Fresh off winning(!) an afternoon game(!) in Denver(!) on Sunday, the Oilers take the ice tonight playing host to the Bruins for the only time this season.
Since the Oilers beat the Bruins in November, Boston has gone 26-5-4. In that same time, the Oilers are 15-17-2. It’s safe to say that one of the two teams in tonight’s tilt will make the playoffs, and it isn’t the Oilers.
Keys to the Game
- Score the first goal. The Oilers have allowed a goal on the first shot against 10 times this season, and another 11 goals within the first 6 shots. They haven’t lost all of those games, but they certainly haven’t won many that way. It’s like playing from the blue tees when you should be playing from the whites.
- Stay out of the penalty box. The Oilers aren’t good at killing penalties (especially at home), and so if they don’t take them, they can’t get scored on.
- Score the first goal. It’s been a good strategy against the Oilers so far this season.
- Force the Oilers to take penalties. The home PK is all-time bad, and somehow hasn’t (can’t?) improve. it’s an easy solution for a team.
Players to Watch
- Connor. His hatty on Sunday was crazy exciting.
- Patrice Bergeron might be the most valuable player in the NHL at any given time. He gets a lot of press that says “Bergeron is so underrated”, which means he’s not that underrated, but my goodness what a delight to watch.
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Drake Caggiula
Milan Lucic – Leon Draisaitl – Mike Cammalleri
Jujhar Khaira – Ryan Strome – Anton Slepyshev
Jesse Puljujarvi -Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Oscar Klefbom – Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson
Brandon Davidson – MattBenning
Brad Marchand – Patrice bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake Debrusk – David Kreijci – Ryan Spooner
Danton Heinen – Riley Nash – David Backes
Tim Schaller – Sean Kuraly – Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Adam McQuaid
With fewer than 25 games left, the season is all but done. It’s reminiscent of the Decade of Darkness, where they’re not officially eliminated from playoff contention but they’re eliminated from playoff contention.
With the trade deadline around the corner, it’s not hard to imagine that the roster for next Tuesday’s game against the Sharks will look very different to the lineup they’re icing today.