Game Five Preview – Oilers vs Flames: Just Win, Baby

GAME FIVE VS CALGARY

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TALE OF THE TAPE:

Game: Edmonton Oilers (0-4-0) @ Calgary Flames (1-3-0)

Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta

Time: 8:00 PM MT

Where to find it: TV: CBC, SN1 Radio: 630 Ched

Edmonton Oilers Preview:

As the great Al Davis once said, “Just win, baby.”

There isn’t much else to be said about the Oilers at this point. An 0-4 start has certainly derailed what fans hoped would be a hot start to the season, but what did you expect? Looking at the first month of the schedule, the league did no favour in helping the Oilers out of the gate. In fact, the Oilers have the eighth toughest schedule in the NHL this season which will certainly play into the team’s success this year.

Seriously though, the Oilers need to get a win tonight in order to raise the team’s confidence. Losing games this early in the season will put the team back for quite some time as the team morale will drop. The team will look to improve on the powerplay after only converting 7% of powerplays this season.

There really isn’t much else to say.

Analytics Primer by BLH’s Walter Foddis – Battle of Alberta Game 1:
Similar to last season, Edmonton and Calgary are very close in their 5v5 shot metric differentials. Offensively, Oilers have taken 205 shot attempts, Flames have 207. Defensively, Oilers have allowed 241 shot attempts, Flames have allowed 231. Scoring Chances: Oilers: 75 For, 92 Against. Flames: 78 For, 89 Against.

Edmonton’s even-strength goaltending is slightly better, though, with a 91.1 save%. Calgary’s is 89.8%. The Oilers scoring efficiency, which is influenced a lot by randomness, is pretty low: 4.8%. However, Calgary is also on the low end to start the season: 5.7%. Both teams should be regressing upward in their scoring efficiency, over time, to 8%. Both teams are “due” to score more goals.

Edmonton has played 3 games against Central division elite teams, and a game against an offensive powerhouse (Dallas). Calgary has played a strong Central division team (Winnipeg), an elite Central team (St. Louis), and 2 games against Vancouver, who is a mediocre Pacific division team. Edmonton won the possession game against Nashville. Calgary won one possession game against Vancouver. Only goaltending seems to be differentiating these two teams, with the Oilers having a slight advantage. I expect this will be a close game, and if regression to the mean comes into play, it may be a high scoring game.

The otherside:

Calgary returns home for the second of back-to-back games after losing 3-1 at the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. The Flames have one win through the first four games of the season and have lost two in a row, including 4-3 to the St. Louis Blues at home on Wednesday. The upside for Calgary is that captain Mark Giordano is rounding back into form. Giordano missed the final six weeks of the regular season and each of Calgary’s 11 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after undergoing surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon. “This guy is catching up,” coach Bob Hartley said following the loss to the Jets. “He’s working so hard that it’s not a concern on our side. That’s why his ice time is not going down. We just need to keep playing him. [Friday] is a great indication that our captain is back on track.” Hartley didn’t disclose any potential lineup changes. – nhl.com

Line Combos c/o Daily Faceoff:

Oilers:

Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Matt Hendricks
Benoit Pouliot – Connor McDavid – Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski – Anton Lander – Teddy Purcell
Luke Gazdic  – Mark Letestu – Rob Klinkhammer

Oscar Klefbom – Justin Schultz
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Griffin Reinhart – Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Flames:

Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Jiri Hudler
Sam Bennett – Mikael Backlund – Michael Ferland
David Jones – Matt Stajan – Michael Frolik
Brandon Bollig – Josh Jooris – Mason Raymond

Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
Kris Russell – Dennis Wideman
Brett Kulak – Deryk Engelland

Jonas Hiller

Zach Laing Written by: