Derek Ryan ready to experience Edmonton Oilers side of Battle of Alberta

Derek Ryan will see a lot of familiar faces on the opposing team Saturday night when the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames.

Ryan, who signed with the Oilers in the off-season, spent the three previous seasons with the Flames.

“I’ve got a bunch of friends over there,” said Ryan. “There will still be a smile, a smirk, a comment every now and then. But we can kind of move on.”

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Ryan was with the Flames last season when Darryl Sutter took over as head coach after Geoff Ward was fired in early March.

“I think Darryl is a great fit for that side,” explained Ryan.

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“He requires you to play a hard game. They’re going to be a hard forechecking team. I guarantee they come out tonight trying to put pucks behind our D, make our D turn, try to spend time in the O zone. In order to counter that, we need to get hold-ups, make sure they can’t get in our the forecheck as quickly as they want to.”

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Ryan will centre Warren Foegele and Zack Kassian, who is back in action after missing Wednesday’s season opener.

“I think he’s a great player. He’s a great addition to our line. He brings physicality, some underrated skill, for sure,” said Ryan of Kassian.

“I think we’re just going to be a hard-working, hard-working line that likes to play in the O zone and try to create offence from there.”

“We talked about having a line that can play heavy, get around the opposition’s net, a little harder to play against. That’s a line we think can do that maybe a lot better than we had in the past,” said head coach Dave Tippett.

The Oilers’ expected lineup is:

  • Draisaitl-McDavid-Puljujarvi
  • Hyman-RNH-Yamamoto
  • Foegele-Ryan-Kassian
  • Perlini-McLeod-Turris
  • Nurse-Barrie
  • Keith-Ceci
  • Koekkoek-Bouchard
  • Smith

The Oilers and Flames are on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 6:30 p.m. The game starts at 8 p.m.


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