Before you even start reading this I feel like I need to come clean, I didn't watch all of this game. It being the preseason I decided that I'd rather enjoy my pint of Red Racer IPA than be on time. By the time I arrived six and a half minutes had already been played. Oh yeah and I left early too. Not because I wanted to beat the traffic (I don't drive to games so that would be absurd) but rather because I just wanted to go home.
With that out of the way you might, quite reasonably in fact, be wondering why I'm writing this postgame. Well because the 50 (ish) minutes that I saw is still more than any of the other writers on this site saw, so I "win." Related: we need more local writers.
Anyway some brief thoughts from tonight's game:
- The first Oilers' goal, like I said previously, wasn't something I actually saw, but god bless the internet you can find a highlight of just about anything on there. Anyway, nice play off the boards by Vladimir Tkachev finding Mark Fayne in the slot, who in turn scored on the first Oilers shot on goal of the evening. Fayne had a strong night all around for the Oilers and was named the game's third star. I like him, I like him a lot.
- Steve Pinizzotto's first fight of the evening, a tilt with Patrice Cormier, came just past the midway mark of the first period. But before I could even make a snarky comment to my wife, or the boxing bell sound effect could be played, this fight was over when Pinizzotto fell, pulling Cormier down with him.
- I thought the first period had a good forecheck from the Oilers as well. I'm honestly not sure if that's something I've ever written on this site before. It was certainly nice to watch though.
- Two goals from Taylor Hall in this period. The first came on the powerplay when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins' beautiful cross ice pass found Hall below the opposite dot for what amounts to a tap in for Hall. It's a gorgeous play, and one you hate to critique, but you just know that same play will be tried again, and again, and again, and again in October with very different results. Or maybe this is our year and that pass will work every time.
- Hall's second goal was due in part to some fugly goaltending on the part of Jets netminder Michael Hutchinson. With Hall to Hitchinson's left he opted to cheat to the slot and Hall's shot beat him to the short side. Pro tip from the guy in Row 39: if Hall beats you with a pass, he beats you with a pass, but don't give him space on the short side if he's below the faceoff dot.
- Not exactly game related but still awesome. Late in the period the Oilers unveiled a new in game contest called jersey math. For example: (Hendricks + Gordon) / Petry - Hall = ?. I'm an engineer, so I love math, and as far as I'm concerned this game was designed for me. And good on the guy participating too, he got it right. Bonus points to my wife though, her answer was Gator.
- Tkachev again made a nice offensive play around the six minute mark. His pass didn't reach Bogdan Yakimov in the slot, and maybe he could have shot, but clearly this kid has some skill. The Oilers need to find a way to get his name onto a contract.
- Pinizzotto spent most of the third period looking for a fight. With four and half minutes left (conveniently right when I left) he finally got his wish when Anthony Peluso decided to drop his gloves. I'm sure Pinizzotto sees a chance to fill Luke Gazdic's spot should the Oilers reigning grit champ not be available to start the season, but watching a guy, on every shift, try to do something that has nothing to do with winning or losing is just plain annoying.
- Tyler Pitlick had a nice chance late in the period, this to go along with a goal that was called back in the first period. Once again Pitlick had a solid game tonight, that is something being said repeatedly about him this preseason. Teams are obviously still playing as many scrubs as actual players at this point in the preseason so there is still reason to skeptical, but as someone who has liked Pitlick for a long time his play right now is very nice to see.
The Oilers next game will be back at Rexall Place on Wednesday when they host the Coyotes.