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Oilers Gamesday vs Winnipeg: Bounce Back?

After dropping Saturday night’s game 3-2 to the Vancouver Canucks, the Oilers look to bounce back against the Winnipeg Jets. A win today would bring the Oilers win total to 2, matching that of Pacific Division powerhouse – the Vegas Golden Knights. (No, really….) Today’s game marks the first in a 3 game, 9(!) day homestand, one which *should* bring the Oilers some success.

After only 2 games, the Oilers have shown flashes of brilliance (most of the game against Calgary) and mediocrity (most of Saturday in Vancouver). After getting the lead early off Kris Russell, the Oilers gave up the next goal (also off Kris Russell) and couldn’t seem to find their rhythm after that. They spent far too much time in the penalty box and had Eric Gryba out for far too many minutes (read: more than zero was too many), and despite having one of the best scoring tandems in the league couldn’t manage to get another past Jakob Markstrom (who isn’t even that good!). The Oilers lost to the Canucks, the same Canucks I made fun of for not having a real NHL roster in the last preseason game and who decided to sit Brock Boeser in favour of someone. I don’t even know. As my dad would say “that’s why they play it on a slippery sheet of ice”.

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • Score more than the other guys. Seems simple, but it didn’t work out so well on Saturday. Connor Hellebuyck gets the start, so maybe getting in his head early will help.
  • Be like Jamie Benn and stay out of the box.

Winnipeg

  • Score early. Cam Talbot, the Oilers hero from last year, was chased from the net on Saturday, so he’ll be looking for a solid game to get his rhythm back.
  • Force the Oilers to take penalties. It worked for Vancouver.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Is there really any point in saying anyone other than Connor? He wasn’t great on Saturday, but he’s still head and shoulders better than everyone else.
  • Kailer Yamamoto is drawing into the lineup for his second game this season, and hopefully he can replicate some of the success he found in the preseason.

Winnipeg

    • Connor Hellebuyck has been give the reins in net, taking today’s start away from Steve Mason. Hellebuyck notably didn’t speak to the media today, prompting the ire of some of Edmonton’s MSM guys. (Part of me hopes he plays lights out, just to spite those guys.)

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Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Anton Slepyshev

Jussi Jokinen – Ryan Strome – Zack Kassian

Iiro Pakarinen – Mark Letestu – Kailer Yamamoto

Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson

Kris Russell – Matt Benning

Darnell Nurse – Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Winnipeg

Nikolaj Ehlers – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault – Bryan Little – Patrik Laine

Shawn Matthias – Adam Lowry – Nicolas Petan

Chris Tanev – Andrew Copp – Marko Dano

Josh Morrissey – Dustin Byfuglien

Dmitry Kulikov – Jacob Trouba

Tobias Enstrom – Tyler Myers

Connor Hellebuyck

Notes

The Oilers will bounce back and win tonight, 4-2. Kris Russell will be responsible for zero goals for or against.

Also, the season is young, so it’s probably not a good idea to worry too much, but considering that the Oilers lost to the Canucks, it’s maybe time to think about some roster changes. We’ll have a couple posts up in the next few days that might provide some options in that regard.

 

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