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Player grades: McDavid leads the way as Oilers' skill, tenacity overpowers Kraken – Edmonton Journal

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Kraken 0, Oilers 6

Edmonton Oilers iced something close to their A team on Tuesday night, and the expansionist Seattle Kraken didn’t stand a chance.

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The Oilers scored early and often, eventually pounding home 6 goals, several of the highlight-reel variety. Lots of tic-tac-toe going on in the good end of the ice. Meanwhile at the other end, for the second straight game a pair of Edmonton netminders stopped everything that came their way, 34 shots in all as the Oil rolled to the 6-0 win.

Hockey isn’t supposed to be as easy as it has seemed to this early point, and trust me, it isn’t. But it’s a nice bit of fun for Oil fans to kick things off, a reported 13,627 of whom were on hand to watch. That’s 13,627 more than the official crowd at the previous 117 (!) games at Rogers Place, 75 of which occurred in the bubble playoffs of 2020.

The game was streamed on the Oilers website, making player grades even more of a shot in the dark than usual. Normally we count on the 7-second rewind to look at key sequences multiple times, and to do an underlying analysis of scoring chances at both ends of the ice. So there are a couple of arrows missing from the quiver just now; please take the following with an extra pillar of salt.

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Player grades


#8 Kyle Turris, 7. Had a solid game on a solid line with Shore and Perlini. Started early with a good give and go to set up Perlini, then followed up the rebound for a slot shot of his own. The same combination was rewarded twice later in the game, with Turris earning a pair of assists on Perlini snipes. Had 2 shots and 2 hits of his own.

#13 Jesse Puljujarvi, 8. All over the ice, and the puck. Had a couple of nice combinations with McDavid early. Took the net front role on Edmonton’s 5-on-3 and it took him all of 9 seconds to convert, tapping home Nuge’s fine pass. Recovered the puck after a dazzling McDavid sequence and smartly got the puck right back on 97’s stick to set the stage for Hyman’s tap-in. Hustled hard all night and was richly rewarded with 1-1-2, +2.

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#14 Devin Shore, 7. Lined up on the first penalty kill unit with PTO Colton Sceviour, a pair of Dave Tippett-style players if ever I’ve seen them. Did a nice job of it too, contributing positively to two clean kills in the opening frame and 2:36 on the night. Made a terrific return pass to Perlini to earn an assist. Dominated on the faceoff dot with 11/15=73% on a night the team as a whole was below 50%.

#16 Tyler Benson, 5. 12 quiet minutes, mostly on a quiet line with McLeod and Sceviour. Did make a nice backhand area pass into a space being flooded by teammates, enabling a zone entry with speed. On possibly his best opportunity his stick snapped in two. 1 shot, 1 hit, 1 block.

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#18 Zach Hyman, 7. Got a “welcome to Edmonton” goal in the first period by going to the blue paint with his stick on the ice to tap home a splendid McDavid feed. Added an assist on the powerplay by again driving the blue paint, this time with the puck. Showed his smarts on another sequence when he appeared to be first Oiler chasing a loose puck but realized McDavid was overtaking him from behind, so smartly stepped aside and set up shop in the slot while 97 retrieved the disc and fed it out for a good Hyman shot that rang the iron.

#19 Mikko Koskinen, 7. Came in midway through and shut the door the rest of the way, including the best stop of the night at either end when he robbed Morgan Geekie from close range. Did a good job fighting through traffic, and tracking the puck through screens. For good measure went 5-for-5 in the bonus shootout at the end of the night’s action. 16 shots in open play, 16 saves, 1.000 save percentage, putting him in a four-way tie among Oilers goalies!

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#22 Tyson Barrie, 6. It was he who broke up said shootout with a nifty deke in the fifth round for the only goal. Involved in the build-up of a couple of Edmonton goals.

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#25 Darnell Nurse, 8. Opened the scoring with an end-to-end rush on the penalty kill, or should I say an end-to-high-slot rush, from where he surprised Chris Driedger with a wrist shot. Added an assist later in the evening. Game high 25:17 with 8 shot attempts, 4 hits.

#29 Leon Draisaitl, 8. Great early steal and centring pass to RNH for a close-in chance that just missed the target. Made a terrific effort on the powerplay to dive for a loose puck and chip it to the point; seconds later on the saved possession Leon got tripped down low to set up the 5-on-3. Won the subsequent faceoff to key a quick conversion wherein all 5 guys on the unit touched the puck in a 9-second execution. He was the set-up man on a later 9-second powerplay, again winning the draw before making the killer pass to McDavid for the easy finish. Made a number of wonderful passes throughout and was strong on the defensive side of the puck. 3 shots, 2 takeaways, and 7/13=54% on the dot.

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#41 Mike Smith, 6. Stopped every shot that came his way, but created a few headaches for himself with some sloppy (shall we say “rusty”) puckhandling.   Took a rare penalty for a mishandle of the puck when he somehow put a one-handed chip over the glass. Helped kill the subsequent penalty with a good handle and 200-foot clearance. 18 shots, 18 saves, 1.000 save percentage.

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#42 Brendan Perlini, 8. Drew a penalty of a hook in the hands in the neutral zone, but fought through the check, dished the puck off to Turris, then headed to the net for the return pass and a decent chance. Scored an excellent goal on a “give and stay” play where he drove down the right wing, fed the puck to Shore in the slot, but held his position for the return pass which he rocketed home. Added a second on an outside shot in the third which probably should have been stopped.

#56 Kailer Yamamoto, 6. Made some fine plays on a line with Draisaitl and RNH. Did take a bad penalty after bobbling a puck 140 feet from his own net. Took a hit to make the (fine) play when he sent Draisaitl and RNH away on a 2-on-1 that barely failed.

#70 Colton Sceviour, 6. Started the first PK and immediately made a fine play to swat an aerial pass out of the air and force it out of the zone. Was good on that unit all night, leading all forwards in SHTOi with 2:59. Fairly quiet at even strength, and struggled with 2 turnovers in a rare-rare opportunity in a late 5-on-3 where Tippett clearly didn’t want to run up the score. (Mission accomplished!)

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#71 Ryan McLeod, 5. Own-zone turnover led to one Kraken chance, then a weak clearance on the PK led to another. 0 shot attempts, 0 hits, and 25% on the dot. Did have a couple of takeaways, one of which led to a good zone entry and pass, but too many plays died on his stick.

#75 Evan Bouchard, 6. Played 24:41 on the night, a few ticks behind Nurse for the team lead. Made a good play at the d line to control the puck and get it in the general vicinity of McDavid, who turned it into a scoring chance. Made a fine sliding block of a dangerous shot while on the penalty kill. He was solid on that unit, playing a team-high 4:13 as Tippett clearly wants to get the youngster some reps. His passing was off a smidge though got stronger as the game went on. Hard to believe the Oilers can ice two powerplay units without a spot for this talented point man on either of them.

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#80 Markus Niemelainen, 6. Stuck to defence but did a good job of it, consistently clogging the lanes, taking the body (a game high 6 hits) and contributing a fine shot block.

#81 Filip Berglund, 6. Very quiet, but not in a bad way. Strong on the penalty kill. Turned defence to offence with a good chip out of the d-zone into good ice that led directly to Perlini’s first goal. If he made a mistake at any point, I must have missed it. Plays a smart, subtle game which will bear repeated observation to get a true read on it. He should get a couple more looks in the pre-season.

#86 Philip Broberg, 6. Has been something of a hit magnet, both through the two rookie games and now the two NHL games as well. That came to a head in the third period when he was on the receiving end of a questionable knee from Nathan Bastian. Much more noticeable than in Calgary, jumping into the rush a few times and getting a couple of hard shots on net. Decisively won a couple of battles deep in his own territory.

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#93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, 7. As usual played in all situations, including a brief early 5-on-3 where his gorgeous short feed to Puljujarvi richly earned him a primary assist. Later rang the post after a terrific feed from Draisaitl on a 2-on-1.

#97 Connor McDavid, 9. Best player on the ice. (Breaking…) All over the ice in the opening frame, leaving submerged Kraken in his wake. Earned a brilliant assist on Hyman’s 5v5 goal, first dangling a badly-overmatched Seattle defender one-on-one for a chance that barely missed, then got the puck back and quickly found Hyman’s tape on the edge of the crease. Earned an assist and a goal on the powerplay. Displayed his uncanny hands on more than a few occasions, controlling the puck superbly. Made one hard rush up the left side, firing a high shot right from the icing line that forced an excellent stop. His relatively paltry 16:51 TOi led all Oilers forwards on a night Tippett rolled the lines; in that time the Oilers outscored their opponents 4-0.

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Follow me on Twitter @BruceMcCurdy

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Alouettes trade for QB Trevor Harris – CFL.ca

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MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes announced on Sunday that the team has acquired veteran quarterback Trevor Harris from the Edmonton Elks in exchange for American defensive end Antonio Simmons.

In six games this season, Harris completed 135 of 192 passes, collecting 1,568 yards, adding six majors.

Harris (six-foot-three, 212 pounds) is in his ninth season in the CFL after playing in Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. In 139 career games, he completed 1990 passes for 23,750 yards, adding 126 touchdown passes. The 35-year-old quarterback has hoisted the Grey Cup twice (2012, Toronto; 2016, Ottawa). The Waldo, OH native was selected on the East Division All-Star Team in 2016. The former Edinboro University Fighting Scots suited up for the Jacksonvile Jaguars in 2010 and the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

“Trevor is a veteran who knows the league well and what it takes to win”, said Montreal Alouettes General Manager Danny Maciocia. “We are pleased to have been able to complete this transaction. We are confident that Trevor will work well with our quarterbacks. We thank Antonio for his services and wish him well.”

In 23 career games with the Alouettes, Simmons made 52 defensive tackles, five quarterback sacks and forced a fumble.

Simmons is currently in his second CFL season and joins the Elks after originally signing with Montreal in May of 2019.

The Georgia Tech product played all 18 regular season games for the Als in 2019, recording 45 defensive tackles, three sacks, and a forced fumble. In five games this season, Simmons has registered seven defensive tackles and two sacks.

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Simmons played four years (2014-17) at Georgia Tech, collecting 83 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and seven quarterback sacks. He spent time in 2018 with both the Denver Broncos and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Flames D Andersson fined $5K for roughing Oilers F Yamamoto – TSN

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Calgary Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson has been fined $5,000 for roughing Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto.

Andersson was fined the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the Players’ Association.

The money goes to the players’ emergency assistance fund.

Andersson was assessed minor penalties for both roughing and elbowing at 14:33 of the first period Saturday in Edmonton.

The Flames lost their season-opener 5-2 to the Oilers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 17, 2021.

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Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days – Sportsnet.ca

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.

Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.

The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.

The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.

“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”

The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.

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