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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 20.0: VIVA LAS YEGAS! (6pm MST, SNW)

For the second time in as many nights, the Edmonton Oilers will be facing off against a Pacific Division rival to try and secure a four-point swing in the standings. Can it be done? We’re only a few short hours from finding out. 

After running all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in their first ever season, is anyone really that surprised that the Golden Knights have crashed back to earth this year? I mean, c’mon… All season long, I kept thinking that each and every loss was going to be the one that sent Vegas spiralling towards the bottom of the standings but it just never happened. Remember when the Oilers absolutely pummelled the Golden Knights 8-2 at home last November? I was convinced that that was going to be game to send our boys shooting skyward and the Knights crashing back down to the bitter, dark hell we ended up in. Instead, they just kept finding ways to win and ended up only a few Ws away from writing one of the best sports stories of all time. Fast forward to this season and the Golden Knights have come back down to earth, and look much more like the team I expected them to be last year.

Looking back at last season, Edmonton was one of the few teams to actually have some consistent success against Vegas (3-1 record), managing to outscore the eventual runner-ups by a combined score of 16-11 over four games. Outside of that one game, a 4-1 road loss in mid-February, the Oilers were able to put up all kinds of offence against the Golden Knights and I’m hoping that a little bit of that touch has been able to carry over. They spread the goals around, Connor did his thing, and we went home happy 75% of the time. All in all, the series against Vegas was one of the few overall bright spots that we had last year so I ended up clutching to those three wins more than I probably should have or is totally reasonable. With the way last night’s game in Calgary ended, the boys need to do something to brighten the mood around here because that loss was every shade of disappointing. I’m thinking actually playing for the full 60 minutes would be a good start.

NUMBERS

OILERS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
RECORD 9-9-1 8-11-1
WIN/LOSS STREAK L1 L1
GOALS FOR 54 50
GOALS AGAINST 60 58
POWER PLAY 19.7 16.7
PENALTY KILL 75.0 85.5
AVG. SHOTS/FOR 31.5 34.2
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST 30.2 26.2
TEAM SAVE% .903 .899
CORSI FOR% 50.54 56.41
PDO 98.88 95.62
TEAM SHOOTING% 6.55 6.01
EXPECTED GOALS FOR% 52.03 56.86

Numbers courtesy of Corsica (fancies at 5×5)

LINES

Oilers

Caggiula – McDavid – Draisaitl
Spooner – Nuge – Rattie
Lucic – Marody – Chiasson
Khaira – Brodziak – Kassian

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Benning
Gravel – Russell

Talbot

After last night’s game in Calgary, there hasn’t been any indication just yet about what the line combinations are going to look like tonight so I’ve kept things the same until news comes out. For now, what we know for sure is that Cam Talbot will get the start but that’s about it. But I’ll keep checking for news on the bus ride home and update things as news comes out.

Golden Knights

Marchessault-Karlsson-Smith
Pacioretty-Eakin-Tuch
Nosek-Carpenter-Hyka
Carrier-Bellemare-Reaves

McNabb-Miller
Theodore-Engelland
Merrill-Holden

Fleury

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Vegas Hockey Knights:

Underwhelming. That’s the one word that sums up the Vegas Golden Knights 2018-19 campaign thus far. The team isn’t buying into Gerard Gallant’s hard-working, three-zone style of play.

Vegas has struggled in all facets of the game, defending, scoring and goaltending have been average to subpar to start the year. And to make matters worse, the NHL’s newest team is banged up and filled with injuries. The club is missing Erik Haula and Paul Stastny to long-term ailments.

Luckily the Golden Knights have a lot of things working in their favor as of late. Vegas defeated the Anaheim Ducks in a 5-0 rout at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night. The victory stopped a two-game skid and improved the overall team record to 8-10-1. Sure that record isn’t impressive in the slightest. However, nearly the entire Pacific division currently sits in a similar position.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

Game Day Prediction: Back-to-back games? No problem. The Oilers handled the Golden Knights last season and they do it again this year, starting with a big 4-3 win tonight.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: I am soooooo hungover after last night’s Nation Road Trip game in Calgary and will definitely eat two-four bags of beef jerky to try and get over it.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: After landing in Edmonton early, the Golden Knights get their morning skate out of the way and spend the rest of the day at the Grand Villa Casino to try and make themselves feel more at home. They enjoy steak sandwiches and tip decently well.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 11/18/2018 – 12:00 pm MT

    • Peter Chiarelli whisperer

      As usual, the fans are overreacting. Thumbs up for Oilers management.

      Lucic – McDavid – Draisaitl
      Spooner – Nuge – Rattie
      Klefbom – Larsson
      Nurse – Benning
      Talbot

      OR

      Nuge – McDavid – Draisaitl
      Hall – Barzal – Eberle
      Klefbom – Petry
      Nurse – Schultz
      Dubnyk

      • crabman

        except your roster costs the Oilers over $6M per season more and considering we are up against the cap it wouldn’t work. ofcourse maybe Russell isn’t signed for $4M amd we save $3m on his replacement but we are still well over the cap. Even if we saved on the backup position by $1.25M because we have faith in Dubnyk we would still be over the cap.
        I understand your frustration, I am right there with you, but every move is done seperately and the roster you suggested would never have happened. Any one of those changes though does potentially improve this team a lot.

  • Chris_Cruise

    Mr Bung, you had me cracking up last night with your disclaimers under every message about downvoting.

    I have to say that was some funny stuff man!

      • rnj

        Hey weird the guy whose comments got trashed nonstop last night has a fan complimenting those same comments. A new account I’ve never seen before. That posts for the first time immediately as the GDB comes out. Has anyone seen them in the same room together?

        • Chris_Cruise

          Haha nice rnj but we’re different people.

          I can see how MrBung wears on the eternal optimists here but I can appreciate both sides. He calls it how he sees it. Nothing wrong with that.

          Can’t hate on a fan who’s fed up with being dragged through the mud for as long as we all have. He just has the courage to call it like he sees it. Maybe I’m not in the comments enough for that to wear on me like it does to others. Oh well, you know what they say about opinions…

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    IF the Oilers win tonight, it will undo last night’s game and put them right back to square one. We’re 0-1-0 against the Pacific so far and 36-18-5 against them in the past 3 seasons. They got this

    • Arfguy

      I don’t want to trash it, but I honestly think that Lucic’s days as a potential scoring threat are long past. If the Oilers want offence from their forwards, Lucic should be kept far away.

      The only way I see Lucic really scoring these days is in front of the net, but his speed and reaction time is sorely lacking to be able to tip pucks or deposit rebounds.

    • MrBung

      Agreed. This current Oiler roster is not good enough to make the playoffs. GM and coach will be gone at the end of the season. Coach might be sooner given management having no more options left to fix the mess they created.

      • tealyn

        I think that if Chia was concerned in the least about his job that Mclellan would have been long gone, the fact that he isn’t gone tells me that Chia isn’t smart enough to be worried about his job. Troubling…

    • TruthHurts98

      I’m with you too. TM putting the boat anchor on the top line because Leon is too much of a wuss to fight Tkachuk. They should have targeted baby Gaudreau but let him skate circles around the entire team. They will give the Kings a run for last place in the league this season.

      • TruthHurts98

        That 3rd period last night has pretty much done me in as an Oiler fan. Rivaled the playoff meltdown against the Ducks in game 5. The entire team stunk. But it goes all the way to the top. Katz has the worst record as an owner. Losing is like an incurable disease with this franchise. Playoffs?!? Weakest division in the league and the Oilers will still be bottom 5 in the NHL by the end of the year with these fools running this team. It’s sad.