December 05 2013 06:22PM
The Edmonton Oilers play the Colorado Avalanche tonight sans two of their top-four defencemen. Jeff Petry is a healthy scratch; Anton Belov has been demoted to Oklahoma City.
Edmonton will ice the following not remotely NHL-caliber blue line against the Avs:
- Justin Schultz
- Andrew Ference
- Nick Schultz
- Philip Larsen
- Corey Potter
- Martin Marincin
Some of that's poor roster construction, but some of it is decisions by the coaching staff.
Either way, the Oilers go into tonight's game against Colorado (tied with Pittsburgh as the sixth highest-scoring team in the NHL) with almost nothing on the back end.
We don't know the lines; all we know for sure is that they're going to be different, both because of the changes in personnel and possibly owing to other factors:
Don't be surprised if the @EdmontonOilers change up their top 2 lines— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) December 5, 2013
Update: As expected, the lines change:
#Oilers lines during pre-game warmup --> Hall-Gagner-Yakupov, Perron-RNH-Eberle, Smyth-Arcobello-Hemsky, Gazdic-Lander-Jones— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 6, 2013
Game day prediction: Let's say 5-1 Colorado.
Obvious game day prediction: Nathan MacKinnon moves ahead of Mark Arcobello for the rookie assists lead when he picks up two tonight.
No-so-obvious game day prediction: Luke Gazdic will score the Oilers' only goal, crashing hard to the net and redirecting Anton Lander's shot past Colorado's goaltender.