So today would be the first game back for Taylor Hall after “the incident” in which he hit Cal Clutterbuck hard on the thigh and took him out of the lineup, however Hall, himself, is injured. He apparently has some sort of leg injury. Clutterbuck is still out of the lineup also, so there shouldn’t be any fireworks from that yet. Apparently the twitterverse (namely some Wild fans) are calling Hall’s injury an injury of convenience, suggesting he’s out of the lineup because he’s scared of retribution. Riiiight. Anyways.
I’m excited about tonight because the lines have been reblended. The bottom six looks pretty bleak, albeit possibly strong defensively, but the top six is interesting. One, Yakupov will play with the Nuge, as will Hemsky. It will be interesting to see if Yak and Nuge can get something going. Secondly, Paajarvi and Gagner have been re-united after a long hiatus away from each other. I believe in Paajarvi’s first year, he got most of those points playing with Gagner and Omark. Playing with Eberle as well is an upgrade, so I’m anxious to see if these guys can get something going, especially with Gagner playing like the hockey Jesus lately.
The defense doesn’t see a change from the last game. Potter apparently is close to a return, so he might slot in tonight, but I’m expecting will see all the same pairings. Whitney is fresh off a good game vs. the Blues, so we’ll see if he can keep that momentum going.
OILERS LINES (GUESSTIMATED)