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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 17.0: The Nuge is out all Over Town! (5pm MST, SNW)

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is on pace to score 31 goals and 62 points this season, a fabulous spike in production for the classy two-way center. His role hasn’t changed—responsible defensively and cash when you can — but his usage has and that may be a key to his current success. The Oilers are going to need Nuge again today if they hope to close out this road trip on a high note.

5×5/60 Scoring (Forwards)

  1. Jesse Puljujarvi 3.87
  2. Leon Draisaitl 2.88
  3. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 2.54
  4. Connor McDavid 2.33
  5. Milan Lucic 2.31
  6. Patrick Maroon 1.89
  7. Ryan Strome 1.27
  8. Anton Slepyshev 1.14
  9. Zack Kassian 0.75
  10. Drake Caggiula 0.60
  11. Kailer Yamamoto 0.52
  12. Source Natural Stat Trick

Last season Nuge’s number in this category was 1.50, and Milan Lucic was at 1.22! That’s a fabulous turnaround and the second line is really pushing for these Edmonton Oilers.

5×5 Usage (Forwards)

The brilliant website Puck IQ showed us that last season RNH spent 42 percent of his 5×5 minutes against what we would consider to be “elite competition”. Puck IQ isn’t up and running yet for this season, but anecdotal information via Natural Stat Trick suggests Todd McLellan is trying to find more clean air for the Nuge line.

RNH and the coach have talked about renewed dedication to the offensive side of the game and the gift of (somewhat) easier minutes have contributed (in my opinion) to this success. If Jesse Puljujarvi is the answer on right-wing, we could see six forward over 2.00/60 at 5×5 this season. That’s an outstanding result.

The Other Side

I spoke to Jason Rogers of Japers Rink yesterday and he told me the Capitals fan base was similar to Oilers nation before the victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins this week. This is a transition season for the Capitals, who are rolling out names like Chandler Stephenson, Christian Djoos and Nathan Walker alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

LINEUPS

Oilers

Maroon-McDavid-Draisaitl
Lucic-RNH-Puljujarvi
Jokinen-Strome-Pakarinen
Malone-Letestu-Kassian

Nurse-Larsson
Klefbom-Benning
Russell-Gryba

Brossoit

Nothing posted yet in terms of lineups yet aside from Brossoit getting the start, but we’ll update things as they come.

Capitals

Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Smith-Pelly
Chandler-Backstrom-Oshie
Vrana-Eller-Wilson
Connolly-Beagle-Chiasson

Djoos-Carlson
Orlov-Chorney
Orpik-Bowey

Holtby

Lineups (subject to change) are courtesy of DailyFaceoff.com.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

  • Mark Roberts, Sports Chat Place: The Washington Capitals are aiming for back to back wins when the Edmonton Oilers take the ice on Sunday. Washington has been looking strong the past few weeks with wins in five of seven following a 4- victory versus the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night. The balanced Capitals offense received scoring from John Carlson, TJ Oshie, Chandler Stephenson and Jacub Vrana on the empty’ net. Carlson also had an assist to help Braden Holtby and his 27 stops to his 200th victory. Source

TONIGHT

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton looks good early, scoring at the 10-minute mark on the power play. Washington answers late in the first period on a Brett Connolly even-strength goal and we’re tied at 1 after the first period. 

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The second period is fantastic hockey, both goalies stopping everything in sight while the defense takes a holiday. Incredibly, no score in the period.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The third period sees the Capitals score twice on the power play, Edmonton getting their own power-play marker and a late even-strength goal from the Nuge. Overtime solves nothing, Capitals win it in the shootout and Edmonton goes 2-1-1 on a successful road trip.

GDB BROUGHT TO YOU BY SHERBROOKE LIQUOR

Take home a growler, a crowler, a sixer, a mixer, whatever. Sherbrooke Liquor. Where’s Your Beer?


Source: NHL.com, Official Game Page, 11/12/2017, 10:00am MST

  • Deported to Ottawa

    It’s nice to see RNH having success. He’s a more impactful player than many fans give him credit for.

    I hope JP can stick and make the type of impact everyone hoped for when he was drafted.

    The Oilers seem to slowly be putting it together. Their start was horrific.

    • MrBung

      Hopefully he has success. If he doesn’t work out, this kind of miss really hurts an organization. Members of that same draft class are making an impact for their teams already.

    • Ryan Jones Is Still My Hero

      Putting Slepyshev, Caggiula and Sekera in the lineup that they have tonight actually makes for a pretty deep top 9 and a solid defense core. Just need to stay alive until we get healthy and then we’ll start rolling

      • jultz=2cups!😂😂

        Ya. I’m not sure that guy watched yesterday’s game. They weren’t very good except for Nuges line. Gonna have to be WAY better today if they want a win in Washington. Sure hope last years Oscar klefbom shows up today…….

  • OriginalPouzar

    Many suggested that Nuge’s offence might spike if he wasn’t relied upon to play such tough minutes. Last year he played 42% of his even strength minutes again elite competition, as a center – some of the toughest forward minutes in the league.

    He is playing with offensive confidence that we haven’t seen since maybe his rookie year and just now is starting to find some chemistry with Lucic.

  • OriginalPouzar

    I would like to see Nuge get a more prominant role on the PP. We saw in his rookie year that he can excell as the PP QB from the half boards.

    Frankly, McDavid is not elite on the PP and I would like to see less reliance on McDavid and Nuge given more responsibility.

    McDavid will be elite on the PP in time, however, at this point, he’s not there yet.

  • OilersGM

    Nuge just needed the msg from the coach to play more offensively. In the past they depended on him so much on defence they sucked the offence outta him. JP just repeat how you played yesterday and Brossoit please steal us one please.

    • cgyearnall/edmfreeloaders

      Did you losers really think they were as good as luck made them last year..lol..one and done…….two good plyers mc d and goalie…dream dream dream…lmao

  • Serious Gord

    They need to play .610 hockey the rest of the way to make the post season. That means they are going to have to beat teams that are better on paper than they are. Teams like The caps. A win tonight, while not essential, would be a very big move in the right – Read: necessary – direction.

    A loss has to be seen as a setback.

  • 0W-20

    Obvious prediction would have EDM getting shellacked to the tune of 5-1. 2 more PPG against and Russell ends the night -3 because he’s a terrible defenseman.

      • cgyearnall/edmfreeloaders

        Blind optimism….lol…god you cooler fans….too funny..best player in league…and you are still bottom 3 in nhl….just imagine how your real team..would be without him..last for sure….and him on any other team would be playoff bound…in calgary cup would be a garountee….way too funny

    • jultz=2cups!😂😂

      Lol. He’s been Edmonton’s 2nd best dman besides nurse this year. Well maybe it’s a toss up between he and larsson. I think you need to actually start watching the games. He is far from the oils biggest problem right now.

  • cgyearnall/edmfreeloaders

    Blind optimism….lol…god you cooler fans….too funny..best player in league…and you are still bottom 3 in nhl….just imagine how your real team..would be without him..last for sure….and him on any other team would be playoff bound…in calgary cup would be a garountee….way too funny

  • camdog

    Obvious game day prediction – for the remainder of the season Flames fans will flock to the internet every time the Oilers play because well there’s nothing else to do in Calgary in the winter, but hey the mountains are sure close by!

  • GK1980

    Not very confident they can win this game. For some reason they haven’t been able to close out or win these close games for some reason. Super Frustrating.