Both Oilers and Flames will open their preseasons in Calgary on Sunday night. As we get set for the upcoming season this will be an interesting look at how players on both teams have progressed over the summer. Let’s look at the probable lines, at least to start with, for each team. It wouldn’t be uncommon for either team to switch goalies halfway thru the game.
You can watch the game live on EdmontonOilers.com starting at 7:00 PM MT.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Although the real answer to this question is “yes”, I’ll point out a few spots on each team that I’m looking out for.
Up front the Oilers have dressed almost all the players in the fight for 4th line spots with the McLeod and Shore lines. The Cracknell line is likely AHL bound, although it’ll be good to see Lavoie especially if he gets power play time. Ryan likely figures higher into the lineup, so this is of course a good chance to see what Sceviour and Bourgault bring, though the latter is likely bound to return to Junior this season.
The play of Bouchard and Koekkoek is a big focal point tonight as the 2 could begin their path as a regular pairing. The Broberg and Lagesson pairs are likely AHL bound, but it will be fun to see where Broberg’s game is.
One of Konovalov or Skinner is likely to start a handful of games for the Oilers this season, and the competition between the 2 is up in the air at this point. The game or two of preseason action will play a role in who gets 3rd billing on the depth chart, but so to will their time sharing the net in Bakersfield.
The Flames, as is traditional for preseason Home teams, have dressed a stronger lineup than the Oilers on paper. Backlund and Richardson’s lines are likely Calgary’s 3rd and 4th lines respectively. There are some interesting depth prospects like Phillips, but I will be looking for former 1st round pick Pelletier most of all.
The Zadorov and Valimaki pairings are likely the Flames’ 2nd and 3rd pairs, where Kylington will be in the mix, leaving Hanafin and Tanev as the likely top pair. It will be interesting to watch how Valimaki looks of course, but the chemistry between Andersson and the newly acquired Zadorov is up there as well.
Vladar was good in some time with Boston last season and is in line for the backup job.