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
- 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:
“At the start of the year if you asked us if we’d be in this spot… I’d take it after five years not even being close.” – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
— Rob Tychkowski (@Sun_Tychkowski) March 13, 2017
- 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
- 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.
- 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:
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
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
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:
@mig14 Something about the Oilers going down the standings the last few nights?
— Tyler Hupka (@HBomb1982) March 14, 2017
@mig14 "I was going to start with some dry humor, but enough about Benn"
— Ersatz Moose (@V2Hero) March 14, 2017
@mig14 "The Stars are down and out this season, but Jamie Benn refuses to go down with them."
— AOL KEYWORD: Mike (@mikeFAIL) March 14, 2017
@mig14 He's going to go down with the ship whether he likes to or not. Oilers win 4-2.
— Camper Dave 🏕 (@TheCamperDave) March 14, 2017
Jamie Benn is an awful captain. He would never go down with the ship…
— Tomas Oppolzer (@TomOppolzer) March 14, 2017
Thanks everyone. I needed the laughs.