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Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

GDB 80.0: Playing out the string (7pm MT, SNW)

After last night’s tough loss in Vegas, the Oilers won’t have much time to rest as they’re right back at it again tonight against the Colorado Avalanche, the team that officially eliminated Edmonton from playoff contention.

Now that the playoff dream is officially over, though I’d suggest that’s been the case for a while now, the Oilers have three more games to ride out until they disappear into the sunset for the summer. Not only are the fans frustrated, but the players are feeling the same way as we saw with Connor McDavid’s post-game interview from last night, and that’s a tough pill to swallow for a fanbase that’s been kicked in the pills more than any other. It’s strange to think that guys being paid millions of dollars to play a game deserve better than what they’re getting, but I would certainly argue that’s the case for the Big Three. I know I’m preaching to the choir at this point, but I feel like we’ve all been hurt so many times in strange and creative ways by this hockey team that it’s gotten to a point where I don’t even know what to say anymore.

Now that we’ve officially arrived in the “there’s always next year” portion of the season, again your mileage may vary on when that actually happened, it’ll be interesting to see how these next three games go. The fan in me will always want the team to win, why else would I spend so much time watching them, but I also remember missing out on Patrick Kane because the team went out and won an extra game during garbage time so I feel torn about what I want to see. At the moment, provided the standings stay the way they are, the Oilers would be drafting in the eighth slot at the upcoming draft which, in itself, is fine but not nearly as exciting of a consolation prize that another top three pick would provide. Do they deserve it? No, this team certainly does now. Do the fans? Absolutely.

In the two games played against Colorado so far, the Oilers have a 1-1-0 record and have been outscored by an 8-7 margin over the season series.

NUMBERS

OILERS AVALANCHE
RECORD 34-36-9 36-29-14
WIN/LOSS STREAK L3 L1
LAST 10 GAMES 3-5-2 6-2-2
GOALS FOR 225 249
GOALS AGAINST 264 237
POWER PLAY 21.2 22.4
PENALTY KILL 74.2 78.2
AVG. SHOTS/FOR 29.2 32.6
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST 31.8 31.9
TEAM SAVE% .896 .907
CORSI FOR% 48.02 49.87
PDO 99.3 99.8
TEAM SHOOTING% 7.65 7.48
GOALS FOR% 45.48 50.34

Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (fancies at 5×5)

According to our friends at OddsShark, the total has gone OVER in 4 of Edmonton’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Colorado.

LINEUPS…

Oilers

Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Gambardella – Nuge – Chiasson
Lucic – Cave – Gagner
Rattie- Malone – Currie

Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning

Koskinen

With the Oilers playing last night, we haven’t had any updates on what the lineups might look like for tonight so I just plugged in what we saw last night in Vegas. I would guess that a like Tobias Rieder might draw back in, but I’m really only guessing and we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Avalanche

Kerfoot – MacKinnon – Compher
Landeskog – Soderberg – Wilson
Nieto – Jost – Calvert
Andrighetto – Brassard – Bourque

Girard – Johnson
Cole – Barrie
Zadorov – Nemeth

Varlamov

Looking at the Avalanche’s stats page, I couldn’t help but notice how they have six players with 40+ points on their roster (the Oilers have three) and that they’re still battling for the second Wild Card spot, which shows just how much work the new GM will have in front of him this offseason. Yeah, the Oilers have the high-end talent but they lack some serious depth on the rest of their roster, and that’s an issue that will need to get solved.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

From Mile High Sticking:

The Colorado Avalanche stole a point in St. Louis thanks to a heart-attack, last-second goal from Alexander Kerfoot. They also did not lose in overtime, which is refreshing. They actually played something called defense which was very weird-looking when executed by the Avs. Alas, thanks to a bizarre decision to send Sven Andrighetto out as the third shooter in the shootout, they did ultimately lose.

But the Avalanche got a point, so their playoffs hopes are still alive with just three games left in the regular season. As of right now they have two points up on the Arizona Coyotes, who also have three games remaining.

Colorado doesn’t have an easy schedule. They do have today’s game against an Edmonton Oilers team that was eliminated by last night’s Avs-Blues game. However, they host the powerhouse Jets for the final home game of the season before heading out to San Jose, which is always death.

So tonight’s two points are crucial. They need them both. They cannot let that final game in San Jose be the deciding factor. The Coyotes, meanwhile, play the Kings in Arizona tonight, the Knights in Vegas and finish at home against the Jets. A pretty similar schedule.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk

Game Day Prediction: Filled with rage because Colorado officially eliminated them from playoff contention, the Oilers hit the ice with a fiery passion which propels them to a 3-2 win.

Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor will be asked pre-game about how he feels that the Oilers missed the playoffs again and he will be just as irritated as he as last night.

Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Disappointed that the boys were in Colorado and did not have access to a Bobby Nicks burger if they wanted, the team rents out a private plane to bring a few BNBs out to the boys.


Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 4/2/2019 – 12:00 pm MT