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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Notes: Edmonton Oilers at Philadelphia Flyers

The Edmonton Oilers are 32-32 against the Philadelphia Flyers, but all any of us really remember are the Stanley Cup Finals and they were grand. In fact, the 1987 SCF was the best final Edmonton ever played in, a brilliant clash of stunning talent from a team of young veterans versus Ron Hextall and a damned good hockey team.

Today in Philly, this young Oilers group will try to overturn history. Edmonton is not a strong hockey team in early games down east. I think that’s one reason these devilish eastern clubs schedule them. Maybe the western teams should start games at midnight local.

QUICK HITS

  • Leon Draisaitl will not play today, it’s maddening but the right thing to do. It’s interesting to think about how he would have likely been in the lineup 10 years ago but the times they are a changing.
  • Matt Benning has to be close to getting back. He’s been out with the flu over the past few games.
  • Drake Caggiula is also on the trip and could see action this morning.
  • Andrej Sekera, as reported earlier this week by Jason Gregor, is now skating. Sekera isn’t likely to be back for some time but it is encouraging to see him on the ice in Oilers colours.
  • Kailer Yamamoto is tied for No. 3 among NHL rookies in shots (20).
  • Connor McDavid is tied for No. 13 among NHL forwards in points-per-game (1.33). McDavid also leads all NHL forwards in time on ice (22:57).
  • Should the Oilers run Leon Draisiatl at centre when he returns? My answer is yes, but suspect Todd McLellan runs with the big man alongside 97.
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins has a faceoff percentage of 56.2! Nuge is having a fine beginning to the season and is healthy. In previous seasons, the first quarter often involved getting the flu or some injury. He’s an important part of this team.
  • Edmonton will be best served to stay out of the penalty box as Philadelphia currently has the 12th best power play in the NHL, connecting at a rate of 22.6% in this young season.
  • Jordan Weal was considered day-to-day for the Flyers but practiced with them on Friday and he will be a game time decision.
  • The Oilers and Flyers will meet for their second and final matchup of the season at Rogers Place on December 8th.

Game Day Questions

  • If the Oilers had a chance to acquire Brendan Gallagher, should they pursue a trade?
  • If the Oilers had a chance to acquire Tobias Rieder, should they pursue a trade?
  • If the Oilers had a chance to acquire Jared Spurgeon, should they pursue a trade?

Oilers recent history with the Flyers

  • Bill Meltzer, NHL.com: Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning unwittingly got caught up in controversy over a play two seasons ago in which McDavid got injured after careening into the end boards. The situation then carried over into a heated confrontation last season and, later, a fight in Edmonton with Maroon. Manning said on Friday that the issue is over and done as far as he’s concerned. Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol added that, among the factors he’s weighing into lineup decisions and game strategy for Saturday afternoon, the possibility of further psychological carryover was not among them. Source

Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Game Day Preview, 10/20/2017, 11:30pm

  • OriginalPouzar

    McLellan mentioned yesterday that Benning was ready to go today. The question I have is what the pairings would look like to get him in the lineup.

    1) Nurse has played too well as 2LD to move him down to 3LD (which would move Russell to 2LD allowing Benning to play 2RD).

    2) I don’t think the coach would move Russell down to 3LD to allow Benning, the rightie, to play 2RD with Nurse – nor is it necessarily a good idea – I’m not a fan of Russell on his right side in the 2nd pair, but he’s done well with Darnell)

    3) Gryba has sensational shot metrics and has been solid – can we take him out over Auvitu? Auvitu should be the one to be removed, however, then we have to right shot D on the 3rd pairing and I don’t really want Benning on his off-side trying to find his game.

  • OriginalPouzar

    I would like to see how Yamamoto looks away from McDavid and see if he can create on a secondary line, however, I doubt that happens and the Coach may take the opportunity to play Drai at center (or even 2RW) while Kailer is still here.

      • OriginalPouzar

        Yup – he’s been quite solid the last few games and his shot metrics are off the charts good. He’s playing a very good 3RD right now.

        Not sure much more can be expected of a $1M 7th d-man being asked to play nightly.

        He’s doing his job!

    • TruthHurts98

      Rarely do I disagree with you, but it’s seems difficult to find good wingers for Connor. I think Kailer plays better with the elite players, he’s flat out been the best Oiler’s winger. Pucks are going to start going in for him soon. If he keeps improving then Leon could centre a line! Maybe wishful thinking, it’s a bit disappointing that a teenage lightweight rookie is outplaying the other right wingers. But encouraging at the same time that he might have a great career potting Connor’s passes. I was watching Laine bury pucks last night and imagining if the Oilers stayed at number 2 in the draft that year. They would be deadly with Laine on Connor’s wing! But then it just wouldn’t be fair to the other 30 teams. I hope JP finds his game, he doesn’t seem to be progressing that well.