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Oilers Gameday vs Dallas: Goin’ Down to Texas

After Thursday night’s embarrassing 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Oilers look to reset this afternoon in Dallas against Jamie Benn and the Stars.

Seems like an easy enough task, but there are three things to consider when trying to decide whether or not the Oilers are going down.

  1. Afternoon game on the road
  2. Ex-Oiler in the lineup for the opposition
  3. Jamie Benn only likes it when other people go down, so…..

(Yes I know the featured image is of an Oilers team of old, but it’s the ONLY picture I could find where Jamie Benn wasn’t on his feet.)

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • Just win baby. There are only so many ways to say this, and after only 19 games it’s already getting tired.
  • The Oilers are getting killed on special teams, so maybe today should be the day that they stop letting opponents score on the an advantage.

Dallas

  • Get the Oilers scrambling – this makes them draw penalties and their PK is awful.
  • Keep Connor McDavid to the outside. It was interesting to watch him against St Louis, as he became more frustrated with not having open ice to wheel in.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Iiro Pakarinen has been moved up to the second line. This is an experiment that could fail miserably, especially considering that Jesse Puljujarvi has played well since his call-up.
  • Someday, Zack Kassian will score a goal. It might not be as an Oiler, but he’ll score at least one more goal in his career.

Dallas

  • Tyler Seguin is really good.
  • Ex-Oiler Tyler Pitlick will probably score a hat trick against the Oilers, because that’s the way it goes.
  • Jamie Benn is also good to watch because he never, ever goes down. Ever.

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Iiro Pakarinen

Mike Cammalleri – Ryan Strome – Jesse Puljujarvi

Drake Caggiula – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse – Adam Larsson

Oscar Klefbom – Matt Benning

Yohann Auvitu – Kris Russell

Cam Talbot

Dallas

Mattias Janmark – Jamie Benn – Alex Radulov

Gemel Smith – Tyler Seguin – Devin Shore

Remi Elie – Martin Hanzal – Jason Spezza

Antoine Roussel – Radek Faksa – Tyler Pitlick

Esa Lindell – John Klingberg

Jamie Oleksiak – Stephen Johns

Dan Hamhuis – Greg Pateryn

Ben Bishop

Notes

Yesterday, Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli said that he’s disappointed in the performance of the team thus far this season.

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While unwittingly giving himself a GREAT nickname, Chiarelli spoke a truth that many fans have been thinking for months. After a disappointing 7-10-3 start, it’s no wonder that management is disappointed. On paper the Oilers are a better team than what they’ve shown, but all that matters are the results on the ice and in the standings. With only 16 points in 19 games, the Oilers are playing below the expectations of just about anyone, except perhaps The Athletic (where there was a preseason piece about the Oilers that claimed they weren’t as good as last year. Turns out that might actually be true).

They’re not out of the playoff picture just yet, despite being 14th in the West, but this 5-game road trip could ultimately spell the end of postseason hopes if they can’t put together a string of wins.

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It’s becoming a lot more common to see doom and gloom pieces and commentary about the team, and it’s starting to look like Peter Chiarelli’s prediction of 85 points last season just might come true. There are a bunch of things going wrong, but the most obvious problems are a lack of scoring and a defence corps that (at times) can’t seem to fight its way out of a paper bag.

With all the early season talk of the Oilers really bonding as a team during the off-season, this road trip might be just the thing to prove that. If not, expect to see some personnel changes at all levels of the organization.

2 thoughts on “Oilers Gameday vs Dallas: Goin’ Down to Texas

  1. Man why doesn’t the team pick some kid from peewee and put him on RNH’s line. Seriously I would ask for a trade . What has McDavid and Leon done in the last 5 games that justifies keeping their line together. The coach looks like a guy who has lost the plot and PC seems like he is clueless . Disappointed is a word to use when the team is in a mini funk , 20 games is way past that. On a positive note, this is a good year to suck as the draft is full of stud d men.
    It’s the only way this team will have a #1 d man .
    Pity they used up the Hall trade for a solid d man (not a stud d man) look what Colorado got for a player that is nowhere near what Hall is.
    This team is cursed with poor decision makers.

    Like

    1. I wish I’d seen this when I posted it! I’m so sorry.

      I’m with you on this. I really am. I wish that we as fans could trust that management isn’t going to mess things up but I haven’t seen evidence yet.

      Like

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