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GDB 49.0: Goin’ to Winnipeg (2pm MT, SNW)

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Photo credit:Tim Smith/The Brandon Sun
baggedmilk
9 months ago
It’s a frosty Saturday in the capital city and I can think of no better way to spend my morning than here with you as we get ourselves set for the third and final round of the season series between the Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets.
I know the playoff series sweep at the hands of the Jets happened a while ago at this point, but that hasn’t stopped the hatred from carrying over like I’m the last man in the jungle that still thinks the war is going on. Regardless of what’s going on in the standings or with the teams themselves — it is kinda wild that both teams have had coaching changes this year — I’ve still got a grudge against this team and the only way to scratch the itch is a big W on the board. There is no better medicine than taking two points from a team that annoys you. Not only would I like to see the Oilers beat Winnipeg because my loathing of the Jets is real, but more importantly, I want to see the boys get the job done and keep extending their winning streak. I want to see Jay Woodcroft’s run of excellence continue. I want to be excited again. Is it doable? Of course it is.
If we’re going to keep this winning streak chugging along, we’ll need the Oilers to hit the ground running without taking any time to get their legs going because I learned today that the Jets are a very good team early in periods. Through 48 games, the Jets have scored 50 of their goals in the first five minutes of a period, including six in the opening minute and if these stats don’t highlight the need for a quick start then I don’t know what does. Puck drops and you have to move. On the flip side, however, the Jets had a miserable month of January that put them behind the pack a little bit, so we’ve got an opponent here that’s battling to get back in the playoff race and to look more like the team they expect themselves to be. Currently sitting in sixth place in the Central Division, the Jets are starting to fall back from the rest of the pack with this win-one-lose-one run they’re on over the last month or so, and I see that as a prime opportunity for the Oilers to keep the good times rolling and lock in a fifth straight win.
Let’s see what the numbers say.

THE NUMBERS

OILERSJETS
RECORD27-18-322-18-8
WIN/LOSS STREAKW4W2
LAST 10 GAMES7-2-15-4-1
GOALS FOR161142
GOALS AGAINST152143
POWER PLAY%26.321.3
PENALTY KILL%77.175.0
AVG. SHOTS/FOR33.633.3
AVG. SHOTS/AGAINST32.031.9
TEAM SAVE%.915.924
CORSI FOR%52.7950.88
PDO0.9970.996
TEAM SHOOTING%8.217.14
EXPECTED GOALS FOR%51.7049.75
Numbers courtesy of Natural Stat Trick (fancies at 5×5)

LINEUPS…

Oilers ***UPDATED***

Hyman – McDavid – Yamamoto
Kane – Draisaitl – McLeod
Foegele – Nugent-Hopkins – Ryan
Benson – Perlini
Nurse – Bouchard
Lagesson – Ceci
Niemelainen – Barrie
Broberg
Koskinen
The Oilers will be without Jesse Puljujarvi for the next three or four weeks as he suffered a lower-body injury on Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks, and I was eager to see how Jay Woodcroft was going to fill out his lineup with the big Finn on the shelf. But since we’ve got an early game coming up, I haven’t seen any line combos posted yet so what I’ve got up there is not accurate before anyone hits me up in the comments section. This is just my guess, but I will absolutely update things as news becomes available.
***UPDATES*** Koskinen gets the start, per Bob Stauffer. Woodcroft also confirming that Benson and Perlini will play as well. 

Jets

Stastny – Scheifele – Wheeler
Connor – Dubois – Perfetti
Vesalainen – Lowry – Reichel
Harkins – Toninato – Poganski
Morrisey – Demelo
Dillon – Pionk
Stanley – Schmidt
Hellebuyck
The Winnipeg Jets are a team that can frustrate you at both ends of the rink, and that presents a challenge for our boys as they look to solve a team that has had their number over the last six games. Blake Wheeler, as an example, is red hot coming back from the all-star break — he had four assists in Winnipeg’s last game against the Kraken and the Oilers will need to be wary of his scoring touch coming back.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING…

From Jetsnation.ca:
Believe it or not, the Winnipeg Jets currently find themselves within range of a playoff spot and can increase their post-season chances with a third straight victory while hosting the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Leading into this matinee showdown, the Jets are just three points back of the second wild-card seed in the West, which is controlled by the Los Angeles Kings.
Despite this current two-game winning streak, it certainly won’t be to defeat the Oilers, who’re 4-0-0 under interim coach Jay Woodcroft. Since taking over from Dave Tippett, Woodcroft’s team is scoring 4.5 goals per game while allowing just 1.5 per night.
Yes, this probably isn’t the best time to be facing Edmonton.

TONIGHT…

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
Game Day Prediction: The Oilers avenge their loss from the first meeting of the season, defeating the Jets by a 4-2 score.
Obvious Game Day Prediction: We will continue to run the airport joke into the ground, much to the dismay of the citizens of Winnipeg. Once they get an airport we will stop, but until then, we ride.
Not-So-Obvious Game Day Prediction: Philip Broberg scores his first NHL goal.

LISTEN TO OILERSNATION RADIO

On the latest episode of ON Radio, we looked at Jay Woodcroft’s hot start behind the bench and whether or not he can keep it going. Is this a dead cat bounce or is Jay Woodcroft already turning things around?

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