The Oilers are back in action tonight against he Kings, and a regulation win puts the magic number for playoffs at 7. Or maybe 8. Or possibly 11. I DON’T KNOW WHAT A MAGIC NUMBER IS.
(Apparently the magic number is a combination of Edmonton wins and LA losses, and considering the Oilers play the Kings 3 times including tonight, that number could change by 2 today.)
It’s the first day of spring and the Oilers are in the playoff hunt, and nstead of thinking about who wemight get in the draft, we’re worried about who they might play in the first round.
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.
Tonight’s tilt is a 4-point game, where a regulation win by either team will significantly change that magic number. An Oilers regulation win will reduce it by 2, and a Kings win will increase it by 1 (or maybe 2. Math is hard.)
Keys to the Game
- The Kings played last night in Calgary, and got beat 5-2. They’re probably tired, and both goalies saw action, so the Oilers should be able to capitalize on this weakness.
- Come out flying and don’t let up the pressure. Cam Talbot needs to be on his game to keep the Oilers in it, but they should manage to hold the Kings in check.
- Vancouver held the Oilers to two goals (after they’d scored 14 in their previous two games), and did so through a combination of good goaltending and not-terrible defence. The Kings are better, to a man, than the Canucks could ever hope to be, so they should be able to stay with the Oilers a little better.
- Whichever goaltender starts, they’ll have to be sharp as both Quick and Bishop played poorly last night.
Players to Watch
- Matt Hendricks inexplicably draws back into the lineup in place of Anton Slepyshev, which is curious for a lot of reasons. The justification is that the Oilers need to be bigger to play the Kings, but with Los Angeles having played last night, it shouldn’t be an issue.
- Connor. No need to explain why.
- Drew Doughty is one to watch, after a vicious elbow to the head last night from Matthew Tkachuk. He was down for a while, but didn’t spend any time in the quiet room and was mad after the game about the elbow. He should be okay, but if he’s not 100%, that will likely hamper the Kings effort.
- Jarome Iginla visits Edmonton for the first time in his new threads, and for as much as Oiler fans are supposed to hate him, Iggy has long been a favourite. While it’ll come at the expense of the Oilers, it would be great to see him get a real shot at a Cup.
Patrick Maroon – Connor Mcavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Zack Kassian
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Drake Caggiula
Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning
Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Jarome Iginla
Tanner pearson – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Adrian Kempe – Trevor Lewis – Marian Gaborik
Kyle Clifford – Nic Dowd – Andy Andreoff
Derek Forbort – Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin – Paul Ladue
Kevin Gravel – Alec Martinez
The magic number is apparently 13. If it’s not, blame Alex Thomas.
— Alex Thomas (@Alex_Thomas14) March 20, 2017