TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (2-4-0) @ Detroit Red Wings (3-2-0)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton
Time: 7:30 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet One, Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Aaah, another game against Detroit. For me, I love watching the Oilers play Detroit even though they have gone 63-36-13-11 all time against us. Strange, I know.
I always remember back in 2006 when I first began watching the eighth seeded Oilers play the President Trophy winning first seeded Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs. We won the series 4-2 after a remarkable game six comeback, and the rest was history.
Tonight begins a new era in the Red Wings – Oilers series as rookies Dylan Larkin and Connor McDavid are set to go head to head for the first time ever. Recently, I have been doing new gameday posts at Copper and Blue where I ask opposing team’s blogs three questions. I spoke with Graham Hathway, a writer for SB Nation’s Winging It In Motown and this is what he had to say about Larkin:
Larkin had a strong season last year at every level he played at, and in camp and the preseason was a very noticeable player. It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing that Larkin did that ultimately earned him his spot. He’s a fantastic skater, has good hands, and is praised by teammates for his work ethic, something I’m sure the coaches noticed.
Connor McDavid certainly has his work cut out for him to win the Calder Trophy this year. Tonight, he could gain an early leg if he has an impressive performance and Larkin has an off night. That could go both ways though.
Building off of the weekend’s success will be key for the Oilers who have had a few days without any game action. Andrew Miller was called up the other day, and will slide in on the first line beside Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The 27-year old Miller has one goal and two assists in four games with the Bakersfield Condors this season.
Detroit begins a three-game trip to Western Canada and will try to improve its special teams. The Red Wings ranked 20th on the power play (15.4 percent) and their penalty kill ranks 22nd (80 percent). “I think we need to be a little more dangerous [on the power play],” forward Justin Abdelkader said Tuesday after practice, according to the Red Wings web site. “[We need] better zone time, execution off face-offs, winning face-offs [and] trying to keep the puck in their zone as much as possible. It can’t be just one and done.” Petr Mrazek will start against the Oilers and again Saturday at the Vancouver Canucks. Jimmy Howard will start Friday at the Calgary Flames. – nhl.com
Line Combos c/o Daily Faceoff:
Taylor Hall – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Andrew Miller
Benoit Pouliot – Connor McDavid – Nail Yakupov
Lauri Korpikoski – Anton Lander – Teddy Purcell
Rob Klinkhammer – Mark Letestu – Anton Slepyshev
Oscar Klefbom – Justin Schultz
Andrej Sekera – Mark Fayne
Andrew Ference – Eric Gryba
Dylan Larkin – Henrik Zetterberg – Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar – Riley Sheahan – Gustav Nyquist
Darren Helm – Brad Richards – Teemu Pulkkinen
Drew Miller – Luke Glendening – Landon Ferraro
Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson
Danny DeKeyser – Mike Green
Kyle Quincey – Jakub Kindl