The Edmonton Oilers Shoot At Will, Shoot 2 Past Calgary’s Goalkeeper For A 2-1 Win: Cult of Hockey Player Reviews

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The Edmonton Oilers Globetrotter put the Calgary Flames on Rogers Place Friday night. Only an excellent goalkeeping performance from Flames stood in the way of a blowout, as Edmonton defeated Calgary 38-22…16-4 in the 2nd frame only.

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Edmonton’s Power Play looked deadly but ended up going 0-3. In the end it was a 2-1 win for a packed and happy home arena, and a useful set-up for the club’s best players.

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Keep tapping Flames goalkeeper Dan Vladar, who was great. He stopped 36 out of 38 and was named 1st star.

Here’s the story of the tape… the numbers start on Game 1 of the regular season.

Edmonton Oilers Player Reviews

JACK CAMPBELL. Not really tested. The only goal he allowed was a smashing play after a misplayed puck behind the net. Campbell didn’t stand a chance. The other 7 pucks aimed at him weren’t much of a threat. The puck seems to move quite well. Good to have the first one under his belt. It didn’t take long for the “Soup” chants to come out of the crowd. Cool mask too.

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CALVIN PICKARD. Was the busier and better of the two Oilers goalkeepers that night. Stopped all 14 shots he saw. And some of them were the tough variety, one from Rooney standing right outside the door. Later major stops at Stone and Milano. The club seems to be in good hands with Pickard as their #3.

CONNOR McDAVID. The entire area held its breath after McDavid and Evander Kane collided on the center ice, with McDavid taking the worst. But McDavid apparently took his next shift no worse for wear. Had 3 shots in just over 20 minutes of work. His best was a skate-to-stick attack toward the net with an opponent’s stick stabbed in the hip. Excellent set ups for both Puljujarvi and Yamamoto. Moments later a stretch pass to Kane. A ridiculous 37-11, 77% All-Events CF but 0 points. That won’t happen very often.

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EVANDER KANE. Involved and involved. 5 shots and 3 hits in just over 16 minutes. Hit from behind, but seemed fine afterwards. Also came across McDavid by accident and was probably the most relieved person in Edmonton when 97 a squad later returned to the ice.

KAILER YAMAMOTO. Kailer Yamamoto made sure Leon Draisaitl scored the 1-0 shorthanded goal by beating 2 Flames from behind the net and another near the circle, before sifting a superb backhand to the side of the net where Leon finished. A shadow high on a 1st period set-up of 97, another near miss of the same man in the 2nd. A handy 3rd Period tips a shot from Murray. Was very good.

DARNELL NURSE. Looked a bit rusty. He turned behind his own net and eventually threw a puck up front where he went off a skate straight to a Flames player and in for the 1-1. Fight not once but twice in the night, both with Mitch McLean after the latter took a cheap shot at Evander Kane. I didn’t mind at all. It’s an important part of his game.

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Cody THIS. An excellent stick and clear on a 2nd Period HP. 4 strokes and 2 blocks. The 2nd assist in the winning goal. Played over 26 minutes. No apparent after-effects from the sore hamstring that kept him out of camp early on.

LEON DRAISAITL. He took his first of the preseason by bringing in a great set up from Yamamoto for the 1-0. And that was just 1 of 6 shots. One of his one-timers called the post. He pulled a PP and was electric in favor of humans. Looked sharp in the circle too as he went 64% on draws. Wonderful to see the big man skating so effortlessly after his injury last spring.

ZACH HYMAN. Couldn’t give away with McDavid in the 1st. Puljujarvi only started him with a nice pass, but that didn’t go in either. Had 5 shots in total and was relentless on pre-check as usual.

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JESSE PULJARVI. A high-event game, with a mix of good and less good. An early giveaway in the D-zone led to a chance against, although he immediately followed up with a good backcheck. A smart pass gave Bouchard a 1st Period opportunity. And a nice pass to Hyman who was all alone but couldn’t score. Set up by McDavid for a glorious opportunity up front, but he sniffs at it. a 2nd Period turnover. 3rd Period, failed to clear along the way leading to a Flames opportunity. His 5v5 CF was less than 50%.

EVAN BOUCHARD. A very solid outing. Looked sharp on the Power Play despite there being nothing for them. and a 3rd Aside from the period sales, Bouchard was also composed for his own end. 17-7, 71% CF 5v5.

BRET EAR. Scored the winner of the game on a seeing eye shot from the point. 3 shots to net, 2 blocks. His skating skills often showed in a good way. Brought a dangerous looking Flames 2-on-1 in the 3rd. Good 2:38 work was understaffed.

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RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS. This line was excellent. Nugent-Hopkins was very good on the PK, clearing the sheet in 1:54. Couldn’t completely suck a Draisaitl set up on a 1st Period PP. A good late 2nd Period recovery & clear. 2 shots. 46% on the point.

RYAN McLEODE. His speed was noticeable all night. 3 shots and a hit. This line can be “a thing”. An excellent 2:20 shorthanded.

WARREN FOEGELE. His best game this pre-season with a country mile. Involved. Physical. Deked a Calgary defender and set up McLeod for an outstanding 1st Period opportunity. Same period, setting up Broberg for a shot. Solid on the PK 5v5 CF of 13-4, 76% to lead the team. Did himself a great favor with that performance.

PHILLIP BROBERG. A rough outing. He just doesn’t look like it. Deserved an assist on the 1-0 with a long dump-in. But blew a tire on an awkward looking 3rd Period sequence. A good wrist shot in the 3rd from a Draisaitl pass. Defeated wide in the 3rd period, creating a chance for Calgary, but his D partner saved him. I don’t think he’s won that 3LD job yet.

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RYAN MURRAY. His best performance to date and first time playing in the camp on the right. A nice 2nd Period pinch led to a Yamamoto opportunity. A shot in the 3rd was tipped off again by Yamamoto who just missed. A big, blocked shot in the 3rd after his young partner was beaten wide. sturdy.

NOAH PHILP. A hit and a block in 7 minutes TOI. Whistled for a real bungler, but his mates didn’t. Called later. Not on the right side of the game.

LUKE ESPOSITO. A great performance, for which he was eventually rewarded with an assist when he punched a pass back to Kulak on the 2-1. This, after he well protected the puck on a lunge in the attacking zone. A shot blocked. Took a shift with 97 late in the game, a well deserved reward.

SETH GRIFFITH. Had a good chance in the 2nd but couldn’t get the shot off. A hit in just under 7 minutes.

One final piece of news: As predicted during The Cult of Hockey, the Oilers signed D Max Wanner to a 3-year ELC today. The Moose Jaw Warrior was good in both rookie and main camp. Good for the child.

The Oilers play Winnipeg tomorrow.

Find me on Twitter @KurtLeavins

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