Source: Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers
The Jets were icing a much different team tonight compared to what we saw on Wednesday, a lot more fringe players and a lot fewer star players. The Oilers were icing a much more NHL looking lineup compared to last nights game. The team looked as if they had played last night, it was sloppy and full of penalty calls.
The team made a minor assignment before hitting the ice for their morning, placing Eddie Pasquale on waivers-no surprise there.
In the net
We had the chance to see starter Cam Talbot play his first full game of the year. He gave up a couple powerplay goals. The first one he didn’t have much help from his teammates on that one as they didn’t clear it once out of the zone. The second one was a fluke one off the post that was tapped in.
Cam looked good tonight when he was tested and finished the night stopping 20 of 22 shots.
On the blue line
The pairings were as followed: Kris Russel with Benning, Nurse and Gryba, and Simpson with Jones.
Kyle Connor made a nice stutter-step move that had Benning looking silly. Later he let the puck float past him while they were in the attacking zone. He redeemed himself though when he made a nice play to fire a shot that was tipped by Jokinen. While I rip on him, he seems to be the name I hear the most while playing defense, naturally, he’s not always going to have great shifts. He played 20:49, 3:15 on the PP and 3:57 on the PK. He was a plus three with an assist, four shots on goal and three hits.
Nurse looked confident racing up the rush during 4 on 4 action whiffed on the drop pass from Connor. He played 22:51, 3:28 on the powerplay and 5:04 on the penalty kill. Nurse was even on the night he had four shots on goal, and a couple hits.
Big Dustin Byfuglien leveled a hit on Caleb Jones and took off flying with the puck in the second. He did hold up his own other than that play during 17:50 minutes of action, 0:44 on the PP and 0:34 on the PK. He was plus two with an assist and a shot on net.
Simpson was also impressive with an assist in 16:35 minutes of action He was plus two on the night as well with three shots and two hits.
In my honest opinion, Gryba was a ghost, he apparently played 17:21. Eric had a couple hits and blocks as well as two giveaways.
The forward group did have to face Winnipeg’s #1 defender Byfuglien and NHLer’s Morrissey and Kulikov.
Tonights forwards looked a lot more like an NHL team: We got to see that number one line of McDavid, Maroon, Strome again. McDavid did his thing throughout the game as he always does. Arguably the most entertaining part of the game was when Maroon went after Big Byfuglien for taking down Connor.
Puljujarvi drew back into the lineup aside Nuge and Jokinen. He looked lost in the first and didn’t get much of a chance to play while we were busy icing special teams during a barrage of penalties and power plays.
Todd made a VERY smart move in the third to switch Puljujarvi and Strome on their lines. Just as I was starting to yawn Simpson made a nice pass up the middle to JPJ who touched it off to Connor, of course, Connor made a Connor play for a beautiful goal. The switch energized Jesse who learned to park himself in front of the net, he was rewarded with a couple goals. Stop whipping on Jesse and let him show us what he can do! Also can someone get him a slice of pizza, he has earned it!
The only players from last nights game to play tonight were PTO Chris Kelly and Malone, they played with Patrick Russel. This line was exciting, they brought grit and glam to the ice. They could lay out a hit or put in a goal. Malone had two goals, I saw after the game he actually had five, yes five shots on net! I honestly don’t think Malone or P Russel make the team out of camp but things look good for them down in Bakersfield, they’ll be dependable call-ups when there are injuries.
Khaira continued to make his case for that bottom six spot, he played alongside Letestu and Kassian. This line had a solid cycle running in the first period. Jujhar had a spirited tilt with JC Lipon. He’s doing everything he has to do to be the guy that makes the team and is thrown onto the ice in a variety of different roles. This line, in general, continues to impress me every game they play together.
The Oilers top six looked sloppy in the first couple periods but came out strong with a couple tweaks heading into the third. Does this mean that Todd will switch up his right wingers? What are your thoughts on the game and the switches? Who impressed you the most? Shoot me a tweet @nooorzy.