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Photo Credit: Photo by Mark Williams, all rights reserved.

SMOKIN’ ACES

The deeper we get into the playoffs, the greater the chance we see one of the extra players enter the postseason. Edmonton has been blessed so far this season, with very few major injuries obstructing progress.

PART-TIME PLAYOFF OILERS

  1. Iiro Pakarinen 1gp, 0-0-0
  2. Eric Gryba 1gp, 0-0-0

Pakarinen played one game in the SJS series but Anton Slepyshev has owned the spot for six games this spring. Same deal with Eric Gryba, as Matthew Benning has (so far) played well enough to keep Gryba on the bench. Here are (according to the Oilers website) the available players who have not yet played in a postseason game this spring, in the order I think coach Todd McLellan might insert the into the lineup:

  1. Mark Fayne: Although the Oilers kept him in the AHL most of the season, Fayne is a terrific option for the club as a No. 8D. I think there is a good chance he sees some playoff action.
  2. Matt Hendricks: Veteran played in 42 regular season games but hasn’t seen playoff ice. Speed is an issue, but for me Hendricks probably gets into the lineup before the end of the playoffs for Edmonton.
  3. Anton Lander: He is well known to Oilers fans and has a skill set that Todd McLellan should value. Unfortunately, foot speed issues and inconsistent offense have him on the outside looking in. Will he get a last chance Texaco with the Oilers? Edmonton wouldn’t hesitate to insert him if the need arises.
  4. Jujhar Khaira: Big forward got into 10 NHL games during the year, but battled injury and is on the sidelines. Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev grabbed playing time that might have belonged to Khaira without injury. I still think he is part of the Oilers’ future, and I think Todd McLellan would trust him enough to play him.
  5. Griffin Reinhart: Reinhart seems to have re-emerged as an option for the team, although I’m not certain he would be inserted before Oesterle. Speed in the postseason seems to be a priority so far in Edmonton, but I’ll guess Reinhart is No. 2 on the D list.
  6. Jordan Oesterle: I think the Oilers would consider Oesterle as a third-pairing option if injury impacts the current 6D.
  7. Joey Laleggia: The best scoring option in the pressbox, Laleggia’s progress as a winger in Bakersfield was one of the best stories out of the system this season. Uncertain he will see NHL action this spring, as he has never played in an NHL game.
  8. Nick Ellis: I’m not certain what would need to happen in order for Ellis to get into the lineup, but it probably isn’t good. A fine prospect along for the experience.
RELATED ARTICLE:
2020 NHL UFA Top 30: Taylor Hall and Kyle Turris

That’s my ranking, what about you? Will Todd McLellan go with Mark Fayne on defense or Matt Hendricks among forwards, or trust a younger player? Let me know what you think.


  • MacT's Neglected Helmet

    You forgot Craig MacTavish. He’s ready to go. Ready to take faceoffs, kill penalties, and share a thing or two about what it takes to win (if there was any doubt). Just tap him on the shoulder and he’ll hop over the boards. He’s already wearing his skates, jersey, and helmet. Oops. Scratch that last one. He’s not wearing a helmet.

    • Reg Dunlop

      I’m sure he can downshift to his second favorite topic. You know, the ever-popular ‘Chia gave Hallsey away for pennies, who will push the river now that the best left winger in the game is gone, there are no advanced stats that show dressing room chemistry has value.

  • Shredder

    We’ve had enough injuries over the years that we could go the next 3 seasons without an injury and we’d still be about average for total man games lost…let’s continue to pray for good health, including whatever this cold/flu is going through their locker room.

    • oilman3

      lol? really? says the guy whose team is long out of it already. how many games again? what problems would the oilers be having right now according to you? last i checked they’ve won 5 of 7. i know that’s hard for you to wrap your little mind around. know what makes us lol? guys like you who have nothing better to do but hover around another team’s board and try to mock a team that is actually accomplishing something. you make flames fans look really bad.

    • thelinedriver86

      Lol you know your team has problems when they haven’t beaten a division opponent on the road in over a decade! Also when they get swept in he first round! Must be bored on the golf course already.

        • Matt Bartkowski… Derek Engelland…

          Oilers fans talk about the possibility of the team dressing Mark Fayne while the Flames have no choice but to regularly dress 2 players that would not likely make the starting lineup of any other NHL team. Are you sure you want to make fun of the 8th or 9th man on the Oilers defensive depth chart? That’s quite entertaining coming from a Flames fan.

      • Every time I think of Elliott flopping around and mishandling bad-angle shots puts a big smile on my face. I remember when the Flames made the trade, I was thinking that I must be crazy for thinking Elliott is average at best because Treliving clearly thought he was good by how much he gave up to get him. Here is what the article said on NHL.com:

        “The Flames gave up their second-round draft pick (No. 35) and a conditional third-round pick in the 2018 draft to get Elliott, who becomes their No. 1 goalie. The conditional pick is dependent on if the Flames re-sign Elliott.

        “We got better today, no question,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said.”

        I love reading this article while watching the Flames highlights from round 1. Unfortunately it was over so fast or else a self-help video could have been to help B-grade goalies build their hope that an NHL team will suddenly let them be their starting goalie.

        • Anton CP

          Why it is so hard for the Flames to understand that Elliott was not No.1 goalie? He struggled with the Sens and then he can’t keep his job later in St. Louis. Somehow that he suddenly became the savior for the Flames? Right after the trade that I’ve mocked Flames for obsessing with career backups when they were mocking Talbot was being one. Well, so who is the proven starter now? Good luck on finding the next career backup as your new starting goalie PfffffftLames!

    • O.C.

      He probably knows better than a starter on another team who took a penalty with 5.5 m left in a tied game, where his team had a chance to win on the road (for the first time in a billion years). That penalty put the opposition up 3 – 2 with 5 m to play.

      He probably knows better than a DIFFERENT starter on that team who cross-checked another guy in the head with just over 2 m left at the end of that same game, when his team was pushing for the tying goal in a pivotal game in a building that the team had not won in, for at least 4 billion games in a row.

      But do go on BoneMan… please… make your point.

    • Rugbypig

      I really don’t get why people are ragging on you for posting on a fantasy “What happens if there are lots of injuries” article.
      Seems some just want to hate rather than post.
      If that’s what you want, hate in the proper articles not the fantasy ones, makes you look pathetic.

    • WSO

      Remember that time flames nation was releasing articles on Mark Jankowskis ‘development’? And when Emile Poirier was a ‘prospect’. That was Neat. But carry on

    • TKB2677

      The only people who want Fayne to play for the Oilers are guys like Lowetide, Woodguy, etc who believe you can win games sorely based on what a spread sheet tells you. Fayne can’t skate overly well, doesn’t move the puck that well, produces no offense, doesn’t break up the cycle very well, isn’t tough, physical or hard to play again and loses puck battles against other players. The only thing he can do sometimes is he can be an OK defender once in a while. But according to the spread sheets that these guys do, last season when Fayne and Sekera were paired together while playing on the worst defense in the league on a team that finished second last in the NHL, they had good numbers. WOW, what a compelling case. hahah

      Thankfully, guys that know how to play & win real hockey games in McLellan and Chiarelli, make the roster decisions and only played Fayne 4 games early in the season before making him a healthy scratch for a good chuck first part of the season, then shipped him to the farm where he stayed for most of the season.

  • Mcjesuslaz

    I think this boney character might be an undercover oilers fan. Why else would he be here. It’s ok little buddy you can come out of the closet now and join our orange crush.

  • Pouzar99

    Actually Oiler fans aren’t talking about inserting Mark Fayne in the lineup. Only Lowetide and Willis are talking about it. As they always do. If Chiarelli or McLellan though Fayne was worth spit he wouldn’t have been exiled to the AHL for nearly the last 2 years. I suspect Oesterle and Reinhart are ahead of him in the pecking order.

  • Billy Charlebois

    Huge Oiler fan. Can’t stand the Flames, but I gotta say this “I know you are, but what am I” banter is really uninteresting. I guess it’s called trolling, but wow it sure takes away from intelligent, interesting discussion about hockey. Maybe it’s just me.

  • TKB2677

    I think there would have to 2 injuries on the blueline before Fayne comes in. (knock on wood). I know all the advanced stats guys like him for some reason but I don’t see Fayne as a very good playoff dman. The playoffs are tough, physical, at times nasty. Its tight hockey were one lost battle in front the net can cost you. Fayne doesn’t play tough at all, he’s not physical, not good in the corners and loses one on one battles. Against the Ducks who play a nasty style, you can’t have a soft dman like Fayne in there.

  • Ty Guy

    1.slow
    2.slow and old
    3.offensively challenged/slow
    4.Big and ???
    5.Unproven
    6.In for who?
    7.first skate in the NHL in the SCP? no thanks
    8.Markkanen ’06. please gord no.