TALE OF THE TAPE:
Game: Edmonton Oilers (22-29-6) vs Anaheim Ducks (28-19-8)
Location: Rexall Place, Edmonton
Time: 7:00 PM MT
Where to find it: TV: Sportsnet West – Radio: 630 CHED
Edmonton Oilers Preview:
Another night, another game where the Oilers have it tough.
The Ducks have miraculously turned their season around after there were early talks this year of the team firing Bruce Boudreau. That seems almost foolish now given the fact that the team has gone 16-4-3 in their last 23 games, including a 9-1-1 tear in their last 11.
Playing a defence first style of play this season, the Oilers will be faced with the tough task of scoring goals. Now, the Pouliot – McDavid – Eberle line has had no issue with this, but there has been a real lack of scoring from the rest of the team post all star break.
Call it what you will, but the rest of the team needs to step up and tonight would be a great night to do so. The Oilers and Ducks have split the season series 1-1 so far this year. The Oilers won 4-3 in OT on Nov. 11 while the Ducks pulled out a 1-0 shutout victory on Dec. 31.
There seems to be another flu bug in the locker room and there is an undisclosed forward feeling the effects of the bug going around in the room. Given that, Coach McLellan feels there is a possibility Anton Lander sees the ice for his first game since the team went on the all-star break.
“A confident game,” said McLellan of [Lander’s] expectations. “I sat with Anton and we talked about his year. We were told he was a slow starter. He had a great training camp. He came out of that training camp and we put him in situations where we thought he could succeed, as high as the third-line centre and on the power play. Things didn’t happen for him. OK, now let’s check, let’s become a good penalty killer. He accepted that role but there’s still more there. We took him out for individual games, gave him a little wake-up call and now it’s been an extended period. How does he respond? Play hard, play confident, play like he can, and prove to himself, his teammates and us he’s a full-time NHL player.”
Man, Todd really is a great coach. I am really excited to see how Anton responds tonight.
With just two points in 48 games this year, the team needs more offensive production out of him. If he were to return to near the player he was last year offensively where he scored 20 points in 38 games, we are laughing.
After missing Sunday night’s game with the flu, Cam Talbot is back in net for the Oilers.
Predictions for tonight:
- Lander returns in a big way.
- Taylor Hall, who has gone goalless in his last four, scores two goals tonight.
- CAM TALBOT SHUTOUT
Ducks Preview: Goalie John Gibson, who sustained an upper-body injury on Saturday and did not dress in a 6-4 win against the Calgary Flames on Monday, remains day-to-day and could start. Frederik Andersen started and Anton Khudobin was the backup on Monday. If Gibson can’t go, Andersen, who made 33 saves Monday, will likely start. The Ducks continue a season-high seven-game road trip (3-1-1), which concludes at the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday. Anaheim has won nine of 11 games (9-1-1). “It’s great to score goals and all, but we’re going to win by playing good defense,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks website. “I thought we made some bad reads today, especially coming back into the zone. The gaps were way too big. It’s great to score goals – and have the ability to score goals – but we have to defend to win.” – nhl.com
Line Combos and Starting Goalies c/o Left Wing Lock:
Oilers (Cam Talbot):
Benoit Pouliot – Connor McDavid – Jordan Eberle
Taylor Hall – Mark Letestu – Zack Kassian
Iiro Pakarinen – Leon Draisaitl – Teddy Purcell
Nail Yakupov – Matt Hendricks – Lauri Korpikoski
Andrej Sekera – Justin Schultz
Darnell Nurse – Mark Fayne
Brandon Davidson – Eric Gryba
EDM Injuries: Oscar Klefbom (undisclosed), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand)
Scratched: Adam Clendening, Anton Lander
Anaheim Ducks (Fredrik Anderson):
David Perron – Ryan Getzlaf – Mike Santorelli
Nick Ritchie – Rickard Rakell – Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Kelser – Jakob Silfverberg
Patrick Maroon – Nate Thompson – Ryan Garbutt
Cam Fowler – Kevin Bieksa
Hampus Lindholm – Josh Manson
Simon Despres – Sami Vatanen
Any ideas on how to improve my game previews? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.