Again, this is preseason, and no one cares the flow of the game. Because it’s about individual performances, I’m just doing gifs, and individual commentary. This won’t continue in the regular season.
Ty Rattie with his 1st.
Ty Rattie with his 2nd
Ty Rattie... so hot right now. pic.twitter.com/HTTqvNvUoz— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 26, 2018
Jesse Puljujarvi with his 1st
Jesse Puljujarvi with his 2nd
Ty Rattie with the Hat Trick
And I can’t find a Gif for Klefbom, but he put away a Lucic rebound in front of the net.
Anyway, lets get to the important part.
#8 Ty Rattie - He’s scored a lot of goals this preseason. He has an excellent shot, is fantastic in the offensive zone, and I’m really warming up to the idea of having him as a finisher. He’s still weak everywhere else, but this line looks like it’s going to work just fine. His shooting talent is making up for a lot of what else he’s doing. Three goals! He couldn’t have had a better game.
#16 Jujhar Khaira - Two assists on the night, worked hard in the defensive end, but was a bit slow catching up to his linemate - more on that later.
#22 Tobias Rieder - Almost completely invisible. The only times I saw him were when he had two partial breaks and didn’t get a shot off on either one of them. His play isn’t hurting anyone, but I’m not expecting him to be a player above the mediocre wingers this team already had. I don’t understand what his role is, or why he was signed.
#27 Milan Lucic - Whether or not you liked his game is going to depend a lot on what your expectations are. Compared to what we saw in the 2nd half of last season, I thought he was much better tonight. He had a few shots, was moving his feet, and seemed to be engaged. He was working a lot harder tonight than some other guys on the ice, but I’m not convinced he’s going to be a 50 point player this year.
#28 Kyle Brodziak - I really liked what I saw out of him tonight. He was giving it full effort and did a great job helping some pedestrian defense get the puck out. He’s a good fourth liner.
#29 Leon Draisaitl - I understand that this is preseason, and that vets often don’t give it their all, but my god, I haven’t seen ass-dragging like this since the dog swallowed dental floss. That was simply not good enough. Laziness like that is not what anyone wants to see. I have no doubts that he’ll have a great season as usual, but tonight he was the epitome of union mentality.
#39 Alex Chaisson - He was ok. Just ok.
#44 Zack Kassian - In the first period, he took the laziest penalty I’ve seen in a long time. They call it a bench minor, but the penalty was actually just Kassian showing the urgency of a tortoise getting off the ice. After that he was engaged, but still looking like he’s more at risk of reassignment than his contract suggests.
#56 Kailer Yamamoto - He was held to just one assist tonight, and took an offensive zone penalty. It’s hard to gauge his game tonight, he was usually the best player on the ice when he was out there, but a lot of that has to do with just how little effort his centerman — Draisaitl — was giving. Kailer does so many things the right way, and that showed up again. He’s still having no issues getting into the crease, muscling much bigger guys off the puck, and being the first forward back after doing so. He’s making this team and it’s not going to take long for the rest of the league to take notice.
#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Two assists seems like a light reward for how much he covers for Rattie. There’s a really good chance Rattie outscores Nuge this year, and the stats won’t show how much RNH is contributing to that.
#97 Connor McDavid - He wasn’t giving 100%. Much closer to 100% than Draisaitl, but not all the way there, and that’s fine. He still got himself three assists, and put on a show for the paying customer because he’s still McDavid. Going 100% may have bagged him six points tonight.
#98 Jesse Puljujarvi - Once again the star of the show. He didn’t have star players as linemates, and still managed to get himself two breakaways, two goals, four shots, and look like a man among boys. He’s faster than he was last year, his wrist shot is lethal, and his defense is right up there with Yamamoto’s. He’s been on a tear this preseason and it doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down.
He was on the third line with Khaira and Rieder, and that’s getting ridiculous. He was the best player tonight, and deserves time on a line with Yamamoto and a the version of Draisaitl who actually cares. Lets do this, Todd. He’s not a 3rd line player.
#4 Kris Russell - Got pinned in his own end a few times, he was very much Kris Russell.
#6 Adam Larsson - Really liked his game after the first period. He struggled a bit at first but found his grove in the second and continued throughout. He’ll never be a flashy player, but the subtleties in his game make him one of the more underappreciated defensemen in the league. Well, that and that trade.
#12 Jakub Jerabek - I hardly noticed him out there, and it’s probably because he played the fewest minutes. He’s a player I still have no read on, so for the moment, I’m still waiting for more information.
#13 Jason Garrison - He was better today than he was his last game. He made a good outlet pass in the 2nd, but overall pretty uneventful.
#75 Evan Bouchard - A lot better in his own end than we’ve previously seen this season. Practicing with pro players seems to be working, at least a little bit. I’m not sure if he’ll be good enough to help in the regular season, but if he keeps improving like this, he won’t hurt.
#77 Oscar Klefbom - Similar to Larsson, he went from weak to very strong throughout the game. He even found himself in a position to score a goal. He needs to be better in his own end than he was tonight, but his shoulder issues appear to be behind him.
#33 Cam Talbot - 35 shots against 35 saves. He didn’t have to make any spectacular save, but he sure looked back to his 2016-2017 form. An outstanding performance by our goaltender tonight.
Anything you saw differently? Let me know in the comments.