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Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Talbot Doubtful to Play Tomorrow

Cam Talbot didn’t practice this morning and head coach Todd McLellan confirmed he is very doubtful for tomorrow’s tilt against Colorado. He is out with an illness and won’t be available tomorrow. We will find out later today if the Oilers recall Laurent Brossoit to backup Al Montoya.

It isn’t ideal timing, but Montoya has played well when he’s been called upon in relief since being acquired from Montreal. In 120 minutes coming off the bench, Montoya has a .956sv% and a 1.00 GAA. Peter Chiarelli acquired Montoya because he wanted a consistent, reliable veteran to fill in when Talbot needed a night off, or in this case wasn’t able to play.

So far he’s done it in relief, and now he’ll get his chance to win a game as a starter.

Montoya won’t be nervous. This will be his 132nd start in the NHL. He doesn’t need to be spectacular, just steady.

QUICK HITS…

Zack Kassian didn’t skate either, for family reasons, but he should be available tomorrow according to McLellan. Adam Larsson will not play as he is still attending to a personal situation.

The Oilers practice started at 11 a.m. this morning on Rogers ice, but the powerplay was out early on the community rink working on things. The PP has plummetted down the rankings since November 20th. They are 7 for 75 in their last 29 games, for a league-low 9.3%. It is vital their PP improves. Same goes for the PK.

The Oilers lines at practice were the similar to what they ended last Thursday’s game versus Calgary with. The Oilers did not start well, and switched up the lines (although it was only eleven forwards) midway through the game, and came back to win 4-3 in a shootout.

Cammalleri-McDavid-Draisaitl
Lucic-Khaira-Puljujarvi
Maroon-Strome-Caggiula
Pakarinen-Letestu-Slepyshev

These were the lines this morning. Kassian is likely to dress tomorrow, and I’d guess Iiro Pakarinen comes out for him. McClellan said earlier this week Mark Letestu will likely return to the lineup so I see them going with four lines.

I like Khaira down the middle, and while I’m still not sold as Strome as a centre, he did play very well versus Calgary. I don’t make too much of the lines, since they can change quickly, but I have more of an issue with how the lineup looks considering some of the wingers they traded recently. You’d like a bit more scoring power, no question, and the injury to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins does play a factor of course, but this lineup has a lot of players who have yet to establish themselves as consistent NHLers. You see lots of positives from Khaira and Jesse Puljujarvi, and some glimpses from Strome, Slepyshev and Caggiula, but they will need those players to start contributing regularly if they want a balanced attack.

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  • freelancer

    Shows how poor the Oilers are on the right side. In a scenario like this Draisaitl should absolutely be centering his own line but MacLellan wants at least one line that can produce so he has no choice but to keep Drai and McDavid together.

  • Spoils

    Spilled milk lineup for today’s game:

    Barzal-McDavid-Eberle
    Hall-Draisaitl-Puljujarvi
    Cagiula-RNH-Slepy
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian

    Klefbom-Sekera
    Nurse-Petry
    Schultz-Davidson

    Dubnyk

      • btrain

        I think you could easily have this group under the cap for this season
        – Barzal/McDavid/Puljujarvi/Nurse all on entry levels.
        Cagiula/Slepy/Khaira/Kassian/Letestu are reasonably cheap
        – Klefbom, Petry, Schultz, Sekera would be about a Pouliot buyout more than Klefbom, Sekera, Larson, and Russell.
        – Dubnyk and Talbot are about $200,000 apart so that is a wash.
        – Big ticket players would then be: Eberle, Hall, RNH all at 6 and Drai at 8.
        – So essentially you have 1 extra 6 million dollar player and about 2 million across other positions. But the proposed line combinations are also without Maroon’s 2 mil and Strome’s 2.5.
        – Considering they have an extra 8 mill in cap space right now, this hypothetical line up would definitely fit under the cap and it sure looks good on paper! haha

    • Ko-D

      Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
      Hall-Barzal-Eberle
      Khaira-RNH-Puljujarvi
      Pitlick-Hendricks-Kassian

      Klefbom-Petry
      Nurse-Osterle
      Schultz-Sekera

      Dubnyk or Talbot

      This team keeps quitting on great players and selling low instead of building slowly and loyally. No player is perfect, they all have flaws. You gotta make them believe in their strengths and abilities. 👊🏻

  • Natejax97

    Don’t really care what the lines are at this point, as long as we can keep the puck out of our net and put the puck in theirs.

    Get well soon Talbs!! Will need you Tuesday!

  • lee

    Wonder what’s up with Larsson, its been over a week , hopefully its not something that’s really serious.
    This is a good time for the Oilers to look at lines that might be next year.
    Every night they are getting further away from the playoffs, I would like them to just get it right next season and by that I mean systems that work for this team because this year the coaching staff have done a terrible job.
    The coaching has to be better next year, no matter who is in charge.

      • Oilerboy1112

        I’m not a hundred percent sure if this is true or not, but it’s a small rumour, apparently the Oilers players aren’t getting a long, meaning that the locker room is split. Again I’m not sure if that’s true or not.

      • jultz=2cups!😂😂

        Dumbest comment ever right here and oilersnation loves it. Every goalie drops to their knees. It’s called the butterfly. Is he supposed to sit on his arse to cover the bottom half of the net?? Lay on his side?? Anyone who cheered this comment needs to buy the book, hockey for dummies. It will probably help you guys immensely. I can’t believe a hockey fan site doesn’t know what the butterfly is. Classic oilersnation!!!! 😂👍😂👍

  • The Jags’ Other Fan

    Glad Montoya will get a chance as he’s played well since arriving. Although, I hope Talbot’s not out for too long. Still can’t believe Chia traded for a much needed experienced backup but included a disincentive to play the player. A 5th to 4th rounder isn’t all that different in terms of value but doesn’t look good. I wonder if there’s a games played clause in Montoya’s contract that affords bonus money that the Habs would pay in exchange for the improved draft pick…or something like that.

  • TKB2677

    So Talbot is the guy who on the first Monday back after being on holidays, he calls in sick. So the Oilers got their bye week, an allstar break and have only played 3 games in 2/3 of a month but Talbot gets sick right after the allstar break. That’s about right.

  • nijames

    That is a very week NHL lineup after the first 2/3 of the first line. Let’s face it if you are playing Cammalari on the first line your team is in dire need of wingers. He use to be a decent 2nd line player but no longer is that the case. To much talent traded away over the last few years.

  • Natti_89

    On another note….OMG we can now sing O Canada with “all of us command” sigh I don’t remember having a vote in this. May as well change the flag colours too.

  • Soccer Steve

    Not sure where to post this so I’ll put it here…caught the 3rd and OT of Wings vs. Sharks. The reffing was absolutely pathetic. So it’s not just the Oil who are victims (is that the right word to use?), it’s a much bigger problem I suspect.

    • RJ

      If you only watch the Oilers, it is a surprise to learn how bad the reffing is in general. Terrible calls, terrible non-calls. Give me a game or two with a single referee. At least you know what a penalty is on both ends of the ice.

    • jultz=2cups!😂😂

      Classic oilersnation bailing on their starting goaltender after a rough stretch and falling in love with a backup that’s played only parts of 3 games. Remember when you guys loved brossoit last year?? You guys were sure he was gonna be a starter soon!! 😂😂👍👍😂😂

  • TKB2677

    For all those people taking about having Petry, Schultz, Osterle in the Oilers defense. You better hope the forward group can light it up big time because that defense group would SUCK defensively. You would have 5 guys – Sekera- Schultz, Petry making 5.5 mill a piece because that is what they all currently make. Sekera is a #3 when healthy and playing well but Petry and Schultz are #4’s. People complain about the Russell contract and I am not a Russell fan but it’s cheap compared to Petry.

    • GCW

      The correct answer for the defense should have been:
      Sekera – Petry,
      Klefbom – Severson,
      Nurse – Davidson

      Hynes seems to fell the same way about Severson that Eakins felt about Petry. The summer the oilers traded for Larsson they probably could have had Severson for draft picks and a forward prospect like Slepy.