Game Day

Oilers Gameday vs Vancouver: It’s Been 84 Years

The Oilers are back in action tonight at Rogers Place, as the Vancvouver Canucks are in town to take on the sort-of red-hot Oilers tonight.

With 14 goals in their last two games, the Oilers are riding a bit of a streak, and are looking to make a statement and get closer to clinching their first playoff berth in eleven painstaking years.

 

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • As they’ve done in the last two games, score early and often. With 14 goals in the last two games, the Oilers are certainly firing on all cylinders. Their much-maligned lack of secondary scoring seems to be less of a problem, so hopefully that continues
  • Get lots of traffic in front of Richard Bachman – a look through the Canucks lineup for tonight is a who’s who of “who’s that?” and it’s not certain that they’re really NHL calibre defencemen.

Vancouver

  • If the Canucks want a chance tonight, they’re going to have to play hard and force the Oilers to take penalties. The Oilers’ PK isn’t great, and that will most likely be the only way the Canucks can win.
  • Hope that Richard Bachman can withstand the pressure the Oilers will surely put on him tonight. He’s all that’s standing in the way of the Oilers getting a much-needed two points.

Players to Watch

Edmonton 

  • Connor. Duh. He’s super good, and he’s been playing next level well the last few games. The playoff race is contigent on his success, and he’s done an admirable job carrying the team.
  • Milan Lucic has been playing really well over the last 10 games, and the grit and swagger he talked about bringing to the team is finally showing up. With the playoffs more or less within reach, the veteran leadership he can bring is going to be invaluable.

Vancouver

  • There’s really not a lot to say about the Canucks. The Sedins are still pretty good, but they’re essentially wasted their careers, save for that one Cup final appearance in 2011.
  • Watch Richard Bachman get lit up, because I’m sure that’ll be fun.

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Patrick Maroon – Connor Mcavid – Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Zack Kassian

Drake Caggiula – Mark Letestu – Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell

Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning

Cam TalBot

Vancouver

Daniel Sedin – Henrik Sedin – Markus Granlund

Sven Baertschi – Bo Horvat – Reid Boucher

Joe Labate – Brandon Sutter – Drew Shore

Joseph Cramarossa – Michael Chaput – Jayson Megna

Alex Edler – Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa – Nikita Tryamkin

Ben Hutton – Alex Biega

Richard Bachman

Notes

There’s some excitement in Oil Country, as the team is in mostly uncharted territory and fans aren’t quite sure what to do in terms of watching the standings. There’s a lot of back and forth about whether or not the Oilers are going to make the playoffs and it seems that the conversation amongst fans is filled with handwringing and worry.

Here’s the thing: the Oilers had a 10 point lead on the Flames at one point, and now Calgary is one point up on the Oilers with a game in hand. There’s still time, obviously, as the Oil have 11 games left after tonight, but things are starting to tighten up.

Oiler fans haven’t had cause to look at the actual playoff standings for a long time, so it’s unfamiliar to be affected by the results of teams behind the Oilers.

With 11 games left after tonight, including 7 against divisional opponents, the Oilers season hangs in the balance.

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