The Edmonton Oilers will play a split-squad game against the Calgary Flames at 7 pm on Monday night (MT). The split-squad aspect means that part of the team will travel to Calgary to play the Flames from the Saddledome while another part of the Oilers' team will stay home in Edmonton and play a visiting Calgary squad. Splitting the team in two is possible at this point in the preseason as numerous players, that will likely be in the minors when opening day comes around, are currently still with Edmonton. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins spoke with the media in a pre-game interview on Monday.

He is one of the players that will stay home and play at Rogers Place on Monday night.

"I guess I pulled the long straw," he commented when speaking about playing in Edmonton tonight as opposed to in Calgary. "Usually I start down there," Nugent-Hopkins continued, referencing years in the past when he traveled south to start the preseason.

Nugent-Hopkins spoke highly of Jokinen

During much of his published interview, one that the Edmonton Oilers posted to their Youtube account, Nugent-Hopkins spoke of Jussi Jokinen. The new Oiler is a player that 'Nuge' seemed to have respect for. They stand to play a lot of minutes together in the months ahead as both should be on Edmonton's lower lines.

Regarding Jussi Jokinen, Nugent-Hopkins said he was a "very responsible player," one that has "been around" and posted solid stats "for a long time." Nugent-Hopkins mentioned the all-important word, "chemistry," when it came to his playing relationship with Jokinen thus far.

The long-term Oiler also complimented what he saw in Jokinen lately as he said that the veteran was "flying" in scrimmage plays and that he demonstrated "speed" and a "good shot."

Oilers cut players ahead of split-squad game

Oiler fans will surely be happy to hear that Nugent-Hopkins is playing the split-squad game in Edmonton as opposed to Calgary.

As a long-time Oiler 'Nuge' is a fan favorite in Edmonton. But there was a contingent of peripheral players that were sent down ahead of the split-squad game. Oilers not making the cut were Kirill Maksimov, Ostap Safin, Dmitri Samorukov, Stuart Skinner, and Dylan Wells. The Edmonton Oilers issued a press release on Sunday indicating that those five players have been sent down to their minor-league affiliates.

Certainly, there is no surprise announcement in that list of five players.

Edmonton's preseason will feature a fair number of games. The focus for Todd McLellan will likely be testing out the peripheral players to see if there are any that are worthy of making the team. Line chemistry and playing time between new linemates should also be a focus.