The Edmonton Oilers concluded their preseason home schedule Monday night with a disappointing 6-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Struggling to get much of anything going from puck-drop to the final buzzer, not even the presence of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl could keep the team perfect in preseason action.
On the other side, the Hurricanes also deployed a lineup comprised of mostly NHL players. Scott Darling made his much-anticipated debut for Carolina and, although he didn’t look unbeatable, the team in front of him made life difficult for Edmonton. The Canes counteracted Edmonton’s star-power with consistent speed, work ethic, and pressure.
So, how did this game get away from the Edmonton Oilers? Let’s take a closer look at each period:
As soon as the puck dropped to begin tonight’s matchup there was a noticeable lag in Edmonton’s game. 5 minutes of back and forth hockey eventually turned in favour of the Hurricanes.
Extended pressure against eventually ended up in Drake Caggiula and Jujhar Khaira taking two penalties in succession, giving Carolina an early 5-on-3 powerplay. This is where Teuvo Teravainen would get the visiting team on the board with a point shot going over Talbot’s shoulder, off the cross-bar, and into the net. 1-0 Carolina.
From then on, momentum was fully in the hands of the Hurricanes. The shots would be 15-4 for the visitors at the end of the period but, Edmonton did get a goal from Strome as he tucked in a Klefbom rebound. 1-1 tie game.
This tie game was shortlived, as Teravainen would get his second power-play goal before the opening frame came to a close. 2-1 Carolina after 20 minutes.
The middle frame started off with a better Oilers team taking to the ice but, that was not enough. The Oilers would go down 3-1 after Cam Talbot turned the puck over, creating a 2-on-1 in which Lucas Wallmark would tuck a shorthanded goal to extend the Hurricane’s lead.
From here the penalties would continue to stack up for Edmonton, giving the Canes ANOTHER 5-on-3. Of course, the trend continued, and Janne Kuokanen tucked their 3rd power-play goal of the game giving the Canes a commanding 4-1 lead.
Kailer Yamamoto would respond for the Oilers with a powerplay goal of their own. 4-2 Carolina after 40.
More line shuffling on Edmonton’s part did not do them any good in the final frame. Jordan Staal would bank two more goals for the Hurricanes in the 3rd period, leaving the Edmonton Oilers with a dishearting 6-2 loss. Not a good game by any means for an almost complete Oilers lineup.
- Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both had disappointing games. McDavid had a few impressive rushes but turned the puck over much more than usual and passed off on some solid shooting opportunities. Draisaitl did not look too into the game.
- If Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had disappointing games…Drake Caggiula and Jesse Puljujarvi had terrible games. Both players were ineffective and uninspired throughout the majority of the game. Both players were moved around to find a spark.
- Ryan Strome and Milan Lucic had average games. Strome tallied one of the two goals for Edmonton but, didn’t seem too noticeable elsewhere. Lucic had a few good looks at the net but couldn’t produce; also looked very strong the puck.
- Edmonton’s best player tonight was Kailer Yamamoto. He was able to tip home the second goal of the game for the Oilers, a power-play tip off of a point shot, and earned a promotion to McDavid’s wing. He looked dynamic, he looked dangerous, and he looked like he belonged. Yamamoto will make it difficult for the team to send him down.
- Another impressive player was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Creative in the offensive zone and responsible in the defensive zone. Encouraging stuff from #93.
- Special Teams was an area of concern. They went 1/4 on the power-play and wasn’t able to generate much outside of the Yamamoto goal. On the flipside, Carolina went 3/6 on their power-play opportunities. A little fine-tuning might be in order for both units.
The Edmonton Oiler will now fall to 6-1 in the preseason. This was the first real challenge for the Oilers, who have been seeing weak rosters recently, and they will only get better from this one. Remember, this is preseason, don’t hit the panic button yet.
The Oilers will have a chance to get revenge on Wednesday as they play the Hurricanes in Saskatoon.
Thanks For Reading!
You can follow me on Twitter @CrazyOilersFan