GDB 50.0: Let’s get back on track (8pm MT, HNIC)

Photo credit:Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
It’s Saturday afternoon, I’m at the beautiful Jasper Park Lodge for the annual pond hockey tourney, and the Edmonton Oilers have a huge opportunity to pick up two points against another struggling opponent. Does it get any better than that? No. It doesn’t.
Be sure to check out the latest Oilers game day odds from NHL betting site Betway
Seeing as the Oilers had only two games this week and that both of them were against teams in the mix for Connor Bedard, the only acceptable outcome from a stretch like this was to have four points tucked in the bank. And since that didn’t happen on Wednesday against Columbus — I know they got a single point for the OTL but still — we’re all going to be stressing unless the boys get back in the win column. That said, I’m always wary about games that are supposed to be “sure things” as we’ve lived through countless examples over the years (and this week) where that hasn’t worked out as planned. I don’t know why we lower our bar at times, but I think we can all agree that we’d rather not see another repeat performance. On the flip side, if the boys put in an effort like we know they can then we’re going to be fine, and that’s what makes nights like this one so stressful.
If we’re being honest, the Chicago Blackhawks are terrible and there is absolutely no reason that the Oilers shouldn’t be the ones that cash in two points. Even with a very respectable 7-3-0 record over their last 10 games, Chicago is right in the middle of their sucking hard for Bedard campaign and I think the best thing for everyone involved is if we help them take another step closer. We need the points, they want Bedard — it’s a win-win for everybody. But as we were reminded on Wednesday night against Columbus, the Oilers need to do their part by being engaged from the jump and carrying that effort through for 60 minutes because no one is going to give them anything in this league. Then again, maybe it was important to get a reminder that there are no gimmes in this league. Either way, tonight’s matchup with Chicago presents the Oilers with another opportunity to grab two points from a team that doesn’t seem too interested in wins, and anything less than that will surely be disappointing.
Let’s see what the numbers say.


Last 10 Games7-1-27-3-0
POWER PLAY%31.419.1
AVG. SHOTS/FOR32.926.1
TEAM SAVE%.917.909
CORSI FOR%50.7742.25
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)




After the way the Oilers struggled to get much going against Columbus on Thursday, I’m curious to see if Jay Woodcroft makes any changes to his line combos.


T.Johnson – Domi – Kane
Kurashev – Toews – Raddysh
Dickinson – Lafferty – Athanasiou
Blackwell – Entwistle – R. Johnson
McCabe – S. Jones
J. Johnson – Murphy
C. Jones – Mitchell
I don’t know what the deal is with the Blackhawks right now. They’re winning games when they should be losing, and that worries me considering that this is a game the Oilers should win more often than not.


From Second City Hockey:
Looks like the Chicago Blackhawks are in for another late night on Saturday when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at 9 p.m. CT at the Rogers Place. It’ll be Chicago’s last game before the All-Star break.
The two teams have already met twice this season, and the Oilers won both games: 6-5 and 5-4, respectively. The last time the Oilers won — on Nov. 30 — Leon Draisaitl had two goals and an assist while Brett Kulak, Connor McDavid, Matthias Janmark, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all had two-point nights. All of the aforementioned players will appear in the Oilers’ lineup this Saturday.
Draisaitl and McDavid continue to make the Oilers a competitive team— especially on the power play. Draisaitl currently has 73 points (28 G, 45 A), and is second in the league only to McDavid who has 89 points (40 G, 49 A) and is on an 11-game point streak.
Edmonton has a semi-decent record this season (27-18-4 overall and 12-11-3 at home), but the Oilers are 26-6-2 when they score at least three goals. Despite Chicago’s recent play, in five of its last 10 games, they’ve given up at least three goals, which could give the Oilers an edge. The Hawks have conceded a total of 166 goals this season, with a total goal differential of minus-56.
Two other Oilers players to keep an eye on would be Zach Hyman and Evander Kane. Hyman currently has eight goals and eight assists in the past 10 games, while Kane is returning to the roster after taking Wednesday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets due to personal reasons. Kane has 5 goals and 13 points in 17 games this season.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers get back in the win column with a steady showing that leads to a 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Let’s toss another multi-point game by Connor McDavid on the pile, shall we?
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Not only do the Oilers kill off every penalty they take, but they also pick up a shorthanded goal in the process.

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