TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (15-18-3) vs Arizona Coyotes (18-16-3)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Auston Matthews am I right?
Well, that’s what I imagined Arizona was thinking at the start of the season, but clearly the team has had other plans.
Lead by Max Domi, the Coyotes are right in the thick of things in an odd Pacific Division. Tonight, the Oilers are in dire need of a win and some life.
The team has faltered during this Pacific Division dance, losing all of the last four games played (VAN, CGY, LAK, ANA). This had been a fantastic chance to get some interdivision points and an opportunity to climb in the standings.
“This is a super important stretch for us, you know its five in a row against the Pacific Division and it hasn’t gone our way so far, but we still got time, we can turn it around here with a couple on the home stand,” said Rob Klinkhammer.
“I think if we stick with it, maybe get a little grittier, bear down a bit, we’ll be fine, the guys have been working their butts off here, it’s been a long stretch, I’m proud of them for that and hopefully I can get back out there and help ’em.”
However, it has been the exact opposite.
With Connor McDavid returning to the practice ice, the questions turn to “when will he return?”. It’s so difficult to put the hopes of your season on the backs of a 18-year old kid.
If the team is able to tide the waves for the next few weeks, I hope that McDavid would be able to help provide a push for a late season playoff run.
Last time the two teams met was on November 12th, when the Oilers fell 4-1.
Goalie Louis Domingue is likely to make his seventh start in eight games, coach Dave Tippetttold the Arizona Republic. Forwards Martin Hanzal (lower body) and Boyd Gordon (upper body) will travel on the road trip but likely won’t play Saturday. Gordon hopes to play against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday. Hanzal and Gordon each participated in an optional practice Friday. Injured goalie Mike Smith (core) briefly skated in sweats on his own. “He’s a long way off,” Tippett said. The Coyotes have gone 4-1-1 in their past six games and begin a three-game trip through Western Canada. They defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 at home Thursday, when Doan scored his 380th NHL goal to set the Winnipeg/Arizona record, one more than Dale Hawerchuk. Doan has nine goals in his past 10 games.
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Taylor Hall – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Benoit Pouliot – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Matt Hendricks – Mark Letestu – Lauri Korpikoski
Rob Klinkhammer – Anton Lander – Jujhar Khaira
Darnell Nurse – Andrej Sekera
Justin Schultz – Mark Fayne
Brandon Davidson – Brad Hunt
Coyotes (Louis Domingue):
Max Domi – Antoine Vermette – Mikkel Boedker
Tobias Reider – Viktor Tikhonov – Anthony Duclair
Jordan Martinook – Brad Richardson – Shane Doan
John Scott – Kyle Chipchura – Craig Cunningham
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Connor Murphy
Nicklas Grossman – Michael Stone
Klas Dahlbeck – Zbynek Michalek
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