The Edmonton Oilers will square off against the New Jersey Devils Saturday. This of course Taylor Hall and Adam Larsson will get to suit up against their respective former squads.
Both are products of an offseason trade that shook the hockey world and declared a change in Oilers culture. Despite Hall’s position as the team’s leading goal scorer, the team decided they needed to change, and he was the one to go. In return, they picked up a strong, stay-at-home right-hand defenseman who looks after the puck. He was also a fourth-overall draft pick in 2011.
Now, the Oilers seem to be having a better season than last, going 20-13-7 and sitting in third place in the Pacific Division. They are within three spots of the first-place spot that Anaheim currently holds. With a victory on Saturday, Edmonton moves within one point of first and holds onto the second spot over San Jose.
Obviously, the biggest showdown Saturday will be looking at Hall and Larsson. Larsson is a minus-1 and has two goals and six points for the Oilers this season. He also has 119 hits and 71 shot blocks and is Edmonton’s most trusted guy on the top pairing.
Hall has nine goals and 25 points in 30 games with the Devils this season and has had to overcome some issues with injuries. Other than that, he has fit in well on the team’s top six and is one of the team’s scoring leaders.
In the end, with Milan Lucic and Larsson proving to be quality replacements when it comes to Hall, the Oilers hold the better record.
Brandon Davidson gets to return to action Saturday after sitting out Thursday with an illness. He will likely return to the bottom-pairing left side and work with Matthew Benning, who has been excellent for the Oilers this season.