Preseason is well under way!
It’s incredibly tough to really judge how the team is looking from their North American preseason games, with pretty much only Vancouver’s AHL squad left behind to face off against Leon Draisaitl on their own.
Still, there are a few takeaways from each game, even a tough loss like Friday night’s…
Vancouver struggled to keep up in the game through the first two periods, falling behind by two goals and getting outshot 28-14 in the process.
The first goal of the night was Vancouver’s, with Michael Carcone notching his first preseason goal at 13:17 in the opening frame to give the Canucks a surprising lead.
They would only be able to hold onto the lead for about six minutes, though, until Leon Draisaitl found the back of the net for his first of two points on the night.
From there, Vancouver would trail until the final minutes, ultimately walking away with a 5-3 final score.
It wasn’t all struggles for the B-squad, although the Oilers looked decidedly stronger (as they should, with half of their starting lineup on the ice). Jaylen Chatfield had an excellent night offensively, recording his second goal and fourth assist of the preseason alone, and Vancouver would ultimately outshoot the Oilers 13-5 in the final frame. Even if Edmonton completely took their foot off the gas during those last 20 minutes (spoiler: they did), it at least means that Vancouver didn’t, as well. That’s a good sign.
Richard Bachman? He is what he is. He looked exactly like peak mid-season Richard Bachman, which is both reassuring and mildly disappointing (he’s a great AHL starter and a replacement-level NHL backup, after all).
He started off doing pretty well but certainly didn’t have the capability to keep Vancouver in the game, which is what the team would have needed in order to eke out a win.
That being said, he did well enough that if he ends up needing to take the ice for Vancouver at any point during the season, there’s little reason to believe he’ll be anything less than the perfectly average call-up he’s been since the team first brought him on board.
On the other end of the ice, Laurent Brossoit certainly didn’t have his best showing, allowing three goals on 27 shots for a .889 save percentage against a non-NHL roster.
Edmonton has been banking on him fleshing out into a bona fide NHLer, preferably a starter, for a few years now. His performance Friday was admittedly a preseason exhibition, meaning it doesn’t count for too much, but still, gives pause given the strength of the two rosters.
- Jaylen Chatfield. Dude really got it during the game. He’s not likely to hit the NHL roster opening night, but his fire – and offensive drive from the back end – should be a welcome addition in Utica.
- Nickolay Goldobin. While he was somewhat invisible during the game (admittedly in part due to the INSANELY distracting, very loud, very homerish announcers on the only stream available), I’ve never seen such a baby face get so fired up before during that late-game scrum.
- You, for reading this. It’s preseason! Go enjoy the autumn air and a Pumpkin Spice Latte, damn.
There’s a game later tonight, sillies! With the real NHL squad. Check it out at 12:30 AM PST.