Benoit Pouliot - David Desharnais - Iiro Pakarinen
Drake Caggiula - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian
Oscar Klefbom - Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera - Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse - Matthew Benning
It Is Time
It's been eleven long years since the Edmonton Oilers were last in the big dance,, but that number mercifully is reset to zero tonight. The Oilers are back where they belong, and they'll open tonight's series against the Sharks at 8 PM local time.
While it's surely a tremendous feeling to be back in the playoffs, the Oilers can't get too swept up in the moment. The Sharks allowed just 2.44 goals per game, which is fifth overall in during the regular season. Can the Oilers rattle the Sharks early and often?
The Oilers are saying
"It adds to the emotion of a series that hasn't started yet that the whole coaching staff is on our side now"
That's Sharks forward Joe Thornton on whether or not he'll dress for tonight.
Thornton's status has been in doubt for tonight's game since he sustained a leg injury after taking a nasty hit from Vancouver's Michael Chaput on April 2nd.
Have some of this
Brent Burns led all defencemen in scoring this season with 76 points (29-47-76) in 82 games. The Oilers would do very well to limit this man's successes.
$80 FOR A CONCOURSE PASS? The Oilers are offering passes to the concourse for tonight's game. Hang on, it gets better. $80 for a pass to the concourse. No seat. No view of the ice. $80, plastic only. I pray you don't have to use the washroom. But there's good news. I will charge you only half that and my reserve stock of Old Vienna is colder than hell.
MCDAVID IN THE PLAYOFFS - We are not yet sure what this man's ceiling is. He scored his 100th point of the season in Edmonton's 5-2 victory over Vancouver to close out the regular season. He's no doubt the most important cog on this team.
LINE SWITCH: Iiro Pakarinen practiced on the third line with Benoit Pouliot and David Desharnais yesterday. Other than that, nothing seems too wacky in the lineup.
NET GAINS: It's a safe bet that the Oilers will be going with Cam Talbot to start tonight. Look for the Sharks to counter with Martin Jones.
The Oilers will be without Tyler Pitlick (knee). The Sharks' Joe Thornton (leg) and Logan Couture (mouth) are both questionable for tonight's matchup. The Sharks will be at a huge disadvantage without these two centres, so don't be too surprised to see one (or both) show up if at all possible.