Oilers Gameday: Vs. Jets

Oilers vs Jets 2021

The Edmonton Oilers got back into the win column with a strong effort in Calgary on Wednesday night against the Flames. The Oilers scored seven of the games’ first eight goals and were in control for almost the entire sixty minutes. Tonight, they’ll complete a difficult back-to-back stretch back home in Edmonton against the Winnipeg Jets.

This is the fifth of nine meetings this season between the Oilers and Jets, who have cleanly split each of the first four meetings with two regulation wins per side. The sides most recently met in mid-February in Edmonton. It is the first of a two-game miniseries that will conclude Saturday night, also at Rogers Place.

Laurent Brossoit gets the go for the Jets, while Mikko Koskinen gets the start for the Oilers.

Keys To The Game:

Edmonton: Attention to defensive details. In just four previous meetings this season, the Oilers have surrendered 17 goals against the Jets. That’s over four goals per game. The Oilers have to do a better job of defending against a Winnipeg team with ample firepower. Attention to detail, harder on pucks, more structure. That’s what the Oilers need if they are going to take the edge in this season series.

Winnipeg: Use your size to create issues. The Jets are fast, they are talented, and they are also big. Players like Blake Wheeler and Pierre-Luc Dubois are the complete package, and usually thrive against Edmonton’s speedy and skilled lineup. We’ve seen the Jets completely control play in this series when they use their size to protect pucks and create in the zone. They are dangerous when they do so.

Players To Watch:

Edmonton: Tyler Ennis has been playing strong hockey for the Oilers recently, settling into a top-six role for a few games and then the third line last night. Ennis did not register a point last night, but did have three shots and two high-danger scoring chances in the win. He’s been good for the Oilers, and is due some offensive rewards. He’s a prime candidate to step up in a game like this, where chances shouldn’t be too hard to come by.

Winnipeg: Pierre-Luc Dubois has yet to introduce himself to the Edmonton Oilers this season. Dubois was in isolation following his trade when the sides first met, then missed last month’s meetings with an injury. Dubois is big, he’s fast and he’s skilled. The Oilers always struggle with these kinds of players, and Dubois certainly wants to make an impact in a key game for his new team.

The Lines:

The Oilers are monitoring a couple of injuries that could impact their lineup tonight. Alex Chiasson blocked a shot last night in the third period and struggled to get back to the bench. His status is unknown. Jujhar Khaira, injured in a fight on Monday night, is day-to-day but will not play tonight.

Defensively, Evan Bouchard was recalled from the taxi squad but is expected to be scratched. Kyle Turris is also not expected in the lineup after being activated from the COVID-19 protocol list on Tuesday night. With all the uncertainty and no morning skate today, lineups are subject to change.

Edmonton Oilers Lines:

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Connor McDavid – Jesse Puljujarvi
Dominik Kahun – Leon Draisaitl – Kailer Yamamoto
Tyler Ennis – Gaetan Haas – Zack Kassian
Joakim Nygard – Devin Shore – Josh Archibald

Darnell Nurse – Tyson Barrie
William Lagesson – Adam Larsson
Kris Russell – Ethan Bear

Mikko Koskinen

The Jets recently lost defenseman Nathan Beaulieu to a hand injury. He’s on the IR and his timetable for a return is not known. Forward Bryan Little has not, and will not, play this season. He’s dealing with vertigo issues and is on IR.

Winnipeg Jets Lines:

Paul Stastny – Mark Scheifele – Blake Wheeler
Kyle Connor – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Nikolaj Ehlers
Andrew Copp – Adam Lowry – Mason Appleton
Mathieu Perreault – Nate Thompson – Trevor Lewis

Josh Morrissey – Dylan DeMelo
Derek Forbort – Neal Pionk
Logan Stanley – Tucker Poolman

Laurent Brossoit

Game Notes:

“Winnipeg is in the exact same boat,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said Thursday morning. “They played a big game last night, too. There are no advantages either way. You just got to focus on the next game in front of you and go after that. That’s been our plan all along and it won’t change tonight.”

If you like goals, this is the matchup for you. In their four meetings this season, the Oilers and Jets have combined to score 33 goals. That’s an average of 8.25 goals per game. Winnipeg holds a slight 17-16 advantage over the Oilers in goals so far, with the series deadlocked 2-2.

Connor McDavid is making a real case for the second Hart Trophy in his outstanding career. McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 56 points (18 g, 38 a). That’s seven ahead of second place Leon Draisaitl. McDavid is also second in goals (18) and has the Oilers two points out of first place in the North Division. Currently, he’s riding a seven-game point streak that has seen him score 16 points (4 g, 12 a).

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