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Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

GDB +12.0: Smoke on the Water

There are times when even the bravest of hearts question themselves, when circumstances conspire to make the task at hand seem impossible. In those times, it’s good to have a friend—or in this case, several million friends. If you are going to Rogers Place tonight, raise the roof. Let them hear you in the dressing room, let them hear you in the cans where the rich folks sit. You can make a difference! Rock it too the moon, sisters and brothers. If you have a voice tomorrow morning, you have failed. Seriously.

OH PISS OFF

  • Yeah yeah, we’ve heard about the collapse and it will be remembered a long time and blah blah blah. None of that matters today. Getting this thing back to California in time for the even better celebration of G7 victory will make the final scene even sweeter. Perhaps the Oilers will get a break during video review to equal what we saw earlier in this series.
  • We have all kinds of time to review the season when it’s done. That doesn’t have to be today, and these Edmonton Oilers have been resilient all year long. One more time, Oilers, win this and it’s back to California for justice.
  • Word today that Andrej Sekera is out for the rest of the series. That’s not good, but it is reality. Hopefully he is back in time for the Conference Finals.

HEY CONNOR!

Connor McDavid has scored three goals and five points so far in this series, and it feels like he is about to break out in a big way. It may not come tonight—these things don’t arrive by magic—but he is getting more clean air every game and posting fantastic chances in waves. I think Drake Caggiula on that line has helped, young 36 seems more than willing to shoot the puck on cue.

A lot of the verbal in this series has shifted to Ryan Getzlaf, who has five goals and 10 points in the first five games of the series. Edmonton has to find a way to cool him off and a lot of that will come (if it does) by keeping the puck 200 feet from Edmonton’s net.

Connor McDavid isn’t the top story of this series. Will tonight be the night he changes the script? Don’t bet against it.

LINEUPS

Oilers

Maroon – McDavid – Draisaitl
Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins –Eberle
Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian
Pouliot – Desharnais – Slepyshev

Klefbom – Larsson
Russell – Benning
Nurse – Gryba

Talbot

At the time of posting, no lineups have been announced other than Sekera being out and Gryba being in so don’t expect these to be 100% accurate. We’ll update things as news/info becomes available.

Ducks

Rakell – Getzlaf – Perry
Cogliano – Kesler – Silfverberg
Ritchie – Thompson – Kerdiles
Wagner – Vermette – Shaw

Fowler – Montour
Lidholm – Manson
Theodore – Vatanen

Gibson

QUICK HITS

  • The Sekera injury is devastating, Edmonton doesn’t have the kind of depth required to overcome that kind of loss. Guesses would have Eric Gryba drawing in and possibly Matt Benning moving to the Russell (second) pairing. This lineup possibility was first suggested (that I saw) by Ryan Rishaug.
  • Jesse Puljujarvi sat through Game 1 of the World Hockey Championships and most of game two as well. Finally getting a shift in the third period, he hit the post and then set up another brilliant chance on goal. A very promising start to a needlessly delayed tournament for Edmonton’s top prospect. It is his birthday today.
  • Ordinarily, I would talk about the keys to victory including a strong start and sustained excellence. Edmonton had that last game and still lost. So I’ll fall back on ‘they have to play 60 minutes’ and we can use that as a theme.
  • Best way for fans to approach this game? Blind devotion and the faith of a child. Screw the past, screw the video review, screw the idiots yelling ‘choke’ and curse the bad luck. Win this game and the Anaheim Ducks are suddenly on the hot seat. Cheer like hell!

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

  • Jeff Miller, Orange County RegisterGetzlaf, in particular, has been continually praised by his teammates for having a tireless approach as level as the ice itself. Cogliano called him “a tremendous leader” and noted “a much bigger difference this year” with the team’s overall demeanor. Source

TONIGHT!

Photoshop: @TomKostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Ducks score three minutes in on a lucky bounce. It looks like it could be offside, but Todd McLellan decides to hold on to that timeout/challenge just in case. Edmonton enjoys about 50 percent of the possession and the game settles in and ends 1-0 Anaheim after the first frame.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton pushes in the second period, and scores on the power play—but the goal is reversed on review. Anaheim takes over from there scoring two quick goals to make it 3-0. The season is bleeding out, and a late goal by Zack Kassian—that counts—is met with cheers but the roar is gone.

GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Ducks play a perfect road period in the third, physically dominating the Oilers and running out the clock with expert timing. And then, with four minutes left, Connor McDavid takes the puck behind his own net and reaches full flight in a heartbeat. Ryan Kesler attempts to block the path, but falls over and suddenly McDavid has a free path down the left side with Brandon Montour looking like a deer in the headlights. One second later, McDavid sends a bullet shelf and John Gibson sees nothing. 3-2. The Ducks aggressively forecheck after that, and with 90 seconds left, Ryan Kesler takes a high-sticking penalty (four minutes).

Patrick Maroon scores to tie with 11 seconds left, and Oscar Klefbom drills a puck from the point 1:20 into overtime to send this f***er back to Anaheim. !!!!!!!

Watching at home tonight?

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