Discussing Oilers training camp and the potential lineup on the CBC Edmonton News (TV)

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I joined Adrienne Pan on the CBC Edmonton News on Thursday evening to discuss the Oilers preseason, and the lineup we may see on opening night next week. Clip is here and starts around the 8:30 mark: CBC Edmonton News (2017, September 28)

Couple notes:

  • I can’t emphasize enough how meaningless exhibition results are. The competition is always questionable. The veterans are playing at half-speed. And the bubble players look like the only ones trying. It’s great that the Oilers are 6-1, but you have to keep in mind that there is no correlation between preseason success and regular season success. (Source: Oilers Nerd Alert)
  • It’s been a lot of fun watching Yamamoto play. The points are great, but what I’ve been focused more on this preseason is how these younger players do away from the puck. Yamamoto has been better than I expected when it comes to forechecking and pressuring defencemen. The guy has great speed, but he’s often in a good spot to limit passing lanes.
  • I haven’t been impressed by Strome so far. His offensive game is fine, he’s pretty much the complementary type of player I was expecting. But it’s his defensive game that I’ve found concerning. He’s not overly fast or skilled, and from what I’ve seen he doesn’t often pose a challenge to opponents. Limited viewings for sure, but I’d definitely want to see a lot more from him, especially if he gets gifted top six minutes. Also – his game as a center the other night in Saskatoon wasn’t great. Definitely expected better, especially if Chiarelli views him as a center. For now, we should probably throw some cold water on those RNH trade rumors
  • The forward pairings have been pretty much what I expected back in July: Maroon/McDavid, Lucic/Drai, Jokinen/RNH and Letestu/Kassian. I think if Strome played better and if Yamamoto wasn’t as good as he’s been, Strome would’ve easily been on the top line and Puljujaarvi would’ve been with RNH. Slepyshev’s injury also complicates matters, and I think he would’ve been a nice fit with Leon. Caggiula is the other guy that hasn’t solidified a position, but I expect him to get plenty of ice time, potentially on Leon’s line.
  • If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend listening to Bob McKenzie’s interviews with the general managers of the Canadian team. (Source: The TSN Hockey Bobcast)
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