The Oilers have decided to tease their fans with an almost perfect 6-0 record in the preseason. As we Oilers faithful know this probably isn’t going to be reality in a couple weeks but it’s still fun to imagine.
What more can I say other than Dallas Eakins was soooooo wrong about Anton Lander. Lander scored a hat trick while filling in for Jordan Eberle on the power play. When not on the power play Lander was a 25% Offensive Zone Starts with a 32% corsi. As soon as he put on the power play those numbers jumped to 48% and 57% respectively. Sure those numbers aren’t overly impressive but as a checking 3rd line centre Lander looks to be the guy.
Mid way through the 1st period Jordan Eberle left the game with an injury. It appears to be a shoulder injury and according to McLellan "It is not good". This limits the pairing of Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to just a few options. Teddy Purcell could move to the right wing on that line which would mean that Anton Slepyshev would stay with the team (at least for the short term). Meaning he, Nail Yakupov or Leon Draisaitl would move to the Taylor Hall, Connor McDavid line. It will be interesting to see how McLellan deals with this in the next two preseason games.
Three or four seasons ago the Oilers had a log jam in net. They had to choose between Nikolia Khabibulin, Devan Dubnyk and Jeff Deslauriers. The Oilers, under Steve Tambellini’s direction, decided to keep all three and go with only 13 forwards and 7 defensemen. It took about a month but they finally decided on Dubnyk over Deslauriers (even though Khabibulin should’ve been the one released).
This was the one of the biggest cluster f**ks in team history. The team sucked that season and the goalie issue at the begining of the season ended up being nothing more than a distraction from a really crappy season.
This three headed goalie monster seems to rearing its ugly head once again. Incumbant Ben Scrivens isn’t playing phenominally but isn’t losing games either. But his $2.3M cap hit makes his mediocrity tough to move. Meanwhile Anders Nilsson hasn’t allowed a goal in 53 preseason NHL shots. This smells of a three headed goalie monster and it could take a month or more to decide who stays and who goes. What ever happens its going to be interesting and infuriating at the same time.
Happy Last Stream Day. As of tonight the rest of the season will be availble on TV. The Oilers face the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and then again on Saturday before the season officially begins on October 8th against the St. Louis Blues. The two Vancouver games will be available on a SportsNet channel with October 1st on SportsNet 360 and October 3rd on SportsNet West/Pacific. The game on Thursday starts 7PM MT.