The neverending pre-season rolls on with a second tune-up game against Winnipeg as our boys will look to tack on a third pre-season win overall and a second straight win against the Jets.
Now that we’ve officially reached the midway point of the pre-season, I’m hoping the pace of news (and the games for that matter) will start to pick up a little bit as we draw nearer to the starting line. Even last night against the Flames, I found that having more NHLers in our lineup made the whole thing significantly more exciting, and even though I know the pre-season will never be a barrel of fun, I’m hoping the back nine will have more interesting stories to follow and a better product on ice to cheer about. Either way, I’m still of the mind that the NHL pre-season is more than twice the length it should be, and the longer this goes on, the thing I find myself hoping for the most is that our guys are able to make it through to the final buzzer in one piece. Honestly, since I couldn’t care less about the score in these things, manifesting player health is where all my energy will be going from now on, especially after Connor ran into Kane at centre ice last night.
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Heading into Winnipeg, the Oilers will be facing a Jets team that won’t look a whole lot like the one they faced last weekend as many of their regulars are slotted to play in this one. And as the opposing lineups look more and more like what they’ll have on opening night, the pressure increases for those that don’t have their spot secured quite yet. For basically anyone outside of the top nine, time is running out in a real hurry for anyone that’s hoping to make enough of an impact to land themselves a gig. With limited spots available, Jay Woodcroft and his staff will need to make some interesting decisions over the next week or so, and that doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for mediocrity. Gone are the days when we had spots on the roster for projects with upside, we need players that can contribute now, and that likely means the end of the road for some guys that expected to have a job this year. Let’s see is anyone makes a case for themselves today in Winnipeg.
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WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR

On Friday, the Oilers trimmed their training camp roster to start moving towards our opening night roster. If you missed it, here’s what happened in the first round of cuts.
  • Goaltender Ryan Fanti and forward Ty Tullio were loaned to the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.
  • The trio of Dino Kambeitz (F), Yann Kaldis (D), and Darien Kielb (D) were all released from their PTOs and returned to the Condors. Filip Engaras (F) will also report to the Condors after he was released from an amateur tryout.
  • Matvey Petrov (F) was sent back to the OHL’s North Bay Battalion.
  • This morning, the Oilers waived Seth Griffith for the purpose of assignment to the Bakersfield Condors.

LINEUPS…

Oilers ***UPDATED****

Holloway-Malone-Puljujarvi
Janmark-Shore-Ryan
Benson-Hamblin-Virtanen
Esposito-McKegg-Bourgault
Broberg-Demers
Niemelainen-Kesselring
Samorukov-Kemp
Skinner
Pickard
BEFORE ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING THESE ARE PLACEHOLDER LINE COMBOS FROM THE LAST AWAY GAME ON WEDNESDAY… I’ll jump back in to make the edits as soon as the Oilers put out any information, which has been coming later and later throughout the pre-season.
***UPDATE**** Line combos are in for the night

Jets

Perfetti – Dubois – Wheeler
Maenalanen – Lowry – Appleton
Reichel – Gustafsson – Lambert
Harkins – Toninato – Stenlund
Dillon – Pionk
Stanley – Schmidt
Heinola – Samberg
Hellebuyck

TONIGHT…

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers started the pre-season with a win over Winnipeg and they will continue into the second half of the pre-season with the same result. 4-2 win. Book it.
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OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The airport joke will never die.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The power play scores its first goal of the pre-season.

#NATIONVACATION TO LAS VEGAS

  • When: On Thursday, January 12th, we’re jumping on a flight at the Edmonton International Airport and making our way to Vegas. On Sunday evening, we’ll fly back from Vegas to Edmonton. So the dates that you need to block off for this trip are January 12th to 15th.
  • Where we’re staying: After landing in LV, we’ll jump on the free shuttle and make our way to the Park MGM before settling in for a good night’s sleep. 😉
  • What you get: Your roundtrip flight, hotel, shuttle, viewing party (Friday night), game entry — we got seats this time (Saturday night), and exclusive entry into our pre-trip ‘get to know everyone’ event.
  • How Much: The total cost for the trip, flight, hotel, and entry to the game is $1499 per person (based on double occupancy) 
  • Tickets: Ready to dive in? Click this link.