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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.

RELATED ARTICLE:
Days of Playoffs Past: What the Edmonton Oilers can learn from their 2017 playoff run
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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)

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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.

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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.

RELATED ARTICLE:
NHL History: Glen Sather steps down as Edmonton Oilers head coach

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.

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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


  • For many years I thought Vancouver is the goalie graveyard of the NHL.
    I don’t think Talbot re-signs in Edmonton. By the end of this year he’ll be a nervous wreck, a broken down man, a blubbering mess crying for his Mommy.
    Coach Mclellan too, that man looks stressed.

  • SRELIOFAN

    Man, as a fan that loss was deflating last night. It would have been easier to stomach if they hadn’t been up 2-0 in the second. They absolutely have to close out those kind of games, ESPECIALLY against the Flames.

    Hoping for a strong game from Talbot and a big win tonight or else team (and fan) morale is going to be at a new low.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I dont know how much gas the Oilers will have in the tank but I hope they play a full 60 and can come out like they did the first two in Cowtown and just play good smart. The third the defensive awareness just was gone from the game, too much blendering killed the chemistry last night, and please lets try to stay out of the box

    I would say play Koskinen again, but I think he’d be tired from last night, otherwise I only really saw one goal I didnt like that went in on Koskinen, otherside the other he had no chance on, but I thought he was pretty solid.

    I think the Oil will start Talbot, I hope if they do start Talbot that comes back and plays his ass off like the Drake did and shows why they need to be playing him, guess we will see

    Lets go Oil!

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I guess I should have added if Koskinen isnt tired and says he is good to go then I say play him, I thought Koskinen was a rock last night 3 of those goals he didnt have a chance on the one I think he’d like back but overall his performance was great. I am officially putting the nic name I gave him in the preseason of Kosititsin on the shelf

  • Leichs

    I don’t know what to hope for anymore. On one hand, the pacific is weak and a win gets us right back in the thick of things with a lof of hocky left to play. On the other, I am sick of the coach and GM and I really don’t think we are going to any SCF with these two guys at the helm. Change will only come when the losses start piling up (if that hasnt happened already). I don’t like the way coach has been handling our young players and his decision to keep Luc on the top line despite how bad he clearly looked is just one of many Todd blunders. Marody only played 3 minutes and change if those numbers are correct? It seems the young guys are all held accountable and if they make one mistake or bad play they are banished to the bench for the whole game or demoted like Jesse. Guys like Luc, Drake, Strome, Nurse and Benning can make as many mistakes as they want with absolutely no consquence. This coach is coaching fear of error into our young players right out of the gate. I’m sure Bouchard felt it when he scored his first career goal and was healthy scratched the following game. Caleb Jones got the same treatment during the preseason. Made one mistake in one game (a game he scored in later on) and got immidiately sent down without having the opportunity to dress a game with our main roster and despite how good he looked the games before. I dunno anymore.

        • Chris_Cruise

          I don’t see why this got any trashes. A lot of haters on here today. Too much saltiness leftover from last night. Logically you wouldn’t want a new coach to inherit this mess of a roster. He’d be set up for failure. I see your point in wanting a GM in place first and then the coach actually comes in like he stands a chance. Not plugging holes like Todd is currently forced to do.

        • Serious Gord

          Very rare to see the GM fired before a coach.

          The GM traditionally sacrifices his coach in a last ditch effort to save himself.

          I highly doubt that the trajectory will vary from that norm.

        • M22

          Solid point. But, one thing in your post stood out, to me – “really stupid”.

          The Oiler braintrust (lol) simply cannot avoid stupidity. It’s not for lack of caring, as some simpletons have insisted, but rather, lack of ability. Try as they might – and they do try hard, no doubt – they simply can’t be what they long to be: competent. It’s been said several times, in several forums, that the Oilers would be a bottom-dweller had they not won the McDavid lottery. I can’t even make a case against that.

        • Heschultzhescores

          There have been many games he should have been out the door, but we hang onto familiar things even when they have long since stopped working. I’m thinking it’s the money. He is still under contract for a few years. A familiar problem with this team…paying too much for too long and getting too little

  • Heschultzhescores

    Let’s a give Spooner a fair shake. He just flew in from the east to a new team. It’s not his fault Todd rushed him in the lineup and overplayed him

  • Oilers played two good periods last night, first and second. I have to wonder what was said during the intermission, for them to come out flat in the third. It was not the same team.
    Having said that, I expect a boozeless night for Baggedmilk, but a healthy vegan meal instead.

    • TKO

      I think you need to give some credit to the other team… after playing poorly in the second, they regrouped and came out flying. Flames win when they play a speed game, and they turned it on in the third, passes started clicking and no more odd man rushes against. When the Flames are moving their feet, they are a very good team. this isn’t a put down to the Oilers, who have the best player in the world and some good supporting pieces.

      • ARB

        Very true have to give the flames credit for dominating the Oilers in the third. Also Rittich played very well especially with the breakaway saves. Mclellan didn’t help the Oilers at all by not changing the lines back once the game changed and by not rolling all four lines. I want lucic to do well, but he kills every line he is put on. And it was talked about before this year the NHL has changed if a team goes after your star players you go after theirs. Tkachuk did his job perfectly all game!

  • Serious Gord

    Oil have six games left this month. All but one against pacific opponents (4 point games).

    For some time now many oil fans have clung to the “wait till we play the pacific” meme like Hillary clung to “we own Michigan and Wisconsin”. Well it’s nearing midnight and the verdict on the season likely is upon us – the oil either win 4 of six or the odds of playoff hockey in Edmonton get A LOT steeper.

  • Kelly Youngblood

    Anyone else get that fake virus threat when you’re on this site? Annoying. Talbot needs to ride the pine for awhile. Koskinen is clearly the better goalie right now. Right shot D man Luke Schenn on waivers. Slow but a good shot.

  • Ko-D

    ? Nicholson, Lowe, MacTavish, Chiarelli and Mclellan. This team finally needs above league average tallent in the management department. Parts of this group has been failing the team for over a decade. Not sure what’s the alternative is, but a computer picking the medium risk default in every choice would have us far ahead of where we are personal and deployment wise.

  • Chris_Cruise

    He looked like a dead man walking last season too. Nothing changed.

    I said the exact thing verbatim to Reid Wilkins after our debacle in Buffalo last season. I sat right behind the oil bench and couldn’t believe how unhealthy and distraught he looked up close in person. So I called in to 630 ched leaving buffalo that night to get their thoughts. The stress was literally eating Todd alive it seemed. So unhealthy looking, kind of like how Eakins began to look after losses piled up. They might need to let him go for his own well being.