Confirmation this afternoon (well, actually late morning) that Connor McDavid has been skating for the last week or so and is ahead of schedule for his return. Reports are here and here. The timeline for return remains something of a mystery—guesses range from New Year’s Eve to post All-Star break—but this has to be regarded as encouraging.
Meanwhile, Todd McLellan appears to be shuffling lines in an effort to find offense from a depleted lineup. Here are today’s lines:
Meanwhile, Benoit Pouliot is skating with the team and one would hope we will see him soon. That top line looks loaded, and there is a chance we see it when all hands return. A No. 2 line of Pouliot—McDavid—Eberle has some appeal and I do think Edmonton is anxious to see 97 and 14 together on a line. Where does that leave Nail Yakupov? Don’t know.
THREE SCORING LINES
One thing we have talked about at length on this blog: Three scoring lines, or unicorns as we often call it. I like the idea of three scoring lines, but it is very difficult to find playing time for three lines. Todd McLellan used Joe Pavelski as the 3C while also moving him up at times, maybe that is something that he could do in Edmonton.
Oilers could also run the Nuge on a shutdown line with (say) Lander and Korpikoski, but that is $6M for what amounts to a checking line—plus Nail Yakupov would be out in the cold.
Raley Field ready for Friday night's American Hockey League game between the Stockton Heat and Bakersfield Condors. pic.twitter.com/o47if4GzW7
— Steve Martarano (@MartArchives) December 16, 2015
Condors are playing an outdoor game tonight, will have updates as the evening rolls along.
#AHLOutdoors (players w/ outdoor exp.): Simpson (NoDak) Hamilton (TOR) Platzer (LDN) Oesterle (WMU) Ford (HER / WIS) Fayne (NJD) Roy (QUE)
— Bakersfield Condors (@Condors) December 18, 2015
— Murray Pam (@Pammerhockey) December 18, 2015
No idea what they could be looking for, Edmonton doesn’t play either team in the near future. If the scout is looking for Senators, I would love to see Patrick Wiercioch, Curtis Lazar, Cody Ceci or any number of fine young players coming this way. The Sharks? No idea, but you have to think Todd McLellan’s intel would be good on their group.