The time has come folks! We’re a mere few hours away from witnessing the beginning of the Age of McDavid and we couldn’t ask for a better opponent! The dreaded Calgary Flames! Well I for one will tell you right now that there will be a few fans jumping off the Flames bandwagon looking for a spot on the Oilers’ after this game.
Probably Squad Playing in Edmonton
For this squad I think the player I’m most curious about is Teddy Purcell. Can he keep up with McDavid and Hall? Or will his lack of a defensive game be a spot of concern. I know he’s played with Steven Stamkos in the past but to be honest but I don’t really give a hoot! He’s a lot slower now and he was damn near waived last season. He’s got a ton to prove that he belongs on that line and not in the pressbox.
Probably Squad Going to Calgary
For squad B I’m going to focus on Griffin Reinhart and Eric Gryba. That sounds like a helluva shut down pairing if everything were to work out for both players. Reinhart has his work cut out for him as he’s looking to earn a spot on the roster ahead of fan favorite Darnell Nurse. Let’s hope he can keep those skilled Flames at bay.
The Calgary Flames announced their rosters for the two games yesterday. The line combinations are slowly trickling out this morning. You can find the lines they were using during training camp scrimmages here and their complete rosters here. Plus I borrowed these line combos from Todd Cordell’s preview from Hockeybuzz:
Playing in Calgary
Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland
Raymond – Bennett – Hudler
Poirier – Stajan – Frolik
Bollig – Shore – Smith
Giordano – Hamilton
Wotherspoon – Brodie
Kulak/Kanzig – Nakladal/Sieloff
Playing in Edmonton:
Bouma – Backlund – Jones
Klimchuk – Granlund – Agostino
Mangiapane – Grant – Hathaway
Van Brabant – Elson – Carroll
Russell – Wideman
Wilson – Andersson
Kylington – Engelland
These are probable line-ups so don’t take my word for it here. The Oilers will announce their rosters for both games later this morning on their website and I imagine the Flames will as well on their website.
On paper I’d say the Oilers are set in Edmonton as they’re going with a bit more offense and older defence but the goaltending could be the weak spot depending on how you feel about Ben Scrivens. We’ll also get to see this new “Euro Line” of Leon Drasaitl-Anton Lander-Nail Yakupov. I’m thinking the entertainment value will be worth the price of admission and the wait to get in to Rexall thanks to the new Metal Detectors (Leave an hour earlier than usual is my advice if you’re going to this game).
In Calgary they’ll go with a more two-way gritty squad, a younger (meaner) defense, and they’ll get to see the debut of Cam Talbot. I fully expect fireworks to be on full display during this game as both teams have some fiery characters in the line-up (Gazdic/Bollig to boot).
For the Flames, I think Oliver Kylington (D) will be one to be on the look out for if you’re at the game in Edmonton or choose to watch it online. He was a scratch at the rookie tournament but he comes with a lot of pedigree and is noteworthy due to his free fall at the draft last June. At one point he was being considered a top ten lock but ended up being selected in the 2nd round.
If you’re in Calgary I’m sure it’ll be hard to watch anyone but Johnny Gaudreau or Mark Giordano but this will be everyone’s first glimpse at Dougie Hamilton in a Flames uniform and he’s being paired with the aforementioned Mark Giordano… Woof! Good luck boys because you’re going to need it against those guys! Dougie Hamilton, apart from using the nickname of a 9 year old, is a damned beast and it’s a bloody shame that Chiarelli didn’t acquire him at the draft.
For the game in Edmonton I’m going to say the Oilers take this one 3-1. The game in Calgary… I’ll go with a Flames win 4-2.
Enjoy the games everyone but if it’s okay I’d like to point you in the direction of our Beer League Heroes Merch Shop. We’ve got tons of shirts for everyone! Hoodies, Long sleeves, V-Necks, Baseball Tees and more in a variety of colors and designs! All for a very reasonable price that you won’t find anywhere!
When you buy a shirt from us it let’s us know that you support what we’re doing here and we take great pride in that. Not only that but your hard earned dollars go towards keeping this boat afloat.
Thank you so much and have fun tonight!