ENS Gameday Preview: Oilers @ Ducks
This is the third blog in a row I get to use the Nelly victory pic. It gets better every time. And it doesn’t even matter that the Oilers keep winning because the Leafs keep winning also. At this point I think it’s a very safe bet that Edmonton will finish 28th in the league, with an 11.5% chance at winning the McJesus lottery. I feel like we’re due for a big lottery win though. It’s already been three years since we got to celebrate a draft lottery victory and streaks like that just don’t continue. That’s a cold hard fact.
Edmonton is in Anaheim tonight to take on the Ducks, and in Los Angeles tomorrow night for a tough back-to-back. Anaheim is still in the running for the President’s Trophy/home ice advantage, so they shouldn’t be treating this like point night. Not that their home ice advantage will matter anyways because I guarantee they get bounced within the first two rounds of the playoffs. Anaheim’s goal differential on the entire season is only +11, which is not at all typical of a usual first place team, and they’ve been finding ways to win one goal games all season long. Although the Ducks are loaded with some young talent, that’s the kind of luck that I wouldn’t count on continuing against actual good hockey teams in the big dance.
Pouliot – RNH – Eberle
Yakupov – Roy – Purcell
Hall – Lander – Miller
Gazdic – Klinkhammer – Fraser
Klefbom – Schultz
Marincin – Aulie
Davidson – Nikitin
The same lineup that won the last couple games is expected to go tonight. Hendricks and Gordon are both still unlikely to play tonight so Bobby Klinks will stay in the middle. Richard Bachman had to leave the team for a family emergency so Ben Scrivens is back in the pipe. St. Albert’s own Tyler Bunz has been recalled by the club on emergency basis.
What Needs To Happen
Anaheim is the better team and that’s obvious. If Edmonton has a chance at winning this one they’ll need to limit turnovers and breakdowns because the Ducks have more than enough skill to take advantage and light the lamp. The Ducks’ defense core is a strong group. but they are also a young group. If the Oil can get in on the forecheck and create some turnovers, they should have their chances to score.
What Can’t Happen
What Is Going To Happen
Edmonton stays hot and wins their fourth in a row by a score of 4-3 in OT. Hall with two, Yak with the OT winner.