Oilers Gameday @ Dallas: Benn Going Down

Oilers Gameday @ Dallas: Benn Going Down

NHL

Oilers Gameday @ Dallas: Benn Going Down

The Oilers are back in action tonight at coach Ken Hitchcock returns to Dallas for the first time since being hired in Edmonton. While he wasn’t the coach this season, it’s hard to imagine that emotions won’t be running high.

The game is a must-win for the Oilers, as it’s likely they’ll be in competition with the Stars for a wildcard spot in April.

Keys to the Game

Edmonton

  • Capitalize on Dallas’ decimated blueline; John Klingberg is out with a broken hand which has forced Miro Heiskanen to step up in a big way.
  • Neutralize the Stars’ top line (Benn, Spezza, Seguin). After that line, their offensive production falls off the same kind of cliff that the Oilers’ does.

Dallas

  • Neutralize the Oilers top line. After Connor, Leon and Chiasson, there isn’t a ton of offensive production so if that top line is held scoreless, there’s a good chance the rest of the team will be, too.

 

Players to Watch

Edmonton

    • Connor, because if you do then you get to see him do things like this:

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Dallas

  • It’s always a blast to watch Jamie Benn, mostly to figure out if tonight’s the night he’ll finally go down. (For real though, he’s a pretty good hockey player and is kind of fun to watch, even when he’s a bit of a disappointment.)

Projected Lineups

 

Edmonton

Draisaitl – McDavid – Chiasson

Caggiula – RNH – Puljujarvi

Lucic – Brodziak – Kassian

Khaira – P Russell – Rattie

Klefbom – Larsson

Nurse – Russell

Gravel – Benning

Koskinen

Dallas

Benn – Seguin – Spezza

Shore – Hintz – Radulov

Nichushkin – Faksa – Pitlick

Janmark – Dickinson – Ritchie

Lindell – Heiskanen

Bayreuther – Polak

Hanley – Fedun

Bishop

Notes

Since the coaching change, the Oilers are playing well above .500 hockey, which is nice to see. The problem with what they’re doing is that they’ll win a bunch of one-goal games, but get blown out in a high scoring affair. Now that they’ve sort of figured out the direction Hitch wants to take the team, it’s time for them to launch some of that creativity again.

This could get real fun real fast.

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