Game Day

Oilers Gameday vs Dallas: Here Come the Oilers?

The Oilers are back in action tonight, hosting the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place. This game is hugely important, because the Oilers divisional rivals (the Flames and the Kings) are surging, and the Oilers have been a little flat of late.

After a 4-3 SO loss to the Penguins, the Oilers lost again Sunday with the Montreal Canadiens in town. After jumping out to a 1-0 lead, the Oil allowed Montreal to score 4 unanswered goals, including two in 69 seconds, to drop the game 4-1.

With the schedule being what it is (including 7/13 remaining games against divisional opponents in playoff positions or contention (2 SJS, 3 LAK, 2 ANA), tonight’s game matters an awful lot.

According to TSN’s Gameday preview:

The Edmonton Oilers have scored just four goals over their last three games, getting just a single point over that span.

The Dallas Stars have one of the NHL’s worst defensive records.

When the two teams meet Tuesday night at Rogers Place, it’s a case of the very stoppable force meeting the very movable object.

Sounds like it’s going to be a real barnburner.

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • Get a lead and hold onto it. Their last game wasn’t great, and the Oilers somehow let the Habs back into it, giving up two points that they should have had.
  • Stop making excuses for poor execution. RNH’s comments from Sunday night aren’t exactly inspiring:

Dallas

  • Get pucks on Talbot early and force the Oilers to take penalties. They still play pretty undisciplined at times, and it’s not hard to capitalize.
  • The Stars need to get the Benn-Spezza-Seguin line going. There’s too much talent on that line for there to be so little success.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Connor is good at hockey and he’s fun to watch, but he should shoot the puck 9 times a game like he did against the Penguins.
  • Benoit Pouliot is back in, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t take a dumb penalty last game, so that’s something.

Dallas

  • Jamie Benn is one of the best LWs in the game. As bad as the Stars have been this year (and they’ve been real bad), Benn’s been a good captain and a good soldier and won’t go down without a fight.
  • Ales Hemsky might be playing his last game in Edmonton. After 11 seasons in Edmonton, a stop in Ottawa, and 3 season in Dallas, he’s on his last legs. And if nothing else, he’ll always be remembered for this:

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Patrick Maroon – Connor Mcavid – Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Zack Kassian

Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom – Adam larsson

Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning

Cam TalBot

Dallas

Jamie Benn – Jason Spezza – Tyler Seguin

Devin Shore – Radek Faksa – Patrick Sharp

Remi Elie – Cody Eakin – Ales Hemsky

Curtis McKenzie – Adam Cracknell – Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell – John Klingberg

Dan Hamhuis – Stephen Johns

Patrik Nemeth – Jamie Oleksiak

Kari Lehtonen

Notes

Jamie Benn jokes are one of my favourite things about hockey twitter, and I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to come up with a joke.

As always, Twitter helped:

 

Thanks everyone. I needed the laughs.

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