How Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi fared in their 'Oilers debut'

Thumbnail image for eberlehallpaajarvi-edmontonjournal-macwilliam.jpegThe San Jose Sharks beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 in Wednesday night’s game in the Young Stars tournament, but just about anyone will tell you that wasn’t the real story.

Nope, it was all about the “debut” of the Oilers three big prospects: No. 1 overall pick Taylor Hall, clever forward Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi, a talented winger who sadly dropped “-Svensson” from his name this summer. The Oilers reported that Paajarvi scored a goal while Hall produced a goal and an assist in the game, but Copper & Blue provided a little more color commentary for the three players’ performances.

The attention, as always, will be on the line of Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle. Three guys expected to make the NHL roster this season and have a big impact on the Oilers’ fortunes one way or another for a lot of years. They were clearly the best line on the ice for either team but, then, you’d hope so: the Oilers had gone thoroughly front-heavy and anything less than positional dominance would have been poor reward.

They had a little tough sledding early, where the strategy seemed to be “Magnus skates like the wind, Taylor and Jordan hope he gets the puck to them somehow.” Hall actually made a pretty good account of himself at centre: he won some faceoffs and was able to get some room to work down the middle (not exactly against the finest opposition but it’s something). Paajarvi was very much the straw that stirred the drink, with the overmatched Sharks prospects having absolutely no answer for his raw athleticism and his skill on the puck, while not as good as we’ve sometimes seen, more than good enough to make plays to Hall or Eberle. Jordan was the closest thing to a weakness on the line and he suffered only by comparison. He might, however, have been better off running with Hartikainen and Pitlick or something similar so he could use his skills without being overshadowed by Paajarvi and Hall’s Flying Circus.

So for those of you who are crazy interested enough to keep a Hall vs. Tyler Seguin tally for games that really don’t matter, Hall scored a goal and an assist while Seguin put up two helpers last night.

Here are some video highlights from the game, via the Oilers official Web site. Click here to search for interviews with Edmonton’s prospects and Taylor Hall’s “first goal” with Edmonton.

Scroll Down For:

    Goalie nods: Bernier has a ‘huge’ opportunity to prove himself vs. Caps

    Jonathan Bernier
    Leave a comment

    Jonathan Bernier hasn’t been very good in ’15-16, but he’ll have a great opportunity to right the ship on Saturday night.

    Facing the Washington Capitals is never an easy task if you’re a goaltender, of course, but Bernier can’t afford to be picky with his chances.

    The 27-year-old is still looking for his first win of the season, as he has an overall record of 0-7-1. His 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage are just as bad as his record.

    Starter James Reimer is out tonight after suffering an injury in practice and although Bernier probably can’t win the starting job with just one good game, a solid performance would go a long way.

    He’ll go head-to-head with Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.


    Cory Schneider will face the Habs for the second time in two nights. The Canadiens are expected to go with Dustin Tokarski, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Montreal beat New Jersey, 3-2, in a shootout on Friday.

    -The Islanders have yet to confirm a starter, but they’ll likely go up against Ben Bishop on Saturday night.

    -Expect Linus Ullmark to go up against Pekka Rinne when the Sabres and Predators clash in Nashville. Rinne is on a season-high four-game losing streak.

    -The Oilers may turn to Anders Nilsson against the Penguins. Pittsburgh will decide between giving Marc-Andre Fleury two starts in two nights or going with Jeff Zatkoff.

    -The Stars, like Pittsburgh, will have to decide if they want to give Antti Niemi a second game in two nights. They will be going up against Devan Dubnyk and the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

    Sergei Bobrovsky will get the start in Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues. He was solid in a 2-1 OT win over the Penguins on Friday night. The Blues will counter with starter Jake Allen.

    -The Jets have yet to confirm a starter in Denver. They’ll be going up against Semyon Varlamov, who was pulled in Wednesday’s game against Ottawa after he allowed three goals on 15 shots.

    Craig Anderson will look to win his fifth straight game when the Senators take on Arizona. The ‘Yotes still haven’t named a starter.

    Jonas Hiller is likely to get the start against San Jose, while the Sharks will definitely be countering with starter Martin Jones. The Sharks goaltender is coming off a loss to the ‘Hawks, but previously won five in a row.

    Scott Darling will put his 2-2-1 record on the line against the Kings. Jonathan Quick will probably be between the pipes for the Kings. Quick has a 7-15-1 record against the ‘Hawks in his career.

    The verdict is in: Dubinsky gets one game for cross-checking Crosby


    Brandon Dubinsky has been suspended one game for his cross-check to the back of Sidney Crosby‘s neck.

    The incident took place during the second period of Friday’s game.

    Crosby did head to the locker room after the play, but he was able to return.

    When deciding on the number of games to give Dubinsky, here’s what the NHL took into account:

    1. Dubinsky delivered a clear cross-check.
    2. Dubinsky has been fined before, but never suspended.
    3. Crosby wasn’t seriously injured on the play.

    “In this case, while Dubinsky’s cross-check isn’t overly violent or forceful, it is an intentional strike to an opponent’s head using his stick,” the NHL said in their explanation of the play. “This is not a case where the head contact was caused by a sudden movement by Crosby or by a stick riding up a player’s back or shoulders and making subsequent contact with the head.”

    Click on the video at the top of the page to watch the NHL’s full explanation.

    The Blue Jackets take on the Blues in St. Louis tonight.

    Ready to Roll: Oilers activate Schultz from IR, send down Reinhart

    Justin Schultz
    Leave a comment

    The Edmonton Oilers activated defenseman Justin Schultz off injured reserve and assigned Griffin Reinhart to the minors.

    Schultz has missed the last 14 games because of a back injury, but he’ll suit up in Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    The 25-year-old has one assist and a minus-6 rating in nine games in ’15-16.

    Here’s his interview with Oilers TV from earlier today:

    Reinhart was acquired in an off-season trade with the New York Islanders this summer.

    The former fourth overall pick has no points and a minus-1 rating in 12 games with the Oilers.

    The Leafs will be without Reimer on Saturday

    James Reimer
    Leave a comment

    James Reimer (lower body) won’t be available to play in Saturday’s game against Washington.

    Reimer was injured during a team practice earlier this week and although the injury didn’t appear to be serious, it will prevent him from suiting up in at least one game.

    The Leafs originally thought that the 27-year-old would be good to go for this tilt, but head coach Mike Babcock said Reimer didn’t feel good enough to play.

    Reimer’s emerged as the go-to-guy for the Maple Leafs this season and for good reason.

    He has 7-3-4 record with a 2.07 goals-against-average and a .934 save percentage in 15 games.

    Another reason the Leafs have been counting on him so much is because Jonathan Bernier‘s been awful.

    Bernier will get another opportunity to prove himself on Saturday night, but he faces a stiff test against Alex Ovechkin and company.

    The 27-year-old has an 0-7-1 record with a 3.17 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage in ’15-16.

    In a corresponding move, the Leafs sent defenseman Scott Harrington to the minors and recalled goalie Garret Sparks.

    Sparks was Toronto’s seventh round pick in 2011.

    The 22-year-old has an 8-2-1 record with the Toronto Marlies this season.