Philadelphia Flyers @ Edmonton Oilers



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The back-to-back games were not kind to the Edmonton Oilers this season. This is their third set of BTB games and they are 0-4-1 so far. They lost in Washington and Tampa Bay on November 5 and 6, then lost in Calgary and home to Vegas on November 17 and 18, and lost from 5 to 4 last Saturday in Winnipeg.

Despite his difficulties at BTB so far, a win tonight would put the Oilers in second place in the Pacific Division with 39 points. They would be tied with San Jose and Anaheim, but would have the tiebreaker over both.

His five losses in the BTB games went to the teams in the playoffs. Tonight's opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers, is currently ranked 25th in the NHL and without the best goalkeeper.

1. The Oilers fought hard against a more talented Jets team last night. Connor McDavid was within an inch of winning the game on OT when he hit one of the goal posts before Josh Morrissey won the game. This will not be an easy game anyway. The Flyers should have beaten Calgary on Wednesday night, but with a 5-3 lead in the final 70 seconds of the game.

2. Stolarz is making his sixth start of the season. It has a 3.80 GAA and .889Sv%. In his last four games, he allowed 16 goals in 126 pitches (.873sv%). Your trust, and Flyers' trust in it, has to be fragile now. Edmonton needs to go after him early and take him from one place to another.

3. I know a lot of you guys are thinking, "Gregs, the Oilers fight backups." In the past, yes, but here are the goalies the Oilers have lost for this season: Keith Kincaid, Jaroslav Halak, Jussi Saros, Matt Murray, Alex Stalock, Pheonix Copley, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Roberto Luongo, Semyon Varlamov, David Rittich, Marc-Andre Fleury, John Gibson, Cal Petersen, Anton Khudobin and Connor Hellebuyck.

They defeated Henrik Lundqvist, Hellebuyck, Halak, Holtby, Saros, Cam Ward twice, Jonathon Bernier, Antti Niemi, Martin Jones, Khudobin, Jonathon Quick, Fleury, Jake Allen, Devan Dubnyk, Rittich and Varlamov.

Rittich can be considered the backup due to fewer matches, but there is no discussion that he is the best goalkeeper in Calgary. The Oilers were not stoned by a substitute who played poorly throughout the season, in addition to Copley and Stalock, who averaged 0.902 and 0.904 respectively. The other backups were solid: Rittich is 9-3-1 with 0.921sv%, Petersen is 0.927sv%. Khudobin has been his usual backup with a .913sv% backup. Halak started more games than Rask in Boston and he is second in the NHL with a .930sv%.

4. In previous seasons, the Oilers have been blocked by backups, but like many other parts of their game this season, they have not backed up to look around the world very often. Stolarz enters as the most shakiest goalkeeper they have faced all season. They can not allow him to feel comfortable.

5. Sticking with goalkeepers, Mikko Koskinen started eight of 12 games with Ken Hitchcock. He is 6-1-1 with a .936sv% and a 1.87 GAA, while Talbot is 2-1-1 with a .910sv% and 2.95 GAA. The beginnings illustrate who is the starter now for the Oilers. If they stay in the 2: 1 ratio, Talbot will start 16 games and Koskinen 32-34 during the final 50 games. This seems reasonable and we can even see it closer to 35 or 36 matches for Koskinen and 15 or 14 for Talbot. I believe Koskinen has taken on the role of initiate. That does not mean the Oilers will not need Talbot. He has picked up five of the six possible points in his last three games, and if you get the kind of production point from your backup then you must be in a trance.

6. Connor McDavid picked up his 300th career spot last night. He is now in 19th all-time points for Edmonton with 301. He is on pace to score another 72 points this season and if he does, he will end Season 13 of all time, ten points behind Jordan Eberle. By the end of next season, he is likely to be the eighth of all time, near 480 points and losing only Doug Weight (577), Ryan Smyth (631), Paul Coffey (669), Glenn Anderson (906) , Mark Messier (1,034), Jari Kurri (1,043) and Wayne Gretzky (1,669).

7. McDavid became only the ninth player in NHL history to reach 300 points before turning 22, joining Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby, Dale Hawerchuk, Ron Francis, Jimmy Carson, Pierre Turgeon and Steve Yzerman .

8. In 240 career games, McDavid has 301 points (1.25 points per game). Evgeni Malkin is the second in the last four seasons at 1.15 points per game, but Patrick Kane has the highest number of points, 308, although in another 38 games played. Vancouver rookie Elias Patterson has an average of 1.18 points per game in his young 28-game career.

9. I think we'll see Caleb Jones making his NHL debut tonight. Jason Garrison only played 8:59 last night in Winnipeg, but he was +2. Chris Wideman played 11:07. Jones shoots left but has played RD all season in the AHL. He can play both. Do they want him paired with a veteran like Garrison or does he play his natural side and skate with Wideman? I see him coming in on the left side with Wideman.

10. Flyers are 7-6-2 on the road. They were 58-51, but outnumbered 476-471 opponents. His special teams fought. The powerplay is 14.3% going from 6 to 42, while his PK allowed 15 goals in 53 kills for an ugly 71.3%. Meanwhile, the Oilers are 9-4-1, beating opponents 43-33, beating them 460-425. Your PP has struggled at home compared to the road. They are 23.4% on the road, but only 17.3% (8 of 46) on the ice at home. The PK has been stable at 80.5%, allowing seven goals in 36 opportunities. They got 10 more penalties at home, while they are in the ratio of -9 in PP / PK on the road.

11. Koskinen is a perfect 6-0 at home, allowing only five goals in six matches for a sparkling .972SV% and 0.83 GAA. It makes sense to start Talbot in Winnipeg and Koskinen at home tonight.

Thanks to Emil for his wonderful offer on the Hughes package and for all of you who have helped in the Adopt-A-Teen Giving Pyramid.

DAY 10, Package # 1: McDavid and Hockey

  • A signed shirt from Connor McDavid
  • Pair of seats, line 22, for the match Oilers vs. Panthers on January 10th.

Package 2:

  • $ 1000 GC for use in any beverage depot
  • Flat Bourbon Tennessee Whiskey Twi Bottles
  • Pair of seats, line 23, for the match Oilers vs. Blues on December 18

You can bid by listening to TSN 1260 and calling 780.444.1260 or text 101260 between 2-6. today. All proceeds will go to the M.E. Lazerte breakfast and lunch program.

From peewee to professionals, Albertans love the atmosphere, energy and life lessons that take place on the slopes of the province. And where there's an arena, you'll find an ATB branch nearby – with members of our team cheering and gathering resources along with you. See more information at ATB.com.

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Source: NHL, official game page, 12/14/2018 – 11:00 AM

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