If you’ve looked at the standings this morning, you know this is a dire time for the Edmonton Oilers 2017-18 season. The Oilers are No. 7 in the division and seven points behind the Calgary Flames as we enter play this evening, and it could be five points or nine by the time the clock strikes midnight.
The club arrives in Calgary with a growing list of injuries, most recently starting goalie Cam Talbot and defender Adam Larsson. Along with Andrej Sekera, this represents a massive portion of the ‘heart of the order’ and you’d be a fool to bet on this Edmonton time ripping through the 13 games of December. Added to that? The performances by some Oilers during the last 10 games.

Oilers Scoring, Last 10 Games

  1. Connor McDavid 10, 4-8-12
  2. Mark Letestu 10, 3-5-8
  3. Leon Draisaitl 10, 2-5-7
  4. Zack Kassian 10, 2-4-6
  5. Jujhar Khaira 7, 2-4-6
  6. Milan Lucic 10, 1-5-6
  7. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 10, 3-3-6
  8. Kris Russell 10, 1-5-6
  9. Ryan Strome 10, 2-4-6
  10. Darnell Nurse 10, 2-3-5
  11. Yohann Auvitu 7, 1-3-4
  12. Matt Benning 10, 2-2-4
  13. Drake Caggiula 9, 3-1-4
  14. Patrick Maroon 10, 3-1-4
  15. Mike Cammalleri 7, 1-1-2
  16. Oscar Klefbom 9, 1-1-2
  17. Adam Larsson 9, 1-0-1
  18. Iiro Pakarinen 5, 0-1-1
  19. Jesse Puljujarvi 8, 1-0-1
  20. Eric Gryba 5, 0-0-0
  21. Anton Slepyshev 3, 0-0-0
  22. Brad Malone 1, 0-0-0
Edmonton has scored 34 goals in the last 10 games, that’s a good total. Even better, 28 of those goals came at even strength! All of this comes via hockey-reference. I placed the right-wingers in bold, that’s one of the areas Edmonton badly needs to improve in the coming days.

The new man Walker

Edmonton claimed Nathan Walker from the Washington Capitals yesterday, he brings speed and versatility to the forward group. His scoring at the AHL level is .391 per game, meaning he’s likely going to apply for a checking role with the Oilers (Khaira’s career AHL points-per-game was .429). He can apparently play all three forward positions.
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LINEUPS

Oilers

Lucic – McDavid – Puljujarvi
Maroon – Nugent-Hopkins – Slepyshev
Caggiula – Draisaitl – Strome
Khaira – Letestu – Kassian
Nurse – Gryba
Klefbom – Benning
Auvitu – Russell
If there are any changes, we’ll be sure to update the lineups.

Flames

Gaudreau – Monahan – Ferland
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Jagr
Hathaway – Stajan – Brouwer
Giordano – D.Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Kulak – Stone

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

When the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers met on the first night of the season, both teams were dealing with the weight of expectations. The Flames had retooled a bit in the summer in an effort to line up more favourably against the Oilers, who were considered a potential contender for the Stanley Cup this season. The Oilers won that game 3-0. Since then, the teams have gone in significantly different directions. The Flames (14-10-1) welcome the Oilers (10-14-2) to the Saddledome tonight in the second of five Battles of Alberta this season, and the first one hosted by Calgary.

TONIGHT

Photoshop: Tom Kostiuk
GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Flames are quicker and more physical in the first period, but the Oilers are the team parading to the penalty box. A pair of gorgeous Johnny Gaudreau goals have the Calgary fans smiling wide after one. 
OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The Oilers begin to find their game, scoring on a tic-tac-toe passing play from McDavid-to-Lucic-to-Puljujarvi. A late power-play goal by Calgary (Gaudreau again!) makes it 3-1 Flames after two.
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NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: The third period sees the Oilers play desperado hockey and tie the score on two brilliant goals (Nuge and Leon), and Edmonton goes ahead for a time on an Oscar Klefbom goal. Matt Tkachuk ties it late, Flames almost score on a filthy two-on-one (Tkachuk chop blocks Draisaitl, no call), and McDavid skates through everyone to score the winner. Edmonton goes to sleep happy, Calgary restless and uneasy.

GDB BROUGHT TO YOU BY SHERBROOKE LIQUOR

Take home a growler, a crowler, a sixer, a mixer, whatever. Sherbrooke Liquor. Where’s Your Beer?

Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12/02/2017 – 11:00am MST