Just The Facts:
- The Time: 8:30pm EST
- The Place: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- Place to Watch: NESN, TVAS, Sportsnet
- Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub
- Opposing SBNation Blog: the Local mental patients over at Copper and Blue
Know Your Enemy:
- They’re in a playoff spot. Yes! Those Oilers! In fact, they’re tied for first in the Pacific with the Golden Knights!
- You might think that, given that he’s probably the 2010’s Crosby, that Connor McDavid leads the Oilers in every category, and you’d be WRONG. Leading in points and goals for Edmonton this year is in fact Köln’s own Leon Draisaitl! His line is 34-61-95 in 59 games.
- Speaking of McDavid, reports indicate that he rejoined the Oilers in Edmonton yesterday after some time spent rehabbing another injury, but it doesn't appear that he's ready to return to game action quite yet.
- Regarding Draisaitl/McDavid and the scoring race, that’s not to say McDavid’s slowing down. In fact he’s the only other player on the team that could realistically catch him. He has 30-51-81 in 55 games.
- Coming back from the dead after being sorta up-and-down, Noted tiny lad Kailer Yamamoto has 18 points in 18 games. He’s one to keep an eye on.
- Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith each have 32 games played, Koskinen leads in SV% with a .911 SV%, and Smith has a .909 SV%. Smith started last game against the Carolina Hurricanes, so if we’re going on this platoon method it’s probably Koskinen in net for tonight’s contest.
I dunno about you, but if I was a prospective Seattle fan? I’d be very concerned about being a new entrant in the five/six way Monkey-Knife-fight that is the Pacific Division.
The Pacific Division’s beauty is that at any time, the difference between being first and being a wild card team is anywhere from two to three points. It’s terrifying chaotic nature also happens to come from the fact that at any time, the difference between being first and being a wild card team is anywhere from two to three points. Part of that comes from a number of teams sort of being “Ready-ish” for playoff contention: Still a bunch of glaring flaws, but with enough x-factors to make any playoff series with them a very troubling thought to consider. Could you plow through them in four games? Sure! Could you get dragged into a 7 game saga with a heartbreaking instant-classic OT goal? Probably! Will your fans develop several new complexes afterwards? Absolutely.
Enter the Edmonton Oilers.
Home of the longest suffering “Next best player evar” in Connor McDavid and almost certainly the best German forward of the 21st century, things are looking up for the searing orange and blue. They were bad, then they got good, and now they’re in the monkey-knife-fight with Arizona, Calgary, Vegas, and Vancouver. It will be decided in April. There is no other way for it to be, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. They just came out of a hard-fought win against the Carolina Hurricanes that went to Overtime, and have been just as rested as the B’s are, and are going to be quite motivated to win this: Arizona and Vancouver play out of division tonight, and them not walking away with any points could mean them falling directly out of their tentative lead.
Boston meanwhile, has been dealing with uh...
...that. Back from the ageless earth itself, the Lightning are a mere point away from taking the top spot in the Atlantic Division after 11 straight wins, most of whom by multiple goals or by dragging the other team to OT. They’re also on a western conference road trip, and making stops right after-and-during when the Bruins play. It would behoove them to keep up the winning ways, however they can.
And it starts with beating the Oilers tonight. Can they overcome a motivated Oilers squad? Tune in and find out!