PITTSBURGH, PA - The Edmonton Oilers practiced in Pittsburgh on Monday, following an off day in the Steel City Sunday. Speaking of steel, the schedule just so happened to fall in line with the NFL's schedule, giving some of the Oilers players and staff a chance to catch the Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday afternoon.
It was back to work on Monday, however, as Head Coach Todd McLellan put the team through an efficient practice.
"We've had good practices. It's transferring it over into the game, and I think we're getting better in those situations," said McLellan. "We worked hard today. We got a lot done. The guys after basically a day and a half off, almost, because of the afternoon game, you expect them to be a little ragged. I thought they got the kinks out fairly early and then the ice got quite snowy at the end so we did't get a lot done in one area that we wanted, but that's OK."
LINEUP UNCLEAR/INJURY UPDATE
During the initial "line rushes" of practice, Patrick Maroon, Connor McDavid and Kailer Yamamoto took a skate together, while the second line of Milan Lucic, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Ryan Strome also remained intact.
However, the rest is a bit of a mystery.
With both injured players Drake Caggiula and Leon Draisaitl skating with the team, the bottom group of forwards took rushes with four instead of three. Both participated in every drill and even special teams. Draisaitl was with the top unit, while Caggiula was with the second.
The two are just waiting to be cleared to play.They'll see how they feel tomorrow morning following the long practice, and the doctors will have final say.
CROSBY VS MCDAVID
There's likely to be plenty of coverage Tuesday of Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby versus McDavid. Two of the best players in the world meet again, and it's always an interesting storyline.
"Two of the best players on the planet," said McLellan. "Any time they get together, there is that talk, there's going to be that talk, they're going to have to answer questions about it. It will come down to team play, but you do appreciate as a coach, a fan, even a player, their skill sets and what they've brought to their teams and communities. Even off the rink, both are tremendous in that way. It's fun when they're together."
TIP FOR THE TOWN
Are you an Oilers fan in Pittsburgh for the game?
If you have time, make sure to stop by the famous Primanti Bros for a unique take on sandwiches.
Choose your meat and get it with cheese, tomatoes, house-made slaw and french-fries, piled between two slices of thick Italian bread.
The restaurant was founded by Joe Primanti during the Great Depression (1933) and it's still rolling along.