The Edmonton Oilers play the Washington Capitals tonight, it should be a brilliant game drunk with fantastic plays delivered by ridiculous players. However, there’s also a ‘bad moon rising’ feel to the game. Why? Two reasons: the visiting team got caved in their last game and will arrive in a mood most foul. Also: The recall of Anthony Peluso by Washington in time for tonight’s tilt.
Peluso is well described (as always) by The Hockey News as “a mammoth tough guy (6-3, 235 pounds) with very good pugilistic skills, he plays the enforcer role very effectively at lower levels. Has enough ability to play in the NHL.” Source
The math matches up with the verbal perfectly. Per 82 NHL games, Peluso is 2-6-8, 121 pims. For a team that already employs Tom Wilson, who has a “Raffi Torres is having a hard time with the rules” feel to his career, one wonders exactly what we’re in for tonight.
BEAT ‘EM HIGH, BEAT ‘EM LOW
Depending on who dresses in tonight’s game (the Caps have injury issues, including Nicklas Backstrom and Brett Connolly), we might see two skill lines and two “your 1975 Philadelphia Flyers!” support lines. It sounds insane, but could happen just this way.
OILERS 5X5 SCORING (FORWARDS)
Edmonton badly needs to have some balance in scoring and until recently only one line was pumping at even strength. Here’s the current look at 5×5 points per 60:
- Leon Draisaitl 4.10
- Patrick Maroon 2.65
- Connor McDavid 2.59
- Milan Lucic 2.24
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.20
- Ryan Strome 1.18
- Zack Kassian 0.68
- Kailer Yamamoto 0.67
Incredible we’ve reached Game 10 and only eight forwards have managed to score a 5×5 point. That said, there are five forwards at 2.00+ and that’s a fine number. If Strome or other can join the group, and they can sustain it, Edmonton’s top 6F will be fabulous. Still need some answers in the bottom 6F.
Maroon – McDavid – Draisaitl
Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – Strome
Caggiula – Letestu – Kassian
Jokinen – Khaira – Slepyshev
Klefbom – Larsson
Russell – Benning
Nurse – Gryba
At the time of posting, the Oilers hadn’t indicated what their lineups would look like for tonight’s game. Posted above is what they finished the game with on Thursday and it will be interesting to see if Yamamoto gets back in or not. We’ll update the lines as the Oilers do.
***UPDATE*** Jack Michaels confirmed that the Oilers will go with the same lineup.
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Smith-Pelly
Stephenson – Eller – Wilson
Peluso – Beagle – Chiasson
Djoos – Carlson
Orlov – Chorney
Orpik – Bowey
Right now, Brett Connolly is a question mark as to whether or not he will play. He’s listed as day-to-day. We’ll update the lines as we can.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
- Mike Vogel, Dump and Chase: The Caps have yielded the game’s first goal in each of their last five games, going 1-4 during that span. Washington has owned a lead for a combined total of just 3 minutes and 59 seconds of its last five contests, covering a period of 301 minutes and 56 seconds of hockey played during that span. Source
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The game begins in rugged fashion and the first period takes one hour. Edmonton gets a 1-0 lead (power-play goal, Connor McDavid from Leon Draisaitl) but the parade to the penalty box and march to the dressing room for repairs has fans in a state of extreme nausea.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The second period replaces rugged with filthy and it’s 1975 all over again. “There will be blood” is interrupted only by a Capitals power-play goal and timeouts to clean up the, well, blood.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The third period gets back to hockey with Edmonton cashing early in the final stanza on a Zack Kassian breakaway goal made possible by a Capitals defender gone head hunting. The damn breaks from there and Edmonton cruises, 4-2. The post game media avails by each coach trying not to get fined are the highlights of the evening.
Source: Edmonton Oilers, Official Game Page, 10/28/2017, 10:30am