TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (17-23-3) at San Jose Sharks (21-18-2)
Location: SAP Center
Time: 8:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Welcome back to San Jose, Todd.
The Oilers head coach and his assistants make their first return to San Jose after we hired them away, and the team seems to be ready to get them a win.
“We want to do as much as we can for them as they do for us,” said Brandon Davidson.
The Oilers get two fresh bodies into the lineup as Nail Yakupov returns from injury, and Zack Kassian plays his first game in the Oilers gear.
Earlier today, the Oilers waived Rob Klinkhammer a day after recalling Zack Kassian from the Bakersfield Condors. Kassian is set to draw into the lineup tonight, playing alongside Anton Lander and Nail Yakupov.
Yakupov, who suffered a high ankle sprain after an awkward fall with a linesman on November 27th, will play his first game back tonight after missing the last 22.
I am really excited to see what Kassian can bring to the lineup. His style of play is one that the Oilers have lacked, and if things go the way I think they will, Kassian will be an Oiler for a while.
He is certainly a guy that can be an impact player.
The Oilers are continuing to patiently wait for the return of Connor McDavid. I am firmly in the belief that he has been ready for some time, but the team has decided to hold him back out of fear of reinjury. Despite that, he is going to return at more than 100% which is not a bad thing at all.
He will provide a much needed spark when he does return. I would really like to see him get a game or two in before the All-Star Break.
Last night, BLH wrote an article after hearing from some of his sources that there have been ongoing discussions with the Sabres, Canadiens and Capitals.
It had been suggested that the Oilers were low-balled by the Canadiens after they offered Lars Eller and Alexi Emelin for Nugent-Hopkins and our 1st, which is laughable. Nathan Beaulieu and Jared Tinordi are two players who I would be interested in from Montreal.
I feel that any deal the Oilers make involving any of the “core” pieces of this team comes in the offseason, but that’s an article for another day.
The Otherside via Kevin Kurz, CSN Bay Area:
Instead, San Jose will try to build off of what it has done lately, including three straight wins and four games in a row in which the club has been pleased with its effort and performance. The Sharks (21-18-2, 44 points) are still seeking their first back-to-back home wins of the season, something they can accomplish on Thursday after they thumped the Maple Leafs last Saturday, 7-0.
“The first time we played against [Edmonton], a staff we were familiar with, there’s a bit of an excitement there. Now for us it’s probably just another game,” Tommy Wingels said. “It will be exciting for him to come back here, but for us, we’ve had that game against him already and gotten it out.”
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer actually got together with McLellan on Wednesday night for coffee to discuss this summer’s World Cup Young Stars team. McLellan is the head coach, and added DeBoer to his staff after the pair served in the same roles at last year’s World Championships for Team Canada. It’s evident they’ve become friends and formed a strong mutual respect.
“He’s excited to be back,” DeBoer said. “For us, this is an important game, so that’s the stuff that’s just noise on the outside for our group.”
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Daily Faceoff:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Iiro Pakarinen
Benoit Pouliot – Leon Draisaitl – Jordan Eberle
Lauri Korpikoski – Mark Letestu – Teddy Purcell
Nail Yakupov – Anton Lander – Zack Kassian
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Darnell Nurse – Justin Schultz
Brandon Davidson – Eric Gryba
San Jose Sharks (Martin Jones):
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Matt Nieto – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Joonas Donski – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Melker Karlsson – Chris Tierney – Mike Brown
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Dylan Demelo
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