After earning 3 of a possible 6 points on their most recent road trip (1-1-1), the Oilers look to bounce back tonight when they host the Dallas Stars.
Having Leon Draisaitl back in the lineup was sort of helpful, except that coach Todd McLellan only used Drai and Connor for 27 seconds in the overtime period against Pittsburgh. That OT shift change led directly to a Pittsburgh goal, as noted speedster Milan Lucic was caught flat-footed by Phil Kessel, who scored the eventual game winner.
The Oilers played a pretty capable road game in Pittsburgh, but they fell short. Again. They’ve played almost 400 minutes of hockey this season without a lead, and despite having Connor McDavid they can’t seem to get out in front. While it’s true that Nashville started last season 2-5-1 and made it to the Stanley Cup final, there’s no guarantee the Oilers can legitimately bounce back.
Keys to the Game
- Score first.
- Exploit the weaknesses in Dallas’ second pairing (the corpse of Dan Hamhuis dragging around Jamie Oleksiak)
- Score first and don’t let the Oilers back into it.
- Be like Jamie Benn and stay out of the box.
Players to Watch
- Leon Draisaitl is back on Connor McDavid’s wing, and this should make a big difference in the Oilers offensive production.
- I’d say Jamie Benn, but no one needs to watch what he doesn’t do….
- Tyler Seguin is real good at hockey. Watch him.
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Mark Letestu
Drake Caggiula – Ryan Strome – Zack Kassian
Jussi Jokinen – Jujhar Khaira – Anton Slepyshev
Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Kris Russell – Matt Benning
Darnell Nurse – Eric Gryba
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Alexander Radulov
Remi Elie – Martin Hanzal – Jason Spezza
Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Tyler Pitlick
Devin Shore – Mattias Janmark – Brett Ritchie
Marc Methot – John Klingberg
Dan Hamuis – Jamie Oleksiak
Esa Lindell – Julius Honka