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GDB 23.0: Oilers vs. Hurricanes – Take 2 (7:30pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
baggedmilk
2 months ago
After what feels like an eternity, the Edmonton Oilers are back in action with a rematch versus the Carolina Hurricanes. As we all remember, things didn’t go too well when these teams last met up, and now it’s time for our boys to dole out a little payback against an opponent that hasn’t been too kind over the years. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s game day.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL odds with online sportsbook Betway.
Was this six-day break good for the Oilers, or bad? On the one hand, Kris Knoblauch admitted that some players needed time to heal up from some nagging injuries, and what better way to do that than with a few days off to chill in the hot tub? On the other hand, the Oilers were rolling to the tune of a four-game win streak before this not-the-actual-bye-week bye-week, and I’d hate to see that mojo get ruined with a little days-off rust. I know the boys are pro athletes and all, but I also know what my days look like when I’ve got a mini vacay on the calendar, and I’m not even a millionaire in my mid-twenties. Just imagine the possibilities. Ah, to be young… and rich.
The problem with truly enjoying the mini-vacay is that the Oilers are coming into tonight’s rematch with the Hurricanes in 30th place overall. Our beloved Edmonton Oilers still find themselves near the bottom of the NHL standings even with this four-game win streak, and it’s an obvious problem that can only be solved by a warehouse full of hard work and an equal dose of skill. And with the Carolina Hurricanes in town to kick off a six-game homestand, there’s no time for the Oilers to ease their way back in. Not to mention, the boys will want some revenge after playing what was arguably their worst game of the season when these clubs met two weeks ago in Raleigh. If you’ve blocked game #18 from your memory, the boys were basically out of it by the 10-minute mark of the first period, and it was as painful as it gets to watch because hope was dead before my first beer was empty.
Rolling into town with a 6-3-1 record in their last 10 games overall, the Hurricanes fell 2-1 to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night and pushed their road record below .500 to 6-7-0 on the season. While mostly unstoppable at home, the Hurricanes haven’t been nearly as dangerous away from PNC Arena, and that gives the Oilers a fantastic opportunity to exact revenge for the 6-3 loss, improve upon their 5-4-1 home record, and, most importantly, pick up two massive points in the standings. As of this morning, the Oilers are still eight points back of the second wildcard spot with two games in hand, and while it may feel like there’s a lot of time left, winning four games in a row doesn’t matter much if you’re not making progress in the standings. If this group plans to keep climbing its way back into contention, they’ll need to find ways to beat teams like the Hurricanes or risk spinning their wheels in a lottery position forever.
Let’s see what the numbers say…

THE NUMBERS

OILERSHURRICANES
RECORD9-12-114-9-1
WIN/LOSS STREAKW4L1
LAST 10 GAMES7-3-06-3-1
GOALS FOR7482
GOALS AGAINST7977
POWER PLAY%26.621.4
PENALTY KILL%78.277.2
AVG. SHOTS/FOR33.434.6
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST28.524.6
TEAM SAVE%.909.904
CORSI FOR%54.6461.49
PDO1.0010.994
TEAM SHOOTING%9.219.00
EXPECTED GOALS FOR%55.7761.88
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • As Gregor wrote in this morning’s game notes, the Oilers are 3-9 against the Hurricanes in their last 12 games. Needless to say, that record sticks out like a green hat with an orange bill.
  • Evander Kane leads the Oilers with 31 career points (14G, 17A) against Carolina, and he has appeared in a team-leading 35 career games against the Hurricanes.
  • Evan Bouchard extended his point streak to eight games with an assist against the Winnipeg Jets and now has 10 points (2G, 8A) in that span. Bouchard currently ranks 5th in the NHL in points among defencemen (22) and has 12 power play points, which is good for 3rd among d-men.

PRESENTED BY BETWAY

LINEUPS…

Oilers

RNH – McDavid – Hyman
Kane – Draisaitl – Brown
Foegele – McLeod – Janmark
Gagner/Erne – Hamblin – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Skinner
Outside of not yet knowing who will be in on the fourth line — Gagner or Erne — it’s hard to imagine Kris Knoblauch tinkering with his lineup too much on the back of a four-game win streak. That said, we’ll see how tonight’s rematch goes because you know it won’t be long before the blender to come out if the team starts anywhere near as flat as they did on November 22nd.

Hurricanes

Teravainen – Aho – Jarvis
Svechnikov – Kotkaniemi – Necas
Martinook – Staal – Fast
Bunting – Drury – Noesen
Slavin – Burns
Skjei – Pesce
Orlov – Chatfield
Raanta
The Canes are still without Freddie Andersen as their starting goaltender, which means Antti Raanta will be manning the crease and that presents an opportunity for an Oilers team that seems to be finding its scoring touch. Raanta has given up 10 goals against over his last two starts, and while eight of those goals came in a single game, the reality is that he’s been wildly inconsistent over the last few weeks. If the Oilers can get to him early the maybe they’ll have the foundation for a successful evening against a team that has beaten them seven times in the last nine games.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From News Observer:
Brind’Amour was asked last week about his sixth season as head coach, about the challenge of fitting the pieces together, of remaining patient and confident in what you’re doing.
The core group is strong. Leadership is strong. The talent, some of it high-priced, is there.
“It’s about finding that consistent game,” Brind’Amour said.
The track record is there: five seasons as head coach, five times in the Stanley Cup playoffs, two Eastern Conference final appearances. The Canes have won the Metro Division the past two seasons.
Some oddsmakers made the Canes the preseason favorites to win the 2024 Stanley Cup.
“We’ve got a good thing going here,” Brind’Amour said last week. “We’ve had, I wouldn’t say a tough start, but it hasn’t gone exactly the way we would have liked. But I love how we’ve handled it. How we’ve come to work every day and really how we’ve played the games.
“Maybe we haven’t gotten the bounces or it hasn’t quite lined up, but I’m confident it will.”

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The power play comes through with two goals and powers the Oilers to a 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid extends points streak to seven games with his fifth multi-point night of this heater.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Cody Ceci picks up his first goal since October 15th, 2022. When it happens, you’ll think I’m a witch.

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