It’s a big night in Saskatoon for the bubble players and it’s a surprising night because so many men find themselves in a bubble position. Kailer Yamamoto is there because he exceeded expectations, my sense is that Jesse Puljujarvi and Yohann Auvitu are there because the performances over the last 10 days have been shy. For Brad Malone and Chris Kelly, it was always going to be two weeks in the bubble and the fact both men are here represents victory.
- Anton Slepyshev is skating but not ready to play.
- Ryan Stanton has a foot fracture.
- Source: Reid Wilkins.
In a way, the Slepyshev injury is timely. It allows the Oilers to keep Jesse Puljujarvi on the roster (if that’s the priority) or keep a veteran center like Chris Kelly (the penalty kill doesn’t look like any screaming hell).
- Surprised Connor McDavid is playing but I think the organization wanted to give Yamamoto a full shot on his line. A strong performance by the rookie tonight means he’s on the roster in my opinion, he may already be there.
- Jesse Puljujarvi is still in the race, although if you read the tea leaves (below) feels like it’s over.
- Ryan Strome is in the middle on the third line, interesting option. Although there was talk of putting Nuge on RW with 97 before camp, we haven’t seen it. Perhaps that’s a bullet in the chamber.
- Auvitu with Larsson is just about ideal situation for Johann, wonder if that’s an alignment we might see during the year.
- Cam Talbot backs up this evening.
$80 MILLION CAP?
Elliotte Friedman has his 31 Thoughts out, some fantastic information as always. Interesting item on Patrick Maroon as well.