Tale of the Tape:
Game: COYOTES (29-32-7) at OILERS (27-36-7)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Time: 10 p.m. ET
Where to Watch It: Sportsnet, Fox Sports-A+, NHL.TV
Edmonton Oilers Preview (5-4-1 Last Ten)
Nugey’s back baby and for the first time all year, maybe EVER, the NHL is going to witness the birth of it’s very first eight-headed Hydra! McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, Eberle, Draisait, Yakupov, Maroon, and Kassian are going to lay waste to those that come before them!
But coming back to reality, these two teams have played each other three times already with the home team coming out on top each time. So I suppose that is a plus for the Oilers here. I’ll be honest though, whenever the Oilers play the Coyotes it’s the most boring game… I’m hoping the bash brothers (Maroon and Kassian) will spark some life into this game. That’s not to mention the offensive firepower that will be on display.
With a win the Oilers could move itself into a tie for 26th place with the Buffalo Sabres. I mean nobody really wants Edmonton to be in that bottom three right but we all know it’s going to be that much sweeter when they’ve finished the season in 25th place and still win the lottery, right?
Keep an Eye On: Jordan Oesterle (5gp 0g 1a 1pt). The fleet-of-foot defender is opening some eyes and even had Bob Stauffer comparing his career trajectory in the same breath as Brandon Davidson on a recent edition of Oilers Now. The boy can skate like the wind and he moves the puck. If only he were right-handed…
Who’s Hot: Cam Talbot is on fire right now. In the last week he’s picked up two wins and has posted a .946 Sv% and a miniscule 1.67 GAA.
Injury Report: Benoit Pouliot (Shoulder), Oscar Klefbom (Leg), Eric Gryba (Knee), Andrew Ference (Hip), Brandon Davidson (Knee?)
Arizona Coyotes Preview (2-7-1 Last Ten)
I thought these guys were doing well this year… Louis Domingue was the hottest goalie on the block and now when I look at the standings, they Oilers are only 4 points behind them? Weird.
This team is dead last in the NHL for goals against. They’re on the hind end of a back-to-back (they beat the Lames last night, which isn’t saying much) and it’s the last of a four game road trip to which they’ve got 1-1-1 on.
OEL has missed the last two games with a knicked up shoulder but could be back in Edmonton. The ‘Yotes are 9 points back of the Avalanche for a wild card spot and I have to wonder if they’d risk playing Ekman-Larsson at this point as oppose to giving me the extra rest.
Keep an Eye On: Max Domi (67gp 17g 27a 44pts). Recently in the news regarding a one game suspension for rag-dolling Anaheim Ducks forward, Ryan Garbutt at the end of the Arizona/Anaheim game this week. Domi’s production has tailed off a bit since his hot start but nevertheless, he’s the Coyotes most dangerous forward and most fun to watch.
Who’s Hot: Antoine Vermette has six points in his last four games but four of those points came against the Panthers on March, 5th. Alex Tanguay has five points since joining the Coyotes from Colorado at the trade deadline.
Injury Report: Mike Smith (LBI), Joe Vitale (Broken Facebone), Anders Lindback (Achilles), Kyle Chipchura (Personal Reasons), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Shoulder)
I’ll predict an Oilers win. Domingue might be playing well at the moment but he’s got his hands full with the Oilers eight-headed hydra coming at them. Nuge is back and he’s going to be looking to make a good impression on Team North America’s GM, Peter Chiarelli and its coach, Todd McLellan. (See what I did there?)
What might sink them are the usual brainfarts like leaving Max Domi alone or giving him a shit ton of free space to do what he wants like they did earlier in the season. Oh and they’re AHL defence that they’ll be going with. But here’s to hoping one of the three scoring lines clicks and that the powerplay finds a way.