WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE (1:36 AM EDMONTON TIME) -- Coach McLellan mentioned that Jujhar Khaira will not play tonight. Kris Russell skated but will not play. Adam Larsson won't play and didn't skate.
Projected lines can be found below.
COLOGNE, GERMANY - The Edmonton Oilers wrap up their pre-season schedule on Wednesday with a unique exhibition contest against the Cologne Sharks (or Kölner Haie as they're known locally).
There are plenty of storylines heading into this one, but none bigger than Oilers star Leon Draisaitl going head-to-head with his father Peter Draisaitl who is the head coach of the Sharks club.
"It'll be pretty weird. Usually he's always on my side. This time, I hope he's not on my side," Leon Draisaitl laughed.
Peter Draisaitl was asked how he'd approach this game from his point of view.
"Pretty much the same as any other game. We're going to take a couple clips from their games and that'll be it."
Draisaitl's Sharks club is 2-4-0 on the season so far, with some large turnover in the offseason.
"We're still looking for our identity. We replaced 12 players in the summer and we have a lot of players in key positions who are coming to Germany for the first time from other leagues, Russia and Sweden. They still don't know the players, opponents, buildings. We're still a work in progress and not done yet."
Three of the players who did return once played for the Edmonton Oilers in their careers: Ryan Jones, Corey Potter and Steve Pinizzotto.
"Any time you can put a game together like this and get a chance to play in it, it's a cool situation," said Jones, who was then asked what he feels the local fans want to see from the game.
"They probably want to see 17 goals from Leon Draisaitl, maybe another 17 from Connor McDavid and one from us, who knows," Jones chuckled.
"They want to see those guys. Those are players they normally only get a chance to see on TV and for them to see them live is pretty special. I'm sure they want to see us win 25-0. They're passionate fans. The Oilers will see that tomorrow. They're soccer fans crammed in a hockey rink. There'll be flags all over the place, chants and a lot of noise."
Milan Lucic played a game overseas in 2010 when his Boston Bruins visited the Belfast Giants in Ireland.
"I remember the Belfast game. Even though they weren't a very good team, we found ourselves down 1-0 and it took until the last minute of the second period to finally get a goal because we were out of our element with the big ice," Lucic said. "Just the width of it, you had a hard time to get your bearings and the net seemed like it was in the wrong place."
The Bruins tied that game late in the second and ultimately went on to win 5-1.
"It took two periods to adjust to that. Even today at times it felt weird when we were doing the five-on-five stuff down low. Especially as a winger, you don't realize how far you have to go to get over but it's just one game and then you get back into your element."
Oilers head coach Todd McLellan said that normally there would need to be adjustments when playing on international ice but considering it's an exhibition game and the team goes back to the North American surface when opening their season against the Devils on Saturday in Sweden, they won't do much if anything.
"We won't mix our game up at all. You can see even in practice today we practiced drills that we'd normally do on the North American ice. With all due respect to the game here, the fans and everybody who is watching -- and we want to play as well as we can -- we want to focus on playing on the North American ice surface and plan our game accordingly. Prior to the game, we'll talk about some potential changes or things we'll feel that night. We're not going to dramatically alter what we do."
McDavid added that the international game should see some opportunities for the speed to pick up.
"It's a different game on the big sheet. It's faster, there's a lot more space. You're a lot further from the net, that's the main thing. If you're a half-wall guy, you're a mile away from the net so you've got to find a way to get to the middle of the rink."
The Oilers will go with a younger blueline with the following potential line combinations for the contest:
"Both Larsson and Russell won't play. We'll see the young kids on the blueline which will be good for them," said McLellan.
Mikko Koskinen will open the game in goal but there's the possibility that Cam Talbot plays at least part of the game on the tail end.
-- Marc Ciampa, EdmontonOilers.com
19 Mikko Koskinen 33 Cam Talbot
4 Kris Russell 6 Adam Larsson 13 Jason Garrison 25 Darnell Nurse 74 Ethan Bear 75 Evan Bouchard 77 Oscar Klefbom 83 Matt Benning
8 Ty Rattie 16 Jujhar Khaira 18 Ryan Strome 22 Tobias Rieder 27 Milan Lucic 28 Kyle Brodziak 29 Leon Draisaitl 39 Alex Chiasson 44 Zack Kassian 56 Kailer Yamamoto 91 Drake Caggiula 93 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 97 Connor McDavid 98 Jesse Puljujarvi
29 Gustaf Wesslau 53 Bastian Kucis
2 Corey Potter 5 Morgan Ellis 7 Dominik Tiffels 16 Tobias Viklund 23 Austin Madalsky 27 Pascal Zerressen 52 Alexander Sulzer 91 Moritz Muller
13 Lucas Dumont 18 Kai Hospelt 19 Jason Akeson 20 Robin Palka 21 Frederik Tiffels 28 Ryan Jones 37 Dani Bindels 50 Alexander Oblinger 55 Felix Schutz 59 Colby Genoway 70 Michael Zalewski 77 Mick Kohler 86 Ben Hanowski 93 Sebastien Uvira 95 Fabio Pfohl