GDB 25.0: HOLD ON, WE’RE GOING HOME

The Edmonton Oilers played some good hockey on the road trip and grabbed two loser points at the end of the line. The goaltending looks better, the power play cannot be worse and the hockey Gods surely have punished OilersNation enough. Tonight, the Oilers have a chance to turn north.

Edmonton is 0-6-3 in their last nine games and were 2-9-3 in November—the month that officially killed their season.

OILERS LAST 10 GAMES

last 10 games oilers

Interesting numbers in the last 10 games, including Jeff Petry’s -11 and the incredibly unlucky shooting percentage of men like Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. That should turn around, hopefully tonight. Not listed here, but Viktor Fasth has played in 6 of the last 10 Oilers games and has a save percentage of .914. Good arrows.

LINEUPS…

FORWARD LINES

It’s nice to see Tyler Pitlick draw in, he clearly sees (as per below) this recall as his last chance Texaco with the club. I don’t see things being that dire, but good on him for approaching this opportunity with that kind of attitude. The questions on Pitlick are offense and health, but you can project him as a value contract if there’s a few goals on that stick every season. 


DEFENSE PAIRINGS

The pairings are very good for the first two sets, I’m not sure what the plan is for Nikitin—Schultz but it’s going to be interesting. It’s nice to see Fayne getting the push finally, lordy that took awhile.

fasth

Solid choice by the coach, Fasth is the first of the two goalies this year to straighten up and fly right so might as well run with him. Scrivens will get his chance, it’s a long season.

You can Arizona Coyotes lineup courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com.

QUICK HITS….

  • Lots of rumors last week about trade possibilities but it’s been quiet since. I wonder if we see something done after the Jets game on Wednesday. The team doesn’t play again until Sunday so there’s a window of opportunity.
  • Pitlick went 1-5-6 in a three game period with the Barons in mid-October but suffered from injury and inconsistency afterward. He got the callup after a 6 shot night on the 29th of November, a game in which he also scored.
  • I think Oscar Klefbom is probably here to stay. He’s mobile and physical, which seems to be the template Edmonton is looking for on defense. Darnell Nurse is another guy with that resume and for me there’s every chance we see both opening night 2015-16.
  • Where does that put Martin Marincin? He might end up being part of a package. These things happen when you procure great depth at one position (LH D) and the Oilers badly need to cash this depth for help up the middle (C, G).

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From AZ Central, Sarah McLellan takes a look at tonight’s matchup

The Oilers went 2-9-3 in November and are in the midst of a nine-game losing streak. During that span, the Oilers have been outscored 31-16. On home ice, they’re winless in their last seven games. They’ve also yet to win against a Western Conference opponent, going 0-11-3. W Taylor Hall has a team-high eight goals with three of those coming against the Coyotes. Hall is tied with C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and W Jordan Eberle for the team lead in points with 15.

TONIGHT…..

FasthHeaddress

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers come out flying and post a 1-0 lead on a bad Sam Gagner pass in his own zone. All five Oilers are at the same spot on the ice to intercept it. They hold on to win 4-2 with an EN goal from Luke Gazdic sealing the deal. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Arizona Coyotes are sold during the first period of tonight’s game and re-sold late in the third period of tonight’s game. 

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Niki Nikitin and Justin Schultz bond during the game and play so well it becomes THE top pairing in the western conference. No? Too close to the sun? Okay, they end up posting positive possession numbers tonight. Better?

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