Oilers Gameday @ San Jose: WELCOME COACH HITCHCOCK

Oilers Gameday @ San Jose: WELCOME COACH HITCHCOCK

NHL

Oilers Gameday @ San Jose: WELCOME COACH HITCHCOCK

The Oilers are back in action tonight in San Jose as they take on the Sharks. After getting curbstomped by the Vegas Golden Knights (who were subsequently annihilated by the Calgary Flames), the Oilers are in desperation mode.

How do we know?

THEY FIRED TODD MCCLELLAN and hired Ken Hitchcock. (more on that later)

For real, though. The Oilers need to string together some wins against Pacific opponents, and tonight in San Jose would be a good place to start against a surging Sharks team.

The more things change…

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • Get pucks on the net and sustain some pressure for more than a second or two. They got torched on Sunday night, and need to somehow get better with the puck in the offensive zone.

San Jose

  • Fire at will. The Oilers question marks in net are pretty large, and it seems like pucks go in all the time, from everywhere.

Players to Watch

Edmonton

  • Always Connor McDavid. He’s magic.
  • I’m assuming there are going to be some lineup changes, but since no one knows what that will look like, I’ll just say “watch them all”

San Jose

  • Since Tomas Hertl scored 4 goals in a game, the only thing I’ve ever wanted is for Joe Thornton to do the same.
    Image result for rooster

Projected Lineups

Edmonton

Drake Caggiula – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl

Ryan Spooner – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Alex Chiasson

Milan Lucic – Cooper Marody – Patrick Russell

Jujhar Khaira – Kyle Brodziak – Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom – Adam larsson

Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning

Jason Garrison – Kris Russell

Cam Talbot

San Jose

Evander Kane – Joe Pavelski – Joona Donskoi

Tomas Hertl – Logan Couture – Timo Meier

Marcus Sorensen – Kevin Labanc

Barclay Goodrow – Antti Suomela – Melker Karlsson

Joakim Ryan – Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon – Erik Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun

Martin Jones

Notes

The Oilers have parted ways with Todd McLellan, after two subpar seasons, one playoff appearance and a 9-10-1 start to this year. McLellan compiled a record of 123-119-24, all of which was with Connor McDavid on the roster.

Much has been said about how it appears the coaching staff lost the room and never has it been more clear than this season. While there’s no guarantee that a coaching change will fix the problem (mostly because a new coach can’t turn a bunch of 2nd and 3rd pair defencemen into a solid #1), it might help to be hearing the message from someone else.

Who is that someone else, you ask? St Albert native Ken Hitchcock, most recently the head coach of the Dallas Stars, and who (up until this morning) had been employed as a special advisor to that team. Hitch is well known for his focus on strong defensive hockey, but as long as Connor gets to wheel that might be a good thing for this Oiler roster.

And here we thought that after the Oilers won the McDavid lottery, their rebuild would take off without a Hitch.

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