The Edmonton Oilers played last night in Vancouver and cruised to a 4-1 victory. The team looked pretty good on the whole and I really like the pressure and pace that the new look Oilers play with. The Oilers play a faster paced game under Dallas Eakins and pressure the puck all over the ice.
Darnell Nurse was the best Oiler on the ice playing a whopping 22:58. Nurse had three hits, four blocked shots and four takeaways…not too shabby for an eighteen year old! He is an incredible skater, is calm under pressure and jumps up into the play nicely. I was extremely impressed with his poise as well. Dallas Eakins has stated that he is taking the best players regardless of contract term, $$$, or age, and if this holds true, Nurse is a lock for opening night (based on last nights performance). I am interested to see how Nurse handles himself later in preseason against stronger competition but he certainly looked just fine against Daniel and Henrik Sedin last night. Only time will tell but from what I saw last night, Nurse is going to be a player. I am officially drinking the Darnell Nurse koolaid!
The next best defenceman, in my opinion, was some guy named Brad Hunt. I have no idea who he is but he was very good last night. Www.hockeydb.com says Hunt is a 25 year old defenceman who is 5’9 and 188 Lbs. Apparently he played for the Chicago Wolves for the last two seasons with 33 points in 65 games last season. He moved the puck well, was very good on the PP, and collected two assists in 15:30 minutes of ice. He reminded me of Tory Krug out of Boston.
At the other end of the spectrum, not surprisingly, Martin Marincin looked lost out there even though he had a goal and assist. He made grade A turnovers and definitely will need time to develop in the minors. Ben Eager didn’t show very well with the play dying most times he touched the puck. I am hoping for a big year out of Eager this season so hopefully it was just an off night for him.
It was nice watching a game on Sportsnet for the first time this season but the crew certainly was in preseason form. They were bias and full of mistakes. Hopefully they will turn things around.
Keep the Faith!!!