The Edmonton Oilers continue their east coast road-trip tonight when they visit the New York Islanders. Remember when the boys of Long Island were an easy two-points? Yeah, those days are long gone and such is not the case any more.
Rather, this is an Islanders team that is on the rise and it’s a core of young talent that is centered around John Tavares that gives them their heart beat.
The Oilers meanwhile are in search of their first road win of the season and coincidentally it would break a four-game losing skid. Edmonton put together a better effort in Pittsburgh but in the end they were another victim of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin show that terrorizes opponents.
All the rage surrounding the Oilers isn’t their loss to the Penguins or even their four-game losing streak. Lately it’s been around the trade rumors that continue to circle this club as a result of their poor start and one name in particular continues to surface; Nail Yakupov.
Ever since he was a healthy scratch for two straight games, the rumors have been relentless involving number 64. The latest has him heading to Buffalo for Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller. As if the pressure of not scoring a goal yet this season wasn’t enough, the 20-year old now has to deal with all the media salivating over a potential blockbuster between Edmonton and Buffalo. A mega-deal that centers around Yakupov. The poor kid has to be distracted and that wouldn’t help anyone’s game, let alone a second-year player who is trying to get the monkey off his back.
Anyway, we’ll see how Yakupov plays tonight on the island. Here are the lineups, followed by the note worthy section.