ten and then make your call.

GAME 2 – Flaming Redemption or Will Edmonton Take Two?

Gaudreau/Monahan/Versteeg Lucic/McDavid/Eberle
Tkachuk/Bennett/Brouwer Pouliot/Nugent-Hopkins/Kassian
Ferland/Backlund/Frolik Maroon/Draisaitl/Puljujarvi
Bouma/Stajan/Chaisson Pitlick/Letestu/Lander
Giordano/Brodie Klefbom/Larsson
Hamilton/Jokipakka Sekera/Russell
Wideman/Engelland Nurse/Gryba
Elliott Talbot

Three pretty obvious changes for the Oilers are Zack Kassian moving up to the 2nd line, Anton Lander drawing in for Anton Slepyshev, and Eric Gryba coming in for the injured Brandon Davidson (more on that later).

I’m not sure if Sleppy coming out is more on him and his performance in game one than the Oilers wanting to get a guy in that can take some face-offs and help on the PK a bit more, both of those things being areas where Lander is actually quite good at. Don’t ask the guy to score though…

The Flames are countering by taking the cement-footed Nic Grossman out and replacing him with skilled Finn Jyrki Jokipakka. The also decided to pair up their defenceman like a regular NHL team.


  • Adam Larsson and Oscar Klefbom continue their dominance on the back-end as one of the NHL’s emerging top pairings.

    Did anybody else expect to see Larsson’s nasty side? He can lay the body if need be and I LOVE THAT!!

  • “Tell Merrill to swing away.”  = More shots on net from Puljujarvi! If you shoot it, goals will come.
  • Kris Russell/’Rej Sekera have another good game. I thought they looked tight in game one and weren’t liabilities at all. Weird what happens when you add NHL defensemen to the roster.
  • Nuge have a big bounce-back game. He was not great last time out at all. Give me more Nugey!
  • A goal from Milan Lucic.
  • Leon Draisaitl NOT peter out in the 3rd period.
  • Somebody fill-in Matt Tkachuk like a Mac truck.


So a lot of the radio call-in shows are asking today, What should the Oilers do about Matt Tkachuk?

I believe there are three roads to take with regards to a player that has more or less disrespected your team in the manner Tkachuk did on Wednesday night.

  1. Similar to how Darnell Nurse had to answer the bell last year after turning Roman Polak’s face into ground meat, perhaps Matt Tkachuk should have to have a one-on-one meeting with one of the Oilers enforcers.
  2. You start taking liberties with the Flames’ star players. Zack Kassian gives zero f*cks and will do whatever is asked of him. Tyler Pitlick likes a good stiff check. You don’t think Milan Lucic, Pat Maroon, Darnell Nurse, or Eric Gryba will break a stick over some kidneys if the chance arises?

    Tkachuk’s teammates will let him know loud and clear to cut it out if the Oilers start reciprocating the rookie’s actions.

  3. The other method of dealing with these players, and the one you always here in minor hockey, is you simply beat him on the scoresheet.

Look, this is Tkachuk’s MO. He plays on the line and he crosses it from time to time. Should he have to pay for his actions, absolutely! How that punishment is carried out will be determined by the players wearing orange, white, and blue.

I say get it out of the way as early in the game as possible, don’t let him carry on and take advantage of more opportunities.


I like the Oilers to win this one as well. Had the flames not scored those two shorties, the Oilers would’ve beat them even worse. Will it be a resounding win? I don’t believe so. Johnny Gaudreau is a bloody beast at home and I expect the line match-ups to work very much in Calgary’s favor (Good luck 4th line and 3rd D-pairing). This should be a much closer game that the previous installment of the BOA but then again the Flames are starting Brian Elliott again… Game on Biatches!

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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!