Into The Great Wide Open
Hey, do you smell that? It's that new car smell. You know, the smell of leatherette that's been baking in the sun for fourteen hours. A new Oilers season is upon us and if recent tradition holds, September and October will again be the most optimistic times of the year.
The Oilers began their preseason schedule by splitting a split-squad matches against the Flames on Sunday. Edmonton will tackle the Jets tonight at the MTS Centre, where several players will jockey for the few remaining jobs on the roster.
The Oilers are saying
"Well when I first saw him I thought hew as there to get someone's autograph. He's slight, and he doesn't quite look like a hockey player, but boy when he gets on the ice, he certainly knows how to play hockey. He's an efficient kid, when you're that size, you learn the game a little differently, you gotta learn how to use your body and what spots to put yourself in. He had a very good rookie camp, he's been good here early, and we'll see how it goes with him.
That's Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on forward Vladimir Tkachev. Tkachev was one of three non-roster players invited to rookie camp nearly three weeks ago, and he's survived the first wave of cuts.
VLADIMIR TKACHEV CAN PLAY HOCKEY
Tonight is the first night that many will get to see Vladimir Tkachev in action. Much has been made about Tkachev's slight frame, but if he's half as good as we hope he is, he just might be worth an ELC. Hell, if Cam Abney was worth an ELC, Vladimir Tkachev is likely worth 14.6 ELCs. Tkachev will appear on a line with Benoit Pouliot and Leon Draisaitl.
Batty has the scoop.
@ryan_batty Official weigh-in at Rookie Camp was indeed 141 lbs.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 24, 2014
The Opponent is saying
"This guy's a player, and when you go back...aw, (don't) wanna get into the advanced stats too much, because you guys will be asking me about it every day. Let's just say wherever Mike Frolik plays with, plays well". (sic)
- Tyler Pitlick is going to have to light something on fire in order to get someone's attention on that fourth line. Kale Kessy and Travis Ewanyk will share the road with Pitlick tonight.
- LINE TO WATCH: The second line. Well, all of the lines, but really, the second line. Draisaitl was impressive in his debut, let's see what he and Pouliot can do with Vladimir Tkachev. Score all of the goals.
- Had the dice rolled again, Darnell Nurse might have made the final cut on last year's defence. Check him out tonight as he pairs with Martin Marincin on the top pair. Oscar Klefbom will start off with Martin Gernat.
- Keith Aulie will get another look tonight after a less than impressive performance on Sunday. Aulie is looking to secure one of the bottom spots on defence, and he'll need to turn in a better performance tonight than he did against the Flames over the weekend.
- Laurent Brossoit will start tonight for the Oilers. Ty Rimmer is expected to get in at some point.
The Edmonton Oilers
Nail Yakupov - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot - Leon Draisaitl - Vladimir Tkachev
Curtis Hamilton - Bogdan Yakimov - Andrew Miller
Kale Kessy - Travis Ewanyk - Tyler Pitlick
Martin Marincin - Darnell Nurse
Martin Gernat - Oscar Klefbom
Keith Aulie - Justin Schultz
The Winnipeg Jets
Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler
Nikolaj Ehlers - Nicolas Petan - Scott Kosmachuk
T.J. Galiardi - Adam Lowry - Matt Halischuk
Eric Tangradi - Patrice Cormier - Anthony Peluso
Josh Morrissey - Jacob Trouba
Adam Pardy - Julian Melchiori
Grant Clitsome - Will O'Neal