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Hot Links: Thursday, July 30

Koskinen v Smith Part II, Blackhawks/Blues, Edmonton’s centre depth, diving into Draisaitl’s first touch, more from the Oilers exhibition game, and MORE! Two.* More. Days.*

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Edmonton Oilers v Calgary Flames Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Morning, folks!

It feels like Christmas Eve Eve* today. The Oilers are back in action — for real this time — tomorrow Friday afternoon at 1PM to begin their qualifying round series with the Chicago Blackhawks. I’m excited. I have been skeptical of all of this all summer, I must admit, but now that we’re about 29 (+24) hours away from a meaningful Oilers game, I am very much looking forward to it.

Lowetide took a look at the Oilers centre depth, or lack thereof, and what it might mean for the Oilers playoff roster.

Our newest contributor, bituman, keeps the hits coming with his second article on the Oilers goaltending situation. This time, looking at why Mikko Koskinen is (and has been) better than Mike Smith. If the reverse article freaked you out, definitely check out this one.

The Athletic’s Jack Han took some tape and dove into Leon Draisaitl’s game, noting a specific opportunity for improvement: his first touch.

The Blackhawks played their one and only exhibition game last night and shut out the defending champion St. Louis Blues 4-0. It served as a nice reminder that, even though Chicago had been mostly bad most of this year, that the Oilers cannot afford to take them lightly. They likely weren’t, as their losing record against them should have been warning enough, but last night’s result surely reinforced the notion.

I’m not sure how everyone else felt watching the Oilers in an empty, quiet rink, but it didn’t bother me. Mike Smith was quoted as saying it was one of the weirdest games he’d ever been a part of. Alex Kerfoot suggested there was a real minor hockey feel about the whole thing.

Jesse Puljujarvi spoke to the Finnish media after his latest discussion with Ken Holland and Dave Tippett. He reiterated his new ‘never say never’ approach, and offered a bit more insight as to where his head’s at. The Oilers wing depth is still bad, hence Zack Kassian’s role as of today, but Puljujarvi returning next year could go some way to rectifying that.

That’ll do it for this week. Of course, with the big game tomorrow we’ll have our usual GAMEDAY coverage, so we’ll see you tomorrow for brunch. Eat up.

From Us

Why Koskinen is better than Smith (Copper and Blue)

Hotlinks - July 29th 2020 Edition (Copper and Blue)

GAME RECAP: Oilers 4, Flames 1. (Copper and Blue)

From Elsewhere

Blackhawks’ Win Over Blues A Reminder Oilers Can’t Take Them Lightly (Sportsnet)

Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Dave Tippett Has Two Solid Options In Goal (Sun)

Edmonton’s Young Defense Prospects Are Getting Closer To Primetime (THN)

5 Takeaways From Oilers Exhibition Victory Over Flames (THW)

Watching An NHL Game In An Empty Arena (Oilersnation)

Puljujärvi On Oilers Talks, Drops Hint Decision Coming Soon (THW)

‘It Will Be An Honour’: Oilers’ Defenceman Wears Jersey With Cree Syllabics (CBC)

Day After Thoughts: Oilers Top Flames 4-1 (Oilers Rig)

JONES: Blackhawks Rookie Dach Looking To Dig In Against Hometown Oilers (Sun)

The Blue Paint (Oilersnation)

For Money

What The Oilers Should Be Thinking After Watching Chicago In Exhibition (Athletic)

Lowetide: Could Oilers’ Lack Of Centre Depth Mean Postseason Roster Shuffle? (Athletic)

The Video Room: On A Shared Opportunity For Pettersson, Draisaitl And Nylander (Athletic)

‘One Of Oddest Games I’ve Ever Played’: Oilers Adapt To Games Without Fans (Athletic)