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.
- 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