The Final Countdown
The final dress rehearsal will take place hours from now on a thin sheet at Rogers Arena. Is Will Acton going to hang on to a fourth line spot? What about Anton Lander? Will Keith Aulie find himself on the big club now that Nikita Nikitin is out for a couple of weeks? Will you launch a cinder block through your television before a breath of the regular season even gets underway?
I've got odds on the last one.
The Oilers are saying
"I hope I get a birthday present tonight, we win & I make the team"
That's Oilers forward Bogdan Yakimov. Yakimov turns 20 today, and he'll be lined up on the fourth line with Will Acton and Mark Arcobello tonight.
Yakimov is a face who just might stick around after tonight. I would be very surprised, although not shocked if he made the team after another solid performance tonight.
The Opponent is saying
"Tonight I want our guys to play hard. We want to make sure we're ready to go when the season starts on Wednesday"
- Who sticks after tonight? Finland preseason sensation Jesse Joensuu? Keith Acton's kid? The Other Yak? One of the two defensive young guns? It's never the one you want. If I can't have Omark, you can't have what you want either.
- Oh God, Keith Aulie again?
- Anton Lander gets another look, and this one's a bit more forgiving. He's slated to go on line one with Draisaitl and Yakupov. If you're going to score a goal, tonight's a pretty good night to do so.
- No Hall tonight, but there is an Eberle. He'll join up with Boyd Gordon and Teddy Purcell, which gives me a strange, tingly feeling. Like a 2 in 1 shampoo, it tingles for the thought that Eberle, Gordon and Purcell might be linemates in the coming weeks.
The Edmonton Oilers
Anton Lander - Leon Draisaitl - Nail Yakupov
Matt Hendricks - Jujhar Khaira - Tyler Pitlick
Teddy Purcell - Boyd Gordon - Jordan Eberle
Will Acton - Bogdan Yakimov - Mark Arcobello
Keith Aulie - Martin Marincin
Darnell Nurse - Brad Hunt
Oscar Klefbom - Justin Schultz
The Vancouver Canucks
Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Radim Vrbata
Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Alex Burrows
Nicklas Jensen - Shawn Matthias - Zack Kassian
Derek Dorsett - Linden Vey - Jannik Hansen
Dan Hamhuis - Luca Sbisa
Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev
Ryan Stanton - Yannick Weber