Welcome, welcome to another edition of HDB Night in Canada at GDB as we prepare for the Edmonton Oilers to face the Arizona Coyotes. Will the Oilers be able to turn Thursday's victory into another? We are only a few hours away.
With six remaining games (including this one) before the All-Star break, the Oilers will go into the break with a series of home games (one out) against some teams that need to be taken advantage of and the Coyotes will surely qualify. . Arizona is not only one of the few division opponents that the Oilers are ahead of in the standings, but they also face a series of injuries on some key pieces both front and back. Whereas the Coyotes will not have their starting goalkeeper, best defender and top scorer, anything other than a direct win for the Oilers would be deeply disappointing. This can not be another one of those nights when they rely on a McMiracle to get the colon. They need a set of instructions. The good news is the boys had a great race against Arizona and I hope they can take some of that confidence forward.
As of this morning, Edmonton is just two points from last place in the wildcard, with Minnesota having one more game in hand, so it would be great to see the boys balanced against Arizona (since the Wild lose against Detroit). Even with plenty of left-handed track of the season, the Oilers have to start playing more urgently and look at the games against teams like the Coyotes, a club they have defeated in seven of their last 10 games, dating back to 2016-17. must-win. With the first half of the NHL season now in the books, we are starting to see more separation in the standings as bad teams fall off a cliff and competitors keep moving away from the group. If the Oilers have any chance of continuing with the playoff group, they will have to get some wins together, staying away from the win one / lose a sequence we've seen since the calendar ended.
The game tonight marks the second of four meetings between these two teams, with the Oilers making the first round with a score of 3-1, just 10 days ago. Will we get the same result tonight? Gord knows we need it.
Numbers courtesy of Corsica (costumes in 5 × 5)
RNH – McDavid – Rattie
Lucic – Draisaitl – Chiasson
Spooner – Khaira – Puljujarvi
Rieder – Brodziak – Kassian
Nurse – Russell
Jones – Larsson
Gravel – Benning
Look back over the fights of the last few weeks, the Oilers have been outscored in 13 of their last 14 games and that is a trend that desperately needs to change. I do not think I have to explain that being laughed at on the clock is not part of the recipe for success, and the Oilers need to find a way to stop the bleeding in their own zone. Yes, Oscar Klefbom is out and this is a big loss, but the other guys on that team need to figure out how to stop spending so much time in their own zone.
As for the combinations of lines, it was interesting to see that Hitchcock removed the blender shortly after Thursday's victory. He put McNuge back, Draisaitl in the second row, and knocked Kassian back to the fourth row. After training on Friday morning, Hitchcock said Brandon Manning will return to training soon and that Kailer Yamamoto was close to returning from an injury but it looks like neither will be playing tonight.
Keller – Stepan – Fischer
Panik – Weal – Hinostroza
Galchenyuk – cousins - garland
Crouse – Dauphin – Archibald
Ekman-Larsson – Hjalmarsson
Chychrun – Lyubuskin
Oesterle – Goligoski
Entering into this game, the Coyotes will be without Antti Raanta, Jason Demers, Nick Schmaltz, Brad Richardson, Michael Grabner and Christian Dvorak, which is obviously a great opportunity for the Oilers. They need to find a way to make it worthwhile.
As well as the team's difficulties with the bruises, the Coyotes also lose the team's current top scorer – with Richardson currently sitting down 11 goals in 40 appearances in the regular season this season.
The 33-year-old veteran was having one of his strongest seasons since reaching the desert, already surpassing a total of 15 points last season – earning five more assists in his 11 goals so far.
Usually finding himself starting in the defensive zone, something he does 67.9% of the time, Richardson has found a way to produce offensively, despite being put in a below-ideal situation.
He is regularly used on penalties and already has three short goals this season, has almost a Corsi rating (49.4%) and has been the team's best player in the match – where he won 54.7% of the games. the time he lined up against his opponents.
Game Day Forecast: While the Coyotes do a good job of completely closing the last six, they can not contain Connor McDavid. The captain scores a pair and takes the Oilers to a second 3-1 victory over the Coyotes.
Obvious Game Day Forecast: Connor McDavid will extend his streaks for four games and we will all be grateful he did.
Not so obvious forecast of game day: I was talking to the Nation HQ boys yesterday about the game today, and Chris the Intern came with a NSOGDP that I had to include. According to Chris, tonight's game will be tied for 1-1 at the end of the regulation and will not lead the Oilers to one but TWO goals in OT to shut him down. Chris says the first goal will be in and out of the net so quickly that no one on the ice will be able to confirm whether the disc has crossed the line or not, but that the Oilers will score a second time on the same turn to end all doubts. If Chris chooses this, I owe him a lunch or something, because this must be one of the most specific NSOGDPs I can remember.
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/1/2019 – 12:00 PM MST