The weather is nice for this time of year, we just had Thanksgiving and this is one of my favourite points on the calendar. However, a week without Oilers hockey is a trying time for all citizens of this northern town. It was made doubly difficult by two losses leading up to this ridiculously early break. Gack! Today, game day, all is forgiven and we look forward to another night of partying Edmonton style. Will it be a ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ evening or more ‘Misery and Gin’ for Oilersnation tonight?
- Special attention should be paid to Darnell Nurse this evening. All indications have him playing with Kris Russell on the second pairing this evening. That’s going to make zone exits very important, and for Nurse it should mean skating the puck out of the zone. WheatNOil is doing fantastic work on zone exits, recent indicators have Nurse improving in transportation early in the year. He’s also making more of his passing options, an example people the shovel to Nuge for his goal against Winnipeg.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (and Bobby Ryan) will be on After Hours with Scott Oake this evening. Oake is a an absolute gem, you can send questions to him here. Hurry, he passed 40 questions some time ago.
- The Oilers injured list now has three names: Andrej Sekera, Drake Caggiula and Leon Draisaitl. Caggiula and Draisaitl are eligible to play tonight but there is no expectation it’ll happen. Draisaitl’s eye concern morphed into concussion talk on Friday (confirmed today), causing real concern across northern Alberta.
- Eye injuries (and concussions) are not to be messed with, so as difficult as it may be to face any NHL team without the big man, better to make sure he is fully recovered and ready for the long haul.
- The Senators put the boots to the Calgary Flames last night, without Erik Karlsson. Craig Anderson did play in net for Ottawa, suggesting Mike Condon could play this evening. Don’t be fooled, Anderson has been known to play back to back and he’s very good historically against the Oilers.
- For his career, Anderson is 10-5-2 against the Oilers, with a 2.45 goals against and .922 save percentage.
- Craig Anderson ranks among the top 10 in the NHL in both GAA (1.65) and sv% (.937) but, as mentioned, early indications point at Mike Condon getting the start tonight.
- At the other end, Cam Talbot is 3-2-0 against Ottawa, with a 1.61 goals against and .942 save percentage.
- It could be a big night for Kailer Yamamoto, who has spent part of the week on the McDavid line. I wrote about his early, early (EARLY!) results from yesterday (here) and would love to see what he can do with a full game alongside 97. Perhaps we see it tonight.
- Anton Slepyshev is just catching up to the rest of the group after missing training camp, when he begins to push and unleash that heavy shot, perhaps we see another line scoring from RW.
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has two goals in the first three games and seems to be getting into better situations with the puck on his stick in the offensive zone. With Leon Draisaitl out, perhaps the Nuge sees some 1PP time this evening. That is his offensive wheelhouse, always has been going back to junior hockey.
- The Oilers and Sens last faced off in Ottawa back on January 8th, 2017 with the Senators walking away with a 5-3 victory.
Source: Jason Gregor, Verified Twitter Account, 10/14/2017, 12:00pm MST