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And So It Begins

Good Old Oilers Hockey as they drop a preseason decision to the Blackhawks, losing 5-0

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

I know it's preseason and this game meant nothing but I was actually looking forward to this game today. In fact I took some time off from a project I've been working on to watch the game in it's entirety and track as much of it as I could. But, as these games usually go, by the end of the second period it was already a train wreck and watching the game became quite a chore. I was reminded what doing a post game thread for the Oilers is like; it is a job of cynicism, sarcasm and a whole hell of a lot of cursing. What is even better is the season hasn't even started and the Oilers (although not the entire roster) showed up in midseason form looking like the team that has challenged for a top 3 pick 4 out of the past 5 seasons.

Before I get into the game summary I'm going to give this disclaimer. I ran into some internet issues to start the second and couldn't track shots correctly (at which point I stopped trying to track them). The game was in Saskatoon and therefore game events weren't being tracked by the NHL and neither was the roster (EDIT: TSN to the rescue). So this may be as big of a train wreck as the game but please bear with me.

First Period

The game actually started out quite well for the Oilers. At one point they were out shooting Chicago 6-0 and even up until about the 12 minute mark of the first they were up 10-3 on the shot clock. The momentum was in the Oilers favour they had 2 power plays (16:55 & 10:34) and were able to go a full 5 minutes without having to play Kale Kessy (12:50 fighting major). They just couldn't beat Scott Darling. The best chance of the period came with 9:18 remaining when Leon Draisaitl rang a shot off the post.

With about 7 minutes remaining in the first the Blackhawks seemed to pick up some steam. Chicago started to take shots and by the time Bryan Bickell scored with 5:54 remaining the gap in shots had narrowed to 10-7 for the Oilers by the end of the period shots were even at 10 a piece.

Second Period

The second period began with the news that Andrew Ference had left the game with an injury and would not be returning to the game.

Both teams came out flat to start the second with only 2 shots (by Chicago) in the first 3 minutes. At the 17:07 mark Jeremy Morin was gifted a pass when he was all alone but Bachman was able to kick out the pad and made a fantastic stop. About 30 seconds later Jessee Joensuu rang a shot off the iron (which seemed to be the Oilers calling card in the game). The teams went 4v4 for about a minute but nothing really happened that was to speak of. With 6:50 remaining Trevor Van Reimsdyk got a great shot off but again Bachman came up big. At 5:01 the Oilers got another power play after David Rundblad hooked up Teddy Purrcel on a partial break. The Oilers were unable to generate a shot on the ensuing powerplay.

At this point you may want to skip to the end because things get kinda stupid.

With a minute and half left in the second Garret Ross "scored" when Duncan Keith fired a shot in off of Ross' back. Then 30 seconds later Mark Arcobello skated down with the puck and... if you guessed hit the post you'd be correct. Then with 30 seconds left in the period Teivo Teravainen scored to make it 3-0 and that is how the period would end.

Third Period

The third period was very much the same kind of start that the second period was. One would expect that a team down 3-0 in an exhibition game, with a bunch of prospects trying avoid being cut, that someone would try to get something going. And that is what most teams would do but we're talking about the Oilers and really there was absolutely nothing. There were a few perimeter shots and Nail Yakupov got a really nice chance after Andrew Shaw made it 4-0 but other than that the Oilers were flat. The final nail in the coffin was Kris Versteeg scoring to make it 5-0 with about 6 minutes to go.

Game Thoughts

Like I said earlier this game started out fine. The Oilers looked to be in control but then after Chicago scored it's first goal the Oilers went into shell mode and stayed there for pretty much the rest of the game. I'd guess that tomorrow around noonish we'll see a large list of players from tonight's game assigned to their respective junior teams or on waivers or on their way to OKC. That's training camp though. You can't expect everyone to make the team. As much as this game disappointed me it also makes me want to see real hockey and soon.

One last thing: I will go back to the normal style as soon as I have better game sheets and rosters to work with.