The Sked Ahead: Oilers need to make up ground during busy November after slow start
By Cam Lewis25 days ago
Welcome to November!
The Edmonton Oilers came out of the gates slowly and struggled to a 2-5-1 record in October, though the month ended on a positive note as they pounded their provincial rivals in front of over 50,000 fans at the Heritage Classic on Sunday.
Next up, the Oilers will look to climb the standings during a busy month of November that features six home games and eight games on the road. Edmonton will also face the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, for the first time since losing to them in the playoffs in the spring.
- Two games at home against the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators.
The Oilers had a few days off after the Heritage Classic and they’ll get back into action when they host the Stars, who are off to a 6-1-1 start. This will be a tough test for the Oilers but they have the benefit of playing Dallas on the second leg of a back-to-back, as they beat the Flames in Calgary on Wednesday.
After that, Edmonton will host the Nashville Predators on Saturday before heading out on a three-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents. The Oilers hammered the Preds by a score of 6-1 earlier this season and Nashville hasn’t beaten Edmonton in regulation time since October of 2018.
These are two games that the Oilers should win, considering Dallas is tired and Nashville is a team they own.
- A three-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, and Seattle Kraken.
The three-game trip will see the Oilers play in Vancouver, San Jose, and Seattle. The Canucks won back-to-back games against the Oilers to open the season and are off to a surprising 6-2-1 start. A win by Vancouver would clinch the season series against Edmonton, as the teams will have their fourth and final meeting on April 13.
The Oilers will have a couple of days off after playing in Vancouver before they see the basement-dwelling Sharks for the first time. San Jose is off to a terrible 0-8-1 start and they’ve only scored nine goals in those nine games. Edmonton’s trip will conclude against the Kraken, who are off to a mediocre 3-5-2 start.
The minimum for this three-game trip should be two wins. The Sharks are a team nobody should lose to and the Oilers need to do better than the Canucks or Kraken to climb the standings.
- Two games at home against the New York Islanders and Kraken.
Edmonton will return home for two games before hitting the road again. They’ll host the Islanders, who are off to a solid start at 4-2-2 thus far, and they’ll see the Kraken for the second time in five days a couple of days later. If the Oilers lose in Seattle, there’ll be quite a bit of pressure to beat the Kraken at home in the rematch.
- A four-game road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Washington Capitals.
The team’s second-longest road trip of the season will be a four-game swing through the old Southeast Division. The Oilers will start in Tampa Bay, they’ll head to Sunrise to play the Panthers, and then they’ll head up to play the Hurricanes and Capitals.
None of these teams are off to flying starts but this is never an easy trip to make. Last season, the Oilers split their four-game trip through Washington, Tampa, Carolina, and Florida with two wins and two losses and that’s a reasonable expectation for this year as well.
- Two games at home against the Anaheim Ducks and Vegas Golden Knights and then a road game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The Oilers won’t have much of a break after that four-game trip. They’ll fly home following a Friday afternoon game in Washington and they’ll have one day off before hosting the Ducks for the first time this season. Anaheim has been better than expected this season with a 6-4 record but it could be a very different story come late November.
After the Ducks, the Oilers will host the Golden Knights for the first time since losing to them in the playoffs in the spring. Vegas is off to an incredible 9-0-1 start and they look like a very good bet to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. A positive for the Oilers here is that the Golden Knights will be in Calgary the night before they play in Edmonton.
The Oilers will hit the road after hosting Anaheim and Vegas to play the Jets in Winnipeg. They’ll then have five days off before starting a six-game homestand in December.
- What should we expect from the month of November?
This certainly isn’t going to be an easy month for the Oilers but they’ve got to start climbing after the hole they dug for themselves over the first few weeks of the season.
Despite the busy schedule and quality opponents they’ll be facing, it’s reasonable to expect the Oilers to win at least nine of 14 games in November. The two strongest teams they’ll face, Dallas and Vegas, are both coming to Edmonton after playing in Calgary the night before, while the Oilers don’t have to play a single back-to-back over the course of the month.
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