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Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 75.0: EDMONTON SKYLINE

We have reached a unique point in the season, in fact for Oilers fans it has been a decade since seeing this part of the skyline. Tonight at Rogers Place, two buddies will be chatting about how many times to play Laurent Brossoit, what the best matchup could be in the first round of the playoffs, and a cool new phrase to replace ‘Shirts off for Horcoff!’ when the Saturday nights in playoff season reach our city.

QUESTION ONE: HOW MANY STARTS FOR BROSSOIT?

A lot of the story surrounding the goalies will depend on how quickly Edmonton can clinch the playoffs. A secondary, but very important, priority involves the Oilers placement in the Pacific Division. A hot streak could see the team reach the top spot, and a poor performance might see them as a wildcard and facing (gulp!) the Chicago Blackhawks. I think there’s every chance we see Brossoit at least three times between tonight and the end of the season, but we have a lot of backstory telling us that Cam Talbot and Todd McLellan really like to see Cam Talbot starting games.

QUESTION: THE OILERS BEST FIRST-ROUND OPPONENT?

My pick is Calgary because screw those guys. I understand the sour idea of losing to the Flames after this breakout season and that it might make summer less enjoyable. For me, it’s a case of getting rid of the albatross, and since Vancouver won’t make the second season we’ll have to be content with the next best rival. Maybe a 7-game series puts the battle of you-know-where back on the map!

QUESTION THREE: HOW MANY PIECES OF SILVER WILL MCDAVID WIN?

I believe Connor McDavid has earned the Hart Trophy, but have also been reading the tea leaves of NHL voters for a long time. Sidney Crosby wins the Hart unless McDavid beats the Penguin by a healthy margin or wins the division. That’s not fair, but I think it’s true. My guess? McDavid walks away with the Hart and Art Ross at the annual awards.

LINEUPS

Oilers

LW C RW
Patrick Maroon
Patrick Maroon
Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid
Leon Draisaitl
Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic
Milan Lucic
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Jordan Eberle
Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot
Benoit Pouliot
David Desharnais
David Desharnais
Zack Kassian
Zack Kassian
Drake Caggiula
Drake Caggiula
Mark Letestu
Mark Letestu
Jujhar Khaira
Jujhar Khaira
Defensive Pairings
Oscar Klefbom
Oscar Klefbom
Adam Larsson
Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera
Andrej Sekera
Kris Russell
Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse
Darnell Nurse
Matt Benning
Matt Benning
Goalies
Laurent Brossoit
Laurent Brossoit

Avalanche

LW C RW
Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog
Matt Duchene
Matt Duchene
Rene Bourque
Rene Bourque
Sven Andrighetto
Sven Andrighetto
Nathan Mackinnon
Nathan Mackinnon
Mikko Rantanen
Mikko Rantanen
John Mitchell
John Mitchell
 Carl Soderberg
Carl Soderberg
Blake Comeau
Blake Comeau
Mikhail Grigorenko
Mikhail Grigorenko
JT Compher
JT Compher
Joe Colborne
Joe Colborne
Defensive Pairings
Erik Johnson
Erik Johnson
Mark Barberio
Mark Barberio
Fedor Tyutin
Fedor Tyutin
Tyson Barrie
Tyson Barrie
Anton Lindholm
Anton Lindholm
Francois Beauchemin
Francois Beauchemin
Goalies
Calvin Pickard
Calvin Pickard

Lineups (subject to change) are courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com

NOTES

  • Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have 15 points in their last 10 games. The playoff drive has seen some of their best hockey of the season.
  • With the Klefbom-Larsson pairing showing a lot of wobble on the road trip, I felt Andrej Sekera really stepped up and played a major role. A signing that has been obscured by all of the other bold moves, I count Sekera as a key player on this year’s team.
  • Most everybody is saying Cam Talbot is tired and I agree that Brossoit should play a few games down the stretch. Hard to argue against Talbot’s performance when he plays a lot, though. He wins a lot of games inside the zone (of games in a row) where we might call him fatigued.
  • Patrick Maroon is the Oilers’ nominee for the Masterton Trophy, Jim Matheson wrote a fine article about it here.
  • Vancouver Canucks signed top prospect Brock Boeser this morning, he’ll play today against Minnesota. Oilers fans can well remember the days when signing a first-round pick was big news.
  • Jonas Gustavsson was credited with a goal last night and he played well in net for the Condors in a win. It looks like the playoffs are going to happen for Bakersfield. Jesse Puljujarvi scored a goal in the game as well.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

  • Ryan Murphy, Mile High Hockey: After giving up 17 goals in their last four third periods, the only question remaining is how many can they give up tonight? Three? Four? Maybe a dozen? Tune in to Altitude, or however to subject yourself to this madness, tonight at 8:00 PM MST! Source

I joke about Vancouver and it’s easy to rip the Avalanche today. However, if there’s one thing this last decade has taught me it’s that cheering for a team that loses is not a lot of fun. So I salute Ryan Murphy and all Avalanche fans for writing and following and cheering the Avalanche this season. We know your pain, brothers and sisters, we know your pain.

TONIGHT

Photoshop: @TomKostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers get a much better start this evening, scoring in the game’s first five minutes. Penalty trouble robs the home team of momentum and the Avalanche tie the score on a flukey goal, off two butts, and in.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION:  Edmonton slowly builds back the momentum in the second period, and late in the frame score twice on a 5-on-3 (then 5-on-4) to take a 3-1 lead. Colorado answers back to make it close just before the end of the period.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The score is 3-2 after two, and the teams combine to score five in the third, with the final 6-4 Edmonton. Connor McDavid three points, including two goals, both majestic and beautiful. Oilers win, party at Wanye’s!

  • madjam

    Hard earned victory tonight and added bonus fo L.A. losing 30 to NYRangers . Big step toward being playoff bound and division race . Victory in regulation over L.A. in next game pretty much seals Oilers will be playoff bound . First things first , will worry about whom they might play when we finally make enough points to guarantee a playoff spot . Looking good , and Colorado gave us some stiff opposition last two games . Cudos to Broissoit and his win tonight .