The Oilers hit the ice hosting Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres. For the first time this year(!), the Oilers could have a 4-game win streak. It seems incredible that it’s January 23 and the Oilers haven’t yet won more than 3 in a row, but here we are. Last time these teams met, the Sabres defeated the Oilers and sent the fanbase into a tailspin. Or maybe it was the play of the team that did that. Who knows.
The last few games have been better, and have seen a resurgence of sorts of Jesse Puljujarvi, who is precious and pure and everything good in the world and who spent his bye week in Edmonton skating on outdoor rinks. Hopefully the organization doesn’t kill his spirit before he wants out.
Keys to the Game
- Keep doing what they’ve been doing. They’re getting pucks to the net and those pucks are going in and that matters, apparently.
- The penalty kill still isn’t great but it feels like less of a liability so that’s something.
- Score early and don’t let up. The Oilers still can’t seem to get a lead with any consistency, so getting up by two or three goals seems like an easy way to get a win.
Players to Watch
- Jujhar Khaira has had quite the week, and it’s good to see him getting the attention that deserves.
- Jesse Puljujarvi is a wonder and I hope he scores a million goals.
- Jack Eichel is the face of the Sabres, and is generally the key to their success.
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Drake Caggiula
Milan Lucic – Leon Draisaitl – Jesse Puljujarvi
Jujhar Khaira – Ryan Strome – Anton Slepyshev
Iiro Pakarinen – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson
Oscar Klefbom – Matt Benning
Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell
Zemgus Girgensons – Jack Eichel – Kyle Okposo
Scott Wilson – Ryan O’Reilly – Sam Reinhart
Evander Kane – Johan Larsson – Jason Pominville
Jordan Nolan – Evan Rodrigues – Nick Baptiste
Marco Scandella – Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe – Nathan Beaulieu
Casey Nelson – Justin Falk
Playoffs are still a very long shot. How long, you ask?
Assuming Mirtle is correct, the Oilers STILL have play at a 124 point pace to hit that 98 point threshold. (That means they have to win 25/35 games outright, and then get a few points in OTL games.)
It’s a long way to the top.