TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (11-15-2) vs San Jose Sharks (14-13-0)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet Oilers – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
In what came as nothing short of a surprise, the Oilers made the decision to place Mark Fayne on waivers for the purpose of reassignment to the Bakersfield Condors. Mark has struggled these past two seasons, and it is apparent that his game is nowhere close to what the Oilers need.
Fayne has certainly turned heads in Edmonton this year, but it’s for all of the wrong reasons. This season Fayne has one assist, a 45% CF and has been our worst defenceman in terms of on-ice scoring chances. When he was brought into Edmonton, I thought it was a solid move. After all, he did have some solid underlying numbers and showed that he could be a solid top-four guy. A year later, that has clearly changed.
What has been his failing point? Well he has simply been beat out of a job at this point. The emergence of young Brandon Davidson and Darnell Nurse forced the hand of the Oilers brass to make a decision. Those two guys have been playing some solid hockey of late. The move is an interesting one. It will allow for the guys in Edmonton to get some more ice time, effectively trimming the Oilers defensive corps down to seven guys.
There have been lots of people fighting both sides of the argument, and I have yet to fully figure out where I stand. With that being said, I am leaning more towards the side of Fayne just not being that great of a defenceman.
There is definitely a chance Fayne gets picked up on waivers too.
One factor that plays into it is that Fayne has a $3.625 cap hit for two more years. According to War-on-ice’s buyout calculator if the Oilers were to buyout Fayne’s remaining contract, they would owe him $1.16 million until 2019-2020. With Nikita Nikitin and Ben Scrivens already in the AHL and Fayne soon to join them, it is apparent Peter Chiarelli is trying to distance himself from some of these signings and field what he feels is the best possible lineup.
Tonight, Todd McLellan and his new Oilers squad look to get back at the team that he parted ways from.
“I think we’re starting to get things in place a little bit more,” said McLellan. “I don’t think early in the year we got comfortable, we got cocky or arrogant by any means. We’re not at that. Earlier in the year, if we won one or two, we were still trying to get our systems in place, we’re trying to figure out players. I think we’re a little more set right now, if that makes any sense, with how we want to play certain situations. So we’re playing better in those areas. Big test for us tonight and I expect us to pass it.”
I have been saying this for sometime now. It was unrealistic to expect the team to come out of the gates this year and hit it out of the park. There were a large amount of changes both on and off the ice and I am not surprised to see things starting to click for the Oilers; I mean, the team is on their first three game win streak since October 17th – 21st where they beat the Flames (5-2), Canucks (2-1OT) and the Red Wings (3-1).
Systems are coming in place, players are understanding their roles better and the coaches and management teams are realizing where the talent lies in this Oilers group. As the season moves on and when the Oilers return to a healthy team, I am really intrigued to see what happens.
San Jose could turn to backup goalie Alex Stalock after Martin Jones was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots in 23:11 of a 4-2 loss at the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Stalock made 18 saves on 19 shots. Center Logan Couture had an assist in 12:38 of ice time in his first game since Oct. 13; he missed 23 games with a fractured right fibula. “He’s obviously pushing to get back in, and I give him a lot of courage for coming out and doing that,” coach Pete DeBoer told CSN Bay Area after the game. “I can count on one hand the number of practices he’s had. We knew that he was going to have to work himself in, and that’s what it looked like tonight.” The Sharks have lost a season-high four straight games and could be without defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury. San Jose has scored six goals in four games. – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
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