Edmonton Oilers Prepare for Key Pacific Matchup

The Edmonton Oilers were back on the ice Wednesday morning, preparing for a key Pacific Division matchup.

Edmonton will take on Los Angeles Thursday, then face Vancouver on New Year’s Eve. Following a 3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks Friday, Edmonton fell out of the Pacific Division lead, but doesn’t trail far behind. They are still in the race for the lead, and can definitely reclaim their spots with a win over the Kings.

Projected Forward Lines

The Oilers had similar forward lines to what we have seen of late for their morning skate Wednesday.

Forwards

Milan Lucic-Connor McDavid-Jordan Eberle

Patrick Maroon-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins-Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot-Drake Caggiula-Jesse Puljujarvi

Matt Hendricks-Mark Letestu-Zack Kassian

Sekera Absent from Skate

Andrej Sekera was not on the ice for Wednesday’s practice, and his status remains unknown. It is not clear if it was just a maintenance day, or if he has been injured. Whatever the case may be, losing Sekera at this point in time would be concerning for Edmonton, as he has been one of the best blueliners for the team this season.

In 36 games this season, Sekera has four goals and 17 points and is a plus-9. Not only can he start the rush, but he’s a great defenseman who knows how to watch his man and play a solid game on the backend. If he is injured, expect Edmonton to switch Russell back to the left side or recall a defenseman. In this case, Matthew Benning would likely draw back into the lineup.

Right now, there is no update on Sekera, but we will provide more on the Oilers veteran defender as more comes out. Besides, it could just be a maintenance day and nothing more.

New-Look Oilers

Edmonton earned five out of six points on their road trip and looked excellent all-around against San Jose. Cam Talbot proved outstanding between the pipes, and the Oilers brought aggression on the backcheck and more push in their offensive game.

Overall, this is a more confident team than the one we’ve seen in the past. They come to the rink expecting to win hockey games, and they are able to take on any team, no matter the opponent.

These aren’t the Oilers of the past, and moving forward, they don’t have to worry about who their opponents are, because they are confident they can stack up.

This article originally appeared on