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Preseason Games 1 and 2: Split Squad Versus Flames

A split-squad matchup begins the 2016-17 preseason. Hello, Hockey.

Darnell Nurse will pair with Brandon Davidson in Calgary tonight.
Darnell Nurse will pair with Brandon Davidson in Calgary tonight.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Hockey is back for the Edmonton Oilers.  Tonight, the Oilers and Flames will face off in a split-squad matchup.  Let's take a look at what the lineups will look like for the Oilers, along with some thoughts about who's playing where

Oilers Home vs. Flames

Milan Lucic - Drake Caggiula - Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot - Ryan Vesce - Jesse Puljujarvi

Taylor Beck - Jujhar Khaira - Kris Versteeg

Mitch Moroz - Kyle Platzer - Iiro Pakarinen

Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson

Ben Betker - Mark Fayne

Markus Niemelainen - Matthew Benning

Cam Talbot

Eetu Laurikainen

  • NEW FACES: Drake Caggiula will start out on the top line, while Jesse Puljujarvi will play wing for Benoit Pouliot and Ryan Vesce on line two.  Vesce's an interesting character, his last stint in the NHL was in 2009-10 when he appeared in nine games with San Jose.
  • Yes, that's Oscar Klefbom.  Klefbom was limited to only 30 games last year before breaking his knuckle and suffering a staff infection that ended his season.  The Oilers will absolutely need him to be a fixture on the blue this season.
  • FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  Adam Larsson and Milan Lucic will make their Oilers' debut tonight.  I hated the Hall deal too, but let's refrain from throwing garbage until the regular season.
  • THE REST:  Can Jujhar Khaira push his way onto the big club as a 12th or 13th forward?  Can we pencil Kris Versteeg into the lineup after tonight?  Will Ben Betker or Matthew Benning make enough of a push to survive until mid October?

Oilers Away @ Flames

Patrick Maroon - Anton Lander - Nail Yakupov

Matt Hendricks - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian

Braden Christoffer - Jere Sallinen - Anton Slepyshev

Patrick Russell - Josh Currie - Greg Chase

Brandon Davidson - Darnell Nurse

Jordan Oesterle - Eric Gryba

Caleb Jones - Ethan Bear

Jonas Gustavsson

Laurent Brossoit

  • Does Darnell Nurse on the right side of Brandon Davidson suggest he might be a candidate for the third RD if Eric Gryba doesn't pan out?  (I have a hard time thinking that Eric Gryba and Chiarelli aren't joined at the hip by this point)
  • FIRST LOOK: Tonight is Jonas Gustavsson's first start in Oiler colours.  Let's hope it doesn't get too ugly out there.
  • ANTON'S LAST CHANCE? - In a line that doesn't look much different from ones we've seen before, Anton Lander will centre Patrick Maroon and Nail Yakupov.  Vroom, vroom.
  • Jere Sallinen is my player to watch in this one.  Drafted in the sixth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Wild, Sallinen spent the last two seasons as a member of Jokerit.  Sallinen will centre Brandon Christoffer and Anton Slepyshev.

Both games can be seen on the Oilers' home page (check for regional restrictions)

Both games start at 7 PM MST