Source: Andy Devlin / Edmonton Oilers
When I said we were heading into the eye of the storm in my pregame title this morning, I meant camp wise, not game wise. The Hurricanes were also icing an NHL lineup tonight that the Oilers seemed to struggle with, it was the first real test for the team this preseason.
Caggiula gave VanReimsdyk the business in the corner, but his stick came up for a call that he should’ve been more disciplined about. While on the penalty kill JJ Khaira then took another reckless penalty, this one was in the neutral zone, he stuck his stick out hooking up Jake Bean while chasing him. Talbot made a few solid saves to start it off, but Teravainen had a great look at the net on the 5 on 3 and made no mistake beating Talbot glove side.
After that goal, the momentum completely shifted in the Canes favor. It seemed like we were trapped in our own zone, Carolina had a full court press going on, and they shut everything down that the Oilers tried to get going. 9:45 into the first the shots were 8-1 for the Hurricanes, fans sarcastically cheered when we landed our second shot on net. I do have to note Yamamoto did make a nice dump in, he chased after it and picked it up to make a shot on net.
I’m a big Caggiula fan, but his penalty earlier in the first had me watching him like a hawk. Would he redeem himself, or would he do something else silly? While in the offensive zone the puck was played around the net and into the corner, instead of racing towards it he was going to let it coast to him, of course, a Hurricane defender swooped in and snatched it.
Something exciting finally happened for Oilers fans, Jokinen showed why he’s been in the league so long. He picked up Nuge’s failed one-timer and brought it back to Klefbom who bombed one from the point. Strome displayed what Eberle didn’t do, plant himself in front of the net and battle for the rebound to put it away to tie things up 1-1.
Draisaitl took another penalty, leaving the Oilers short a man once again. Staal got off a shot in front of Talbot that had him on the ice, the rebound went to Teravainen who put his second of the night into an empty cage.
The period finally came to an end with the Oilers were down 15-4 in shots, and thankfully only 2-1 on the scoreboard.
The Oilers still didn’t look great, but things at least calmed down in front of Talbot. The Canes were still searching for their first shot on net shortly over five minutes into the second.
The pool party came to an end for McDavid and Maroon line, TMac put the lines into a blender and put juggernaut Yamamoto who got things rolling for the Oilers. Puljujarvi was slotted in with Lucic and Leon. Jokinen found himself playing with new linemates Kahria and Caggiula.
The new line combos seemed more energized, and they even drew a penalty! Things didn’t go our way on that one, Talbot went to make a pass out to McDavid that ended up on the stick of a Hurricane, on the two on one they made no mistake beating Cam.
Caggiula took a slashing penalty and a few seconds into that Russel was called for tripping. It gave the Canes their second 5 on 3 of the night, which they capitalized on with a one-timer.
Lucic dropped Jake Bean with a mean open ice hit.
The Oilers drew another penalty, and the Hurricanes continued to press killing what seemed like all the Oilers chances. Who else but Yamamoto came onto the ice and reignited the team by putting one away to put the Oilers within two.
We weren’t even two minutes into the third and Klefbom made a change when the puck was coughed up leaving Larsson alone to defend a two on one, Carolina made it 5-2 with a nice saucer pass.
2:11 into the period the Oilers were handed another powerplay. It was flat again this time, the Canes pressed hard and went after the puck at all times.
The Oilers then gave up another one, Cam left a big rebound after a pad save that was easily put away.
I won’t lie to you with 12 something left in the game I closed my laptop. It felt like I was watching the Oilers of the 2012 or 2013, they had a ton of talent but couldn’t get anything going.
I opened the stats sheet after the game and would love to chat all of the stats but to be honest they weren’t that hot. Somehow Nuge, Jokinen, and Strome were all +1 on the night, Maroon and Puljujarvi were -2 while Lucic was -3. As a team the Oilers had 27 giveaways – Lucic had 5 while Talbot had 4. By the way how the bloody hell did Aho not have a single point?!
It wasn’t a good game at all, it was frustrating for fans and I’m sure was for the players as well. This was the first real big test for the team, and I’m happy it came in the preseason, it means we won’t walk in with swagger and then have it handed to us during the regular season. Have some thoughts on the game? Share them with me, shoot me a tweet @nooorzy.