The Oilers are back in action today as they face off against the Vegas Golden Knights. (Ed. Note: I definitely typed Vegan Golden Knights and thought about not changing it.)
This is an important divisional matchup, and the Oilers need to win in order to keep pace.
Keys to the Game
- Honestly, they need to do the same things they did last game, but without letting the Golden Knights pull ahead in the first minute. It’s super frustrating to barely be settled in to watch the game and see them down already.
- Lots of pucks on net, and lots of traffic in front. The Oilers backend is still a bit of a mess, and it seems easy to capitalize on that. With seven players tallying at least 15 points so far (to the Oilers’ three), VGK has the potential to turn this into quite a shootout.
Players to Watch
- Mikko Koskinen is now the Oilers starting goalie. He’s earned the trust of the coaching staff and the job is his to lose. Here’s hoping he can control his rebounds a little bit better, but it’s good to have a fairly steady presence in net.
- After a pretty slow start, Max Pacioretty has picked it up in the last couple weeks. It wouldn’t be surprising if he had another big night against the Oilers.
Draisaitl – McDavid – Chiasson
Caggiula – RNH – Puljujarvi
Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian
Khaira – Spooner – Rattie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Gravel – Benning
Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Pacioretty – Eakin – Tuch
Nosek – Carpenter – Carr
Carrier – Bellemare – Reaves
McNabb – Schmidt
Theodore – Engelland
Holden – Miller
Its about that time in the season where it becomes pretty clear what kind of team we have. With a new coach, though, that judgement gets delayed a bit. Ken Hitchcock might not be the long term solution, but there has been a difference in execution since he took over behind the bench. That’s not to say they’ll win out the schedule, but it feels like they’ve been put in a better position to win over the last few games.
We’ll have to see how long that lasts.