The Edmonton Oilers begin a three game road-trip tonight in Nashville in the first game of a back-to-back scheduling. A win tonight gives the copper and blue four wins out of their last five and with stops in Columbus and Dallas following tonight’s action, it could be an opportunity to build some momentum heading into December.
Boyd Gordon did not skate on Wednesday but is expected to be in the lineup Thursday night despite having numerous bumps and bruises.
Philip Larsen continues to battle a back injury and did not skate yesterday in Leduc, Alberta prior to the team flying to Nashville. As a result, the Oilers recalled Denis Grebeshkov and will carry seven defenseman on the upcoming road trip. It’s doubtful Larsen will return while the team is on the road.
Nail Yakupov did skate yesterday, one day after missing practice on Tuesday with a beat up foot and he’s expected to be in the Oilers lineup tonight against the Predators.
There was speculation that if Yakupov missed the game due to the injury that Mark Arcobello would finally draw back into the Oilers lineup. It appears that Yakupov will play but Arcobello will still return to see game action tonight as Dallas Eakins said both he and Ryan Jones would likely return.
The Arcobello scenario is a strange situation. He was told to find a permanent residence in Edmonton, meaning he was here to stay with the big club. Following that he’s been a healthy scratch for five straight games and yet still sits in sixth place amongst rookies in scoring.
It’s understandable that Eakins did not want to disrupt a winning lineup when the team won three straight and now that the streak is over, it’s time to put Arcobello back in.