GDB 4.0: Oilers Look to Continue Road Success (5:30pm MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Jason Gregor
8 months ago
The Edmonton Oilers won 27 of their 41 road games last year. They had the fourth-most road wins in the NHL and the fifth-highest points% at .695% (27-11-3). Only Boston, Colorado and New Jersey won more road games. Losing 8-1 in Vancouver to open the season wasn’t ideal, but when the Oilers have an off-night on the road, they make sure it is a no-doubter.
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Including the two road games this year the Oilers are 28-12-3 on the road. They’ve allowed 5+ goals in 11 of those 15 losses. They gave up eight to the Canucks, allowed seven three times, six goals four times and five goals three times. And it wasn’t often a terrible start that crushed them, but rather getting buried in the second and third periods.
In the 11 losses where they allowed 5+ goals, they were outscored 32-16 in the second and 23-9 in the third. They weren’t great in the first, being outscored 10-6, but the final 40 minutes is where they’ve struggled. In their 28 wins they jumped out to leads regularly. They’ve only trailed after the first period four times, and only once by two goals, which ironically was the only regulation loss for Boston last season when they held a two-goal lead.
If the Oilers are leading or tied after the first period tonight, the odds look very good they will win. They are 24-0 on the road when leading or tied after the first period. Conversely, the Flyers aren’t a juggernaut on home ice. They are 19-18-5 in their previous 42 home games. They’ve led after the first period 10 times and are 8-2. They’ve trailed 15 times and won three games.
Recently, the first period on the road has been crucial for the Oilers. Get off to a good start and they carry it home. If they’ve been down, and it wasn’t by a lot as they’ve been outscored 10-6 in the first during their losses, they seem to struggle in the final 40 minutes.
The Oilers led the NHL with 92 first period goals last season, and they are tied for second this season with five. They are tied with the Flyers, so the first period could have some offensive fireworks. Be ready.
Leon Draisaitl has scored in every game this season. A goal tonight would tie him with Mark Messier for the second-longest goal streak to start a season at four games. Wayne Gretzky owns the record with eight. Draisaitl has scored a goal in five straight games seven times, and his career best is seven games, which he set last season. Philadelphia is one of only three cities in the NHL where Draisaitl has fewer than three career goals. He has one goal in seven visits to Detroit, one in three games in Seattle and two in six games in Philly. He is due.




Kane – McDavid – Draisaitl
Hyman – RNH – Foegele
Holloway – McLeod –Brown
Erne – Janmark – Ryan
Nurse – Ceci
Ekholm – Bouchard
Kulak – Desharnais
Only lineup change has Vincent Desharnais drawing in for Philip Broberg. Broberg has played well, but the Oilers don’t want Desharnais sitting out for long stretches, at least early on. It will be interesting to see which teams Woodcroft opts to dress 11-7 against. Adam Erne has been much more noticeable and engaged than Derek Ryan or Mattias Janmark thus far, and if the Oilers go 11-7, one of them could be the odd man out. Both of them need to be more involved starting tonight.
Sticking with Jack Campbell in goal makes sense. He has played well right from the start of training camp. Keep him rolling. I don’t think they want Stuart Skinner sitting out too long either, so he will either play Saturday at home v. Winnipeg or next Tuesday in Minnesota. I could see him starting Saturday.


Tippett – Couturier – Atkinson
Konecny – Laughton – Foerster
Farabee – Cates – Brink
Deslauriers – Poehling – Hathaway
York – Sanheim
Staal – Walker
Zamula – Seeler
The Flyers’ top pair will likely face the McDavid-Draisaitl line the most, and young Cam York will be in tough. One matchup to watch will be the Laughton line v. RNH line. The Foegele-RNH-Hyman trio was excellent in Nashville, and we’ll see if Laughton and Konecny can slow them down. The Flyers have a big, heavy fourth line and we’ll see if they try to run around and stir things up tonight.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: Edmonton finishes the short road trip undefeated with a 5-2 victory.
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: Draisaitl extends his goal streak to four games.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: For only the second time as an Oiler and third time in five seasons, Warren Foegele scores a goal in consecutive games.

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