Edmonton Oilers (0-0-0)
Vancouver Canucks (0-0-0)
12 Oct 2022
8 PM MT
Radio: 630 CHED
It’s been a long four months since the Oilers played a game that counted for much. Tonight, the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2022-23 calendar as they host a division rival in the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers will look to get a hot start to the season, looking to pick up two points tonight. Can they take care of a retooled Canucks club?
Let’s go to the tape.
THE OILERS ARE SAYING
“I just feel great. We’ve really gelled on the ice, off the ice, and it’s just a fun group to compete with and hang out with...I think it’s been a smooth transition and tomorrow we’re playing in front of our home fans. It’s just really exciting and we want to get off to a strong start. We had a great camp and now it’s the fun time. We get to go battle.”
-Oilers goaltender Jack Campbell (source)
Campbell saying the word “battle” gives me pause to remember Mike Smith, the one true battler. No matter your thoughts on Smith, Oilers GM Ken Holland was finally able to pull the trigger after three years of uneasiness in the goal crease. With a fresh five year deal, Jack Campbell is the man going forward. He’ll get a chance to get the ball rolling with the Canucks in town tonight.
THE CANUCKS ARE SAYING
“I like to challenge myself against one of the best”.
-Canucks forward Elias Pettersson (source)
The Canucks come into this season with great expectations. Winners in nine of their last twelve games to close out the 2021-22 season, they missed the playoffs by just five points. There’s nothing they’d like more than to give the Oilers a tough go of it to start out a new year.
Oilers projected lineup for season opener vs. VAN:— Tony Brar (@TonyBrarOTV) October 12, 2022
Kane - McDavid - Puljujarvi
Holloway - Draisaitl - Hyman
McLeod - RNH - Foegele
Malone - Shore - Ryan
Nurse - Ceci
Kulak - Barrie
Murray - Bouchard
HAVE SOME OF THIS
Editor’s note: This year is my tenth with Copper and Blue. I’m glad you’re along for the ride. Let’s all have some fun this year.
- LOOK AT THE TOP LINE: Connor McDavid is on the top line with Evander Kane and Jesse Puljujärvi to open the season against Vancouver. Kane is equipped with a fresh four year deal after blowing the doors off his half season in Edmonton last season. Connor McDavid is expected to score all the goals in 2022-23, and Jesse Puljujärvi will finish out that trio. Not bad for a guy that everyone said was going to be traded for a third round pick after he got signed. A lot of people got that one incredibly wrong.
- Excitement for Dylan Holloway ought to be high. He had a fantastic preseason, and he’ll start tonight on line number two with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman, who flips over to RW. The entire top six is a threat to score a boatload of goals tonight.
- Give me about two days until I see James Hamblin on the fourth line. I can work with about a third of a Shore - Malone - Ryan, and I’d liek to see Hamblin in for G2 versus Calgary on Saturday night.
- Free agent signing Ryan Murray will pair with Evan Bouchard, while Brett Kulak teams with Tyson Barrie to get things rolling in 2022-23. Darnell Nurse and Cody Ceci will run top pair tonight. Philip Broberg will begin the season in Bakersfield, which is not exactly where the organization would like him to be three years out from his draft year. Murray was the second overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, he spent 37 games last year in Colorado.
- Jack Campbell (31-9-6, .914 SV% / 2.64 GAA / 5 SO, with Leafs ‘21-22) will make his Oilers debut tonight in goal, while Thatcher Demko (33-22-7, .915 SV% / 2.72 GAA / 1 SO, 2021-22) is expected to start for the Canucks. All eyes will be on Campbell to have a big start tonight.
First impressions go a long way. Would love to see a 6-2 win from the Oilers tonight.