The partying in Vegas with the Chainsmokers has come to an end, the suntanning in Mexico is over, the Oilers are back to work with the first game off of their bye week going down tonight vs the Vancouver Canucks.
The Oilers currently sit 10 points back of the 2nd wild card spot in the West (held by Colorado) and need to keep their pre break momentum going strong to have ANY chance at getting back into within sniffing distance of the playoffs.
Going into the break two things happened, 1) Darnell Nurse’s offense came alive with four goals in four games and 2) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins hurt his sternum and a few ribs. Not Good.
Losing RNH is massive when it comes to production offensively, it will be interesting to see who steps up with him out of the lineup for the next 5-6 weeks.
For Vancouver they’ve taken quite a few steps back after a good start to the year but they currently sit 2nd last in the Pacific Division and 11 points back of the West’s final wild card spot with only Arizona in their rear view mirror.
Keys To The Game
-Stay out of the box. I will keep saying this until the penalty kill is no longer one of the worst in NHL history.
-Get Boeser rolling early, he’s been one of the bright spots for the Canucks this year with 40 points to lead the team in scoring.
Players To Watch
Darnell Nurse’s play as of late is something that the Canucks have to key in on, he’s been feeling it scoring wise in his most productive NHL season.
Oh look, there’s a former Oiler on the roster in the form of Sam Gagner, don’t be surprised if he puts up a couple of points tonight along with Boeser.
Patrick Maroon- Connor McDavid- Drake Caggiula
Milan Lucic- Leon Draisaitl- Jesse Puljujarvi
Jujar Khaira- Ryan Strome- Mike Cammalleri
Irro Pakarinen/Anton Slepyshev- Mark Letestu- Zack Kassian
Darnell Nurse-Adam Larsson
Oscar Klefbom-Matt Benning
Andrej Sekera-Kris Russell
Thomas Vanek-Sam Gagner-Brock Boeser
??? (Daniel Sedin is out)-Henrik Sedin-Loui Eriksson
Sven Baertschi-Brandon Sutter-Markus Granlund
Brendan Gaunce-Nic Dowd-Michael Chaput
Alexander Edler-Troy Stecher
Ben Hutton-Chris Tanev
Michael Del Zotto-Erik Gudbranson
Puck drop is at 8PM Mountain Time and on CBC for the television viewing crowd.