EDMONTON, AB - Only one more sleep left.
The Edmonton Oilers participated in practice on Tuesday ahead of Opening Night on Wednesday, when the Vancouver Canucks travel to Rogers Place for Game 1 of the 82-game regular-season schedule.
The club finalized its 23-man roster on Monday afternoon, loaning forward Kyle Turris to the Bakersfield Condors of the American Hockey League and recalling defenceman Philip Broberg. William Lagesson was placed on Injured Reserve (IR), while blueliner Oscar Klefbom and goaltender Alex Stalock were placed on Long Term Injured Reserve. Three players - forwards Josh Archibald, Dylan Holoway, and defencemen Dmitri Samorukov - will begin the year on the injured non-roster list.
Forward Devin Shore was not on the ice Tuesday, but Zack Kassian took part in his first full practice since sustaining an upper-body injury in the third period of a 3-2 pre-season win over Vancouver last Thursday.
Get news, notes, videos and more from the day below.
Video: PRACTICE | Hockey Eve 10.12.21
Lines at Tuesday's practice appeared as follows:
Draisaitl - McDavid - Puljujarvi
Hyman - RNH - Yamamoto
Foegele - Ryan - Kassian
Perlini - McLeod - Sceviour
Benson rotated in on right wing.
Nurse - Barrie
Keith - Ceci
Russell - Bouchard
Koekkoek - Broberg
Video: THE PANEL | Season Preview 21-22
Head Coach Dave Tippett's update on Devin Shore, who did not skate on Tuesday:
"He tweaked something in practice yesterday or this morning. He was going to see the doctor today, so we'll re-evaluate in the morning. Day-to-day, I would think."
Tippett on beginning the season with McDavid and Draisaitl on the top line together and the thought process behind reuniting them:
"With the additions we've made, we feel like we've got some extra depth down there. We want to see how it works out. Connor and Leon have a great track record together. Hyman coming in, Foegele coming in and Derek Ryan give us some of that extra depth. We're going to see what we have early.
On Zack Kassian's status:
"He's seeing some doctors this afternoon to go through some tests. We'll see where he gets in the morning."
Video: RAW | Dave Tippett 10.12.21
On Kyle Turris' availability for Wednesday:
"He will be available to us."
On McDavid's work to improve his one-timer:
"I think he's jealous of Leon because Leon scores a lot like that (laughing). It's funny. Leon had that one little play on the powerplay that they tried for years, where he got it on his backhand and finally scored one in Nashville last year. Connor's trying to find one on a one-timer this year. That's the goal. After he gets one, it'll be move on to the next thing.
"His shooting is actually really good. He's got a quick release on shooting. It's just the one-timer, he hasn't been in position. He's usually the guy feeding the guy for the one-timer rather than getting it. It's great that he's looking to add to his arsenal every time he can get a chance. Great players do that. It's fun to watch him do it because guys are giggling when he does it in practice. I think he'd like to try one of those ones on the goal-line where Leon scored last year, too. You love it. You love it when guys want to get better."
Oilers Captain Connor McDavid on any uncertainty regarding the lineup heading into Wednesday's Home Opener:
"I think there's always a level of uncertainty for every team as you head into the new year. We're no different. We've got new people and new bodies but I think we've liked our pre-season and our Training Camp. We like where our game is at and guys have gelled well. You can see a little bit more of an identity throughout the lineup and we're definitely very confident heading in."
Video: RAW | Connor McDavid 10.12.21
McDavid on prepping the powerplay over the pre-season:
"The powerplay is such a rhythm thing. Being able to be out there and see the same type of look over and over again, and just feel where guys are going to be at, it's so big for our power play. Overall, our powerplay is feeling pretty good heading in."
On the Foegele-Ryan-Kassian line and the type of game they play:
"Every team that is successful in this League I feel like has kind of like an identity line. That's big for us. We've tried to have lines like that and I don't think we've had one quite like that line there. It has a chance to be a really, really good line for us. Forecheck the puck hard, skate well, be physical and create momentum for us."
On the improvements he's made to his one-timer:
"It's like anything, just repetition. For some guys, shooting the puck comes really easy and for others, it doesn't. I would fall under the category where it doesn't. I really got to work at it and I try my best to do what I can and round out my game to score from a distance. So many teams are worried about my speed that they kind of back in. If I can find a way to shoot it by some guys and score from outside, it might force them to come up and I can beat them wide again. That's what I'm thinking."
Goaltender Mike Smith's impressions of the club during pre-season and what he hopes to see from the group Wednesday against the Canucks:
"I want to see us win. The pieces we've added change the dynamic of our forward group. We've added some veteran players that played in the League a long time and really can contribute not only on the ice but in the locker room. The faster we can get on the same page and play the same way, it will only benefit our team. As a group, we want to get off to a good start. What better way to do that than with a win tomorrow."
Video: RAW | Mike Smith 10.12.21
Smith on seeing the team in action:
"Any time you add pieces over summer, there's obviously excitement in the air, especially with the type of players we did add. But if you look at it on paper, it can only go so far. We have to go out on the ice and make it happen. This group has done a lot of good things over the pre-season. Hopefully, that can transfer to some good hockey for the real stuff."
Smith on McDavid's motivation heading into a new year:
"He's very focused. I see that. You see a determined player that, coming off the season that he did, you just see a player that wants to do more. It's exciting playing with a guy like that, that isn't satisfied with the season he had last year. He wants to be on the other side, the winning part of it. Connor's just a determined young man that's just going to continue to get better, which is scary to think. He puts in the work, puts in the time to be the best he can be. He'll be a huge part of our team's success this year."
Smith on McDavid's determination to improve his shooting:
"I noticed that before camp started, him working on that. He was laughing, I don't think he's ever scored a one-timer goal. That's one area that he was excited to get better at, and he's definitely improved at it. It will be interesting to see where he ends up on the powerplay but he might end up in Leo's spot."