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Oilers Gameday vs Arizona: Make It Two…….Please?

After salvaging their road trip with a 4-2 win over Boston on Sunday, the Oilers are back home for 2 games before heading south to Calgary.

The Oilers are still 7th in the Pacific (9-13-2), and are facing a pretty long, steep climb if they want to make the playoffs this year.

It’s important that the Oilers put together a solid effort tonight, because their next two games are against teams who could sink them.

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • More shots on net than the other guys
  • No really. They need to outchance and outwork the Coyotes. It’s one of those games where we used to guarantee an Oilers loss (first game back after a road trip, Arizona as the opponent) and hopefully this trend has stopped for good.

Arizona

  • Force the Oilers to play to the perimeter, and get lots of shots on net. The more pucks on net, the higher the chance of a garbage goal. It’s really simple.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Leon Draisaitl got called out by coach Todd McLellan for his lack of effort the other night, and maybe he needs to play ‘for the team’ more. I don’t know. Something needs to happen; maybe Drai can get it started.

Arizona

  • Dylan Strome has been called up, and should be looking forward to playing against his big brother. Maybe this will give Chiarelli a chance to look at the Strome he should have acquired.

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Milan Lucic – Connor McDavid – Mike Cammalleri

Patrick Maroon – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Anton Slepyshev

Drake Caggiula – Leon Draisaitl – Ryan Strome

Iiro Pakarinen – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson

Oscar Klefbom – Matt Benning

Yohann Auvitu – Kris Russell

Cam Talbot

Arizona

Brendan Perlini – Derek Stepan – Tobias Rieder

Clayton Keller – Brad Richardson – Dylan Strome

Max Domi – Christian Dvorak – Christian Fischer

Zac Rinaldo – Nick Cousins – Anthony Duclair

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Jason Demers

Alex Goligoski – Niklas Hjalmarsson

Kevin Connauton – Luke Schenn

Scott Wedgewood

Notes

Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media this morning, and didn’t say a whole lot. It was reminiscent of asking your mom what’s for supper and her only answer is “supper”.

Chia isn’t happy with the state of the team and was uncomfortable being asked questions about his offseason moves (or lack thereof); he was visibly rattled at the podium and really didn’t have much to offer that couldn’t already be ascertained by the performance of the team.

The really difficult part of this is that the deficiencies in the roster were there all along (even last season) and no one thought to make any changes. Now that the results aren’t coming, the lack of change feels even more short-sighted.

Toronto’s in town on Thursday. That’s a big test.

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