GDB 5.0: The Oilers and Jets are both looking to get on track (8pm MT, HNIC)

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
6 months ago
After kicking off the season with a 1-3 record, the Nation is spicy these early days and understandably so. The good news is that every game day presents a new opportunity for our boys to right the ship, and the hope is that a date with the Winnipeg Jets is precisely what the doctor ordered.
Be sure to check out the latest NHL odds with online sportsbook Betway.
I don’t even know where to start with this GDB. Usually, I’d be excited to watch the Oilers play in the late slot on Hockey Night in Canada, but after the way the Philly game played out, I’m having a hard time getting there. As a fanbase, I almost feel like we’re more fired up about game days than the team, you know? I’m not saying that the boys aren’t trying or anything like that, but it’s also hard to watch what’s happening and not feel like the Oilers thought this would be easy or something. Do they have the flu? Are the boys sleeping okay? Rather than dictating the play as you would expect any contender to do, the Oilers are struggling to string plays together and that lack of execution has been painful to watch.
Four games in the books, and still no third period goals? It’s weird. It’s painful. It reminds me of another time I’d rather not discuss right now, but it’s most often remembered for piles of losses and the media having their snacks taken away. My point is that just mentioning the word ‘swarm’ is enough to trigger any fan of a particular vintage, and right now, the Oilers look like they’re learning to swarm. The good news is that I’m mostly complaining this early in the season to vent, and I don’t think we should be too concerned just yet unless this dumpster smoke starts spitting out some flames. But even though I do believe the words I just wrote, I know we’re all a loss or two from a ledge somewhere. There are no literal must-win games in October, but this one might be close spiritually.
Standing in our way of victory is a Winnipeg Jets team that also hasn’t had a very good start to their season. At 1-3-0, they’ve struggled mightily at both ends of the rink, and it’s a story that feels all too familiar. While the Jets haven’t had the same scoring issues as the Oilers so far, they have given up four+ goals in every game they’ve played and can’t win squat unless they outscore their problems. Whether it’s Hellebuyck — tonight’s starter — or Laurent Brossoit, the usually formidable goaltending in Winnipeg has looked anything but, which presents an opportunity for Edmonton, provided that they’re willing to grind a little bit. This is one of those times when the Oilers need to get back to basics instead of trying to be so pretty all the time. I’m talking hard word, plenty of shots, crashing the net, and collecting the garbage. Until things start gelling, that’s how it has to be.
Let’s dive into the spreadsheets.


POWER PLAY%25.012.5
AVG. SHOTS/FOR30.034.5
TEAM SAVE%.884.880
CORSI FOR%56.4457.30
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)
  • Tonight’s matchup marks the first of three games against the Jets this season and the lone game in Edmonton. The next time these teams meet will be on November 30th in Winnipeg.
  • The Jets have the edge over the last 10 games in the head-to-head matchup, sporting a record of 7-3-0 against the Oilers and outscoring them 34 to 28.
  • Connor McDavid leads the Oilers with 51 career points against the Jets, while Mattias Ekholm has appeared in a team-high 37 career games versus Winnipeg.




Hyman – McDavid – Draisaitl
Foegele – Nugent-Hopkins – Janmark
Kane – McLeod – Brown
Holloway – Ryan
Ekholm – Bouchard
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Desharnais
According to this morning’s line rushes, it looks like the Oilers will be going with the 11/7 configuration, with Stuart Skinner getting the start in net. Most notably, Evander Kane is getting bumped off the first line in favour of Zach Hyman while Mattias Janmark climbs up on the line with RNH and Foegele. Understandably, some of us are puzzled by these new forward lines, but with so many guys still needing to get going, maybe another rip around the blender is what it takes to generate a spark.


Connor – Scheifele – Appleton
Perfetti – Namestnikov – Ehlers
Iafallo – Lowry – Niederreiter
Barron – Kupari – Gustafsson
Morrissey – DeMelo
Samberg – Pionk
Stanley – Samberg
Like the Oilers, the Jets are struggling with their fundamentals right now, and that suggests to me that this game could be a high scoring affair. Let’s be honest, Edmonton hasn’t exactly been a defensive fortress out there and if the Jets are anything similar then I’d expect a lot of mistakes and opportunities to score. Then again, Winnipeg has played us hard since the bubble playoffs and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Jets look like they’re one of the best defensive teams in the league all of a sudden.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers avenge Thursday’s disappointment with a decisive 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid responds to an off-night personally against the Flyers with yet another multi-point night. Angry Connor emerges, and he takes the rage out on the poor Jets.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Make it two straight games where the PK handles their business perfectly.

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