GDB 60.0: All Gas, No Brakes (10:30am MT, SNW)

Photo credit:Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
Rise and shine, Nation. For the third straight weekend, the Edmonton Oilers are getting set for some matinee action and I’ve got the preview with everything you’ll need to know for today’s matchup versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Be sure to check out NHL lines site Betway for the latest Oilers game day odds!
I don’t know why the schedule makers hate us so much this year, but we’re in the midst of a weekend matinee run the likes of which I’ve never seen before. For three weeks in a row, we’ve gotten ourselves ready for these early games, and in two of the three games played over that stretch, the Oilers have found new and creative ways to lose. So should we even be excited about today’s rematch against CBJ? The boys really struggle in the daylight hours, and while I’m not prepared to suggest that they could be vampires just yet, it’s safe to say that this trend is worrisome to say the least… and I’ll need more time to work out the vampire theory. But seeing as today’s game is against a team you should beat more often than not, the pressure to perform has to be high because anything less than two points against the Blue Jackets has to be disappointing. This is a team the Oilers have already lost to this season, but I’m also hopeful they’ll be able to even up the season series this morning.
Now, even though many of us believe that the Oilers should win this hockey game, the last thing they can do is take any length of time to get themselves going. The boys must be ready to go from the minute the puck drops and do everything humanly possible to set the tone rather than letting the Blue Jackets get settled or even in the lead. When these two teams met up a month ago at Rogers Place, the Oilers almost looked happy to ease their way into the game because of the weaker opponent, and it ended up costing them the extra point. With the rematch on deck, I’m looking for the Oilers to take that loss personally like they’re Jordan in ’98. I’m looking for another beatdown exactly like the one we got on Thursday night, ya know? But even if the Oilers can’t put a touchdown up on the boards, playing with the same level of urgency and hustle has to be non-negotiable. With only 23 games left in the season counting this one, the margin for error is too small to be letting opportunities like a win over the Blue Jackets slip away. Limit the mistakes, shoot from the parking lot, and we’ll all be celebrating a win a few hours from now.
Let’s take a look at the numbers.


Last 10 Games5-1-43-5-2
POWER PLAY%32.261.2
AVG. SHOTS/FOR33.429.3
TEAM SAVE%.915.907
CORSI FOR%51.6245.83
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (Sv%, CF%, PDO, Shooting%, xGF% all at 5×5)




RNH – McDavid – Hyman
Draisaitl – Yamamoto
Foegele – Mcleod – Janmark
Shore – Ryan – Puljujarvi
Nurse – Ceci
Kulak – Barrie
Broberg – Bouchard
Outside of Jack Campbell swapping in for Stuart Skinner, I wonder if Woodcroft will make any other tweaks to his lineup after they absolutely demolished their opponent two days ago. Even though we probably won’t know the answer to that question until right before puck drop — no one ever has news ahead of these early games — I’d bet Gregor’s money that we’re probably in line for the same line combos and d-pairings. Right now the 11-7 configuration is working for Edmonton and I’m all for Woody riding it until the wheels fall off.

Blue Jackets

Gaudreau – Jenner – Laine
Johnson – Silliger – Marchenko
Robinson – Kuraly – Olivier
Foudy – Roslovic – Benstrom
Berni – Gudbranson
Blankenburg – Peeke
Bayreuther – Boqvist
As much as I want to shred the Blue Jackets for being terrible, the reality is that they’ve beaten the Oilers once already this season, and underestimating what they can do is a sure recipe for another awful outing. Even though the Oilers have scored 79 more goals than the Blue Jackets already this season, those differences won’t matter much unless the boys can make good choices with the puck without giving the Gaudreau Gang any freebies.


From Union and Blue:
Over the past week or so, rumblings around the hockey insider community were that the Jackets had agreed in principle to a trade that would send Gavrikov to the Bruins for first and third round draft picks. Now, it’s important to note that this was not confirmed by either organization – in fact, the Bruins outright claimed they weren’t in on the Blue Jacket defenseman at one point.
But often where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If the Bruins were indeed trying to clear cap space for Gavrikov, that all seemingly changed abruptly on Thursday night, when they traded a handful of picks, along with forward Craig Smith, to the Washington Capitals; in exchange receiving defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway.
This seemingly leaves the Blue Jackets holding an empty bag, but with a week until the trade deadline, there is still time for them to find another dance partner. Any team rumored to be seeking depth and experience on defense should come calling now, and if Jarmo Kekalainen can hold true to his desired returns, maybe this will all work out for the Jackets after all.
Should Jarmo be able to pry away a first round pick from any other team working to acquire Gavrikov, the odds are fair that it will come in higher than the Bruins pick. Look at Edmonton, as an example: they sit 9th overall in the NHL. If they don’t make the conference final, that pick could wind up in the early-mid 20s.
If you look at it from that perspective, even if the Jackets aren’t able to get a third rounder added to the deal; that might be worth it (maybe it’s a fourth, or a fifth – or even nothing at all). It could be the difference between finding another young core player to this group, or a fringe piece.


Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers buck the trend of matinee losses and come up with a 4-2 win.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: Connor McDavid will add another multi-point game to his resume, leaving the people of Columbus awestruck by his greatness.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Vincent Desharnais currently has six shots on goal in the early days of his NHL career, and I believe today is the day he will get one of those sneaky wristers from the point through the goaltender.

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