Game Notes: Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets
By Cam Lewis27 days ago
We’re right back at it.
Following Friday’s commanding 6-3 win over the Jets in Edmonton, the Oilers will travel to Winnipeg for the second leg of their home-and-home series with the Jets.
1. Winnipeg’s loss in Edmonton on Friday was their seventh loss in their last eight games. They were rolling at the beginning of January, as their 2-1 win over the Oilers on New Year’s Eve was their second win in what wound up being a five-game winning streak, but the Jets cooled off later in the month. Since returning home from a five-game swing in the Eastern Conference on January 24, the Jets have gone 4-8-1.
The Jets currently occupy the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They’re five points up on the Calgary Flames and both teams have played 62 games. The Nashville Predators are six points back of the Jets but they’ll likely slide down the standings after trading away Mattias Ekholm, Mikael Grandlund, and Tanner Jeannot.
2. Meanwhile, both the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken won on Friday, so the Oilers remain in the same spot in the Pacific Division. They’re tied with the Kraken at 76 points but Seattle has one game in hand, they’re two points behind the L.A. Kings with the same amount of games played, and they’re four points back of Vegas for the top spot in the division but the Golden Knights also have a game in hand.
The Oilers have five head-to-head games remaining against those three Pacific Division teams. They’ll play the Kraken in Seattle later in March and they have one home date and one road date against both the Golden Knights and Kings.
3. Before those games, the Oilers will be tasked with a challenging four-game road trip, which starts on Saturday in Winnipeg. After the game with the Jets, the Oilers will travel to Buffalo on Monday to face the Sabres, who are just four points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll then play the Bruins in Boston on Thursday and the Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.
4. The newly-acquired Nick Bjugstad wasn’t able to make it to Edmonton in time to make his debut on Friday but we could see him suit up for the first time as an Oiler in Winnipeg. It probably makes the most sense for Bjugstad to be Edmonton’s fourth-line centre but he could also be an interesting addition to their top-six forward group as a right-winger. Jay Woodcroft has been blending lines a lot as the Oilers roll with 11 forwards and seven defenders so we’ll surely see Bjugstad used in different situations down the stretch.
5. Friday’s game in Edmonton started to get chippy in the third period so there’s a good chance that tensions will boil over quickly on Saturday in Winnipeg. In the final minute of the game, Jets forward Saku Maenalanen hit Philip Broberg in the face with a cross-check…
The Jets took nine penalties on Friday and the Oilers scored two power-play goals and they also scored one goal while the goaltender was pulled on a delayed penalty call. The Oilers would be best to ignore the Jets trying to muck things up and let their league-leading power-play unit punish them.
6. Jack Campbell will go up against the Jets following Stuart Skinner’s solid performance on Friday. It’ll be Campbell’s first start since he allowed four goals in the first half of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets last weekend. Campbell had a nice stretch in January in which it appeared he had found his game, but he’s struggled lately. The Oilers have lost Campbell’s last four starts and he posted an .846 combined save percentage.
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