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Oilers vs. Coyotes, Hemsky Returns & Young Guns Together!

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The old Oilers reunite to team with the future Oilers in a matchup against the cut Oilers.

Not only is giving us a blast from the past with the 2006 top line of Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky, he's giving us a glimpse at the future with his second line of Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle.  It's an refreshing approach for Renney - a power-vs-power line at the top and a second line with talent that will require shelter and easy zonestarts.  He won't have a third line capable of adding to the shelter level for the second, so he may have to rely on that power line in the defensive zone.  Fantasy pool owners take note.

The matchup will be streamed on http://oilers.nhl.com/

More analysis after the jump...

Phoenix Coyotes @ Edmonton Oilers 

Rexall Place, 7:00 p.m. MDT
Television: None

Expected Lineup:

Edmonton Oilers:

Smyth (94) - Horcoff (10) - Hemsky (83)
Hall (4) - Nugent-Hopkins (93) - Eberle (14)
Tyravainen (75)  - Belanger (20) - Jones (28)
Green (12) - Lander (57) - Keller (46)

Smid (5) - Fedun (81)
Sutton (25) - Gilbert (77) 
Chorney (41) - Petry (58)

Khabibulin (35)
Danis (34)

Around the world for $400, Alex:

  • Sam Gagner has a high/mid ankle sprain depending on which source is accurate.  Gagner is listed as week-to-week, and reading between the tea leaves, it doesn't sound as if he's going to be back prior to the regular season opener.  The door is now wide open for Nugent-Hopkins to play his 9 games without any sort of roster pressure.
  • Ryan Whitney still sits on the shelf.  The men on the bottom pairing, Chorney and Petry, are in competition with Corey Potter for two open roster spots on the blue.  If the roster isn't already pre-determined, this game is extremely meaningful to both gentlemen.
  • Oklahoma City veterans Josh Green and Ryan Keller are on the fourth line tonight on either side of Anton Lander, a look at what might be the Baron's top line this season.  It makes sense to keep Green and Keller on the roster and out of Barons camp - their spots are sealed.  This gives coach Todd Nelson some extra time to look at younger players and camp invitees and gives those players additional time to work out on top lines.
  • Ben Eager has not been cleared for practice and is still suffering from the effects of his concussion delivered at the hands of Kirill Tulupov
  • The smart money is on Tulupov to gain a two-way contract from the Oilers, especially after Martin Marincin was sent down. 
  • Marc Pouliot and Patrick O`Sullivan are both vying for a roster spot on a now-depleted Coyotes roster.  Pouliot quietly put up 72 points in 69 games in the AHL for Norfolk last season.  It was only his second healthy season as a professional.