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BLOG: Opening night lineup becoming apparent

Saturday's Oilers lineup could foreshadow Wednesday's home-opening roster

by Paul Gazzola /

The tryout period is almost over.

There's less than a week until the drop of the puck on the National Hockey League regular season and with one exhibition game remaining for Edmonton - a date with the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday - the Oilers team that plays tomorrow will be very similar to Wednesday's home-opening lineup against the Calgary Flames.

"The group that's going to roll out (Saturday) is going to look a lot like the Edmonton Oilers group," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. 

Oilers management will continue assessing the final roster spots available but the final exhibition game is all about tuning special teams and preparation. 

"That last one is about getting familiar with special teams," said McLellan. "(We will) probably have everybody in the lineup that's normally on a power play or penalty kill situation… And just polishing things up and getting prepared."

Video: PRACTICE RAW | Auvitu

Some of the players inching closer to cracking the lineup still feel like they are fitting in with the Oilers system.

"I'm still getting adjusted to the team philosophy of playing and the team structure," said defensive hopeful Yohann Auvitu. "I think the key for me is to be myself and to be my own No. 1. I'm going to be happy with that."

At the end of the day, everyone just wants to escape the exhibition season unscathed and ready to go when the games really matter.

"Usually the teams usually like to get out of it as healthy as possible and sometimes the players play that way but I hope that we're competitive and we're preparing to play because Wednesday will come quick," said McLellan.

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